Landlord's Guide to Replacing Carpet & Flooring
How to Save BIG on Carpet & Padding Costs
The purpose of installing padding under carpet is to provide a soft cushion of comfort when walked on, to support and protect the carpet from excessive wear and abrasion, and prevent the carpet from losing its "stretch" prematurely.
"When you need to replace the carpet in an apartment or rental home you will often need new pad too. But there may be times when you can save money on padding by reusing some or all of the pad if it is still in good condition."
Padding is rated two ways, by thickness (height) and by density (weight).
The thickness of padding does not represent the quality. The quality of pad is always determined by density, and is measured in pounds. The more dense a pad, the better the quality (For example A 6-pound pad is better quality than a 3-pound pad). A dense padding has more matter and less air, and provides more support.
Installing a higher quality pad can extend the life span of any carpet significantly, and may allow you to save some money in the long run. Low-density padding contains more air and less matter, and will only last a year or two before it becomes noticeably deteriorated and becomes flat. Padding prices will vary depending mainly on the basis of density, not by thickness.
Sometimes it is possible to reuse the old pad that is under your existing carpet if it is in good condition, provided it has not deteriorated, and it has enough resiliency or density left in it to support your carpet properly. You or your maintenance person can easily determine if your existing pad is re-usable. Don’t rely solely on a carpet installer or retail salesperson to determine this for you, as they may not have your best interests in mind.
If your padding has noticeable odors from pet urine that have soaked through, you will have to replace the pad. It would also be a good idea to seal the sub-floors with a paint/sealer product designed to help cover the odor permanently, prior to installing new padding.
In order to you to determine if your pad is reusable, you must be able to inspect all of it. After the old carpet has been removed, carefully inspect the pad, especially in the high traffic areas. You are looking to see if the pad has deteriorated or flattened. It is supposed to be spongy under foot. Step on the pad. It should feel like it has some spring left in it.
If it has become flat and lifeless you will need to replace some or all of it. Areas that have limited signs of wear can be used again. Compare the hallway padding with the padding in a closet to see what the difference is, as the padding in a closet should be practically like new since it is a very low traffic area. This will give you a good reference for comparison purposes.
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