Are My Old Carpets Dead (And How Do I Revive Them)?
Does your old carpet look like it has seen better days?
Is it dull and matted, or really worn out?
Or perhaps, you can’t even tell what color it is anymore?
Life as a carpet is tough. It spends its days dealing with all sorts of foot traffic – from heavy work boots to high heels and dirty dog paws. What’s more, it’s also a filter for whatever goes around in your home: the dust in your air conditioning system, your kids’ messy art projects and, heck, even that glass of red wine you spilled last night.
No wonder your carpet looks like a shadow of its former self, right?
But, does that mean you have to go through the effort and expense of replacing your carpeting? Or can it somehow be saved?
Let’s find out.
How Long Does Carpet Last?
There’s no hard and fast rule as to how long carpet lasts.
High quality carpeting made of durable materials can last 20 years or even longer. However, that time-frame drops significantly the more abuse your carpet has suffered. It really comes down to the quality and type of material, the amount of foot traffic it takes and – you guessed it – how well you take care of it.
Carpet in high traffic areas, such as your living room or foyer, can last a lot less, simply because it takes a lot more foot traffic.
Besides, the stain resistant coating most carpets have when they’re new wears out over time; and only professional cleaning can restore it. The less often you clean your carpet, the more quickly it stains and the harder the stains are to remove.
Does My Carpet Need Replacing?
Sometimes, a carpet is simply too far gone for cleaning to be worthwhile. In that case, replacing it is the only option.
Faded colors and pile that’s matted down are telltale signs that your carpet is on its last legs, especially if it’s made of natural materials. Nylon, on the other hand, is much more durable and resilient, so a deep clean could potentially save it.
But that’s not all. Sometimes, it’s what you don’t see that’s causing the problem.
The padding under your carpet is just as important to its lifespan as the state of the fibers themselves. Not only does it make your carpet feel softer, it also supports it and cushions the impact of foot traffic.
If your carpet has ripples or wrinkles, it might well be that your padding is damaged.
Unfortunately, without the padding to support it, your carpet will wear out much faster. And while it’s sometimes possible to replace the padding without replacing the carpet itself, this isn’t a common occurrence.
How To Make Your Carpet Last Longer
While restoring a dying carpet may well be a losing battle, there’s a lot you can do to make even older carpets last longer.
Actually, scratch that. You only need to do one thing: regular maintenance.
For one, you should vacuum your carpets at least once a week. This will get rid of dirt, which can damage your carpet’s fibers and erode the backing. It’s also a good idea to stay away from store-bought chemicals, as these can bind to stains and make them much harder to remove.
But, more importantly, put your carpet on a regular cleaning schedule. You should give your carpets a professional do over at least once a year. This will prevent dirt buildups and keep your carpets cleaner, fresher and looking their best for longer.
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