Have you noticed the edges of your carpet getting dark? These dark lines are called “filtration lines” and can be found next to walls, on staircases and under registers. The reason these lines form is because your carpet is a filter. Homes are built airtight and because air is constantly flowing, it needs a place to go, right? When homes are constructed, there’s a small gap where the floor and the walls meet. The carpet in your home is then installed by nailing a tackstrip about an inch from the wall and the carpet is installed all the way to the wall and held there by the tackstrip. Now there’s a gap between the wall and the subfloor. As air flows in your home it naturally flows through the gap. Discoloration will occur because the carpet acts like a filter and particles of dust, dirt and oil attach themselves to the fiber of the carpet and create those filtration lines. The biggest culprits are cooking oils, soot from fireplaces and candles and dirty air filters. Filtration lines can also be found under doors that are closed for long periods of time.
How to Prevent Filtration Soiling
Luckily, there are ways you can avoid these unsightly lines. If you are in the process of building a new home, you can have the contractor seal the gap where the subfloor will meet the wall. This can be done with caulking or tape. Make sure you clean and/or change your furnace filter at least every 3 months and air conditioner filters monthly. Have your air ducts cleaned every year and make sure you clean the edges of your carpets once a month. Vacuum rooms that aren’t used very much and have your carpets cleaned professionally every 6-8 months.
How to Clean Dark Edges of Carpet
Filtration lines can be very hard to remove because the molecules of the soils are so small. They also require a multi-step process to do so. The first step is to use a concentrated high-volume vacuum to remove particles of dust and dirt. Second step is to apply a pre-treatment to remove embedded oils that are then rinsed off with a high-water temperature. Third, an oxidizer or concentrated stain removers can be used, buy only on certain types of carpet fibers.
DIY VS Hiring a Professional to Remove Filtration Soil
You should always hire professionals to remove filtration lines. Trying to do it yourself can cause the lines to permanently set as stains in the carpet if you use the wrong chemicals. Some of the solutions you use may contain chemicals that can eat away the backing of your carpet if they aren’t completely removed, and if the carpet is not rinsed with hot enough temperatures, stains can become permanent.
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Take steps to avoid filtration lines and call professionals to fix the problem. In extreme cases, filtration lines may still appear light even when professionals try to remove them. But this is a better situation than making them worse by trying to do it yourself. Get rid of filtration lines by giving Tough Carpet Cleaning a call.