Beware of carpet cleaners that spin you a yarn about moths!
Sep 16, 2016, 12:13 PM
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For this week’s blog, I decided to turn my attention to carpets and wondered how well the carpet retail sector was currently doing. In my home, I switched from carpet to laminate flooring a long time ago and I have to say that it still looks as good as new, with the exception of a few dents and scratches.
I tried carrying out some internet research but it was very difficult to find any current data on carpet sales. The best I could find was a report quoting annual sales in 2008 of £1.2 billion which had slipped to £968 million by 2011. There is no doubt that laminate is very popular and all traditional carpet shops have now introduced laminate into their product ranges. Even Mr Dyson has reacted to changing tastes in flooring by developing vacuum cleaners that can be used on soft or hard floors.
Keeping your laminate flooring spick and span is quite easy. A spray of cleaning fluid and then wiping it up with a wide pad on the end of a long handle is what I do. Keeping carpet clean involves a regular run around with a vacuum cleaner but it is very difficult to remove ground in dirt that can be particularly noticeable on lighter coloured coverings. Experts recommend that carpets need to be cleaned every 12 to 18 months. This is when consideration needs to be given to using a proper carpet-cleaning machine that squirts a mixture of water and detergent into the fibres that is then sucked up. Good quality machines are quite expensive to buy but can normally be hired. They leave carpets clean and fresh and it can be surprising (and disgusting) how dirty the water that is sucked up into the collection tank can be.
For those people who want their carpets cleaned professionally without any hassle, there are plenty of small businesses that offer a service that may be more attractive to those of more senior years who haven’t got the inclination or the energy to visit the local hire shop. A word of warning though that there are some rogue carpet cleaners out there who, sadly, will try and rip you off. These businesses come to the attention of Trading Standards from time to time. I remember one particular case where an elderly consumer was given a quote of £20 to clean a carpet. This was the way for the rogue to get a foot in the door and before she knew it, the consumer was told that she had a moth infestation that required special chemical treatment that ended up costing over £200. Our expert witness subsequently examined the carpet, found it to be a manmade fabric and stated that it would not have harboured any moths that would only reside in carpets with a woolen content. The trader was prosecuted and convicted for making false statements and the consumer got her money back.
If you are thinking of using the services of a professional carpet cleaner rather than giving it a try yourself, the National Carpet Cleaners Association is now a TrustMark scheme operator and you can find a reliable local trades person by looking at the TrustMark website (www.trustmark.org.uk). There is also some useful information to be found at www.ncca.co.uk and a list of FAQs if you are thinking of having your carpet cleaned.