Why would I clean my carpets… they’re practically new!
One of the greatest feelings a home owner will experience is an update or remodel to their home. Most people have a real sense of pride when it comes to their castle. People will have their friends and family come over to look at all of the wonderful changes that have been made. People will post pictures on social media and talk about the changes they’ve made around the water cooler at work. I would argue that an update to the home rivals the attention to a new child or even a wedding.
Why is it that we are so proud of our homes?
Is it because as Americans our social status is measured by our homes, maybe. Is it because we want to showcase our amazing taste, and unrivaled mastery of hand tools, perhaps. I would argue that it is a little deeper than that.
I think most people equate comfort with security. People find a real biological need to nest and improve their surroundings. This probably started out as more of a survival tool, build a better dwelling and decrease the odds of being carried off in the night by a saber tooth tiger. Overtime this yearning for improvement has evolved from a mere survival tactic into a very visceral desire to create a beautiful home with all of the modern comforts that one can afford.
People should be proud of their homes and people should strive to improve them. The reality is that we go to work day in and day out to pay for them so there is nothing wrong with showing off the fruits of our labor.
Anyone that has ever owned a home can attest to the fact that an update or remodel is not only a lot of work but expensive as well. While a fresh coat of paint or some new furniture can go a long way to improving the appearance of your home, nothing rivals new flooring, both in degree of improvement and in cost.
New flooring can be the single most expensive investment one can make in their home. It is not unheard of to pay upwards of ten dollars a square foot for material and installation. In an average size room (15 X 15 sq. ft.) this would be roughly $2500 for one room alone. With the average size home being around 2,500 sq. ft. this could easily bring that number up to $25,000 for wall to wall carpet.
Are we talking new carpet or new cars?
So, once you make that investment you are all set right? No matter what comes down the turnpike, you have the carpet situation taken care of! Unfortunately, this is not the case. Like everything, carpet has a life expectancy. There will come a time when the carpet fibers begin to wear and the integrity of the carpet will degrade to the point of no return. The life expectancy can vary wildly base on a lot of different factors, including traffic, soiling, installation, and initial quality. It is common to expect 10 to 15 years out of your carpet. If you estimate on the low side of that number that means you could be looking at replacing your carpet 3 times just over the span of your mortgage alone.
That Kia just turned into a Mercedes!
Let’s ride this car analogy as far as it will go. People take as much pride in their cars as they do their homes. When a car is purchased it is expected that there will be upkeep costs to extend the life of the car. These costs include oil changes and inspections, new tires, car washes and so forth. The same is true about your new carpet. Most manufactures will recommend that you have a restorative cleaning done by an IICRC certified firm such as On The Spot Cleaning & Restoration at a minimum of every 24 months and as frequently as every 6 months. The consequences of neglecting to upkeep your car and carpet will drastically decrease their lifespan and possibly void any applicable warranty. In the case of your carpet it is possible, that without a proper maintenance plan, the life span of your carpet could drop by as much as 40% under normal wear.
One of the things that cleaning professionals here quite often is that carpet cleaning is so expensive. This may be true, however, the reality is that people generally don’t know what to expect when seeking out a carpet cleaner and don’t really understand the reasons for needing it done in the first place. When it comes to a vehicle most people understand the costs associated with maintenance and upkeep and don’t really flinch when it comes to paying for it. In all actuality caring for your carpet is no more expensive than caring for your car.
Let’s do a little exercise comparing our new car and our new carpet to illustrate my point.
If I were to get my car washed once a month at 10 dollars a pop, have it serviced every 3 months for $50, and factor in the wear on the tires to be around $200 dollars a year (considering that tires last three to four years and a new set is easily $600 to $800 a set). This gives me an annual cost for the bare minimum maintenance at around $500.
What if we compare that to the bare minimum for carpet cleaning?
Based on the square footage mentioned before you would be in the ball park of a $1000 dollars for a professional cleaning service to clean your carpets. If you were to do it at the minimum of once every 24 months you can see that the costs are identical ($500 a year). Now if you factor in a potential 40% increase in the life of your carpet, you are really looking at a lot of money.
Now let’s look at what those numbers mean over the course of a thirty year mortgage. If you extend the life of your carpet to roughly 14 years with the minimum cleaning costing around Seven thousand dollars over the life of the carpet you would be looking at $32,000 for the life of that carpet. You would be replacing it twice to give you a grand total of $64,000. That is a savings of 11 thousand dollars versus not maintaining your carpet and having to replace it every ten years.
The difference is not only evident in the savings, but also in the look and feel of your home. With proper maintenance of carpet the air quality of the home will improve, by eliminating allergens such as pollen and dander that get trapped in the fibers. The home will smell better by helping to eliminate odors caused by foreign material being tracked in to the carpet. The home will also be much more attractive and comfortable with soft clean carpet to squish between your toes.
All of this for nothing more than what it costs to maintain an automobile. If our home is an investment in our future, it stands to reason that we should protect that investment. With the proper TLC our castle can stand as a testament to all of our hard work and be a sense of pride for our whole family, and isn’t that reason enough?
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