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How Often Should You Replace Carpet? Signs & Maintenance

A Person Vacuuming a Carpet

It can be difficult to know when to replace a carpet because so many factors impact a carpet’s lifespan. Generally speaking, carpet should be replaced between 5–15 years after the installation, but different factors like pets, children, and water damage may require you to change it sooner.

To learn more about how often you should replace carpet, including signs that it’s time for your carpet to go, keep reading. This guide can help you to determine if it’s time to get your carpet changed out.

house divider How Often Should You Replace Carpet Explained

Based on wear and tear alone, carpets should be replaced every 5–15 years after installation. The reason for this is that carpet fibers can become matted and frayed within only 3–5 years after installation. By the 15-year mark, the carpet fibers are definitely worn down and need to be replaced.

That being said, how often you should replace your carpet ultimately depends on your home, lifestyle, and the carpet itself. For example, some carpets may need to be changed after three years, whereas others may last 20 years. So, the 5–15 year answer is just an estimate based on the average carpet lifespan.

person's hand cleaning stain on carpet with sponge
Image By: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

Signs It’s Time to Change Your Carpet

Because there is no hard-fast rule about when it’s time to change your carpet, it’s important to be able to recognize your carpet and its need to be replaced. The best way to do this is to look for the following signs. These signs prove that it’s time to change your carpet.

Mold and Mildew

If you have undergone serious water damage, you might want to go ahead and replace your carpet. Especially if you see mold and mildew in different areas of your carpet, definitely replace the entire carpet immediately. Even if you only see a little bit of mold or mildew, it is a hazard for the entire carpet.

Mold is incredibly dangerous and sometimes deadly to individuals with allergies, asthma, and severe mold allergies. It’s best to conduct frequent inspections to confirm there is no mold growing on your floor or carpet. As soon as you detect visible signs of mold or a musty smell, get your carpet replaced to protect your family.


Carpet is really only designed to last 5–15 years. Consequently, it begins showing signs of wear and tear as little as 3 years after installation. Unavoidable wear and tear includes matting, fraying, and compacted or flat carpet areas. If you see excessive wear and tear throughout many areas in your home, it’s time to change out your carpet.

A burned hole in an old stained brown carpet
Image By: Lisa_A, Shutterstock


If there are only one or two stains throughout your home, your carpet is in pretty good condition. However, it’s time to change your carpet out if the stains are distracting from the home and unremovable. A stained carpet will decrease the value of your home and make it appear less clean, even if it is clean.


Carpets hold onto many smells after years of use. After all, carpet is exposed to allergens, dirt, feet, and sometimes food. If you notice that your carpet has a smell you can’t get rid of, it means it’s time to replace the carpet.

How to Maintain Your Carpet

Getting your carpet replaced is expensive. So that you don’t have to get it replaced constantly, it’s best to maintain your carpet from the time it is installed to the time you get it replaced. Here are the top three maintenance tips to keep your carpet clean and smelling fresh for a long time:

Clean Routinely

At the very minimum, make sure to clean your carpet routinely. Vacuum on a weekly basis and use a carpet cleaner at least once a year. If you have children and pets in the home, consider vacuuming and cleaning more frequently. You will especially need to clean the carpet with it more if you have kids running around the house.

person wearing blue gloves cleaning the carpet
Image By: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

Address Spills ASAP

The worst thing you can do is allow spills to sit and soak up in your carpet. As soon as a spill happens, clean it up as soon as possible using an appropriate cleaner. Make sure to use a cleaner that is safe for your carpet type, and don’t scrub, or else you could damage the fibers.

For best results, don’t allow food or drinks outside of the kitchen. This will help to prevent any future spills that could cause unsightly stains on your carpet.

person wearing blue hand gloves cleaning the carpet
Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock

Use Rugs in High-Traffic Areas

Even with extensive cleaning and care, the carpet will be matted down from walking and pressure. You can help to prevent this by using area rugs in high-traffic areas. You can consider putting rugs in children’s bedrooms, hallways, stairs, and living rooms. The rugs will also help to catch any stains that may occur.

house divider Final Thoughts

Most carpet experts recommend replacing your carpet every 5–15 years since the carpet is generally not designed to withstand use any longer.

That being said, it’s best to be aware of the signs of damage so you can replace your carpet when it’s actually needed. For example, excessive stains, smells, and mold all point to your carpet needing to be replaced.

So that your carpet lasts for as long as possible, make sure to maintain it properly. Clean it routinely, pick up stains, and use area rugs strategically. You will still need to replace your carpet after some time, but at least you didn’t have to replace it sooner.

Featured Image Credit: Liliana Drew, Pexels


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