Some damage, like mold and pet waste, can reach the padding and flooring beneath your carpet requiring a full replacement. (Photo: Dreamstime/TNS) .

Eventually, even the best-laid carpets must be replaced. While regular upkeep can increase your carpet’s lifespan, most manufacturers estimate you’ll need a full replacement after about 10 years. And the signs you need to start shopping around aren’t always obvious. Here are a few ways you can tell your carpet is reaching the end.

Stains won’t come out
Whether it’s from spilled wine or a new puppy, there are some stubborn stains that even professional cleaning can’t get rid of. If they’re minor, you can typically hide them with area rugs or furniture. But if the damage is permanent and unsightly, it’s probably time to look for new carpeting. Homeowners typically pay between $760 and $2,540 to replace a carpet, according to the Angie’s List Pricing Guide. Per square foot, carpet materials usually cost an average of $2 to $7, though price can fluctuate depending on quality.

Foul odors won’t go away
If you notice that deep cleans just aren’t banishing the bad smells, that likely means the issue isn’t in your carpet alone _ it could be in the padding or floor beneath the carpet. How you handle the problem depends on the type of smell. If your pet is the root cause of the issue, you’ll likely need a full replacement. If you notice a musty smell, that could mean you have a water or mold problem. In that case, carpet replacement may be necessary after a mold remediation specialist takes a look at things.

There’s visible damage

Carpet damage can range from smaller issues, like a burn mark or two, to extensive problems like the mold damage mentioned above. If there’s just a small area where the carpet is frayed, it’s possible for a flooring pro to help you patch it up. If your entire carpet was flooded with dirty water, or clean water flooding has taken a long time to dry out, replacement is the best course of action. A pro can also let you know if the damage extends to the floor beneath your carpet, and how to fix the problem before it creates bigger problems.

You have increased allergy symptoms
It can be difficult to remove dust, pet dander and pollen that embeds in carpet fibers over time. If you or your loved ones notice more sneezing, itchy eyes or coughing, it may be that the problem is beneath your feet. The Mayo Clinic recommends using a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or opting for linoleum or hardwood if you’re truly concerned. It costs about $180 for carpet cleaning, via the Angie’s List Pricing Guide, and it’s worth a try before replacing the carpet.

The carpet is old
At a certain point, patching and deep-cleaning your carpet isn’t going to do the trick. If you notice matting, fading color or that the padding just doesn’t feel like it’s there anymore, it’s probably time to move on. If you see ripples or wrinkles, it is possible to have your carpet re-stretched. This is a more expensive repair, so discuss with a carpet pro whether or not it makes sense to fix the issue or get a complete replacement.

By Diana Crandall, Angie’s List. Diana Crandall is a reporter for Angie’s List, a trusted provider of local consumer reviews and an online marketplace of services from top-rated providers. Visit