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Pristine Cleaning Gal

Why Are My Carpets Buckling?
Why Are My Carpets Buckling?

There Are Waves or Ripples in My Carpet

Occasionally, our customers mention that their carpet has buckled.  Some describe it as wrinkles. This can be a safety hazard because it can cause a person to trip and sustain an injury. This rippling effect can occur on older carpets but also on carpet that has just been installed.

Poor installation

Poor installation is the primary cause of carpet wrinkles. After your carpet is installed, an inspection should be conducted to assure that your carpet has been properly stretched. In the center of the rug, use a pair of needle-nose plyers to pull a section of carpet upward. It should be tight like the skin of a drum.  The rug should not lift more than one to two inches at most.  Otherwise, there is an indication that ripples may develop over time, especially after cleaning.  If not inspected after installation, the rippling effect is not usually detected until the carpet is cleaned, and it is virtually impossible to get the installer to return to correct poor workmanship.

Water used during the cleaning process will cause the rug to expand.  This expansion may cause wrinkles that were not previously apparent. In most cases, they will disappear after the carpet dries, but it is a sign that the rug was not properly installed, and it needs to be re-stretched. Sometimes the carpet must be re-stretched after approximately ten years of use because of normal wear and tear.

When you should stretch a carpet

We recommend that carpets be stretched before cleaning if possible. While this goes against what most expect, carpet installers recommend cleaning after they have re-stretched the rug. Carpets stretch more easily if they haven’t been freshly cleaned. 

Over Cleaning

Carpet should be cleaned once a year to a year and a half under normal use, however, pet accidents may cause a need to clean more frequently. At most a carpet should be cleaned no more than twice a year.

Each time you clean, the backing of the rug breaks down a little more. Backing, sometimes made of natural jute in older rugs, recycled material, or polyurethane gives carpet shape and stability. As it starts to break down the carpet fusion begins to separate from the jute or secondary backing material.

Carpet fibers are sewn into a primary backing, and then to a secondary backing which is fused to the fibers with latex.  Over time, dirt grinds the fibers and breaks down the fusing.  This causes the carpet to expand, and wrinkles may also develop.

Getting the carpet too wet

Carpets that are cleaned using excessive amounts of water can also cause the carpet backing to break down. Carpets should not be wet for more than eight to ten hours. Carpet that is wet for extended periods of time, will give mold, and mildew a chance to take hold. Mold and mildew start to break down the fibers and backing more quickly over a shorter period, leading to buckling and or the rippling effect.

If the carpets in your home, feel wet all the time that is an indication that you may have a moisture problem. Moisture in basements can be a sign of a foundation problem.

Moving Furniture

Moving heavy furniture by just sliding it across the carpet can start to pull the carpet loose from the walls and break down the fusion between the carpet fibers and the backing.  Chances are if you only do it a couple of times it’s not going to affect the carpets much.

Remember, with proper maintenance, it is possible to make a builder’s grade carpet with a normal life span of seven to ten years last up to twenty years. Thus, your huge savings can be used for fun or other necessities.

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