The subject of carpet protector seems to be a confusing one. What does it have to do with carpet cleaning? Is it something that should be applied after cleaning? If so, how often? Finally, what is a fair price?
When a carpet cleaning professional completes a job for a client he will often ask if the client would like to apply protector. Of course, it comes at an additional cost. That can leave the customer feeling like they are being sold something they might or might not need. So, the question is, what is carpet protector and how important is it?
To answer that, we need to look at how today’s carpet is made. Carpet has gone through a number of generations throughout its history. Back in the 70’s manufacturers came out with what is known as fourth-generation carpet. The major improvement was the addition of fluorochemical treatment which aided in soil resistance. Then, years later, manufacturers introduced fifth-generation carpet which added one more protective quality called acid dye blocker.
The important thing to understand about construction of carpet is that these advances were significant. Today’s carpet Is far superior to previous generations in terms of soil resistance.
The problem lies in the durability of those protective properties. Both fluorochemical treatments and acid dye blockers are damaged and eventually removed by heavy traffic. So, in order to maintain the look and quality of your carpet these treatments must be reapplied over time.
The nature of these protective components is also important to consider. Most people understand that they help the carpet resist stains from liquid spills and such. What many people do not understand is that these same treatments also help the carpet to resist solids, even common things like dust and fine dirt. So, when the protective properties of the carpet have been broken down, the carpet looks dirty much faster.
This is one of the reasons many people think their carpet gets dirtier, faster, after it has been cleaned. The reality is that their carpet is just older, more worn, and its protective properties have been worn and damaged. So, after a carpet cleaning it does get dirty quicker than when it was new. But that’s not because of the cleaning, but because of the loss of its protective properties.
The solution is reapplication of carpet protector. This is, in fact, an extra charge in most cases as it requires additional labor and significant additional cost in materials. A fair charge for this service is usually a little bit less than the cost to clean the carpet. This is usually anywhere from 60 to 80% of the cost of cleaning.
While it does not need to be applied after every cleaning, it should be done at least every two years.
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