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Rug Damage- Protecting and Repairing your Investment

Rug Damage

A genuine hand-knotted Oriental rug is a worthwhile investment that will last a very long time if you take a few precautions. Protecting your rug from premature wear and rug damage is only to ensure your piece will be enjoyed by your children and grandchildren. Some common problems encountered by rug owners are discussed below.

Sun Damage

Most rug dyes are quite resistant to sun fading or bleaching. Still, ultraviolet rays are a powerful force of nature, and a rug will likely fade over time if used for years in a very sunny area. Consider sheer drapes to block some of the direct sunlight, and try to turn the rug end-for-end once a year to even out possible color changes. 

Moth Damage

It happens to even those who take the utmost care of their beautiful Persian or Oriental rug – moths get to the rug and cause rug damage.

 

Here are some tips on how to repair and/or take care of a rug beloved by moths.

 

* First, you will notice that moths have gotten to your rug because you will probably see bad spots or loose or broken pile.

 

* You also may see moths flying around the carpet. Moth cocoons, larvae in the rug’s pile, or tiny sand-like particles in the pile (these are moth eggs).

 

* Understand that moths do not eat your rug. They lay hundreds of eggs in wool and when the larvae hatch they are ones that eat the wool.

* You will not be able to repair moth damage yourself. You will need to take your rug to a professional with experience in the repair of Oriental rugs. If the rug damage is extensive, you may wish to have only the worst spots fixed.

 

To prevent moths in the future, regular cleaning should be a part of household routine. Be sure to vacuum the top of your rug at least weekly and also vacuum the rug’s backside several times a year. Do not forget to the pad and even the floor underneath the rug.

 

If you cannot reach certain areas of the rug (a part that is under a heavy sofa or the rug is hung on a wall) you can spray it with a non-staining household insecticide that is specifically for killing moths. The ingredients in many types of insects. The insecticide breaks down quickly after use, so they are considered safe to use in the home.

rug damage-moth damage

 

Moths will also attack a rug that is being stored. To prevent this, follow these steps:

 

* Make sure that the storage area is dry, cool (does not get damp or too hot) and has shades and/or blinds.

* Roll the rug up for storage.

* Do not place the rug standing up on a floor. It is best to lay it on a table, shelf or counter. If necessary, it is okay to place it on the floor (just make sure it is not a concrete floor).

* Roll the rug around a sturdy cardboard tube and then cover the rug with a sheet of muslin or an old bed sheet.

* The sheet should be long enough that it can be tucked into the “tube” the rug forms when rolled.

* Check the rug every six months for moth and/or mildew damage.

 

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetles are another cause of rug damage. The Carpet beetle is the scourge of East Coast rug owners and the problem seems to grow each year. The adult is a small oval insect, dark with colored marks on the back, about a quarter of an inch long. Carpet beetles eat pollen and nectar, and often they are brought into the house on cut flowers. They lay eggs in dust and lint in dark and hard to access places. Both adults and larvae eat wool rugs (and sometimes silk rugs), but most rug damage is done by the larvae. While moths eat tracks through wool rugs, carpet beetles eat right through the rug, cotton foundation and all. They leave behind bristly “shells” of shed skin. The best control is prevention through fastidious housekeeping. Carpet beetles may be killed by freezing (-20 degrees F for three days), or through use of pyrethrin or other sprays.

rug damage-carpet beetles

Mildew and Dry Rot

Another cause of rug damage is mildew and dry rot. When rugs are wet for too long, they become mildewed and, eventually, suffer dry rot. The classic example is dry rot caused by a potted plant placed on a rug. The typical result is a horribly rotted circular area in a carpet that is otherwise in good condition. No matter if use a glazed pot and a glazed saucer or place a vapor barrier between the saucer and the rug- the rug will get wet and will stay wet eventually creating an unpleasant mess about one foot in diameter.

Another common situation arises when rugs are stored poorly, in a garage for instance, and they become wet without the owners realizing what has happened. Even though dry rot is not inevitable in such cases, a mildew smell is, and the smell of mildew often cannot be entirely eradicated.

Rugs also tend to absorb the brunt of the moisture when a leak occurs in the roof or a plumbing problem is present directly above the rug.

But do not worry needlessly… A little water on a rug, or even a lot of water, will not cause it to mildew unless the rug remains wet for a long period of time. For instance, rugs you step onto from a shower or bathtub rarely are hurt by water because they have time to dry out between uses. Don’t panic if you spill a glass of water on a rug. Just dry it as well as you can with towels, and if it dries over the course of several days the rug will suffer no lasting rug damage.

Unfortunately, besides causing mildew and dry rot, water sometimes causes dyes in rugs to bleed or run. All you can do in this situation is to get the rug dry as soon as possible, preferably with a water vacuum as outlined below.

A rug that is thoroughly wet is an entirely different monster. The goal is to dry it before it mildews in about four or five days. If you have a Shopvac or another vacuum that will take in water, vacuum out as much water as you can. Otherwise, lay the rug flat on its back outdoors and squeegee out as much water as you can. If all else fails and the rug has been wet for four or five days and you have no prospects of drying it soon, spray it with Lysol. If you must dry a wet rug indoors, keep air circulating around it with a fan or hairdryer. Many a rug has come through seemingly hopeless situations and come out in good shape. As always, the best solution to these issues is taking the rug to an Oriental rug cleaning specialist at Khazai.

 

 

Ends, Edges and Holes

Ends and edges are often the first parts of rugs that need attention as rugs age. It is vital to maintain them in good condition. Problems on the edge soon lead to more expensive problems with the body of a rug. Typically, a rug’s fringe begins to wear away noticeably within 10 or 15 years from the time the rug was new. It is nearly gone when the rug is 40-60 years old. Fringe can be replaced although new fringe on an old rug often looks inappropriate. Many people who are accustomed to old rugs simply get used to seeing eroded fringes and they do not fret over the appearance. Fringe is not fundamental to the structure, thus your rug will suffer no harm from its absence. Conversely, worn fringe is a sign that the end finish of the rug may be threatened by wear. Rugs are bound on their ends in a variety of ways. Each is designed to keep the foundation threads intact. When the foundation is frayed, a rug begins to lose its pile, and that requires work.

rug damage-worn fringe

 

Likewise, the edges of a rug, called selvages, need to be maintained. Selvages are wrapped with wool or cotton to protect the edges of the rug. Eventually this wrapping wears out and has to be replaced. This is routine work and not terribly expensive. To maintain a rug’s value it is important that a new selvage looks just like the old selvage: the same color, material and so on. Resist the temptation to replace the original selvage with a cheap, machine binding.

 

In summary

There are many causes of rug damage. A variety of other problems that need repair may beset a rug during its lifetime: holes, wrinkle lines, curling edges, visible wear, and moth damage. All of these rug damages can be fixed. 

If faced with any of these issues or something completely out of the ordinary, rest assured Khazai Oriental Rug Outlet has seen and dealt with your situation. Visit our website at https://www.khazairugcleaning.com, or call either our Louisville or Lexington locations to speak to an expert today. 

 

Check out our blog about emergency rug staings at https://www.khazairugcleaning.com/index.php/2017/09/13/emergency-rug-stain-tips/

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