Are you thinking about replacing your carpet? Having a hard time convincing the spouse or the landlord that it’s time? Flooring is one of the first thing guests and potential homebuyers notice when walking into a house and can make a huge impression, sometimes for the worst. Here are the top 8 signs that it’s time to get rid of that old carpet and trade it out for something new.

Water Damage and Mold

Water damage and mold are very clear indicators that you need new carpeting. Water stains are unsightly and hard to get rid of. Water damage can be caused by leaking pipes in bathrooms, kitchens, or ceilings in multi-story homes and can even lead to mold and mildew stains. Always make sure you monitor your pipes for leaks that can cause water damage.


Mold can be dangerous, at worst deadly to those with asthma and severe mold allergies. In those who are allergic, mold can cause hay-fever like symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, and red eyes. It can also appear rather suddenly, especially in warm, dark areas. The best way to prevent mold issues is by regular inspection. Look for green, black, or white stains that grow and change shape, or a musty, stale smell that won’t go away no matter what you do or how you clean. Purchase a mold testing kit to be certain you have mold in your carpet.

 

Wear and Tear


Wear and tear on a carpet can make a house look trashy and dirty, no matter how clean it is. Tears, worn patches that are nearly see-through, matting, fraying, and flat areas are all normal signs of a carpet’s age and sometimes can’t be prevented. Carpet fibers often become matted and frayed within just 3-5 years. A carpet can only be expected to last 5-15 years from installation, so if your carpet it starting to look a little beat-up then it’s probably time to replace it. Areas that see the most wear and tear are usually the hallways, stairs, and living areas.

 

Stains

 

If your carpet is stained beyond saving, it might be worth your time to stop hiding stains with area rugs and furniture and start shopping for fresh carpeting. Stains are usually just the result of normal wear and tear, though accidents do happen, and if they happen with red wine, mustard, or coffee, good luck getting it out. Stains make carpets, and therefore a whole room. A dirty carpet is a devalued home, so if you intend to sell or rent, it’s prudent to replace! To get more life out of a stained carpet, rent a rug doctor or other carpet cleaning tool, or call a professional to have your carpet shampooed.


Smell


The first thing people notice about your house when they walk in is the smell, and old carpet certainly has its own special aroma. Feet, allergens, dirt, and food stains can make a carpet smell funky after years of buildup. If your carpet stinks and you’ve tried everything to get the smell out, it’s time to replace.


Age


Carpeting is only designed to last between 5-15 years. Most people don’t replace their carpet that often, especially landlords who are trying to save money. How many of us honestly know how old the carpet in our house really is? The first places to show age are going to be the areas that receive the most traffic—hallways, walkways and entrances. If you suspect that yours is starting to get old, and is showing its age, it’s time to replace it.

 

Aesthetics


Maybe your carpet is just out of style, or you’d like to update a room for a fresh look. That 70’s shag carpet might have looked good 40 years ago, but will quickly date a room and put all your other decorating efforts to waste. This is also something you should consider if you’re going to be selling your home anytime soon.  Buyers and renters like to see new carpet in a home and are willing to pay a lot more for something up-to-date and in style. Make sure you look into regional tastes. Check with your neighbors to see what’s stylish in your area, or ask a local decorator.

 

Allergies


Carpets hold on to allergens like sponges. Dirt, dust, mites, pollen, and lots of other discomfort-causing substances are hiding in carpets, and no matter how often or meticulously you clean your carpet, they will find their way in there. Regular cleaning is important to maintaining good hygiene and health in a home with carpet. Still, a carpet can only be cleaned so many times before it starts to wear, and even the most thorough cleaning can leave allergens behind. It’s important to have your carpet professionally cleaned at least once a year in order to maintain the lifespan of your carpet, but keep in mind that cleaning it too often can shorten its lifespan.

 

Old Padding


The padding underneath your carpet can degrade and age just like the carpet above.  It can flatten, get dirty, and get dirt and grime ground into it, ruining the carpet above. The lifespan of the carpet padding depends on the material, but the best padding urethane, only lasts about 25 years. Just like with carpet, the more traffic on the pad the lower its lifespan. Rebond, the most popular foam-based carpet padding, only lasts about 10 years. It often makes sense to replace the carpet at the same time as the padding.

 

With proper maintenance, a carpet can last a very long time. However, even with good care, a carpet can start to look dated and old after just a few years. Ultimately, use your best judgement when it comes to replacing your carpet. Keep in mind the age, and possibly the selling potential of a particular carpet before you make your decision to replace it.  Contact a professional to find out what replacement carpet is best for your lifestyle and your family.