What Are Those Dark Lines Around My Carpet?
Carpet cleaning customers in Bel Air, MD and throughout Harford county MD often ask about those dark lines around the edges of rooms with wall to wall carpeting. Those lines have a name: filtration soiling. Filtration soiling is a condition caused by new home construction methods. Ever since the Energy Crisis in the 1970’s new homes are required to meet ever stricter standards for energy efficiency and air-tightness. Entry doors and windows are required to lessen the passage of air, thereby creating a tighter indoor envelop.
Every time your forced air heating or cooling system operates the fan unit is pressurizing your house like a balloon. Old leaky windows and doors used to let that air pass outside. Since air pressure always seeks to equalize, it must find another way out. The easiest way is through the gap at the base of your exterior walls. As a result, your wall to wall carpeting acts just like an air filter, trapping all sorts of particulate matter. Over time that trapped matter causes the dark lines you see.
If you look closely at the photo you will notice a series of dark lines perpendicular to the wall. These marks are filtration soiling coming through tiny holes in the carpeting caused by the knee kicker during installation.
Now that you have a greater understanding of the cause, let’s talk about how to get rid of these nasty lines. Over the course of my nearly 30 year career in carpet cleaning here in Bel Air, and throughout Harford county I have tried many products that claim to eliminate these lines. Recently a company called Vacaway has produced a line of specialized carpet pre-treatments that finally addresses the problem, which you can see the result below.
Though the results are not perfect, this was a 27 year old carpet that had never been cleaned! So you can see we can make an improvement in nearly any carpet. But here is the bad news: we can only treat the symptom, not the cause. Since the gap under the wall remains, these spots will undoubtedly come back over time.
Carpet cleaning customers in Bel Air, MD and elsewhere have often asked if there is any way they can remedy or prevent these lines themselves. Many people have asked if they need to vacuum these areas more thoroughly. Unfortunately no amount of vacuuming will prevent or remove these lines. And there are no over the counter spot removers that will do the job either. The only answer is regular professional carpet cleaning.