wrinkles in carpet

Wrinkles, buckles, ripples, waves, or bubbles in the carpet are all descriptive words used by our customers to describe the visual effects of loose carpet. Sometimes the wrinkles are large while some are very small. Often the wrinkle develops in the doorway or the threshold between adjoining rooms.

Three Problems. These ripples in the carpet present three problems. First, a large buckle can create a trip hazard, which is especially intolerable to our commercial carpet customers. Second, waves in the carpet are unsightly. Third, the crest of the wrinkles will receive more wear if left unattended to cause permanently distorted yarn. Eventually, if we tighten your carpet, the wrinkles may appear to remain; although, the carpet is perfectly tight and flat because of how the foot traffic wore on the crests in contrast to the troughs.

Causes. We typically get a call from property managers and homeowners regarding loose carpet after the carpet is one to three years old. The most common cause for wrinkles is a poor installation. The installers apply insufficient pressure when stretching the carpet. However, we ought not to blame the installers for all buckling. There are a wide array of other causes for why carpet develops wrinkles.

  • Insufficient latex applied by the manufacturer to the carpet's backing.
  • Installing a cushion that is too thick per the mistake of your sales representative or product specifier.
  • Inadequate acclimation prior to the installation (e.g., cold carpet installed into a warm room).
  • Routine changes in temperature and humidity over time (especially in wood-framed homes or in the second story where the framing is all made of wood)---a problem common to vacation homes when the HVAC was turned off.
  • Water damage or a flood.
  • Delamination---the separation of the backings.
  • Failure of the tack strip in a stretch-in installation or failure of the adhesive in a glue-down or double-stick installation.
  • Sliding heavy furniture across the carpet.
  • Regularly rolling a chair, wheelchair, or walker across the carpet.
  • Projects that require that the perimeter be released (e.g., installing new tile, running wires under the carpet, or pesticide treatments).
  • Carpet cleaning. (Moisture causes carpet to temporarily relax which reveals pre-existing looseness by by the appearance of wrinkles. These wrinkles normally disappear after the carpet is fully dry. The true cause for the looseness is not the cleaning unless the water used was excessively hot or insufficiently extracted.)
  • Normal foot traffic and wear over years of use.

Solution. Let us restretch or reglue your carpet.

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