As the premier carpet and flooring company in Charleston, South Carolina, Palmetto Carpet & Floor Coverings knows that no matter how often you clean it or how careful you are with it, eventually the carpet must be replaced. Although carpet care guidelines from the manufacturer estimate the carpet’s life expectancy, however, depending on its wear and tear, a replacement could be sooner than you thought. This article will discuss when to replace your carpet, health issues associated with worn-out carpet, and the types of pests that can live in your South Carolina carpet.

When Should I Consider Replacing the Carpet in My South Carolina Home?

Carpet today is made to last about 5 to 15 years, depending on the quality of the carpet and the padding. However, there are a few signs that your carpet should be replaced.

Matting. One of the first signs that your carpet needs replacement is when you notice that the pile begins to stay matted down in the most frequently trafficked areas. This is especially true for carpets that are made of polyester fibers. Once the pile begins to lay down due to heavy foot traffic, there is not a lot you can do to get it to stand up again. Even getting your carpet professionally cleaned may not do a lot to renew its look.

Stains. If you are moving furniture, rugs, or other items to hide stains, it is probably time to replace the carpet. Even if your carpet has a stain-resistant coating, this treatment gradually fades over time, leaving your carpet vulnerable to stains. It is also important to know that not all stains are created equal.

  • Protein-based stains. These are caused by baby food and formula, cream-or cheese-based foods, eggs, feces, and urine.
  • Oil-Based Stains. These include spots from car grease or motor oil, hair oil and mousse, hand lotion, kitchen grease, butter, bacon, salad dressing, and suntan lotion.
  • Tannin Stains. These include spots from alcoholic drinks, coffee or tea, fruits, soft drinks, and wine. Most jellies also contain tannins, but cherry and blueberry jellies should be treated as dye stains.
  • Dye Stains. These include blueberries, cherries, grass, and mustard. Dye stains can be problematic as dyes are usually meant to stick…and they do.

Worn-out padding. The carpet padding provides a cushion and resilience level and makes your carpet comfortable to walk and sit on. Additionally, the carpet padding also provides a noise buffer as well as insulation for the floor. General wear and tear over time will eventually reduce your carpet padding performance, and once worn out, there are really few options other than replacement. If you begin noticing wrinkles, unevenness, or a crinkling sound under your feet when you walk on certain areas of the carpet, that is also a pretty good indication that the padding may need to be replaced.

Bad smell. If it seems like your carpet carries a lingering unpleasant smell even after it has been cleaned, this could mean the residue from various spills, pet accidents, etc., over the years has penetrated deeply into the carpet fibers or even down into the padding/subfloor itself. Foul odors can also be a sign of mold or mildew, creating significantly bigger problems if left unaddressed. If your carpet seems to retain an unpleasant smell regardless of what you do, it would be in your best interest to have the carpet replaced.

What are Some of the Health Issues Associated with a Worn-out Carpet in South Carolina?

Beyond the aesthetics and the smell, a worn-out carpet can lead to serious health problems.

Increased allergy symptoms. Carpet fibers are magnets for dust, dirt, pet dander, and other allergens. If you notice that your family suffers from frequent colds or allergy symptoms, your carpet might be the issue, especially an older carpet. It is not uncommon for people to experience fewer allergy symptoms after having the carpet replaced.

Respiratory issues. Old, worn-out carpet can cause respiratory issues ranging from simple cough and runny nose to cold-like symptoms, asthma attacks, and adverse allergic reactions. The mold that grows in dirty carpets can produce mycotoxins that make the air in your home unsafe to breathe. Prolonged exposure can go beyond nasal irritation and result in neurotoxicity and hypersensitivity.
Neurotoxicity refers to the damage of the peripheral nervous system caused by exposure to natural or human-made toxic substances. These toxins can alter the activity of the nervous system in ways that can disrupt or kill nerves. Nerves are essential for transmitting and processing information in the brain and other areas of the nervous system.

Skin irritation and infection. A filthy carpet offers a habitat for that can cause redness, itchiness, swelling, or infection. A common but extremely annoying skin condition closely associated with filthy carpets is an athlete’s foot. This contagious fungal infection can be acquired by walking barefoot on a fungi-infested carpet. The fungi exploit cuts and scratches to live and breeds, which cause chronic itching.

Gastrointestinal infections. Children tend to pick things off the floor, eat it, or put their dirty hands inside their mouths. This can transfer bacteria and fungi from the carpets and cause stomach or intestinal infections and other diseases.

What Types of Pests Can Survive in My South Carolina Carpet?

Worn-out carpets are dream habitats for tiny organisms that we do not want in our homes. Dust mites, volatile compounds, and molds multiply rapidly as dirt, pet hair, and human skin cells serve as their food accumulates in a carpet’s fibers. These pests carry harmful germs of their own, exposing you and your family to even more disease-causing microbes.

The types of pests that can live in carpet include:

  • Book Lice. Book lice are tiny insects and are related to true parasitic lice; however, instead of blood and skin, book lice feed on molds, dead insects, that may be found in your carpet.
  • Carpet Beetle. An adult carpet beetle will not cause your home any harm. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of their larvae. Carpet beetle larvae feed on various things containing animal protein, such as wool, feathers, furs, dried milk or cheese, dead insects, and even dander. Though carpet beetles do not bite, hairs on the larvae are irritating to some people. When skin is pressed against the larvae, bite-like lesions may form. Thorough vacuuming and elimination of food sources are usually sufficient to keep carpet beetle numbers low.
  • Bed Bugs. Another guest on the carpet is bed bugs. They cannot fly and are normally found within 15-feet of the bed, usually in the mattress and foundation/box springs, but they favor the carpet’s edge.
  • Silverfish. The shimmery and slithering silverfish is one bug you never want to see indoors. This pest will feast on fabric, paper, glue, and cardboard boxes. Silverfish are survivors—they even predate the dinosaurs—so it can be a challenge to get them out of your home once they are there.

Unpleasant though they may be, every house has dust mites. Because they feed off dead skin cells, dust mites can thrive in any plush surface that can hold tasty particles, whether carpet, upholstery, bedding, or kids’ toys. If any of the above rings true, it may be time to consider replacing the carpet in your home. Palmetto Carpet & Floor Coverings offers a full line of flooring selections such as luxury vinyl flooring, laminate flooring for your home, office, a resort property, or commercial use. Contact Palmetto Carpet & Flooring and allow us to help you make the right decisions for all your flooring projects.