Outdoor carpeting is an inexpensive yet durable option for those who are looking for a way to prettify concrete porches and patio without the expense of installing tiles or stone pavers. It can even provide a nonslip surface around one’s swimming pool.The outdoor carpet is designed to withstand the forces of nature, both the heat and the cold, and last for a long time without constant maintenance. However, there are a few problems that can happen to any carpet. Addressing them properly can help your outdoor carpet soldier on and weather many more seasons.


It is inevitable that over time your outdoor carpet can become crushed in some areas, especially in places where there is a constant traffic pattern. Crushing means that the nap, or the fluffiness of the carpet, becomes flattened in places, making the surface of the outdoor carpet look uneven. Unfortunately, this is a fate that is nearly impossible to avoid; thanks to the durability of outdoor carpet, this fate can only be delayed. However, if you choose outdoor carpets that have a very low nap or a Berber-style carpet, the crushing will not only take longer to happen, but also will be more difficult to detect.


To wick means, according the Merriam Webster Dictionary, “to absorb or drain”; wicking is something that can affect your outdoor carpet. For example, if the outdoor carpet becomes stained and you clean the stain, the moisture from your washing the carpet will dry very quickly from its base to the surface (one of the properties of outdoor carpet). Unfortunately this may mean that the stain may reappear when the surface of the carpet dries, which will require cleaning the carpet again.

A big problem with indoor/outdoor carpet is wicking. Because of the nature of the olefin fibers, they dry extremely quickly from the base upward. You might think you’ve completely removed a stain when it suddenly appears again! This is because the soil and stains sink to the base of the fibers and the backing of the carpet. When the carpet gets wet again, it brings the stains up to the surface as it dries. You might also notice that your carpet looks so much cleaner when wet. This is also an effect of wicking.

The easiest solution for wicking is to vacuum the carpet twice with a powerful vacuum before cleaning. This will pick up more of the dirt that is sitting at the base of the fibers. If you eliminate them before cleaning, they won’t rise to the surface as the carpet dries.

Another way to cut down on wicking is to control the amount of water that you use and use a wet/dry vacuum to suck up the water from the base of the carpet. If you suck up the water with a ShopVac, you will get some of the dirty water up from the carpet backing.

Mildew and Mold

While outdoor carpets are more resistant to this condition than other carpets thanks to their manufacture, mildew and mold may still occur. If an improper backing for the application is used, then the fibers can attract mold and mildew over time. The solution is to choose outdoor carpet which has a marine backing, designed withstand moisture.


If the outdoor carpeting doesn’t have an even and thorough application of adhesive on the back of the carpet, it can curl up over time as air dries it out. Fortunately, this is easy to fix: simply reapply more adhesive.

Turning Gray

Turning gray may be a symptom of an oil stain. If you notice your outdoor carpet turning a little gray, mix some drops of dishwater detergent with oil and scrub the carpet. This will restore its color.

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Author's Bio: 

Graeme Stephens has been running the largest owned carpet cleaning company in new Zealand for 24 years. IICRC qualified "master restoration technician"