Your carpet is in pristine condition and you work hard to keep it looking clean. But with every season comes something that guests, customers and employees track into your space that causes damage to your carpet. Between winter slush, muddy footprints and wet umbrellas – let alone allergens like pollen and pet dander and germs – it seems like almost everything outside can be tracked inside and potentially stain, damage and eventually ruin your carpets. Taking preventative measures that will avert and minimize the damage will extend the overall health and life of your carpet.

One of the best things you can do to maintain and increase the longevity of your carpets is to prevent dirt, mud, snow and water from getting on them. Step one is placing door mats at every entry way. Walking over these mats can release the debris on shoes before they enter the rest of the space including carpeted areas, which can significantly decrease damage. Adding an area rug to high traffic areas like hallways and doorways can reduce the damage to your carpets as well. It’s easier and considerably more affordable to replace area rugs when they show wear and tear than it is to replace wall-to-wall carpeting.

Vacuuming frequently can help to pick up the loose dirt before it has time to settle and get ground into the carpet, which can potentially erode the carpet fibers and become a more permanent stain. In high traffic areas, vacuuming your carpets multiple times a week will help maintain its appearance and even extend the carpet’s life and value. At least twice a year, it’s recommended to use a professional carpet cleaning service to clean the heavy traffic areas and ground-in dirt and allergens in your carpets and sanitize them to remove bacteria and germs.

Replacing carpet is costly, so you want be sure to take proper care of it to enhance its appearance, keep it safe and healthy, and extend its life. These tips and tricks can reduce the wear and tear on your carpets and ensure that you get the maximum possible value and life from your investment.

Jotham Hatch is the National Training Director for Chem-Dry, a carpet and upholstery cleaning service, with a global network spanning over 50 countries and serving over 10,000 homes and businesses a day worldwide. He first joined the company in 2003 as an Instructional Designer and has spent more than a decade focusing on training solutions through a variety of mediums including hands-on, face-to-face, on-line and text-based methods. A resident of Utah, Jotham graduated from Utah State University and has additional experience as a small business owner and an account manager.