Berber Carpet Problems

Berber carpet problems are most common with the cheaper fibers used to make the Berber-style carpeting. Olefin and PET fibers have the worst track record and reputation for Berber carpet. Some problems with Berber carpet can be reduced, and maybe even avoided, with careful and frequent care and cleaning. Keep high heels and long pet toenails away from Berber carpet. Clean stains immediately. And consider wool or nylon fiber for your Berber carpet.

What is the most popular choice for carpeting today? Berber carpet. This carpeting is installed in new homes more often than any other carpeting on the market. It is important, however, that you learn more about Berber carpeting to ensure that you are getting the best value for your money and so you do not run across many of the common Berber carpet problems. Berber is the style of the weave of carpet, rather than the fiber, so it is important that you choose the right fiber of Berber carpet for your home.

Fibers are the most important part of any carpet. Several different fibers are used in making Berber carpet. Choosing quality fiber for your carpet can help you avoid having many of the problems associated with Berber carpet. Wool and nylon Berber is highly recommended for many reasons over the olefin, PET (recycled pop bottles) and other kinds of Berber carpeting. If you buy quality wool or nylon Berber carpet now you could be saving yourself money and heartache in the long run because they are more durable than other fibers. What are some problems with Berber carpet that is not 100% nylon or wool that consumers talk about?
One of the most common problems with Berber carpet, especially the non-wool or non-nylon fibers carpets, is the difficulty in removing stains and keeping the carpet clean from normal wear and tear. It also has a tendency to turn grayish, yellowish, or brownish after cleaning. It may look beautiful and appealing on the roll, but if it is not 100% wool or nylon Berber carpeting then you will probably not be satisfied with it in the long run.
Another common problem that occurs in olefin Berber carpeting is attributed to its low flashpoint. This means that it has a low tolerance for things like furniture being drug across it. Sometimes something as simple as scooting your couch or ottoman can cause scorch or melt marks on this inferior carpeting. Scorch marks are impossible to remove from anything, including carpeting. And once melted, there’s nothing that can be done to resurrect it.
Berber carpet problems can also include raveling. This can occur if you have pets that get their nails caught in the loops or if a high heel catches a loop of the Berber carpeting. Once you have a loop that has come out of the carpet backing, you are likely to have the entire carpet unravel.
Another thing that can be a problem with Berber carpet is the feel of it. The 100% nylon or wool carpeting will feel soft to the touch, but the other kinds may feel scratchy, rough and hard. If you have children who crawl around on the floor, this can be a huge sticking point with you. Inferior Berber carpeting fibers can also be crushed more readily and will not regain their shape. This usually occurs when furniture is put on the carpeting and left for a while, but can also occur with normal traffic, especially on stairs. Frequent cleaning will reduce the crushing problem, but it’s still only a matter of time before the inferior fibers lose their life and oomph.
Learning about the problems that can occur with Berber carpet will enable you to make a more informed decision about this investment in your home. Most problems can be attributed to the inferior olefin or PET fibers, though, so if you choose quality 100% nylon or wool Berber carpet then the problems should be few and far between.

48 thoughts on “Berber Carpet Problems”

  1. How can I seal the edges of berber carpet scrap(s) to make RV rugs? The material is synthetic, not wool. Would heat (steam iron/soldering iron) work?

  2. Hello. I just recently moved into an apartment that has berber carpet. I do not know if it is wool, nylon or plastic. I seems soft to the feet & when they cleaned it, they used steam & a “green” safe bleach. I have a small poodle, he doesn’t shed. My problem is that my feet are black after walking on it. That is why they re-cleaned it. The manager has told me that is a problem with berber is some sort of oily substance they use in it. Myself & my dog have had irritated sinus problems. Can you give me any info on this “oily/black feet” syndrom?
    thank you,

  3. Hi Chris,
    I have heard of this problem with olefin Berber. Olefin is a petroleum based plastic (think plastic soda pop bottles). The stain doesn’t set in completely because of what the material is. If the carpet cleaner uses an acid rinse, this will help and hopefully get rid of the problem for good.
    I’ve also heard of this happening because of furnace and/or duct work issues. Basically, soot & dirt can be in the air because of faulty heating system and/or dirt and soot being in the ductwork. Sometimes it can mean the furnace needs to be replaced, sometimes just the ductwork needs cleaned.
    How old is the carpet? Does the landlord know exactly what type of carpet it is?

