Carpet in a rental home or vacation unit usually gets damaged and requires replacement long before it just wears out. A year’s worth of coffee spills or discolored areas that won’t come clean can add up to a big expense to replace the flooring.
Tim Skufca, national sales director of multifamily for Sherwin-Williams, says that being kind to carpet can go a long way.
“You replace for two reasons,” he said. “One, because it gets stained, and, two, because it’s matted and crushed, it just wears out. From a management company’s perspective, you need to identify why the carpet is being replaced.”
Skufca, who for the past five years has worked closely with the multifamily industry, believes that leasing professionals can create a culture to help prolong the life of carpet. That can start with the initial design of the home or unit, remodeling and working with residents to get the most out of the carpet’s lifespan.
In the end, you may be able to lower your replacement costs and get a little extra return on the property. Skufca and other flooring pros suggest the following to further the life of your carpet:
Combine a hard-surface area with carpet at entry points
Design a hard-surface area between exterior doors and the carpet to help prevent the spread of dirt and debris into fibers. A 5’ x 5’ “landing” using tile or vinyl floor covering with a mat will encourage people to wipe off their feet or leave shoes before walking on the carpet. Also, placing mats outside of entry points will help those entering the dwelling to wipe their feet as well.
At least once a year fully clean carpets
Professionally clean the carpet in units once or twice per year to minimize long-term matting, crushing and staining. When people walk across the carpet, dirt sifts into the yarn and gets deeply embedded. The yarn will start to discolor, break down and look worn. Before too long, the carpet won’t be able to be revitalized and will need replacing.
Give your residents with a vacuum cleaner
Regular vacuuming helps keep dirt from sifting deep into the carpet and creating additional wear. It’s possible that some residents won’t have their own vacuum, so it may not be a bad idea to give them one. An inexpensive vacuum cleaner could be the perfect housewarming gift for a new resident (or one who renews) and help increase the life of the carpet if used properly. Good vacuum cleaners can be purchased for as little as $50.
Consider other flooring options to prolong the life of carpet
Being choosy where and how much carpet is installed will help better manage costs and get the most out of the carpet, Skufca says. Using hard-surface flooring in areas like the dining room, kitchen and bathrooms where carpets are more likely to get wet or stained may make more sense than installing carpet. “If you can put hard-surface in dining room – that’s where people eat – you’re going to prolong the life of the product while making the area look more livable,” Skufca said.
Skufca added that home owners and managers should work with their flooring representatives to find the right solution to help get the most out of the life of the carpet.
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