How to Store Rugs
Rugs are excellent durable floor coverings; when storing carpets and rugs too often, we see a family heirloom oriental rug stuffed in a storage facility or left rolled in the garage on a concrete floor during a remodel damaged or destroyed by mildew damage or moths.
It's essential for rug owners to learn how to store rugs, so they don't end up damaged; the very survival of your rugs may depend on how you store them.
Cleaning Rugs Before Storing
Should you clean carpets & rugs thoroughly before storing them, and if so, why?
Household soil and dirt build up in and on fibers. Some of these soils, over time, can react with carpet fibers and cause permanent staining and discolorations, making cleaning your rugs more challenging down the road.
A rug stored dirty is more attractive to pests and makes for a more favorable environment for insects such as moths, carpet beetles, and dust mites. The soil in your carpet acts as an additional food source for microbes such as mold, mildew, and even bacteria. This is also true with fur sheepskins and most laundry.
Wrapping your rugs what you need to know
Wrap the rug in a breathable fabric, such as cotton or muslin, or breathable material like Tyvek, or brown craft paper. Never use a non-breathable product like plastic to store rugs.
Wrapping protects your rug from pests like wool moths and rodents and from soiling. Additionally, wrapping the rug can help to protect it from fading or discoloration caused by exposure to light.
Wrapping the rug also helps to protect it from humidity and temperature fluctuations, which can cause damage to the fibers, particularly if the rug is made of wool, silk or other natural fibers.
Folding or rolling rugs
Many types of rugs like Persian rugs, can be folded in bales to conserve storage space, but not all rugs. Fragile antique rugs and some machine-made carpets should be rolled, or they may develop permanent creases from being folded. When possible, it's always best practice to roll rugs from the end to eliminate creases and pile distortion.
Rug Storage Environment
Ideally, rugs are wrapped and stored in a climate-controlled storage unit or a cool, dry place. Avoid locations with high humidity and fluctuating temperatures.
Avoid storing rugs and carpets on concrete or tiles floors; over time, concrete can pull natural ambient moisture in a rolled rug or carpet to the floor and rot the rug, or in mild cases, the rug develops a musty odor. In general, it's best to keep rugs elevated off floors in case of leaks or floods.Most local rug cleaners can clean your rug and wrap it safely for storage; a rug cleaner will know what rugs can be folded or baled, and rugs should be rolled, not folded.
This is also a good time to get a value assessment of your rugs and make sure you have adequate insurance coverage on your carpets. You might be best served to get a written appraisal of expensive rugs and antique heirloom carpets. Take photos of your rugs before storing them as visual documentation in case of damage, loss, or theft.
Post storage, unroll rugs, vacuum, and fluff the pile back up.If you fold the rug, there might be a fold mark left in the rug. Often these fold marks will relax out on their own in a day or two. If, not you can use a steam iron on the wool setting and steam the crease to get it to relay back out.
Ten-step rug storing process
Do your rugs need to be cleaned before storage?
Clean the rug thoroughly before storing it to remove any dirt or stains.
Do your rugs need written appraisals? Consult your insurance agent.
Take photos of your rugs.
At a minimum vacuum rugs thoroughly
Roll or fold rugs, be mindful that some rugs should not be folded
Wrap the rug in a breathable fabric, such as cotton or muslin, Tyvek, or heavy Krst Paper, to protect it from dust and pests.
Store the rug in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight to prevent fading or discoloration and off floors.
If the rug is made of wool, silk, or other natural fibers, consider storing it in a climate-controlled environment to prevent damage from humidity or temperature fluctuations.
If you're storing the rug for a long time, check on it periodically to ensure it is still in good condition and to air it out if necessary.