How Should You Store Rugs That Aren’t Being Used?
There are many reasons you might want to tuck a rug out of the way for a while. You might be switching out seasonal décor and simply want a change for a few months. You might have an extended remodeling project going on and want to keep rugs away from dust and paint. Perhaps you are renting out a property and don’t want an expensive item like a hand knotted rug to be damaged by tenants. Maybe you intend to give the rug away as an heirloom eventually and simply need to keep it in shape for the next generation. Whatever the reason, properly storing rugs is essential to maintain quality, beauty, and value. Here are four tips for getting it right.
Tip #1: Keep it dry
Humidity is the number one cause of damage to rugs in storage because it allows mold and bacteria to flourish. It’s important to keep the rug(s) in a climate controlled space so that the constant change in temperature does not weaken the foundation. Keeping the rug(s) off of the ground is also important, as this reduces the risk of damage in an area like a basement if the water heater leaks or there is flooding from other sources.
Tip #2: Avoid folding
Folding a rug can leave creases that are difficult if not impossible to smooth out later. To save space in storage, rolling a rug around a large-diameter cardboard cylinder is best since it only creates a gentle curve that will relax again once the rug is laid out flat. Cover the cardboard first with a protective layer such as acid-free tissue used for archival purposes to avoid any color changes to the rug. Rolling the rug with the pile facing inward keeps it from getting mashed down too much. But if the foundation of the rug is weak, it may be best to roll it with the pile facing out.
Tip #3: Stay away from the sun
Rugs should not be stored where any portion is exposed to sunlight. UV radiation is well-known for breaking down dyes and will cause fading over time. Cover the rolled rug with cotton or muslin rather than plastic (which may tend to accumulate condensation) and store it in a place away from the light. Cover windows in the storage area if necessary.
Tip #4: Beware of bugs
If you don’t take steps to safeguard your rug prior to storage, it could end up as lunch for a variety of pests. Wool rugs are especially vulnerable to insect invaders, and tossing a few mothballs in with your rug won’t do the job to protect it. Gently vacuuming your rug, having it professionally cleaned and investing in chemical treatment to deter insects is smart. Cleaning cuts down on dust mites and any biological materials stuck in the fibers that could serve as food for bacteria.
For cleaning and moth-proofing that gets your rug ready for storage, contact our team today.