A Hurricane, Flood Damage, and Your Rugs

None of us could have predicted the devastating damage done by Hurricane Harvey. As Dallas residents, it’s easy for us to say things like, “At least you’re okay!” to our friends in Houston, but the truth is, our friends are not okay. Homes have been destroyed and precious belongings have been damaged. Ever since the hurricane hit, we have been receiving many phone calls and emails from Houston residents asking us how their rugs can be saved. When you think of a rug, you might think of a fashionable rug seen at a department store. You may think to yourself, “That rug might have been expensive, but surely it’s replaceable.” This is not always the case.

We know many people have priceless antiques and family heirlooms in their homes. These rugs are not just rugs. They are treasured memories. When someone calls us asking how to save their rug, we understand that they are frantic and worried for a reason. The rug someone is calling about could be the rug they bought on their honeymoon with their late husband. It could be the rug their mother gave to them. It could be the rug that they planned on giving to their children. Our point is that this is not just a “thing” they are worried about. A treasured rug is truly priceless, not simply a pain to replace.

Unfortunately, we are not equipped to drive down to Houston and save every rug, however, we can offer some guidance. This blog post will cover how flooding can affect your rug, what you can do after your rug is damaged by a flood, and what professionals will do to restore your rug. We are also offering free written appraisals (the kind you use for insurance purposes) for anyone who has been affected by the hurricane. Don’t worry- there is no obligation to use our cleaning or restoration services if you need a written appraisal! You can call or email us for more information on this service.

How to Respond to Heavy Flooding on Your Rug
The first thing we want you to know is that the flood restoration process is time-consuming and labor intensive. If your rug is a machine-made rug or otherwise mass-produced, it might be cheaper to simply buy a new rug. We strongly suggest weighing the pros and cons of restoration versus replacement if your rug can actually be replaced. The second thing we want you to know is that you can relax. Rugs are a lot more resilient than you would expect. Depending on your rug’s age, origin, and material, many rugs can bounce back from being under flood water for days and even weeks.

When you first get to your rug after it has been soaked in flood water, you will more than likely be shocked. After 24 hours, rugs that have been exposed to flood waters and saturated in them begin to show early signs of color run and color bleeding. For the uninitiated, these are simply terms that say that the dyes on your rug are not where they are supposed to be at all. Antique Persian and Oriental rugs are made of natural fibers like wool and silk, and these fibers are incredibly absorbent. Runoff and flood water will be quickly absorbed by your rug. This water is not just water so much as it is a mix of water, chemicals, sewage, and many other things you really do not want in your rug.

The best way to rescue your rug and restore it to both its natural beauty and its original value is to respond ASAP. Your rug may not be insured, but that does not mean you can’t try to get some financial assistance from your insurance company. If you were wondering what the appraisal from earlier could do for you, its purpose is to list out exactly what your rug should be worth, what colors it should have, how much it is currently worth, and what sort of damage is present. As a rug owner, what you need to do with the appraisal is to present it to your insurance company when you are making a claim. They will take care of the rest.

How Your Rug is Restored

By this point, you are probably wondering how exactly your rug is supposed to be restored. First, hose your rug down with water. This will remove the large chunks of debris from your rug’s pile and foundation, along with washing out a good amount of the flood water. This is actually something that you can do yourself. Again, if you act quickly, many types of rugs can be restored to either their original state or close to their original state. Some rugs may have darker or lighter colors by the end of the restoration process, so do be aware that could be a possibility too.

From here on out, you will need a professional. Not all rugs can be washed and restored in the same way, and rugs and carpets should never be washed with the same cleansers or cleaning methods. Educate yourself on both the type of rug you have and the people you are trusting your rug with. If you are not sure who to go with in the Houston area, you are more than welcome to call us for advice.

Your rug will need to be dried to preserve the strength of its foundation. Rugs can weigh double their regular weight when wet, so we do not recommend moving your rug by yourself. For most rugs, we recommend drying flat, out in the sun. The UV rays from the sun kill mold and restore the natural oils in wool and silk. A wet rug should never be hung to dry as this stresses the foundation. Some rugs, namely traditional Chinese rugs, should not be dried out in the sun, as this could damage their dyes. Not sure? Ask us!

After your rug has dried out in the sunlight, the rug restoration professionals will wash your rug numerous times. Your rug should be washed with a mix of enzyme wash and organic safe for wool/silk shampoo. Generally, a rug that has been in a flood will be washed over and over again until the water and shampoo are both clear. Then, the rug must be dried flat and in the sunlight again.

