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Why Carpet Ripples Happen and What To Do About It

Carpet ripples, also referred to as buckling, wrinkling, or stretching, are loose, wavy areas that appear in wall-to-wall carpeting. Ripples may be temporary or an ongoing problem, depending on the situation. What should you do if your carpet ripples? Here are the details.

Professional Cleaning and Carpet Ripples

Although carpet ripples can appear after cleaning, proper professional cleaning does not cause ripples. Any ripples that appear after professional cleaning are temporary and will settle flat once the carpet is completely dry. If ripples persist, then there is some other problem causing the ripples.

Causes of Carpet Wrinkles

The most common causes of carpet rippling are improper installation, inadequate padding, and adhesive failure. The adhesives that secure your carpet in place are made of materials that can absorb moisture. Properly applied high-quality adhesives will hold up to excessive humidity exposure and professional carpet cleaning, and in some situations, may even maintain integrity after flooding. Other causes of carpet ripples include loss of elasticity in older carpets and tension failure due to heavy foot traffic or dragging heavy items.

What should I do if my carpet ripples?

Even perfectly installed, properly maintained, barely-walked-on carpets can ripple. It is a fairly common problem that can be easily resolved. If you have new or recently installed wall-to-wall carpet, ripple correction may be included in your warranty. Contact your carpet retailer or installer as soon as you notice the problem. Whether or not your carpet is new, in most cases a professional carpet installation contractor can power stretch and secure your carpet to eliminate the ripples. Until your scheduled appointment, avoid foot traffic in the rippled area to reduce the possibility of trip-and-fall accidents and permanent damage to the carpet.

Related Articles: How Improper Installation Complicates Carpet Cleaning and The Importance of Quality Carpet Padding

This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.