Just what are traffic lanes, wear patterns and pile distortion?  Here is some basic information from The Specialists to help you understand them.

Traffic Lanes.  These are about what you would picture in your mind.  They often times look like general “lanes” of wear or discoloration where people walk.  A lot of people call them the traffic areas.  It is the highest trafficked areas on a flooring surface (whether it is a rug or carpet).  Most people are creatures of habit and you will see this in front of your favorite chair and how you walk there regularly.  These traffic lanes are generally darker and more discolored than the rest of the carpet.

Wear Patterns.  These are areas across the pile of the carpet that are usually large and easily seen.  You will see this in areas of heavy usage, such as halls, doorways and entry ways.   When these areas are not regularly cleaned and maintained the can become permanent damage.  Lower performing fibers can and will often completely break down. This can also include having bare spots, where the foundation of the carpet or rug is visible.  One example of a low performing fiber is faux silk.  There are others, but this is the one most often seen. 

Then there is pile distortion.  This is when the fibers are becoming untwisted and lighten by regular traffic wear.  (See this article to learn all about types of carpet construction.)  Traffic patterns may ‘teach’ your carpet fibers to lay in the incorrect direction and the fibers to become untwisted.  When fibers become untwisted, they can become discolored in an area that was not meant to have direct sunlight.  Some lower performing fibers (such as mentioned above) will not hold their intended shape even with the most careful of usage and begin to show dark or bare spots.  When this type of damage occurs no amount of grooming or cleaning will make it go back to its intended state.

How can you prevent this from happening?


The first is regular maintenance.   Through, regular vacuuming is vital.   Click here to read the article on why dry soil removal is vital to your carpet’s health.

Move your furniture and rotate your area rugs.  This will help reduce the traffic lanes and wear spots.

Regular professional cleanings.  A good carpet technician will be able to help you keep your carpets and rugs looking their best.  Even the most expensive carpet out there will last longer with regular maintenance cleanings. These should be done at least once every 12-18 months or sooner if need be.  Be sure to use only IICRC certified technicians (such as those here at The Specialists) to help keep your carpets warranty valid. (Be sure to read the entire warranty to know when and how often your manufacture requires professional cleanings).

From Davis to El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Granite Bay, Lincoln and all points in between.  We are here to help keep your home looking beautiful!  Be sure to check out our before and after gallery to see our work

Call us today to book your cleaning! (916) 348-7018