Buying residential carpet isn’t something a homeowner does all the time. Carpet doesn’t come with an expiration date when you install it, nor does it give off a warning signal when it’s reaching end of life.
But there are signs that it might be time to replace your carpet. Stains, odors, threadbare areas, and stretch marks can’t be taken away with a vacuum or a carpet cleaner. At some point, it will be time to replace the carpeting in your home.
How old is your carpet?
When it comes to making a decision about keeping or replacing carpet, age matters. While you can’t mark a date on the calendar based on when you purchased it, you can use it as a guide for when it’s time to replace.
Carpeting has a lifespan of anywhere from five to fifteen years. The difference comes from the quality of the construction, and the amount of foot traffic it has on it each day. A carpet installed in a guest bedroom that is rarely used will have a longer life than carpet installed in a family room you use every day. Yet even if a carpet isn’t walked on daily, the carpet fibers and padding material start to break down over time. As this happens, you’ll start to feel lumps and unevenness underfoot.
Does carpet fiber matter?
When you start to shop for new carpet, you’ll start to notice the vast selection you have to choose from. Not only are there many colors, styles, and patterns, but fiber and materials are also different between brands.
If you take your hand and rub it over the fibers, you’ll quickly notice a difference. They just feel different. Some are plush to the touch, while others are stiffer, feel a bit more susceptible to damage.
That’s because carpet is designed with different things in mind.
Inexpensive apartment-grade carpet is designed for short lifespans, cheaper costs, and lower quality. Because landlords typically replace carpet in rental properties quickly, they design with lower grade materials that don’t handle well under pressure. You’ll be on the shorter end of the five to fifteen year expected lifespan.
High quality manufacturers put more energy into making the best carpeting possible. They use fibers and construction processes that push longevity towards fifteen years, with some brands increasing potential to up to 25 years or more. It all depends on the quality, the traffic in your home, and how you maintain it over the years.
Carpet is installed as a flooring material to provide a soft, cushiony, warm surface underfoot. To get that depends on the type of fiber used during construction, and the pile – how the loops of fiber are attached to the backing.
In general, types of fibers used to create carpet include nylon, polyester, polypropylene, acrylic, and wool. Nylon is the most popular because it’s inexpensive, resists stains, and is easy to create and dye. If well cared for, you can expect in upwards of fifteen years of life. Wool is at the other end, a natural and luxurious material that can last for years.
You’ll also find loop and cut pile carpet has different expected wearability. Loop pile is created using the entire yarn loop intact. It’s extremely durable, and won’t leave trails from vacuum marks of footprints. Cut pile is leveled off to leave exposed fibers, creating a soft, easy to clean carpet. It comes in different lengths and thicknesses, giving texture to hide wear and dirt. Though it’s more popular than loop pile, it isn’t as durable for the long term, and will have to be replaced more frequently.
Does flattened fiber matter?
It doesn’t matter if you choose loop or cut pile, if your carpet once stood tall but now looks flat no matter what you do to add “life” back into it, it’s a sign it’s past its prime.
It’s often the easiest to see in high traffic areas. You’ll see certain areas of a room looking worn, flat, matted more than others. Even with some of the most durable carpets on the market – Berber, for example – those looped fibers can succumb to matting over time.
When you vacuum, and your carpet won’t bounce back into place, it’s a sign that it’s time for new carpet. If a carpet looks stretched and out of place from its original shape, it’s a sign that it’s time for replacement.
What do threadbare carpets mean?
No matter how high-quality your carpets are, at some point, they eventually wear out. In the most used areas, you’ll start to see the backing through the fibers. You’ll see fraying along the edges. You’ll see thinning areas in different places. This is all a sign your carpet has reached the end of its useful life.
Another sign might be carpet pests. If you notice balding patches, particularly around the edges or in the corners, it could be an infestation of carpet moths, carpet beetles, or silverfish. They eat away at the fibers, lay eggs deep within, and the entire process starts all over again. Eventually, you’ll see these balding spots grow bigger. You may see evidence of them with tiny black or white spots near the carpet. While regular cleaning can ensure this potential problem is kept at bay, it can quickly cause enough damage that the only way to make your carpets look good again is to replace them.
What about how carpet looks and smells?
What’s that odor when you walk into a room? If you notice a musty smell, it might be your carpet. Carpet traps dirt, dust, and allergens, and over time, those smells become more challenging to remove.
Most carpet comes with stain resistance built in. While that might work for the first spill, it becomes harder to hide stains when they happen multiple times. If you’re placing your furniture around your home to keep stains hidden, it’s a sign that it’s time to replace your carpet.
Do you see your carpet in any of these scenarios? If so, stop by today and see our entire selection of carpet. No matter what your desires, what rooms you want to upgrade, or how much carpet you need, we have the perfect choice for your needs.