The next step is to beat your rug. Yes, we’re getting very old-fashioned here! Master cleaners of Persian and Oriental rugs will have a tool called a paroo in their arsenal of cleaning tools. A paroo, which translates to English as “paddle” or “oar”, is a wooden tool used by rug washers.

Paroo for rug
Paroo

It has a straight edge, which must be rubbed against the foundation of the rug in order to release dust, debris, and other particles from the front of your rug. Once your rug has been beat, it will then be lightly vacuumed to ensure that nothing is left on the foundation of the rug. We cannot emphasize the lightly here enough. Do not let your rug survive a flood only to be damaged by a vacuum cleaner. The beating and vacuuming will be repeated until your rug is clean and debris free.

Additional Notes
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, we were able to restore many rugs from there despite being all the way in Dallas. Rugs were dried off and shipped or driven to our location, and we were able to ship the rugs back there. This might be one option if the rug professionals around you are too full to take in new rugs.

If you need an appraisal but are concerned about missing photos, don’t worry. There are still options. For example, we have appraised rugs damaged by fires using family photos were the rug in question was visible. Let us know your situation and we will let you know what options there are.

Again, you are under no obligation to use our services if you call us for advice or even for a free appraisal. We simply want to help you however we can. If you have any questions that have not been answered, don’t be shy! Please call or email us.

Store Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9AM to 5:30PM ask for Ben, Bobby, or Elena
Phone Number: 972.733.0400
Email: behnam@behnamrugs.com

Preventing and Fighting Moths Living in Your Persian and Oriental Rugs

Preventing and Fighting Moths Living in Your Persian and Oriental Rugs

Moths will eat anything, and your rug is no exception. Moths are one of the worst enemies of any fine rug, especially older and antique rugs. You should be especially aware of the cloth moth, as this is the type of moth that would love to feast on your priceless heirloom.

persian rug lovers: the casemaking moth and the webbing moth
Two different types of cloth moth to watch out for in your Persian Rug: the casemaking moth and the webbing moth.

Why Are Moths in My Home? How Did Moths Make Their Way into My Home?

You might think that your house is moth free and your rugs are safe and sound, but moths are always looking for ways to enter your home. Moths can enter your home easily and be undetected as they do so. Mail, pets, open doors, and moving items in and out of warehouses and storage are just some of the ways that moths can enter your home. To moths, your home is a paradise. It provides shelter from predators, an excellent source of food, and many nesting spots. Once moths enter your home, they can lay anywhere from 30 to 200 eggs per month. Those eggs will eventually grow up to become adult moths, and they will also lay 30 to 200 more eggs every month. A moth problem can easily become a moth disaster for your rugs and the rest of your home.

How to Indicate Moth Presence in Your Home

As we enter moth season, it is important to take some time to check your home for moths. Frequent moth checks are the best way to prevent a large moth damage problem from taking over your home, and checking for moths is simple. One of the easiest methods to indicate whether or not your home has moths is by using a moth trap. Make sure the trap you are using is for cloth moths and not another type of moth.

cloth moth trap to indicate moth presence in your home
A cloth moth pheromone trap will help you indicate whether or not you have moths in your home.

These traps work by emitting a pheromone which attracts male moths into the sticky bottom layer. The male moths are trapped and prevented from reproducing. Do note that moth traps are only an effective way to indicate that moths are in your home. They are not an effective way of getting rid of moths, should you find any.

How to Prevent Moths If Your Home is Moth Free

If your home is moth free, it is important to make sure that your home stays that way. The best way to prevent moth infestations is to constantly be monitoring. Moths can enter your home with no warning. A harmless box from a warehouse could actually be carrying eggs.

Moths reproduce at a rapid rate, and they eat and damage your belongings at a rapid rate, too! To prevent moths from doing thousands of damage to your rugs, you may consider keeping a moth trap in your home throughout the year.

fine handmade persian rug with extensive moth damage
A fine handmade rug can take a lot of damage from moths in just a short amount of time.

Many fine rugs are made of natural fibers, such as wool, which over time lose their natural oily properties and become drier, making them easier for moths to eat than a new rug. Although you can do nothing about the age of your rug, you can prevent your antique rug from becoming a moth’s next meal by regularly cleaning it. A clean rug will not be nearly as appetizing.

