Have you ever noticed bubbles, wrinkles, ripples or other bunched up areas in your carpeting? And once you notice a small problem, have you ever wondered why it seems to increase in size very quickly?
It’s because carpeting is meant to be stretched tight. And once it begins to loosen, and forms any type of ripple, it needs stretching to bring it back into shape. As you walk on a small bubble within the carpet, it moves up and down far more than it should. And as it moves, it continues to loosen up the carpeting even more. Pretty soon small bubbles turn into large waves that are not only noticeable, they can quickly become a tripping hazard too.
When bubbles begin to form, the sooner you stretch them back into shape, the easier the process will be. In smaller places, a knee kicker may be all that is needed to put carpeting back into place. However, the larger the room, the more necessary a power carpet stretcher becomes. Power stretchers reach all the way across, butting up against both walls. One side will be flush against the wall, the other end has a head with a lever. When the lever is pushed down, the carpet is stretched. This is a very powerful tool; if too much pressure is applied it can rip or pull the tack strip off.
Loose carpet doesn’t mean you have a poor quality carpet or that it wasn’t installed correctly. Carpeting can come loose from a variety of reasons:
- Heavy traffic – If your carpets get a lot of use above the norm – heavy foot traffic, wheelchair activity, kids playing – even a great carpet can eventually need stretching.
- Moving heavy furniture – If you slide heavy furniture across your carpet, it can cause it to ripple and loosen at the edges.
- Wrong padding – In many cases a homeowner will put all of their budget and research into choosing a quality carpet without thinking about the padding. Padding is equally important; if you choose a carpet and padding combo that don’t work together, it can allow the carpet to loosen and become rippled.
- Poor installation – If your carpet was improperly installed, it may need stretching. In some cases it may not have been stretched into place during installation, or was improperly secured in place.
Once your carpets begin to ripple, it will only keep getting worse. Carpets are intended to lie flat, and once they begin pulling up, even normal walking on it will only exacerbate the problem. The only way to keep them looking their best, and help extend their useful life, is to fix the problem as quickly as possible.