How long should your carpet last?
According to the Good Carpet Guide, carpets are used in our homes for heat insulation and sound insulation, but today they have become the preferred products for decoration and comfort purposes too.
To extend the life of your carpets, avoid using the wrong methods. Especially strong chemical carpet cleaning products, and aggressive treatment, which can damage your carpets.
Extending the life of your carpet is all about you. The better you care about your carpet, the longer it will last. If you use them carefully and maintain them properly, your carpets will be more vivid, soft, and last for many years.
How To Make Your Carpets Last Longer
First of all, you should do your best to keep soiling off your carpet in the first place. Around 80% of soils are deposited onto carpets by feet. Taking shoes off at the door, using entry mats and avoiding using dark socks and bare feet (skin oils attract dirt), will make a big difference.
Next, regularly care for your carpets every week.
This means vacuuming at least weekly and preferably twice per week. Also, deal with any spots immediately they appear (a reputable carpet cleaner will be able to provide you with a safe and effective spotter that will not harm your carpet.) Spots become stains over time and eventually become permanent.
The sooner you act, the better the chance of getting spots out.
Professional cleaning of your carpet makes them last longer
DuPont, one of the worlds’ largest carpet manufacturers recommend regular professional cleaning. And the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification recommend cleaning every 9 to 18 months for normal use home carpets.
In over 30 years of experience, I’ve found that every 1 to 2 years is about right for most people. Busy homes with children and pets may need more.
Carpets should always be treated with one of the many stain and soil retardants because these will make cleaning and daily maintenance easier and more effective.
Who can make them last longer?
Choosing the right cleaning company is also important. Some have little or no technical training or practical knowledge. Some use inappropriate equipment and methods. Others use cheap chemicals (these can be very harmful to carpets and children and pets).
Choosing the right carpet cleaner will pay for itself over time as proper care can more than double the life of a carpet (4 times as long is not unheard of).
So how long should you expect a carpet to last?
Again, according to the Good Carpet Guide, a ‘Budget’ carpet is the cheapest and lowest quality of carpet, and the expected lifespan is between 3 and 5 years, depending on how it’s cared for.
A moderate, slightly higher quality carpet has a designed lifespan of 5 to 15 years. The lifetime of the best carpet on the market varies between 15 and 25 years on average.
The lifespan of your carpet generally depends on how the carpet is used and maintained over the years. You can extend the life of your carpet if you give it the right care.
Which fibres last longest?
Polyester Carpet Fibres: These are not in a structure that can provide you with the durability you want as much as nylon and wool fibres. Once crushed and worn out, it is very difficult to restore. Regardless of your efforts, it is unlikely to return to its original shape.
Nylon Carpet Fibres: Nylon responds well to regular vacuuming and cleaning. It holds stain retardants well and will last a long time, keeping a good look. Nylon is often added to wool for this reason.
Wool Carpet Fibres: Wool is usually regarded as the best quality fibre for carpeting. It cleans well, releases spots and soils well, and keeps its’ appearance for many years. Wool carpets tend to be made well and because of the quality will last longer.
Olefin Carpet Fibres: Olefin or polypropylene is a thermoplastic fibre similar to nylon and polyester, but is more resilient and stain-resistant. It is often sold as ‘bleach cleanable’, although I strongly advise against doing this for health reasons. A good quality olefin will last very well but can show traffic area wear in heavily used areas. It is an oleophilic fibre (meaning it loves oily soils). This means it can look dirty quite quickly and is more stubborn to clean. It generally needs cleaning more often. A carpet cleaner who knows his trade will be able to clean olefin well.
So, How Long Should Your Carpets Last Then?
While there is no definitive answer to the question of how long a carpet should last, it is common sense that a cheap carpet will not last nearly as long as a more expensive quality carpet. A heavily used carpet will not last as long as a rarely used carpet. A neglected carpet will not last as long as a well – cared for carpet. And a professionally cleaned and protected carpet will last longest of all.
I’ve seen a nice Axminster carpet still looking good after 45 years. I have a client who still has the same carpet, installed in 1990, and it still looks good after 30 years. I’ve also seen carpets that are only 2 years old that have had it. And I’ve refused to clean them because it really isn’t going to make much difference.
If you follow the advice in this article, you’ll give your carpets the best possible chance of looking great for many years. Considering the cost and hassle of replacement, looking after your carpets makes great financial sense too.