Carpet is not meant to last forever. The average carpet lifespan is about 10 to 15 years depending on the conditions it’s exposed to.
Factors that determine the longevity of a carpet are proper maintenance, having children or pets at home, and constant traffic.
These signals will help you to decide whether you need to repair carpet or replaced it:
Signs of age on carpet
Losing texture and tuft
Losing some tuft is normal but after some years enough tuft can mean loss texture and the carpet might not look and feel comfortable as it was.
When you notice pulls or yarn is starting to sprout, get it repaired as soon as possible doing so can save your carpet, otherwise repairs become costly at the point and then it is simply better to buy new carpeting.
Another reason to get new carpet is color loss. Carpet discoloration is not visually attractive.
New carpet is treated to resist color loss with proper care.
Chemicals, excess friction (wear away), bleach spills or any other accident, consult a professional for the possibility of dyeing your carpet.
Excessive sunlight exposure can also change the color of your carpet.
Tears or Rips
Depending on the tear, you may be able to fix it. Tears start appearing in corners or in the middle of the door, between two rooms. Carpet with tears is a sign that it needs to be replaced.
Odor might never go away even after a deep cleaning
Unfortunately for pet owners, urine odor can live permanently on carpet, padding, and even walls if you don’t treat urine spots properly and in a timely manner. Look for physical damage like stains on carpet and padding.
Steam cleaning is the best way to eliminate pet odors; if after a full treatment, even a re-service (assuming you get a warranty) the area still stinks, you may need to get new carpeting.
Waste like urine on carpet can burn carpet fibers and cause irreparable damage.
When to replace the carpet padding?
Replace carpet padding roughly about every 5 years or so. However, this may differ for those low traffic areas. Unevenness and wrinkles are signs of an old underlayment as well. Furthermore, there are emergency situations when you must replace it:
Wet padding can mold easily; after a water damage, replace the padding, don’t second-guess this advice.
If you see mold growing on your carpet, it’s most likely coming from the padding or worse the sub-flooring, either way steam cleaning the carpet and new padding can possibly save your carpet.
If you replace your old carpet for new carpet, the recommendation is to buy a new padding as well. Matter of fact, many carpet manufacturers will void your warranty if you don’t use new padding during the installation.
Clean carpet or replace it?
Do a condition test for your carpet. If carpet is older than 10 years and you have more than one of the signs mentioned before, then you should replace your carpet.
Tip: Removing your shoes before walking on carpet will add roughly 5 years to the lifespan of carpet, otherwise you should replace the carpet every 5 to 7 years.
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