Too many people discard their carpets prematurely. There are often a range of cleaning techniques that are capable of breathing new life into an old carpet, yet we’re often a little too eager to head for the nearest carpet store. But sometimes, there is simply no option; replacing a worn carpet is the only way.
How can you tell when a carpet has had its day, though? When is it time to banish your beloved floor covering to the nearest tip? These tell-tale signs probably tell you it’s time to splash the cash.
1. Large stains aren’t budging
There are many ways to remove carpet stains, including the use of steam cleaners, commercial carpet shampoos and homemade solutions such as bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar. Among the toughest stains to remove include wine, grease and mustard; and when they really set in, they’re almost impossible to remove. Biological stains, such as those caused by blood, urine and mould are easy to clean if you act fast, but even they can prove permanent after a while. If you’ve run out of furniture for covering immovable stains, it’s probably time to replace your carpet.
2. You can’t get rid of bad odours
Even the cleanest of carpets can start to smell after several years of use. The problem can be compounded if you have small children or pets in the home. A lot of the time, these odours emanate from deep within the pile, and sometimes underneath the carpet. When you’ve exhausted all your options, including the use of steam, bicarbonate of soda, commercial carpet fresheners and professional cleaning services, it’s probably time to head for the nearest carpet store.
3. The rips and tears can’t be hidden any longer
Ripping, tearing and laddering in a carpet is usually permanent, but you can usually bypass the problem with the careful placement of furniture. When there are just too many problems to mask, it’s time to get a replacement.
The more resilient carpets, and the ones that tend to keep their form for longest, are those made with wool. Polyester carpets are susceptible to premature deformation and damage, while nylon carpets tend to have more longevity. It doesn’t matter what your carpet is made from, however; when it’s badly damaged, the best thing to do is pull it up and replace it.
4. Allergies in the home are getting worse
The damaged fibres of older carpets tend to trap potential allergens more readily. Dust, pet dander, mites, skin and pollen can all be lurking in your carpet — and the older it is, the harder it is for a standard vacuum cleaner to remove the trapped allergens. If you or your family is experiencing worse-than-usual allergy symptoms, your old carpet may be to blame.
5. The underlay is failing
If you notice particularly flat or hard areas of carpet, there is a chance that the underlay needs replacing. It is the underlay that provides extra cushioning for your carpets and prolongs their natural life. Carpeting that sits on top of worn underlay can crease, bubble and stretch, causing your carpet to become permanently deformed. While there is a chance you can replace the underlay and fit your existing carpet back into place, you’ll usually need to replace both at the same time.
6. Fashion has moved on
The current trend is for plain, unpatterned carpets. If yours looks like it belongs in the 1970s, it’s probably time for something new. Flowers, paisley and other distinctive designs may have looked fantastic once, but they don’t tend to age well. You might love your 1975 pink shag carpet with pink roses, but if you want to sell your home, you might need to opt for something more neutral.
Regular cleaning and taking various preventative measures should prolong the life of your carpets. However, it’s important to know when it’s time to send your beloved floor covering to the carpet scrapheap.