What Is Normal Wear and Tear on Carpet?

Are you a landlord or property manager evaluating your units' carpet? Learn what is not and what is considered normal wear and tear on carpet.

Carpet is such a great flooring option for commercial and residential rentals. It’s durable, versatile, and comfortable. But if you’re the one dealing with the aftermath of renters, you know it can also be difficult to maintain. Do you know what is considered normal wear and tear on carpeting? If you’re a landlord or property manager, you’ve probably seen your fair share of carpet issues. Identifying standard carpet wear and tear vs. damage or abuse that the tenant may be responsible for can be tricky.

We’re here to walk you through a few different situations to help you the next time you do a property walk-through.

What Does High-Traffic Carpet Wear and Tear Look Like?

High-traffic areas see more feet coming and going, and are going to be dirtier, more stained, and become worn faster. Carpets wear because the particulate soils that we track on to it every day are abrasive to the carpet fiber.  These soils act like sandpaper and create abrasion which causes the fibers to look dull in the traffic areas.  As shoes repeatedly push down, carpet fibers will break down over time. And it’s not just foot traffic – dragging suitcases, toys, furniture and other items across the floor damages carpet fibers in the same way.

To help prevent this from happening consider the following

  1. Install heavy duty walk off mats at the entrance to the home
  2. Always transition from outside to inside to a hard surface.  Place a walk off matt at the front of the door
  3. Vacuum traffic areas a least twice a week. With a good CRI green label approved dual motor vacuum

If you see extra wear and tear in one area over another, and it’s in what seems like a major thoroughfare through the home or property, it’s probably high-traffic damage.

What Are Other Common Types of Carpet Damage?

Besides wear, the three most common types of damage to carpet are stains, rips and burns.

Let’s break it down:

  • Stains
    Food is a major contributor to carpet stains, as are accidents from pets and kids. Bigger issues come from grease that comes in on shoes from parking lots, garages and workshops, as well as paints and stains from apartment improvement projects.
  • Rips
    How does carpet rip? Dragging heavy furniture over it without lifting it properly. Also, chewing and clawing dogs and cats are common causes. Older carpeting with long-term wear will be more susceptible to rips and tears.
  • Burns
    The most common cause of carpet burns is cigarettes. Burns can also happen from cooking accidents and sparks and embers flying from fireplaces. Other causes include fallen candles, illicit drug use, and accidents with hot appliances like clothes irons and curling irons.

How Can You Tell the Difference Between Wear and Tear and Abuse?

A deep cleaning and remediation specialist will be able to easily distinguish between normal wear and tear and negligence or abuse. Below, we’ve listed some tips for assessing your carpeting.

Signs of normal wear and tear:

  • Carpet that is gently worn in high-traffic areas or well-worn in properties where the carpet is aging
  • Fading carpet due to age or exposure to sunlight

Signs of damage from negligence or abuse:

  • Carpet that is extremely stained from pets and spills
  • Rips and tears that are not in high-traffic areas, or that are obviously from a specific incident
  • Burns from cigarettes or candles, out of the way of fireplaces

Our Professional Carpet Cleaning Services

As a landlord or property manager, what can you do with carpet that looks terrible when a tenant moves out? The good news is Rainbow International is ready to professionally perform the carpet cleaning that your rental units need.

With state-of-the-art equipment, hard-working products and experienced IICRC-certified technicians, we’ll have your carpet cleaned, steamed and protected in time for you to impress the next tenant.

Choose Rainbow. Schedule your rental units’ next carpet cleaning online or call (855) 724-6269 to get started.