For those of us with carpet, the question is inevitable: “Is my carpet salvageable?” Even high-quality carpet that is regularly maintained will age and deteriorate over time, leaving you with the decision of whether to continue to clean it or pony up the money to replace it. If this decision is upon you, ask yourself these five questions before you choose:
1) Can I remove the stains? Most carpets arrive with a stain-resistant finish but it wears off over time, leaving your carpet exposed to an onslaught of potential stains on a daily basis. As time goes on, these stains get harder and harder to remove and older stains begin to reappear. A professional carpet cleaner may be able to remove those stains better than your DIY methods, but if their success is limited, it may be time to head to the carpet store.
2) Can I smell my carpet? Carpet should obviously be seen but not smelled, so if yours has taken on its own scent, you may want to start saving your pennies. Pet feces and vomit, as well as mold and mildew from water damage, can not only look and smell bad, but can also become a health hazard over time. A constant smell, especially one that doesn’t leave after a professional cleaning, is a sign that your carpet pad is damaged and needs to be replaced along with your carpet.
3) Do I trip over my carpet? Obviously wrinkled carpet is both unsightly and unsafe! A professional can pull your carpet around the perimeter of the room to get rid of the wrinkles, but the process can be costly and doing this to older carpet can just make it more susceptible to tears. If your carpet is less than five to eight years old and just needs a facelift, give it a tug, but otherwise plan on replacing it before it becomes a safety hazard!
4) Does anyone in my family have indoor allergies? Even with careful maintenance and regular vacuuming and cleaning, carpet will collect dust and other allergens over time. Those without sensitivities to indoor allergens probably won’t notice, but if you’ve experienced an increase in allergies lately, you’ll want to replace your carpet, or even consider an alternative like hardwood or tile.
5) Was my carpet purchased more than ten years ago? If your carpet could best be described as “shag,” replacing it is a no-brainer. But any carpet more than ten years old has probably passed its prime as well, even if it’s top-of-the-line. Don’t replace it just because of its age, but if you answered “yes” to any of the above questions AND it’s more than ten years old, it’s time to say good-bye.
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, it may be time to put down the cleaning supplies and head to the carpet store instead!