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Those dark lines around your carpet edges are called infiltration

Have you noticed dark lines at the edges of your carpet?

Those dark areas are a sign of infiltration. Infiltration occurs when the air being forced into the room is escaping through small cracks under closed doors and wall frames. When this air is forcing its way through the carpet it is leaving behind small particles and pollutants that will eventually turn the carpet black. Common pollutants include cooking smoke, dust from uncleaned air ducts, and cigarette or candle smoke. Household Tips Guidesays infiltration can occur no matter how much you vacuum It is not a sign of a dirty home, but it will be difficult to clean.

Can infiltration be prevented?

According to The Spruce, changing the furnace or air conditioner filter by the recommended time frame can help. You could also consider sealing the gaps between the wall frames. This is usually done with a foam sealant. If the gap is too large the carpet will be pulled up and then re-installed after sealing. Cutting back on the amount of smoke in your home will also help. Burning fewer candles and smoking outside are steps in the right direction. Finally, having your air ducts professionally cleaned on a regular basis is the best preventative action that you can take.

Can those dark lines be removed?

The particles and pollutants causing the dark lines are very small and if they have become noticeable than it is time to call a professional cleaning company. A cleaning company will have all of the specialty tools and cleaning solutions to get the dark lines out of your carpet. 

Warm floors, warm feet

The Seattle area is in the midst of its cold and drizzly winter and it may be several months before the sun returns, today being an unusual but welcome anomaly. Now, more than ever, Northwesterners are acutely aware of how cold and chilly the house, and especially the floors, can be leading to a frequent need to nudge up the thermostat to keep warm. Interestingly, checking out your crawl space and replacing missing or damaged insulation under the floor joists could be the remedy for your cold floors and regular thermostat visits. A crawl space cleanup will help prevent energy loss by keeping heat inside where it belongs and blocking the cold air outside. Even better, as your heating bill goes down and the wear and tear on your HVAC system decreases, Uncle Sam will give you a break since the cost of insulation is tax deductible.

pic dirty crawlMost crawl spaces in the Pacific Northwest are vented to the outside of the home. The vents are easily visible on the lower walls (near the ground) of the home’s foundation and are designed to move air in and out of the crawl space. Seasonal temperature fluctuations can create moisture in the crawl space destroying insulation and causing mold, fungus, and other toxins to grow. Wet insulation will sag and pull away from the sub floor dramatically reducing its effectiveness. Specifically, cold air can reach the floor directly causing what’s known as cold floor syndrome. Any air that leaks through your home’s thermal envelope wastes energy and significantly increases heating costs.

If you take a peek into the crawl space and determine that you could use a cleanup there are many resources available online to help guide you. If your crawlspace is not easily accessible or perhaps needs a full restoration, you may wish to hire a professional.  Energy Star recommends consulting a service professional if there is wet or damp insulation possibly resulting from leakages. Experts are also helpful for dealing with rodents, a huge problem for crawl spaces.

Ensuring your home has adequate insulation is considered a cost-effective home improvement that will help save energy and improve comfort. A home that retains heat saves natural resources, reduces air emissions and helps create a cleaner environment. Insulation is made more affordable with a tax credit of 10% of the cost up to $500. As you enjoy your warm feet and toasty floors, peruse this infographic for additional ways homeowners can save on their taxes this season.