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What is filtration soiling?

Filtration soiling is a term used to describe dark, greyish lines that may appear on carpet. These lines appear because air is being forced into the room at a higher rate than it can escape from the same area through ventilation.

As a result of this, the air seeks alternatives to escape, which means usually ends up being a gap between the carpet wall trim and under closed doors.

At this stage, the air is forced through these gaps and as it passes through, the carpets act as a filter to the air. And because of this, any pollutants in the air get trapped in the carpet. This is what creates the dark grey or black lines that you see.

Air pollutant culprits

These common household pollutants are the most obvious cases that can contribute to air pollutants:

Smoke from cigarettes and candles

Cooking oils

Fireplace ash

Dust

How can you get rid of it?

The discolouration caused by filtration soiling is very difficult to remove because of the way the particles bonded with the fibres. These tiny particles are so fine, they end up firmly embedded in the fibres of the carpet.

When preparing, you must consider the severity of the case. In some extreme cases, it may be impossible to remove all traces of the soiling.

If that’s the case, call a professional. Contact your local carpet cleaning company and advise them of the situation, and ask for their advice. Better safe than sorry.

There is a cleaning method that you can use at home without the use of a professional, but we would always recommend at least seeking advice beforehand.

The cleaning method that‘s most likely to be successful is hot water extraction (more commonly known as steam cleaning). To get this to work, a cleaning solution (Vax for example) is added to the water in the machine to help remove the soiling.

Filtration soiling prevention

There are plenty of ways to help you prevent filtration soiling, if not that, you can at least minimize its effects. Once it occurs, it’s difficult and potentially costly to remove, so don’t be afraid to get stuck in and save yourself the hassle later on.

Start with your HVAC system

Before you start on anything else, it’s key to filtration soiling prevention that your ducts are clean. You need to consider that when the air is pushing its way through the ventilation system, it picks up whatever unpleasant business may be in the ducts, and then carries it around your home.

Experts advise that you have your ducts cleaned on a regular basis to help prevent the spread of the dirt that might be inside your vents.

On top of this, you need to make sure that you change your furnace/air conditioner filter on a regular basis. These filters are used to help trap a good portion of most airborne pollutants preventing them from travelling through your air duct system and finally, into your house.

Cut down on pollutants

This is exactly what it sounds like; just make some minor changes to what could potentially be causing the problem. Avoid smoking inside your home, burn less candles and ensure that your home is as dust-free as possible.

If you like burning candles, think about maybe getting battery operated flameless candles. And how do you keep your house dust-free? Regular dusting and vacuuming. Simple.

Eliminate gaps

Start things off relatively simply by eliminating gaps where air could possibly escape. When possible, keep interior doors between rooms open and allow air to flow freely through the rooms. This way, the air doesn’t need to travel down towards the carpet to escape under the closed door.

Eliminate gaps

Start things off relatively simply by eliminating gaps where air could possibly escape. When possible, keep interior doors between rooms open and allow air to flow freely through the rooms. This way, the air doesn’t need to travel down towards the carpet to escape under the closed door.

You can also use expandable foam sealant to close the gaps between the carpet and baseboard trim. Depending on the size of this gap, you may need to pull the carpet away from the floor to access the entire area and avoid any nasty carpet and sealant crossovers. If this is the case, the carpet would have to be re-installed over the tack strips using a stretch or a knee kicker.

And finally…

Obviously, these problems are only obvious on lighter carpets. Consider, if the problem continues to occur, replacing your carpet with a darker colour to hide the issue. You know what they say: ‘If you can’t beat ‘em…’