Carpet Cleaning - Why it's Important - 5 Amazing Truths
Why is it super important to regularly clean those carpets?
Maintenance items should not be ignored when it comes to any property, be it your personal residence or your investment property. Today we'll address the importance of carpet cleaning concerning a rental property.
The 30,000-foot view
It would seem to be a pretty basic and simple thing. Clean carpet is good, dirty carpet is terrible. Right? And while that is a baseline truth, there is more to it. Clean-looking carpet can actually carry a lot of unseen dirt, not to mention dust mites, dust itself, bacteria, spills, and even urine. And it's not just pets you have to worry about with urine, but also children, particularly toddlers. Regular carpet cleaning can make a big difference!
A landlord (property management company or property owner) is responsible for getting a rental property into habitable condition. As far as carpeting, this means the carpet must be safe, with no tears or holes (trip hazards), and usually, this involves a carpet cleaning before moving in. There is no requirement under California law to replace the carpet in an occupied property unless it can affect the resident's health or safety. This runs counter to many "barstool conversations" and beliefs I have heard over the years. Nor is it the owner's responsibility to clean the carpeting while the property is occupied.
See this article about the topic.
We highly recommend you do a carpet cleaning before a resident moves in, even if the flooring looks clean.
Seeing is believing
A carpeted floor may look nice, even pristine, to the point where you think it does not need cleaning. What you need is "fresh eyes."
The Challenge Is...
You look at the same item day after day, and you tend to get blind to the conditions of said item. It does not matter what that item is; it's human nature to filter it out of your reticular activator. The human mind can cope with only so much input. People filter out traffic noise when they live near a busy street or manure smells if they live near a dairy, so too they also filter out the mundane items seen all the time.
In short, if you look closely, you will see the "guck." Have you ever re-cleaned a just-cleaned carpet? It's incredible how much stuff still comes out of the clean carpet! That takes us to...
You can work that carpet cleaning machine over the carpet repeatedly, and you will still see the dirt coming up the third and fourth go over. As a matter of fact, it makes no difference if it is a rental property carpet or your own house.
The Challenge Is...
That carpeting may look clean, but those fibers are great at holding dirt! Not only that, but fine particles of dirt can get through the carpet backing and onto/into the padding. In short, it can take multiple passes to get all the dirt out, and the more extended period between cleanings, the harder it is! That is why we recommend our residents clean their carpets twice yearly. Not only does it look nicer and is healthier, but...
It lasts longer! Carpet cleaning regularly prolongs the life of the carpeting. Those fibers, as I mentioned above, hold dirt reasonably well. Those dirt particles act like small sandpaper pads, constantly rubbing the fibers against themselves and the dirt. This rubbing creates accelerated wear. Yes, dirty carpet wears faster than clean carpet.
You may not smell it, but they do...
Years ago, I'd visit my slovenly bachelor friend back before he moved to Stockton. He lived in a rental property for next to nothing, rented from a family friend. The house was old, small, but was on a huge lot! The house itself was, well, a dump. It was built in about 1918, and the carpeting throughout looked roughly the same age. I'm not even kidding. Man was it dirty, always!
The house always smelled terrible. I can't even describe the odor, just that it smelled of dogs, old vegetables, sweat, and a dash of desperation.
Once he got married, we all discovered that his new wife was a clean freak. She so had her work cut out for her! Every time we were over to visit, she was vacuuming or doing another round of carpet cleaning.
The carpet never looked any better, but...
In a couple of months, though still unattractive, this house actually smelled quite nice. That carpet cleaning, done regularly, paid huge dividends! See, she was super motivated, with a child on the way, and she wanted to ensure the little one could crawl about and not be covered in dirt.
Do yourself a favor: Get a carpet cleaner (I recommend Hoover, they last longer than many!) and use it twice a year. Or you can rent a machine. Or higher a carpet cleaning company. The bottom line is that carpet cleaning is more than a cosmetic deal, and it can benefit you, your family, and the home itself in ways you may never have thought about.