Within a year tuft fraying caused by friction, some methods of carpet cleaning, and by scrubbing action during spot removal procedures.
Friction: Some people do not lift their feet high enough when they walk; and, as a result, their heels brush the surface of the carpet. Sometimes loose shoes, such as clogs, are the cause. When the foot is lifted, the heel of the shoe drops to drag the floor. The resulting friction weakens the yarn twist, causing tufts tips to fan out or to fray. Still, heal dragging can be the result of carpet construction or, possibly, the padding beneath the carpet.
The deeper the carpet pile, the higher the foot must be raised to prevent heel contact. If the pile depth is higher than a person normally lifts his feet as he walks, heel contact is inevitable. Obviously, in this instance, a carpet with a shallower pile depth (at or below one half inch) would have been a wiser choice.
Still, the same problem can develop when carpeting with a shallower pile depth is installed over a thick pad: The thicker the pad, the more the carpet is compressed under foot and body weight. When the pad is too thick (greater than one-half inch) such becomes tantamount to walking with one foot in a hole, causing the heel of the traveling foot to brush the surface of the carpet.
Carpet cleaning methods that employ brushes: The conventional shampoo method uses a rotary brush, while absorbent particle and dry foam cleaning use reel brushes. The harshness of both brush types can cause tuft fraying, especially when used repeatedly. For this, as well as for reasons of cleaning efficiency, Shaw Industries and some other major carpet manufacturers only recommend the hot water extraction (steam cleaning) method for cleaning carpeting. (Whatever the cleaning method, beware! Many cleaners, either for lack of knowledge or caring, violate proper cleaning procedures, which can easily lead to both carpet and sanitation problems.)
Improper spot removal procedures: Many spots, such as soft drink drippings, can be cleaned away with a water-based cleaning agent, while others require a different cleaning chemical type, such as grease tracked in on the heel of a shoe. It is not uncommon for homeowners to apply the wrong cleaning chemical type. And, when the spot does not come out, they try to make the cleaning agent work by scrubbing harder-a big mistake. One cannot make the wrong cleaning chemical work. Scrubbing harder will only cause tuft fraying.