Why is my carpet going bald?
January 23, 2023 11:15 AM   Subscribe

I only noticed this morning: the carpet in my bedroom has developed a bald patch. What might have caused it?

Pictures here, here and here.
  • I think this has maybe happened over the last couple of months.
  • The area affected is maybe 10 inches by 4 inches.
  • It's in a bedroom, next to a pair of PVC doors.
  • The upper floor of a two-storey house.
  • I'm in the UK. The doors have very seldom been open over the winter, but if I do open the doors I'll likely open the one by the bald patch.
  • No obvious signs of any infestation.
  • There aren't any other bald patches, but the area around the bald patch is notably stiff rather than soft, and there's a lot of what seems like dust in the carpet around that area.
  • We have a dog, but he never goes upstairs.
  • The underlay below the bald patch seems perfect. So does the back of the carpet.
  • I don't detect any obvious odour.
  • The carpet was here when we moved in, but I'd guess it's maybe 10 years old.
posted by Beverley Westwood to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Has anyone spot cleaned that location? Some cleaning products can do this, especially if it is a synthetic carpet.
posted by forbiddencabinet at 11:24 AM on January 23

Is the rug wool? Is it possible there are moths? They generally prefer dark areas, like closets. I had a box parked in a corner on a wool rug for a couple of months, thus making that area of the rug a dark area, and when I moved it a few months later there were numerous bald patches. I had moths in a nearby closet and didn't know it.
posted by citygirl at 11:40 AM on January 23 [3 favorites]

Did you get a new vacuum cleaner? Could be that the carpet’s been on its way out for a while and vigorous vacuuming finally did it in.
posted by mskyle at 1:49 PM on January 23 [1 favorite]

Looks to me like the fibers which make up the pile on your carpet were moderately pilled by design to begin with, and in the bare patches the few remaining pile fibers are in much bigger pills.

I think this could be due to standing in place as you make a twisting or pivoting motion with your feet as you open a door.
posted by jamjam at 2:25 PM on January 23

Does the sun shine in through those doors? If so, sun damage.
posted by magicbus at 5:53 PM on January 23

Does the bottom of the door scrape the carpet when it opens?

Or, any chance the dog does go upstairs when you’re out, and then scratches at that area?

Does a patch of sunlight land there for part of the day and the UV is frying the carpet?
posted by pseudostrabismus at 6:58 PM on January 23

Previous owners may have used the door more than you, or had a pet accident there, used spot treatments to keep that area clean, time and sunlight have reacted to the spot cleaner = disintegration of whatever holds it all together, vacuuming takes a bit more each time, and now it’s just shot. Enjoy the new carpet that you get to pick out!
posted by sageleaf at 8:10 PM on January 23

Does that area get a lot of sun? UV can degrade some fibers.

My other thought is someone at one time used a cleaning product that was not compatible with the fiber.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:27 PM on January 23

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