When Is It Time to Kick Your Current Carpet to the Curb?
A typical residential carpet can last about ten years if it’s properly cared for — in the best of circumstances, it might last 15 years. But there will come a time when even the most lovingly pampered has simply lived out its usefulness. Here’s how to tell when your carpet is beyond saving.
Clean Your Carpets First
Before you make any decisions about your carpet, get it cleaned by a professional cleaning service. You’ve probably heard of “steam cleaning” — technically, that’s a misnomer. The technical term is “hot water extraction,” and it’s done by forcing hot water deep into the carpet fibers and then vacuuming it out with powerful industrial vacuums.
Hot water extraction is the most effective means of cleaning a carpet there is, and it brings with it the added bonus of rejuvenating synthetic fibers so that they regain some of their original bounce and softness. If there are stains or signs of wear in your carpet that aren’t fixed by hot water extraction, they won’t be fixed by anything else.
Obvious Wear and Tear
The most apparent sign that your carpet is ready to be replaced is if you can see visibly thin spots, or even the rough carpet backing coming through. Chances are, your carpet will be pretty unsightly before the backing shows through, so you’re looking for thin, flat, or matted areas of carpet where the fibers have worn away.
Hot water cleaning can go a long way toward restoring areas of carpet that have been stamped flat over time, so make sure you get a good cleaning done before you write off your carpet.
Odor That Won’t Go Away
If you have a smell of mold or mustiness in your carpets that doesn’t go away, even after hot water cleaning, then there’s a good chance that it’s embedded in the fibers themselves, the foam carpet backing, or even the plywood or concrete subfloor.
That smell isn’t just annoying — it could be a sign of mold spores or other allergens that will continue to reduce the air quality in your home for as long as they’re there. You can cover the smell with air freshener in the short term, but the only way to get rid of it is to buy a new carpet.
Stains That Don’t Leave
You can mitigate the worst of the stains in your carpet by being proactive with spills. If liquid gets spilled in your carpet, lay down a towel and stand on it or stack something heavy on it to absorb as much as you can, then wet the spill and repeat until it’s gone.
Eventually, though, you’ll happen across a stain that simply won’t come out, even with professional cleaning. A permanent stain on the carpet is an indication that there’s a stain underneath the carpet as well, which might be doing damage to the padding or subfloor. If there are stains that just won’t leave, it might be time for new carpet.
Damage To The Carpet Padding
Lots of people don’t take the carpet padding underneath their carpet seriously — after all, out of sight, out of mind! But carpet padding can make a huge difference in the look, feel, and longevity of your carpet. Too stiff and the carpet will feel rigid and uncomfortable to talk on. Too soft and the carpet will shift up and down on it, wearing out the internal structure of the carpet as it flexes.
You might notice damage to the carpet padding in high-traffic areas — the “alleys” between furniture, the middle of hallways, or the areas right in front of sofas and beds. When you walk on it with bare feet, you’ll feel areas that feel sunken or indented. If you notice that unevenness, you probably need a new carpet.
Sometimes there’s nothing particularly wrong with your carpet — you just don’t like the look of it! Maybe you bought a new house with carpet that hasn’t been changed since the 1980s, or maybe you had a phase where you enjoyed emerald green carpet and have since outgrown it.
If that’s the case, it might be time for a refresh! New carpets are coming out every year, with new colors, materials, stain resistance, and styles. Most people are amazed by how new carpet transforms the look of a room. To get a look at what’s available, and how beautiful your new floors could be, come to Sloane’s Carpet Secret! We carry all the best high-quality, modern carpet styles, and our expert staff can find exactly the carpet you need. Make an appointment today!