Should You Clean Or Replace Your Carpet?

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If your carpet is a few years old, particularly if you have pets or young children, you've probably seen your share of stains and cleaning challenges. There will come a time when you are wondering whether it is better to have your carpet cleaned or replaced. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.

Age of the Carpet

Depending on the material it's made from, your carpet might be expected to last anywhere from one to 25 years. Polyester and olefin carpets tend to get matted down within a few years, and a professional cleaning might not perk them back up again. On the other hand, nylon carpets can look nearly new for ten years, so if you have some flattening or mild staining on your nylon carpet, a good cleaning might rejuvenate them and make them useful (and attractive) for more time. (Keep in mind that the higher quality materials you choose when replacing a carpet, the longer the carpet will look good and function well.)

Types of Stains

Any carpet with a lot of staining (of any kind) might be past its prime, as the stain-resistant coating will wear off within the first few years of a carpet's life. Certain stains, however, are more difficult to remove than others, even by professional carpet cleaning companies. For example, while biological substances like vomit and urine can be cleaned fairly easily, sometimes the substance will seep into the carpet pad below, causing staining well below the surface of the carpet fibers themselves. Bleach, ink and grease stains can be extremely difficult to remove.

If you have difficult stains but your carpet has not reached the end of its lifespan, hiring a professional carpet cleaner will give you a better chance of having the stains removed or lessened than trying to handle the situation yourself.

Safety Considerations

If you have small children or pets, you might be understandably leery of having your carpets professionally cleaned. Some of the chemicals used might be harmful for little people or animals who are walking, crawling, rolling and playing on the floor. Many companies have green carpet cleaning options, however. When you call to inquire about services, be sure to mention that you would like non-toxic cleaners used for the safety of your children and pets.

When the time comes to replace your carpet, you'll need to decide whether to go with a new carpet, tile, hardwood or some other flooring material. Again, there are some safety considerations to keep in mind. For example, tile is hard on small knees and heads, so if you have young kids, slips and falls can become more dangerous.

New carpet can cause "off-gassing," which is the leeching of chemicals into the air. This can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea is susceptible individuals, including children. Venting and airing out your home for a few days after having new carpet installed can minimize reactions, but be aware that off-gassing can occur for months to years after new carpet installation.

Making Your Decision

Deciding whether to replace your carpet is a question that has financial, aesthetic and, sometimes, safety-related repercussions. One way to decide is to talk to a professional carpet cleaner. He or she can tell you whether certain stains are likely to come out, depending on what they are from and how long they have been there. The pro can also often guess how old a carpet is and how much life it has left, if you are unsure. You can decide beforehand whether certain stains are dealbreakers when it comes to keeping your carpet, and if it's unlikely that the stains can be removed, you can opt for replacing the flooring instead. Contact a company like Southwest Chem-Dry for more information.