When installing new carpet padding most people wonder if the existing padding can be reused. The truth is that it depends completely on the type and condition of the carpet padding. Most padding will become worn, dirty, or smelly after several years of use. However, if your carpet padding is relatively new you may be able to reuse it. Consider the following guidelines when deciding whether you should toss it or save it.
Dirt and Odors cannot be Removed
Because carpet padding is very fragile and can easily fall apart it is almost impossible to clean. If you find that the padding has spots, stains, or an unnatural odor, it should be tossed. After all, the dirt and stains you see are only a portion of the germs that will be embedded deep in the fibers. Spraying a dirty pad with Lysol will not kill all of the germs and the smell will likely come back very quickly.
Consider Wear and Tear
The purpose of carpet padding is to pad the floor under your carpet. If you have had the same padding for 10 years there is probably very little bounce or pad left in the material. You may want to take a tape measure and measure how thick the padding is. You should also look for thin spots or areas that are thinner than others. A rule of thumb would be; make sure you have at least one-quarter inch of padding consistently across the floor. If your current padding does not provide this it is time to replace it.