Carpet is the most popular flooring choice due to its high insulation and noise-cancellation properties. With this, the comfort added by this beautiful wall-to-wall makes it more precious for the users. However, everything has an end, and so is the carpet! But the question is: “How Long Should the Carpet Last?” and How can you figure out that your carpet needs a replacement?
To find out this, let’s first get a deep insight into the usual lifespan of a rug and then discuss what impacts this lifespan the most. With this, we will also find out the signs that show that it’s time to wind up the old rug and buy a new one.
So, let’s delve into it!
Is Old Carpet Harmful?
A carpet traps dust, molds, bacteria, pathogens, and other allergens, but if it is old, then the frequency of this trapping increases by several times. In such a case, no matter what you do, you will still get a musky odor and unnecessary off-gassing with the growth of larvae, such as carpet beetles, mildew, feces, and lice.
However, the frequency of cleaning can definitely help you out, but that cannot be a fool-proven solution to clean the fungus and bacteria stuck deep into fibers.
If you have pets and kids in your home who like to play and roll over the rug, then the crawling pathogens and allergens can attack their bodies, making them sick. It can impact their respiratory system and kill the tissues and cells outright, leading to paralysis in a few cases.
Does Old Carpet Pollute The Environment?
Whether your carpet is old or new, if it’s filthy and contains a lot of contaminants, then it will surely affect the air quality of your home. However, the daily cleaning routine can help you out, but not in the case of an old rug because just a new carpet, an old one also off-gasses and releases harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC).
This off-gassing chemical consists of a number of harmful chemicals, such as methylene chloride, benzene, 1,3-butadiene, formaldehyde, ethylene glycol, toluene, xylene, and tetrachloroethylene, which are released in the indoor environment and enters our body when we breathe in.
Ultimately, the harmful release in the environment leads to coughing and asphyxia, which ends up troubling asthma patients the most.
According to the American Lung Association, to improve the air quality of a room with old carpet, you can vacuum with High-Efficiency Air (HEPA) at least 3 times a week. Also, you can deep clean your rug more frequently than usual and clean up the stain during the time of spill.
How Long Should Carpet Last?
Normally, a carpet lasts for 5 to 15 years, depending on the frequency of its use, material, and the area in which it is rugged up. For example, if your carpet is in a high-traffic region, like in hallways and living areas, then it will get old sooner than one in your bedroom.
With this, if you have a nylon, polyester, or wool rug, then it will last for longer than the other options. If you want to keep your carpet in good shape, then you can select a nylon rug with short loops for high-traffic regions, as they are easy to clean and do not shed for long.
Also, you can hire a professional during your carpet installation process so that you can get a perfectly stretched and shaped rug that will not move from its place and start shedding.
What Factors Affect The Life Of Carpet?
The biggest factor affecting the carpet’s life is its quality and how much traffic it gets. The low-quality rug starts shedding within a few years of installation, and the regular high foot traffic speeds up this process. But if you have a premium quality rug, then all the high foot traffic will not affect its fibers quickly.
That is why it is especially suggested by professional carpet installers that you should lay a good quality rug and not wear your shoes inside the home, mainly on your carpet. Also, they suggest washing your feet before walking on the rug. By this, you can restrict the bacteria and germs in the doorway.
However, the dust will still accumulate over your beloved wall-to-wall as a result of your daily household activities, and sometimes, due to the spilling of coffee, cooking oil, wine, etc. And this can make your carpet prone to mites, molds, and mildew and call upon several pests and bugs flying all along your room.
Also, your pet’s pee, accidental marks, and playful clawing and scratching can lead to early carpet aging. And even if you try to clear it or fix the clawing marks, your carpet will still suffer from wear and tear and needs to be replaced even before time.
Fortunately, there are a few methods that can help you take care of your carpet, especially when it’s old. Let’s look at them one by one!
How Can You Take Care Of Your Old Carpet?
You should start taking care of your carpet as soon as you get it inside your home. For this, you can leave your carpet to acclimate before fixing it to get a professional installation and clean up the rug with expert cleaning agents and solutions to fix the foul odor and off-gassing situation.
Hence, it’s better to care for a rug throughout life! For this, you can:
Regular vacuuming is the most effective way to improve carpet longevity because it can clean all the regular dry filth that can lead to the growth of allergens and bacteria if accumulated.
With this, vacuuming can also reduce the dust mites and mold growth that can be hazardous to your and your rug’s health.
If you vacuum your carpet regularly, then you will not face problems like flattening fibers or losing from its base. Hence, it is the most viable and cost-effective option to increase the durability of your carpet, even when it is old.
Deep Clean Periodically
Just as vacuuming, the carpet needs to be deeply cleaned with a carpet cleaner or a steam cleaner once every 10 to 18 months. Again, this time gap depends on what area your carpet covers and how frequently it gets stains.
