Signs, Symbols, and Dents
Carpet Dents

One of my friends was formerly a carpet wizard. By that I mean that he knows how to clean carpets, remove stains of all kinds, respond to the needs of different carpet fibres, remediate the damage from floods, and be charming at the same time. You see? A wizard.

Sadly, he changed careers and I can no longer call upon him with my carpet needs. Today, though, I find myself in need of his arts. I have carpet dents.

When you move furniture you know what happens? You have flat spots. Flat trenches, flat lines, and flat circles. All kinds of flatness. I recently sold some of my basement furniture to a friend, and now the carpet upon which it once stood has indentations. Because I sold several pieces of furniture, I have lots of indentations.

This would not be a problem if I were not trying to sell my house. The rules (as defined by HGTV) are that in order to sell a house it must be de-cluttered, cleaned to hospital standards, move-in ready, artfully staged (which requires couch cushions and table settings), and free from imperfections of all kinds. I  de-cluttered, I cleaned, and I brought in handypersons to fix the imperfections. I even plumped pillows and set the table for two. Now all that remains are carpet dents.

Indentations in a carpet are a sign of recently-moved furniture. They portray a sense of impermanence; less like a home and more like a temporary lodging. They are a symbol of transience. This is not good for selling a house. Buyers want to see themselves in the house, imagine their furniture in your spaces, picture themselves raising a family, presuppose a future. I need to make that fantasy possible.

Potential buyers are not interested in the fact that the dents represent furniture that now lives with a smart, loving, friend who wears fabulous clothes and eccentric shoes. Neither do they see that my house witnesses beautiful sunsets and a variety of wetlands birds. They come looking for things they don’t like, and my realtor gives me their feedback.

Realistically, I can’t do anything about the proximity to the highway, the smallish en-suite bathroom, or the non-granite kitchen counters. I can, though, do something about the carpet dents. … Or, so I thought.

When you ask Google what to do about carpet flat spots, you are greeted by a short list of videos which explain in varying degrees of mind-numbing detail that there are two key methods. One involves ice and the other involves steam. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but in both cases aren’t we just talking about water? Basically, I should make the carpet wet, let it dry, then vacuum.

Hold on a minute. Vacuuming… If that lifts the fibres why don’t I just vacuum and forget the ice and steam?

No, wait. Lifting the fibres? Couldn’t I do that with my fingernails?

I’m probably over-thinking this. I should probably call my friend. Even though he’s out of the carpet business, he probably knows more than these Google video people. And, he is charming. That’s rare among wizards. More importantly, he knows the difference between ice and steam.

That and a smile will get you into my basement.


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