Common Carpet Problems

Q: What are some common problems associated with carpeting?


A: When purchasing carpet products, you should be aware that just like all flooring products, there are often different characteristics of carpets that could cause the appearance of that carpet to change over time. They are quite common and should not be cause for concern as they can often be controlled or prevented.


Let me try and provide a brief description of some of them.



Most new carpets contain fibers that come free from the pile with foot traffic or vacuuming. After a few months of regular vacuuming, shedding will diminish.



A static charge can build up when humidity is low, particularly when temperatures outside are colder than those inside. Humidifiers may help control static, but as time goes by, your carpet will hold less of a charge. This is also a common characteristic of older carpets, as newer carpets have been made specifically to no hold charges any longer.



Occasionally loose tufts stand higher than the carpet surface. The solution is easy. Just snip off tufts to create uniform height. Be sure not to tug at the fiber. Tugging can cause permanent damage.



Crushing is the loss of pile thickness because of foot traffic. Crushing is not considered a manufacturing defect unless it is specifically cited in the manufacturer’s warranty. Regular vacuuming may help reduce the crushing that results from traffic. A manufacturers’ definition of crushing may vary.


Texture Surface Retention

Carpet in heavily traveled areas receives the most wear. For better appearance and longer carpet life, try to reduce the amount of traffic on these areas or use small rugs in front of heavily used chairs or furniture. Remove and clean these rugs while vacuuming the primary carpet or rug. You should occasionally move furniture and reverse area rugs. Although some change will eventually occur in the texture of your carpet, reducing the wear on paths and in front of furniture will slow this change.


Depressions or Indentations

The weight of heavy pieces of furniture can cause indentations in carpet. Some depressions may be permanent. Use furniture glides or cups under the legs of heavy pieces, or move your furniture a few inches backward or sideways so that the weight is not concentrated in one place. To remedy depressions, work the carpet pile back into place with your fingertips or the edge of a spoon, then, dampen the area and heat it with a hair dryer, working the fibers with your fingers or a spoon.