It is most appropriate to clean your carpet stain at the very time of the spill. However, if a particular carpet is prone to staining, it’s better to deep clean it earlier than other wall-to-walls.
If you have kids or pets in your home, then you can use this deep cleaning procedure more frequently. That is, once every 3 to 4 months! For this cleaning, you can either prepare a DIY carpet cleaning solution or buy a commercial one.
If you are unsure which cleaner is perfect for your rug, you can also consult a professional carpet cleaning service and get an idea.
Accessorize Your Carpet
Carpet accessorization or layering is one of the safest options for your rug, especially if it is in a high-traffic region. It will help your rug reduce the chances of allergens developing in the deep sections of carpet fibers and enhance your room’s beauty.
Also, it will be more easy to clean a small layer than a massive carpet!
Layer your carpet with an area rug or put furniture over the parts your pet loves to pee or claw on. In addition, accessorize your carpeted room’s entry with an entrance mat. By this, you can avoid the filthy feet of your pets, guests, and little ones from getting onto the carpet.
Turn Your Carpet Periodically
If you don’t want to get blank patches in a specific area of your carpet, then turn your carpet once every 6 to 8 months to shift the foot traffic from one corner of the carpet to another.
By this, you will reduce the chances of flattening or patch creation in the carpet areas that have furniture over them. Also, it will save your carpet from looking dull and uneven in one section.
Install Padding Underneath
If you have a massive carpet that covers your entire room, you can fix it with padding or underlayment instead of just unrolling it directly on the floor. The underlayment will secure the carpet and not let it move whenever you walk over it.
It will also reduce the chances of slipping and tripping and save your carpet from shedding fibers. After seeing all these features, we can say that carpet padding can help your carpet look new, even if it’s in an old phase. Be careful when buying carpet padding, as some carpet padding can be toxic.
Signs That Your Carpet Needs Replacement
Every carpet owner wants their beloved wall-to-wall to last for long, but unfortunately, even the highest quality carpet cannot last forever. This is why it’s essential for homeowners to know the time when the carpet needs replacement. If your carpet is older than 5 to 7 years and has a few specific signs, do not ignore it at any cost. These specific signs include:
- A carpet flattens over time, especially if it is a high foot traffic area and the padding underneath it starts to loosen up. If you notice these problems with shedding in your old carpet, then perhaps your carpet needs an instant replacement.
- If your carpet holds a foul smell and stains again and again, even after a professional deep cleaning, then it can be a call to you to invest in new flooring.
- If you can’t remove allergens, molds, mites, and mildew from your carpet, even after getting it cleaned by professional carpet cleaners, then perhaps your carpet needs replacement. It’s better to replace it before it leads to any health hazards, such as asthma.
- Persistent staining or carpet wicking can also be a sign of an aging carpet. If you can’t clean your carpet even with deep cleaner or DIY carpet cleaning solution, then it is high time to say goodbye to your old rug.
If your carpet is older than 5 years and it is constantly shedding, then you may think, “How Long Should Carpet Last?” Because such a sign can create blank spots throughout the rug, which can degrade the beauty and aesthetic of your room.
To find out the answer to carpet aging time, you should first find out all the signs that show your carpet is old enough to be replaced, and if it is not shedding due to aging, then find out a few ways that can help your carpet reduce its early aging signs.
Is it unhealthy not to replace a 25-year-old carpet?
Usually, a carpet lasts for 5 to 15 years or a little more if you are not using it frequently. But unfortunately, a carpet cannot last for 25 years. So, if you have one such old rug in your home, then it can be unhealthy to you as it can release harmful gases, including volatile organic compounds (VOC), and hold allergens that can trigger asthma.
When can a carpet make someone sick?
If a carpet holds a musky odor or harmful allergens, molds, mites, and mildew that are not eliminated by cleaning, then there is a high chance that your carpet can make you sick. Such an unhealthy carpet with all these features can trigger coughing, asthma, intestinal issues, and many other respiratory problems.
Can removing an old carpet as a DIY project make you sick?
If your carpet is dirty and has allergens with several infested pests and mites, then carpet replacement as a DIY project can make you sick. In such a case, you can hire a professional carpet installation and replacement service and wear a mast and eye cover to save yourself from allergens.
Daleyza knows a lot about carpets! She has worked with carpets for over 7 years and can help with things like putting them in, keeping them clean, and replacing them. She really likes carpets and spends most of her time learning about new ways to work with them. When she’s not learning about carpets, she enjoys reading books. She’s really good at helping people choose the right carpet for their homes and making sure they’re happy with it. If you want to know more about carpets, Daleyza is the person to talk to!