When to replace your area rug

Even if grandma gave you her heirloom handmade rug, it may be time to take Elsa’s advice and “Let it go.” Even with the best care, rugs, no matter how well made, do not last forever. There are a number of signs and signals you may be ignoring that are your floor’s way of saying, “Replace me, please.” This is especially true if the rug is over 10 years old.

There are a number of steps that you can take in order to extend the life of your carpet. These include vacuuming at least once a week and spot cleaning as necessary. In addition, you should also rotate and have your area rug professionally cleaned at least once a year. When these steps fail to solve the problems or improve the look of your floor, then it is time to consider a replacement.

Probably the most obvious sign that your rug needs to be replaced is when signs of wear begin to show on the major walkways and the carpet fibers start losing their texture and tuft. Additionally, you should also look out for color loss, fading, matting, ripples, wrinkles and lack of padding support. There are only so many times you can move the furniture in order to cover up problem areas.

Another sign that it is time to replace your rug is when no one dares to sit or walk on it because it stinks. Even if you have pets, deep cleaning should be able to remove the odor. If a professional cleaning does not help, and/or you live in an area that is prone to high humidity, it may be time for a new rug. The carpet and/or the padding under it may be growing mold or mildew. These are difficult to get rid of and it is usually easier to replace the offending object. In addition to mold and mildew, older rugs also tend to retain more allergens. Therefore, if you notice an increase in allergies, one source may be your older carpet as it may have collected too many allergens and pollen and may be aggravating your nose, mouth, and/or eyes.

While the many stains that your rug has accrued over time may have turned it from a traditional to a modern rug that is probably not the look you are going for. The rug can only be cleaned so many times before the fibers start to give way and the stains no longer come out. Bleach, plant food, tea, wine, and mustard are the toughest stains to remove. Couple that with shoddy DIY stain-removal methods and store-bought carpet-cleaning products that can actually damage carpet with harsh chemicals and you have a recipe that results in the purchase of a new rug. Plus, biological stains including urine, feces, and vomit must be cleaned quickly or they will be absorbed and cause additional problems beyond the actual stain.

Be sure to also check and replace the padding under the rug as it is just as important, if not more so than the rug itself.