Most carpets come with a stain-resistant finish, but over time, the treatment fades and eventually leaves the carpet unprotected.
Luckily, professional carpet cleaners know tricks to remove tough stains. Store bought carpet cleaners only clean to the base of your carpet, to avoid damaging the glue that binds your carpet to the pad. However, this doesn’t get stains that penetrate deeper than the carpet. Professional cleaners have methods to remove tough stains by flushing out deep stains with a flood extraction tool. In this method, the professional floods the area with cleaning solution and uses a heavy duty extraction tool to remove the stain from the carpet and pad.
However, sometimes stubborn stains just won’t go away. Bleach, plant food, tea, wine and mustard are typically the toughest stains to remove, and carpet cleaners say many homeowners make the stains worse by using various DIY stain-removal methods they find on the web, or store-bought carpet-cleaning products that can actually damage carpet with harsh chemicals.
Stains caused by pet urine, feces, vomit, mold and mildew are usually easy to clean if you act fast. But these biological substances eventually will absorb into the carpet padding, leading to mold and mildew buildup under the carpet. If the biological stains are in several places, consider replacing the carpet to avoid health hazards with mold.
Preventing future stains is important, especially when carpet is new. Carpets should be cleaned annually or semiannually by professional carpet cleaners with heavy duty steam extraction units. Also, carpets and upholstery should be protected each time using Scotch Gard to help protect your carpet fibers and furniture from future spills and stains.
2. Wear and tear on carpet
Matted carpet, tears and significant wear on the main walkways are major signs your carpet is on its death bed.
Polyester carpet fibers have a reputation of matting and losing their form. Once it falls down and loses its tuft, it doesn’t return to normal, even with professional cleaning. Nylon carpeting, however, is typically more resilient than polyester and responds well to carpet cleaning, even when matted down.
You might be able to fix small tears and rips yourself, or you can hire a carpet professional to make the repair. However, large rips and tears tend to signal the carpet needs to be replaced, especially if the tears are present on stairs or major walkways.
3. Stinky carpet
If you own a pet or haven't cleaned in a while, you may notice a lingering smell on your carpet, but the odor should be gone or noticeably diminished after a proper cleaning. If it doesn't, this means that the odor has penetrated deep into the carpet fibers, the carpet pad or the subfloor, and it may even indicate mold and mildew growth.
In cases like these, it's often more cost effective to replace the entire carpet completely in order to fully eliminate the odor or odors.
4. Condition of carpet padding
Carpet padding is like the pillow under the case, the carpet is nothing but a layer of fabric without the padding. It helps support the carpet, working as a foundation and making it comfortable to walk and lay on. It buffers sounds and keeps a room quieter and even improves insulation.
However, carpet padding also absorbs many spills, and cleaning the carpet doesn’t necessarily clean the padding. Signs of old padding include unevenness, wrinkles and a crinkling sound when someone walks over it.
5. Increased allergy symptoms
Often, older carpets catch and retain more allergens and particulate matter, which may cause your allergies to act up. If you notice an increase in allergies, one source may be your older carpet.
A solution before replacing your carpet is to try professional carpet cleaning services. However, depending on the age of the carpet and other factors, it may be more beneficial to your health to replace the carpet. Also, if you choose to replace the flooring, opting for hard surface flooring can help reduce home allergens.
6. Old carpet
Are you still using the 1970s shag carpet that came with your house? Have you had it cleaned several times? Believe it or not, carpet doesn’t last forever, even with good care. Most manufacturers say carpet should last for 10 years with proper care.
After 10 years, signs of wear show on the major walkways and the carpet fibers start losing their texture and tuft. If you find yourself cleaning the carpet over and over and not getting the results you want, it might be time to lay the carpet to rest. Signs of old carpet include color loss, fading, matting, ripples, wrinkles and lack of padding support.
References: Nix, Lacey. Angies List. 6 Signs You Need to Replace Your Carpet. Retrieved November 26, 2016. <www.angieslist.com>