Carpet ripples, also known as carpet wrinkling, buckling, or stretching, are loose areas that appear in wall-to-wall carpets. Although carpets can last for many years, they will eventually lose their elasticity with time. As such, the more wrinkles your carpet has, the older it looks.
Carpet buckling may start forming in your carpet flooring for various reasons, which we will discuss in detail in this article. When your carpet develops wrinkles, it’s better to repair it than replace it with a brand-new one since it’s more affordable.
To repair your carpet, you will need a knee kicker, which you will use to re-stretch it, and a carpet knife to trim off the extra pieces so it looks as good as new. If you find the ripple on the carpet too small, you can either use your hand or a rolling pin instead. It’s worth mentioning that the rolling pin technique will only work on carpets that are not glued down.
Major Causes of Carpet Wrinkles
Many things can contribute to carpet buckling. In most instances, the wrinkling of carpets is owed to man-made errors, but in some cases, environmental factors are also to blame. So here are common reasons why your carpets ripple.
1. Improper Installation
A carpet that professional installers have properly installed will require the right structures underneath for support and prevent unnecessary movements. If the carpet is fitted with the wrong paddling or cushioning below it, it will be vulnerable to wrinkling.
2. Excessive Humidity Exposure
Humidity can be a significant contributor to carpet buckling. High moisture content in the air throughout the year can cause your carpet to swell and ripple. In addition, fluctuations of the weather causing dry summers to be succeeded by rainy conditions may cause your carpet to buckle during cold climatic conditions.
Flooding can be attributed to natural causes or issues with plumbing in your area. Whatever the case, if you don’t use a good dehumidifier to dry your wet carpet, you can expect huge buckles to start forming on your carpet sooner rather than later.
4. Carpet That Is Too Wet
We recommend using professional carpet cleaners instead of hiring a steam cleaner to wash your carpet at home. No amount of scrubbing and steam cleaning will give you the same results as you will get from professional carpet cleaning services. Furthermore, using DIY methods to clean your carpet can significantly increase the chances of carpet wetting which is a significant cause of carpet rippling.
5. Poor Work
Fitting a wall-to-wall carpet requires professional carpet installers with the right tools, skills, and expertise to prevent carpet creases. If you view DIY tutorials online and attempt to install the carpet on your own, there is a high chance that your carpet will be loose and have buckles.
6. Using the Wrong Cleaning Tools
All carpets are not the same. That’s why the cleaning technique used by professional carpet cleaners varies according to the material your carpet is made of. Some carpets, such as ones made of sisal, are too delicate so that even the most effective cleaning method that uses low moisture hot water extraction is not recommended.
7. Moving Heavy Items
We know that moving heavy furniture by yourself is challenging. However, as tempting as it may be, we don’t recommend dragging your furniture across the carpet, as it may result in carpet rippling. If there is no one around to give you a helping hand, you can use other furniture moving techniques such as the famous plywood furniture moving technique to avoid wrinkling your carpet.
How to Get Rid of a Carpet Ripple
Removing a bigger carpet ripple in your flooring will require a carpet power stretcher or a knee knicker. Here is what you’ll need to do:
Start by removing all the furniture, including baseboards, cabinets, and other heavy items that may make it challenging to repair your carpet. Then walk around the entire room to check for loose edges or ripples on your carpet and, if necessary, remove the threshold above the carpet.
Proceed to use your carpet knee kicker to repair your wrinkled carpet. Ensure you have removed the tack strips before going any further, and then use a rubber mallet positioned at least an inch from the wall to install new tack strips.
At one end of the carpet, position your knee kicker and push it along the carpet as you use your knee to kick the cushion. Keep doing this repeatedly until you are finally satisfied with the results.
Once you are done, check to see if part of the carpet is touching the wall. If there is any extra carpet, use a carpet knife to cut off the excess area and join them with a tack strip.
If you kept trying with the knee knicker but couldn’t get the desired results, then perhaps it’s time to use the more powerful carpet power stretcher. You don’t need to spend a lot of money purchasing the device. If you are on a limited budget, you can always rent one from a home improvement shop.
You’ll need to remove the tack strips again and clip the carpet ripple to the tack strips. Ensure the teeth of the carpet ripple have held on tightly to the carpet and are secured. To flatten out the carpet wrinkles, run the machine across the carpet continuously until all the ripples disappear, and secure the tack strips once you are done.
If both methods fail to give you satisfying results, contact a carpet repair professional for help.