Many folks think that as long as they vacuum every so often and get their carpets cleaned every few years, then that will be enough to protect the investment they have made in their home. The reality is that carpet flooring needs a bit more TLC than that, but with a little effort and the right knowledge/care, you can have your carpets outlast that of your neighbors by years.

There are three basic steps to regular carpet maintenance. First, be sure to vacuum at least once a week with a powerful machine, and be sure that the filter in the machine is clean to ensure the best performance possible. Since as much as 79 percent of soil in carpets are dry soils, regularly sucking these particles out of your carpet helps to prevent the layering and packing in of dirt that requires more serious professional equipment. Also, by not allowing small abrasive particles to remain in the fibers of your carpet, the wear and tear of your carpets will be less extensive.

Second, be sure to clean spots as soon as the accident happens. Do not allow damaging liquids to penetrate the carpet without soaking them back out and then blotting the area with warm water and a white towel (to prevent color bleeding). If the spot remains after these steps, be sure to call a professional to address the problem before it becomes permanent.

Speaking of the professionals, professional carpet cleaning is the third step in maintaining the appearance of your carpets for longer. It will depend on several factors such as the amount of traffic your home gets and the color of your carpet as to how often you get your carpets professionally steam-cleaned, but a general rule is at least every 12 months. You do not want to wait until you can see the dirt buildup as traffic stains to call the pros, because that means that there are several more deep layers of dirt and grime below the one you can see.

By keeping your carpets professionally cleaned on a regular basis, vacuuming at least once a week and addressing spots immediately, you will be able greatly increase the lifetime of your carpet flooring and enhance the appearance of you home. You can even try moving your furniture around to change the traffic patterns in your home, but you should at least stick to the above three steps of carpet maintenance.