A reader asks: "Our carpet has a dingy, fuzzy appearance that makes it look worn beyond the two years that it has been installed. What can we do to remedy this situation?"

Based on your description it appears that you are not properly maintaining the carpet and if this continues, it will result in damage that cannot be easily repaired and may age the carpet sooner. An old phrase that applies is that "carpet does not wear out; it uglies out" due to poor maintenance.

First of all, you are trying to vacuum the carpet with a very low setting on the brush attachment. I noted that workers will leave the unit running in the upright mode over a carpeted area. This can result in abrasions and damage the fibers resulting in the fuzzy appearance you mentioned. In too many cases, the workers are also abrading the carpet fibers adding to the poor appearance.

We also noted that you do not "feel" that it is your job to clean/maintain the walk off mats which are the first line of defense in capturing grit and soils that can not only damage the carpet but also allowing the soils to get wet and color the carpet. I highly recommend you consider applying the 80/20 Rule that focuses on the 20 percent of the high traffic area with 80 percent of your effort. This could include switching to a backpack unit or canister with a flat pick up head that will not abrade the carpet nearly as much. A properly utilized back pack will lift the grit and soils out by suction rather than using the stiff brush.

We will consider a few more points in a future article. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.