All About Carpet Filtration Soiling: What to Do

If you have ever seen a carpet darken along a wall or stair edges where no one walks, you have noticed filtration soiling. When the ventilation system moves air through a house, the carpet acts as an air filter. Air flow deposits fine soil and dust along carpeted walls, stair edges, under frequently closed doors, and even subfloor joints. You may see black dots in the carpet around room edges. This is where knee kicker teeth have broken the secondary backing, air flows through these holes, and dust collects. Sometimes little-moved drapery hems touching the carpet or furniture skirts slow airflow enough to allow fine soil to outline the fabric onto the carpet. Filtration soiling is a function of the way the house is built.

What can you do about it? A Certified Carpet Cleaner can probably remove most of the discoloration, but the problem will slowly reappear when you run the ventilation system. It will take work, but you can pull up the carpet around room perimeters to caulk the space between the drywall and floor. On stairways, you’ll need to caulk between the stairway frame and the staircase. Keep doors to unused rooms open.

If subfloor joints are allowing dust to collect in the carpet, you’ll have to pull up the carpet, correct the subfloor, then re-stretch and clean the carpet. The object is to prevent airflow and dust collection.

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Who is Glenn Revere?

Glenn Revere has been a carpet expert since 1973. He’s a certified flooring inspector and the author of All About Carpets, the only book written to protect and inform you about your carpet choices, from carpet buying and carpet warranties to carpet care and maintenance. You can find him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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