Traffic patterns are found in the main walk areas of the home where you can see a distinguishable path, of where you walk, from one area of your home to another. These are commonly located near the front door, in hallways, or in front of the couch where you put your feet when you sit down. Traffic areas that do not lighten after cleaning are a sign of damage. The carpet fibers have been worn and frayed apart in these areas. When they don’t improve with cleaning it’s time to replace the carpet.
When a carpet is matted it is not something that can be fixed with cleaning. As carpet fibers are walked on over time they start to fray apart. Individual strands of the yarn pull apart, and as this continues they mat together, like the hair on a shaggy dog, when not brushed regularly. When it gets to a certain point the only thing left to do is shave the dog. When your carpets get to this point the only thing you can do is replace it.
Is there tears or is the carpet unraveling in different areas? Sometimes rips are something that can be repaired, but if the carpet has multiple tears, or is starting to unravel it is time to replace it.
A heavy odor that won’t respond to treatment?
Believe it or not, an odor doesn’t always mean the carpet is done for. If the carpet still looks pretty good then it may be salvageable. There are many products on the market now that allow cleaners to get out odors that you would think are impossible. Before cleaning get a black light to check the walls and vents in your home in the evening when it is dark. Urine will show up under a blacklight, and you may need to wash down your walls, baseboards, or have your vents cleaned. If the carpet isn’t that old than it is worth attempting odor removal before replacing the carpet. Treating for odor can take a few treatments. Make sure you check with the company you hire to see what their policy is on pet odor treatment. We will return as many times as needed within 30 days to treat for pet odor. If you decide to replace the carpet you may need to treat the floor with Killz to seal it before you lay new carpet. Killz will prevent odors in the wood from coming up into the house.
Stains that won’t go away
If you have a stain that won’t go away it really depends on your preference as to whether you replace it or not. If the carpet isn’t that old, doesn’t look matted, and hasn’t developed traffic patterns it still has a lot of life in it. You can choose to repair the carpet by having a professional come and cut out the spot and patch in a new piece of carpet in that area. They can do this by cutting a piece of carpet from a closet and trading the two, or if you have a piece of carpeting left over from your install. If they are good you shouldn’t be able to see the lines in the patch. If there are a bunch and they are really bothering you, you can either cover them with a rug or choose to replace the carpet. Carpets that are extremely spotted, and showing the wear and tear mentioned above should be replaced. Treating spots as soon as they happen is the best way to prevent permanent stains.
If there are multiple stains that won’t come out with cleaning, then it may be time to consider replacing.
When I came home from work last night my wife was trying to clean our carpets because our cat peed on them. You stated that if the carpet isn’t that old than it is worth attempting odor removal before replacing the carpet. Do most carpet companies offer regular cleaning services for the carpets that they installed?
I completely agree that if your carpet isn't that old, it's worth attempting to salvage it before replacing it. It kind of seems like most stains and odors can be removed with the right tools and assistance. However, I don't think that should deter anyone from getting something new installed if that's what you want.
It's great to know when to replace carpet. Our second floor carpet hasn't ever been replaced, and it is starting to look matted, like you mentioned. If that can't be fixed with a cleaning, I guess we will need to look at new carpet!
It's good to know that matted carpet isn't something that can be fixed through cleaning. Some of the higher trafficked areas of my home have matted carpet. I'd previously considered having it cleaned to see if that help, but now I'll save my time and look at having it replaced instead.
The Pristine Carpet Cleaning family has been professionally cleaning carpets, and upholstery for over 35 years. Earlier in 2011, the boys came home from the US Marine Corps and decided they wanted to start cleaning carpets again. So, Ed the owner came out of retirement and started Pristine Carpet Cleaning. Ed's wife Ginger, and daughter Joni also joined the team.