Preserve your rug's shape, texture, appearance and overall integrity with these preparation tips before you place your rug in long term self-storage.Preserve your rug's shape, texture, appearance and overall integrity with these preparation tips before you place your rug in long term self-storage.Packing Tips

How to Prepare a Rug for Long Term Storage

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The goal when storing a rug for a long period of time is to preserve its shape, texture, appearance and overall integrity. Ideally, you will later remove the rug from storage and it will look and feel the same as it does today. To get those results, you must put in the time and effort to properly prepare the rug. This process starts with selecting the best storage unit and ends with proper placement for long-term protection.

Steps to Storing a Rug the Right Way

  • Vacuum and clean the rug thoroughly
  • Use mothballs or other natural pesticides designed for fabrics to keep pests away
  • Tightly roll the rug up for storage
  • Wrap it in a breathable fabric
  • Stand your rug upright to prevent creases

Protecting Your Rug From the Elements

Excessive heat or extreme cold can damage the fibers and change the shape and texture of a rug, so select a climate-controlled storage unit. This should also prevent moisture in the air that could cause a problem with mold or mildew in or around the rug.

Make sure that your chosen unit is tall enough to allow upright storage of the rug. If this is impossible for a large rug, make sure that you can lean the rug so that it isn't completely flat. Ideally, you will also position the rug off the floor, so think about ways to achieve at least a couple inches of elevation within the unit.

Cleaning Your Rug for Storage

Dirt, pet dander, dust and other small particles can hide between the fibers of a rug regardless of the material. That debris can break down while the rug is in storage, damaging the fibers. That is why the long-term rug storage process starts with vacuuming both sides of the rug.

Most people don't think to flip the rug over and sweep the backing, but that's an important step that you don't want to skip. If you can place the rug on a raised service or piece of fencing, it will prevent debris from falling back into the rug as you vacuum.

The next step is a deep wet clean. This process varies, depending on the type of fiber and backing used to create your rug. If you can't find manufacturer instructions, it's best to hire a professional with experience cleaning all types of rugs. You may also want to hire a professional if you have a large rug that isn't easy to wet, scrub and dry.

After cleaning, allow the rug to dry thoroughly. Even a slightly damp rug can grow mold or mildew, which will destroy your rug and impact the environment of your storage unit.

Cleaning a Oriental or Persian Rug Safely

Oriental and Persian rugs are much more delicate than your everyday rug. Many people opt to get it professionally cleaned to prevent damage. If you need to vacuum your rug, make sure you use a vacuum with the suction piece attachment. Rotating brushes or a beater bar can severely damage the fibers on your rug. Not only can the rotating brush damage your fibers, it can suck up and damage the delicate fringe.

Protecting your Rug from Pests

It's often recommended that you spray the rug with an insecticide, but that introduces acidic chemicals to the rug that may damage some fibers during storage. Insecticides are only necessary for natural fibers, and a blend of vinegar and water is better than a store-bought insecticide if you decide to use this optional step.

How to Roll A Rug For Storage

Finally, roll the rug tightly from the bottom, up. Never side to side. Then secure your rug with a piece of rope or another material that will form a tight knot. You can buy rug storage bags in many sizes, but canvas, house wrap or paper will work as well. Avoid plastic because it is not a breathable material and may increase the risk of damage to your rug. Use a lot of thick, strong tape around your wrapping to ensure the rug is tightly sealed and will not fall loose.

How to Place a Rug for in a Storage Unit

Find an open corner or wall in your storage unit. Place your rug into the unit in an upright position that is raised at least a couple inches from the floor. Make sure that other items in your storage unit aren't leaning against or pressing into your rug. This can cause indentations and distortions in the rug's shape over time. Give the rug a bit of room so that it rolls out just as beautiful as it is today.

Other Common Rug Storage Questions

How Long Can You Leave a Carpet Rolled Up?

You should check on your rug every 1 to 2 months by unrolling it. Check for any mold or mildew growth or pests like moth larvae. You will also want to keep your storage unit dust free to avoid attracting mites and other bugs that tend to be attracted fabric.

How Long Should You Keep an Area Rug?

The typical lifespan of an area rug ranges between 5 to 15 years. This duration can vary based on factors like the rug's material, location in a high-traffic area, and stains. Oriental rugs last longer with proper care, making them excellent heirlooms. In fact, with the right maintenance, these rugs can endure anywhere from 25 to 250 years.

Is It Bad To Fold A Rug?

Yes, folding a rug is not recommended. Always roll your rug from the bottom up to preserve its structural integrity. Folding a rug can lead to permanent creases and damage over time, which may be challenging or impossible to rectify.

How Do You Store Outdoor Rugs For the Winter

Storing outdoor rugs for the winter follows a similar approach to indoor rugs. First, ensure the rug is clean by giving it a thorough cleaning. Next, roll up the rug and store it in a cool, dry space. This environment helps prevent moisture accumulation and potential damage from harsh winter conditions. By taking these steps, you can extend the life of your outdoor rug and ensure it's ready to be used again when the weather warms up.

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Storage Rentals of America is your convenient self-storage solution. So come into our office or give our storage experts a call at 1-800-457-5678. Our call center is available 7 days a week and can help determine which storage unit size best fits your storage needs.

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