Fall is here, and in many parts of the country that means that the weather is becoming cooler and wetter. Humidity has a number of damaging effects on carpet that homeowners need to be aware of. How should you care for your rugs and carpets when they’re under more stress?
First of all, water and dirt go together. When it rains, not just water gets tracked in. Dirt and debris trapped in carpets looks and often smells bad, and moisture will cause mold to grow and weaken the carpet fibers themselves. Additionally, a wetter environment is more welcoming for bacteria and other pests. Insects like fleas need a certain level of humidity for their eggs to hatch, and molds and dust mites proliferate in humid places. If any of your family members struggle with allergies, a humid house will make them worse.
Humidity isn’t just bad for area rugs, over a longer period of time it can cause installed carpets to buckle. If you want your carpets to remain stretched and flat, it’s best to maintain a more consistent temperature and humidity in your house. Both moisture and heat will cause the carpet to swell, and then during winter when it’s cooler and dryer, it will contract. This pulling can loosen installed carpet and result in unsightly ripples.
What can you do to avoid damage to your carpet and rugs?
- During rainy days set up a humidifier in your house to maintain optimum humidity. Experts estimate that this is between 40-50%. Dryer air inside will allow the carpets themselves to dry more quickly, but stick to the recommended humidity range. If the humidity is too high, your carpets will never completely dry and, therefore, be clean. If it’s too low, your carpets will be dry, but so will your skin and your lungs.
- During dry days, open the windows and allow the air to flow between the inside and the outside. Getting fresh air in the house is also good for your health and will make everything smell fresher.
- Keep the temperature in the house within a certain range by setting the thermostat to regulate the furnace and air conditioner when the weather outside fluxuates.
- Use fans if the humidity gets out of control or if there is a water problem that affects your carpets. It’s what water restoration pros do in emergencies, but you can easily set a fan out yourself if things get damp. Remember, it only takes between 24-48 hours for mold spores to become active.
Water is something everything that lives needs, but it can also be incredibly damaging. Don’t let it ruin your carpets and rugs this fall.