Over the past few decades, carpet manufacturers have made great strides in terms of the durability of their products. Carpets today are made to last longer — and look better — than before, thanks to synthetic fibers, stain resistance and better manufacturing processes.
But while well-maintained carpets can last for years, not everything lasts forever. There comes a point where almost every carpet should be replaced. Sometimes, that point is obvious, such as when the carpet is stained or damaged, while other times the signs aren’t as clear.
If you’re thinking about replacing your carpet, it could be a premature decision. If you aren’t sure whether you should replace your carpet, ask yourself these questions:
Does the Carpet Contain Mold?
If your home has been flooded, or you had other water damage and the carpet was not properly cleaned and dried, you could have a major problem on your hands: mold. Even if you don’t live in an especially humid area, there’s a chance your carpet will contain mold spores after a few years. Breathing in the spores is not healthy and can make you and your family sick, so it’s important to keep mold out of your home.
It’s not always easy to see if a carpet is moldy, though. Sometimes the first indication is the smell; you know when a carpet doesn’t smell right. If you lift the edge of the carpet and see mold on the pad or underside, there isn’t anything you can do other than replace the carpet.
Is the Carpet Damaged?
Your friend knocked a burning candle over at your last holiday party — and accidentally burned a hole in the carpet. Then, your new puppy decided to pull on one of the threads and unraveled a large patch in the corner. Add in the worn-down path between the sofa and the kitchen, and your carpet isn’t looking so great.
Sometimes, a carpet can easily be repaired. If it’s only a few years old, and the damaged area is small, having it professionally repaired is a more affordable option than replacing the entire rug.
Can You Get the Carpet Cleaned?
It’s inevitable: Carpets get dirty, no matter how careful you are. Fortunately, a professional steam-cleaning will freshen up almost any carpet. Yet if it still can’t get it clean or remove the stains, it’s time for a new one.
How You Can Keep Your Carpet Looking Fresh
Again, while no carpet lasts forever, you can prolong its life by taking care of it. First, purchase the best quality carpet you can afford. A quality carpet will resist wear and tear more effectively than a bargain brand.
When you choose a new carpet, look for a stain-resistant model or invest in a stain treatment following installation. Such a treatment might not prevent dirt and stains, but it will keep the carpet looking newer longer. Protect against stains by not wearing shoes on the carpet as well.
Finally, regular cleaning is important to keep any carpet looking its best. Home-cleaning products are okay for regular spot treatments and cleaning, but for a truly fresh carpet, hire a professional carpet cleaner to perform a deep cleaning yearly. Professional cleaners use special equipment that extracts dirt, allergens, bacteria and mold from deep in the carpet where home-cleaning tools can’t reach.
If you’re thinking of buying new carpet, consider each of these points before doing so. You may be able to save yourself a lot of money by simply having your carpet professionally cleaned instead of investing in a new one.
About the Author: Anne Marie Felthager is an interior decorator with more than a decade of experience. She works with companies like COIT Professional Cleaning to help homeowners freshen their homes. You can learn more about COIT and their services at www.coit.com.