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Polypropylene Carpet – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

March 16, 2021

The carpet that is overwhelmingly being used in the new estates popping up around Penrith, including Ropes Crossing, Jordan Springs, Glenmore Park Ridge, Mulgoa Rise etc is polypropylene.

With an increased frequency, I’m being asked by some of the property managers I do work for, to have a look if anything can be done to improve the appearance of the carpet, usually after a tenant has vacated and had another business do the carpet cleaning. Sometimes the issue is the quality of the carpet cleaner used to do the job as there are ALOT of poor quality sub-contractor carpet cleaners around at the moment, but perhaps the most frequent issue is the unsuitability of the carpet selected.

Polypropylene has some redeeming features. It can’t be bleached, won’t fade in sunlight, it’s relatively inexpensive and can’t be dye stained. My recommendation of use for this carpet is to lay it in rental properties where there is a high likelyhood of needing replacement within 2-3 years of it being layed – because the tenants are likely to abuse it. Abusive tenants, and some suburbs are rife with with them, are going to destroy anything you lay. The new suburbs and estates where I’m seeing this carpet being layed do not typically have these types of tenants.

So what is the issue?

Polypropylene has very little resilience. In other words, it won’t bounce back into it’s original form after being bent, compressed or stretched. Carpet undergoes a significant amount of stress as a floor covering from foot traffic, and furniture. Traffic will tend to compress or fold the fibre, and when light reflects off crushed/bent pile, it creates an inconsistent appearance – which can make it look dirty.

The other issue is that this polypropylene has a very low melting point, so low in fact that simply sliding a lounge suit or chair across it will permanently distort the fibre. These typically look like dark, dirty streaks on a carpet. I can’t count the amount of times I have gone to inspect a rental polypropylene carpet where another carpet cleaner has been in, and DAYS later, these distorted streaks are still wet because the cleaner thought they were dirty marks, and over-cleaned them.

Polypropylene is a cheap floor finish, and you only ever get what you pay for. If you are serious about the longevity and maintenance of carpet in your new home, send me through an email and I’ll give you some recommendations from a carpet cleaners perspective.

Dark marks indicate pile distortion from furniture dragging.
Dark marks indicate pile distortion from furniture dragging.