  4. HELP! We just moved in to a place in Santa Monica, CA and the cream colored berber carpet which looks new and clean leaves a black residue on our feet. We washed our feet 3 times in one day! It even accumulated on our dogs paws. It does wash off fairly easily, but when you walk across the light colored kitchen and bathroom tile, it leaves black prints. I can’t imagine this could be healthy either. What is the cause and what can be done short of replacing the carpet? Thanks a bunch and maybe we can get to the bottom of this as a group in communication.

  5. I just moved into an apartment with berber carpet. The feel of it is so rough that I can’t walk on it in bare feet because it tear the skin off the soles of my feet. Also the carpet stains my feet black. It has been steam cleaned twice by the complex but it still makes my feet black. I have lupus which means my immune system is compromised. Could there be some kind of toxins in the dye which can get into the raw skin on the soles of my feet? Also my 12 y/o dog likes to roll on her back, scratching herself on carpet. This berber is taking the fur off her spine. We’ve only been here for 3 weeks and she’s bald and my feet are perpetually sore and black. Even my white socks turn black. Please help me with some information that I can take to my landlord. They knew that this carpet “bled” before I moved in here and have replaced the carpet in other units. I like berber, having had white berber in the home I still own, but it wasn’t hard and scratchy with little hard fibers sticking me like pins.
    Thank you.


  7. I am having similar problems with the berber carpets in my apartment. My son is 9 months old crawling on the carpet turong his knees, legs, and feet BLACK! Could there be health issues along with the carpets. He has been sick since we moved into the place and me carpets have been cleaned 3 times by professionals!

  8. I’ve experienced that black transferring from the carpet to my skin, though not with Berber carpeting. I’m wondering if it’s the residue from carpet cleaning that’s attracted dirt and grime. I’m not sure, but I agree with you it’s probably not good.

  9. We have a major carpet problem. It’s Olefin with foam underlay. The carpet is 15 yrs. old and is reeking. We don’t wear shoes in the house. We have a dog, but if he is wet, he stays put in the kitchen until dry. We pulled back a section of carpet to pull out the underlay – it crumbled in our hands. We steam cleaned the carpet ourselves and then had it professionally cleaned as well. The air currents are still wafting up noxious sour odours. I’m getting severe headaches now when I sit on the sofa. We don’t own the unit – it’s a rental co-op. Should I bring health inspectors in? The co-op is just about bankrupt, but I can’t live like this.
    Bette – Ottawa, Canada

  10. OK, I’ll do that. If I have to, I’ll get a letter from my doctor. I’ll also try to find out when landlords are legally required to change carpeting. The foam underlay is also bunching up in what I call ‘lunar lumps’. Thanks for your help.

  11. I spoke with a carpet rep today. He laid these carpets 15 yrs. ago. He said that there is a 10-yr. lifespan for the carpet, that it was an early version of PET carpeting (EP2) and that the carpet and the latex backing was breaking down. A health inspector came over today and because our carpets are not stained and our place was ‘clean looking’, he said that he could detect no health concerns. He did not know anything about latex or carpet fiber breakdowns. He kept talking about off-gassing. I kept saying that it’s not ‘new’ off-gassing that I was concerned about. He did not seem curious at all to do research into problems associated with aging carpets and health. Frustrating beyond belief!

  12. I am having the same issue with a commercial grade carpet that my Husband decided to get for our bedrooms because it was cheaper. Our feet are completely ruined from it. Our big toes have torn skin, as if someone were taking a cheese grater to them. I thought it was just normal wear, or from me not pumicing, but our feet look identical. I can’t believe a carpet could mess up our feet like this! Also, the cuts in our feet snag on the carpet, and then start to bleed. It is madness! Here is a tip, always go with residential carpet at home, don’t be cheap, now we’re out the money for the commercial carpet if we replace it, so it cost us way more in the long run.


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