What Is Normal Wear and Tear on Carpet?

While carpet for commercial properties and residential rentals carpet is a great option because it is durable, versatile, and comfortable; it can be difficult to maintain. 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 stains and damage. Identifying standard carpet wear and tear vs. damage or abuse that the tenant may be responsible for can be tricky.

The next time you do a property walk through it is important to keep the answers to some of these questions in mind.


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. Utilize heavy duty welcome 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 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 and beverage spills are a major contributor to carpet stains, as are accidents from pets and kids. Bigger challenges come from grease that comes in on shoes from parking lots, garages and workshops, as well as paints and stains from rennovation projects.

  • Rips How does carpet rip? Dragging heavy furniture over carpet without lifting it properly. Older carpeting with long-term wear will be more likely to sustain 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?

When put under a 40x microscope, a deep cleaning and restoration technician 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

Our Professional Carpet Cleaning Services

As a landlord or property manager, what can you do with carpet that looks in bad shape when a tenant moves out? This is where professionally carpet cleaning can help. Many stains and soiling can be addressed by professionals.

8 views0 comments