You should also regularly vacuum your rugs- and not just the visible areas. Moth eggs love to hide in dark, damp, and quiet spaces with little to no air circulation. This means that areas under your china cabinet, your sofa, and even the underside of your rug are all the perfect spots for eggs to grow. Be proactive and clean these areas regularly. You should also rotate your rug at least once a year. On top of preventing moth growth, rotating your rug will also help in distributing the amount of traffic your rug receives on different areas.

If you are taking an extended vacation, make sure that your rugs are stored properly. Make sure your home is dry and has proper air movement during your time away. When you return, make sure to vacuum and clean your home thoroughly. Your time away is the perfect time for moths to play.

Remember, proper rug protection is one of your responsibilities as a rug owner. When you put in the extra time to keep your rug in good shape now, you are actually saving yourself from weeks to months (sometimes even years!) of headache in the future.

How to Remove Moths If Your Home Has Moths

If you have moths in your home, you should act immediately. Rugs can easily do thousands of dollars of damage to your rug. A $50,000 rug can easily receive $30,000 worth of damage.

First, vacuum your house thoroughly. You will want to vacuum both the front and back of all of your rugs. Make sure you vacuum areas underneath furniture and behind your curtains as well. Take your rugs and place them in an area where they can receive direct sunlight. The ultraviolet rays will work quickly to kill any eggs that are still hiding in your rug. Don’t forget- the backside of your rug needs to be placed in direct sunlight, too.

If you have access to a leaf blower, use one to blast air in areas where moths nest. This includes under your furniture, in the corners of your closets, behind your curtains, and any other dark and quiet areas.

Your next step will be to sanitize and wash your rug- bring your rug in for a professional cleaning. At Behnam Rugs, we can determine the amount of damage done to your rug and what steps should be taken next. Small areas can often be rewoven at a cost that would be far lower than replacement. Large areas can be shaved and sheared to minimize how obvious the damage to your rug is.

natural cleaning methods kill moths not rugs
The professionals at Behnam Rugs will sanitize your rug the natural way. Kill moths without damaging your rug.

Even if the foundation of your rug has been damaged by moths, there are still options. Behnam Rugs can permanently dye your rug to minimize how obvious any damage is. The moth damaged areas will be hidden by the dye.

In severe situations, your rug may require a large amount of reweaving. Reweaving is generally a more expensive repair option, and the cost can be very high when reweaving is required on a larger area. In these situations, your rug may need to be sent to a country such as Turkey or Iran for the reweaving job to be completed. This process can be time consuming and costly. Remember to constantly check your home for moths in order to prevent this sort of hassle.

Can I Chemically Treat My Rug?

Behnam Rugs does not recommend chemically treating your rug, be it for moth proofing or moth extermination. Harsh chemicals can damage your rug, and they can also hurt you. Your rug lives with you, whether it is on your floor, your wall, or your stairs. You and your family constantly interact with your rugs. Behnam Rugs prefers natural prevention methods and restoration methods.

More Questions?

If you have any further questions on moths and how they can affect your rugs, please feel free to call Behnam Rugs at 972-733-0400 or visit us during our store hours. Behnam Rugs has over 39 years of experience with rugs and rug repairs, and our rug experts would love to help you.

How Much Does Persian/Oriental Rug Cleaning Cost?

how-much-does-oriental-rug-cleaning-cost

Last Updated: 7 June 2017

The cost of washing your Persian or Oriental rug varies based on a number of factors. Not all rugs are made the same way, so each rug will have its own unique wash. In order for our professionals to determine the correct wash for each of your rugs, we will need some information and a short history of your rug.

What Sort of Information Should I Know About My Rug?
First and foremost, you should know what type of rug you have. Is your rug machine made, handmade, tufted, hooked? Once you know the type of rug you have, the rest of the details will be much easier to find out.

Next, know the country of origin of your rug. Persian rugs are not always Persian (Iranian) in origin. You can have an Indian Persian rug, an Afghani Persian rug, an Egyptian Persian rug, and so on. You may have records indicating the origin of your rug. Otherwise, feel free to come in and ask Behnam Rugs about the origin of your rug.

You should know the material of your rug. Rugs are made out of a variety of materials. Generally, if a rug is made with natural fibers, the materials used will be wool, cotton, silk, and jute. If your rug is made of synthetic materials, some of the materials used might be nylon or viscose.

Finally, we will need the age of your rug, the last time it was washed, and if you have any pets. We do not need the exact age of your rug, just an estimate. Again, if you are unsure, please ask us for assistance. We would love to help you learn more about your rug.

