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Rethinking Carpeting

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In a recent post, we talked about some alternative floor coverings, but traditional carpeting isn’t a bad thing — as long as you’re not contributing to the heap of your local landfill by replacing it too often.

Carpeting is much more than a floor covering: It offers homeowners a beautiful package of noise reduction, warm insulation, slip safety and glare reduction. Given carpeting’s importance in today’s home, it makes sense to put a little more thought into the purchasing and maintenance of carpet.

After all, carefully choosing and taking care of your carpet can help keep it from prematurely joining the approximately 5 billion pounds of used carpeting that are disposed of in landfills each year. That’s billion with a “B,” a statistic courtesy of the Green Seal Choose Green Report.

Here are some things to consider:

  • The quality of the carpeting often depends on the density of the fibers. This includes the gauge (the stitches per inch across the carpet), yarn thickness and pile height.
  • Daily vacuuming can remove more than 80 percent of the dry residue that exists in your carpet.
  • When you spill liquid on a carpet, clean it up as soon as possible to prevent fungal growth.
  • Carpets with strong backings — or carpet tiles — are the easiest to repair. Using these carpet products can help reduce the need to replace damaged carpet.
  • Higher-quality carpeting tends to release fewer volatile organic compounds in to the atmosphere.

Photo courtesy of Nolasknab on Flickr