Often, especially in older homes and with light colored carpet, you will see edges along carpeted walls or stair edges that have become darkened. This darkening is referred to as Filtration Spoiling. It is caused be very fine microscopic particles flowing under your carpets and up through the gaps along the wall, air vents or under doors. The carpets fibers act as a filter grabbing the airborne pollutants and producing the dark edges. This process can occur quickly or over a long period of time and is more easily seen on very light colored carpet but can also be noticed on darker carpets as well.
These airborne particles can consist of many things such as, dust, air pollution, cigarette smoke, candles, cooking oils and more.
In many cases, the source of airflow carrying the contaminants is the heating / air conditioning forcing air under your carpets and leaking through any gaps in the edges. In order to prevent filtration soiling, it is necessary to seal any gaps (or leaks). This can be done by pulling up carpet and caulking the edges with silicone or using foam insulation to block air flow.
Removing filtration soiling is a time consuming process. Sometimes it is not possible to remove all of the soiling, as it often penetrates deep into the backing of the carpet. When you have your carpets cleaned, the technician will generally pre-treat spots and spills and can also pre-treat the lines along the baseboards. Depending on the type of pre-treatment used, you can usually expect some moderate improvement. However, to make a significant impact, special treatment is often required; followed by manually scrubbing the edges with an agitation device such as a brush. The final step requires heavy flushing of the treated lines so that residue is not left behind. Because of the considerable time involved in treating, agitating and flushing, the removal of dark edges can sometimes cost a bit more than you may be willing to spend. So, the cost factor as well as the reality that complete removal of filtration soiling is not always possible, must be weighed.
* If your having problems with Filtration Spoiling, please call the expert carpet cleaners at Citrus Fresh Carpet Cleaning Inc. in Charleston, SC.