These details will help us determine what sort of washing your rug needs.

We understand that you might not know every little detail about your rug, especially for older rugs that may have had a couple of owners before you. If you are unsure about certain details, ask us! The rug experts at Behnam Rugs will be able to determine the precise details of your rug.

Interested in a Rug Wash?
If you have decided to wash your rug, contact us today for a free price quote. We are open Monday through Saturday, 9:00AM to 5:30PM. If you are well-informed on your rug, feel free to call us for a price quote.

How Mold Can Enter Your Home and Damage Your Rug

Last Updated: 13 June 2017

How Can Mold Get to Your Persian Rug?
You may think mold could never make it to your Persian rug, but the truth is that mold could be growing right now. Please check your rugs frequently.

There are numerous ways that your Persian rug can become a host to a variety of fungi, bacteria, mycobacteria, and actinomycetes molds. Consistently and constantly monitoring your rugs for mold growth is the best way to prevent irreversible damage.

Due to the absorbent qualities of wool, water and moisture can easily make their way into many Persian rugs. Because of this, small and common occurrences in your household might just be what sparks mold growth in your Persian rug. Some of these occurrences could be a small, slow leak from plumping, a leak air conditioning system, a dripping sprinkler system, or a potted plant sitting a little too close to your rug. As mold grows, it becomes destructive and creates rotting on the foundation of your rug, and eventually surrounding areas, such as your flooring, walls, and furniture.

Mold can also cause illness. If you have detected mold in your house, before you worry about your rug or any other items in your house, please take care of your own health. Read this article to see if you may be showing any symptoms of mold related illnesses.

This Persian rug is rotting away due to mold and mildew damage.

How Do I Restore My Rugs After They Have Been Damaged by Mold?
Mold is not only pesky, but it is dangerous, too. Please make sure you take your rug to a professional after detecting mold growing in your home. If mold is not properly removed, it can still come back and wreak havoc once more.

When your rug is professionally washed and cleaned at Behnam Rugs, we will wash it with our special live bacteria enzyme wash made specifically with mold. A light, acidic vinegar will be applied to your rug. It will kill the mold but not your rug! We will also dry your rug in natural, direct ultraviolet sunlight in order to kill any leftover mold and odor.

Know Your Rug Before Having It Cleaned

does-rug-cleaning-require-experience-expertise_

Obviously, some amount of rug expertise is required in order to clean rugs, but just how important is it? Well, each and every handmade rug is unique. That means that no two rugs can be washed in exactly the same way. You’ll have to account for a rug’s origin, color, age, history, and more. We always recommend having your rugs cleaned by a rug expert. A knowledgeable rug cleaner will look for the answers to the following questions before deciding how your rug should be cleaned:

  1. Where is the rug from?
  2.  How was this rug made?
  3. What sorts of dyes were used in this rug, and how were these dyes made?
  4. What sort of fiber is used in this rug? Are these fibers natural, synthetic, or is there a blend of both?
  5. If the rug is wool, where is the wool from? What conditions did the sheep endure?

At Behnam Rugs, we will find the answers to these questions, and if you are not sure about the answers, we will happily educate you on your rug. Many people purchase rugs simply based on looks alone, so we will happily help you discover the true origin of your rug.

Even if you do not decide to have your rug washed by Behnam Rugs, we do suggest only going to a rug expert to have your rug washed. Many companies who are experienced at cleaning other things, such as area rugs made of synthetic fibers, carpets, and even clothing, might not know how to properly approach cleaning a handmade Persian or Oriental rug.

We often receive rugs that were incorrectly washed for repair jobs. A common issue we come across is color bleeding. Color bleeding can occur when an inexperienced cleaner does not know if the rug was dyed with vegetable dyes or synthetic dyes. This can sometimes result in texture damage, too. Another problem we see is damaged wool and silk. There are many different types of wool. For example, much of the wool used in fine Persian rugs is sheared from sheep raised in the harsh hill climates of Iran. The sheep here need to grow thicker wool, which is full of lanolin oils that protect the sheep from the harsh elements in its habitat. This type of wool will vary drastically from wool harvested from sheep living in warmer climates.

Although we try our best to repair every rug in our care, sometimes, the damage is permanent. No matter if your rug is cleaned by us or someone else, please make sure you go to a rug expert. You might spend a little less going to someone who does not specialize in cleaning rugs, but the amount you will end up on repairs and the headache you will end up with trying to restore your precious rug are simply not worth it.