Rugs are timeless pieces of art that can transform an ordinary living space into the extraordinary. Sadly, rugs are not indestructible, and there are a variety of ways you can damage, or even ruin, your fine handmade rug. The most common causes of water damage are bath overflows, broken pipes, broken water heaters, broken hoses in your washer or dryer, dishwasher leaks, overflown swimming pools, broken sprinklers, and roof damage.
In this blog we will address another cause of water damage: potted plants.
Recently, a customer brought a rug in to Behnam Rugs in need of expensive repairs. The cause? Placing a potted plant over the rug for years. You should never place a potted plant on a rug. The proximity to water is just asking for trouble. Even without over watering, the moisture from the plant can cause mold and mildew which instigates the rotting process.
Mildew begins growing after the rug is wet four to five days. Even worse, over watering your plant wets the rug directly, accelerating the growth of mildew which eats through the rug. A wet rug will gradually disintegrate.
Do not be fooled and believe that a saucer under a pot will prevent your rug from getting wet. Water finds a way. In addition, the dampness can also result in a foul smell that many homeowners go nose-blind to, consequently guests notice a bad odor and the homeowner is often unaware. Dry rot from a potted plant can also cause color runs. These are hard to fix.
For this customer, years of over watering created a hole that was quite large. Though the rug was an antique, it did not make sense to spend thousands of dollars to reweave the rug. The solution the customer choose was instead to patch the rug for a fraction of the cost of reweaving.
Patching the rug requires a donor rug, and while it can be hard to find a close match, it is generally much more affordable in terms of repairing the damage. Luckily for this customer, Behnam Rugs was able to find a suitable donor rug and the damage is now almost unnoticeable. However, finding the perfect donor rug is not an easy process, and often times the donor rug patch is more obviously visible to the naked eye than was the case for this customer. This is why it’s better to avoid this problem altogether by not placing a potted plant on top of, or even near to a fine rug you want to last a lifetime.
At Behnam Rugs, we have a large room we call the Patch Bank. Within this room, hundreds of rugs of all sizes have damage beyond repair. We have collected them over 40 years to use for patching, chair covers, and pillows. Our extensive collection has saved many rugs in need of patching and customers lots of repair costs.
If you own a rug that has been sitting underneath a potted plant, remove the plant immediately and check the area for dampness and damage such as the foundation cracking. If you notice either of these, bring your rug to the experts at Behnam Rugs ASAP. Your rug can be restored. And in the future, keep your potted plants on hard, non-porous surfaces only!