1) Carpet Not Installed With a Power Stretcher is a Leading Cause for Loose and Buckled Carpets
Are you in need of a carpet re-stretch? Of the 4 most common causes of loose and buckled carpet not using a power stretcher is easily the number one reason carpet needs re-stretching here in sunny Southern California. And since there is so much carpet being installed throughout the year there aren’t nearly enough experienced carpet installers to go around. Some don’t even have a power stretcher needed to do the job right. And a knee kicker alone isn’t going to cut it for most jobs.
If your carpet installer doesn’t possess this very important piece of stretching equipment he is not a professional in a trade that truly takes a lot of experience and skill to master. And a lack of experience will show up in far more ways than just loose and wrinkled carpet.
Even experienced installers will use a knee kicker instead of the power stretcher because it’s faster and they can get onto the next job quicker. But unless the room is small and your carpet installer big and strong, always make sure a power stretcher is used to get your carpet nice and tight. And to tell if it’s tight, simply use your fingers to lift the carpet from the nap in the center of the room. If it’s stretched properly you won’t be able to lift it very high and it will snap back down when you let go. If your carpet is not stretched properly it will kind of float back down to the floor. At that point your carpet may be one bad cleaning away from a re-stretch to eliminate those unsightly buckles, waves, wrinkles and rolls.
The fact of the matter is, most carpet stores offer only 1 year guarantees for a reason. And obvious signs your carpet needs re-stretching often starts right after that year is up and will only get worse. So make sure your installer has the experience and tools needed to do the job right so you don’t have to call me!
2) Water Damage From Floods, Leaks and Cleaning Can Cause Loose and Buckled Carpet
Here in Southern California too much water is the second leading cause for why carpet needs re-stretching. But it’s not the rain that is causing the problem. So often it’s that first cleaning that exposes a carpet that was never properly stretched. This is caused by the carpet cleaner not extracting enough of the water they dumped into the carpet. And water and carpet don’t mix!
Too much water will not only expand the carpet to create buckles, it can even cause delamination where the backing separates from the rest of the carpet. Seams will even come apart in these water damaged areas. You can tell the backing is damaged when the buckles are not uniform. They can be going in all different directions. Carpet that still has a healthy backing will usually have buckles parallel to a wall unless the wall itself is at an angle. They will also be going in the same direction throughout the house.
If you hire a carpet cleaner who uses the steam cleaning method make sure he takes his time extracting as much water as possible. This is often what separates a good carpet cleaner from a bad one. It takes time, so if you’re paying bottom dollar for a cleaning this is one way they finish the job faster. Your carpet shouldn’t be wet for more than 24 hours, and hopefully less.
3) Heavy Foot Traffic and Soft Pad Play Their Role in Why Carpet Needs Re-Stretching
Every step you take stretches out the backing of the carpet. If your is carpet is tight it can handle the traffic and soft pad. If not, your carpet is destined to not age so gracefully, especially in areas such as the hall and any other path people commonly take. And the hallway, with all its connections to different rooms, is often the most technically difficult and therefore expensive area to stretch. With a pattern match carpet it can even be impossible to do a restretch and still have the pattern match. So avoid a potential nightmare of loose and buckled carpet and invest in a quality pad.
I advise using a 7/16 inch thick rebond pad with at the very least a 6 lb. weight/density. With a 1/2 inch pad use at least a 7 lb. weight. Most Berber carpets require at least a 6 lb. pad but only 3/8″ of an inch thick. While you may like carpet that feels nice and cushy, cushy is a carpet killer. Done away with a few years ago is the 9/16″ 5 lb. pad that used to be standard. But the buckles, wrinkles, waves and rolls such a soft, thick pad can create has eliminated that comfy option. And truth be told, this would never have happened if every carpet was stretched properly.
FYI, use an 8 lb. pad if you never want to have to replace it again! Well, not quite but the denser the pad the longer both carpet and pad will last. And that is not only very good for your pocketbook, but the environment as well!
4) Carpet Installed When Cold and Stiff Will Expand When it Heats Up
Carpet becomes softer and much easier to stretch in the hot summer months. But in the winter it can get cold making carpet much stiffer and more difficult to stretch. Add an installer not using a power stretcher, coupled with the coming summer heat and your carpet can be on the edge of buckling. But when you have carpet installed in the summer when it’s nice and warm your chances go down considerably that it’s doomed for an early face lift. Because when it gets cold outside your carpet could potentially tighten up even more. And while this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have carpet installed on a cold winter day, you will want to make sure you are getting a truly professional installation and not an average one.
Before and After Pics of Loose and Buckled Carpet Showing How Re-Stretching Your Carpet Can Revitalize it!
Please check out my work below. All the carpets you see were no more than 4 years old yet were already in need of a re-stretch. If installed correctly this would have never happened. And if you too have this problem please contact me, Rick Keene at Keene’s Carpet Service.com. I will not only be the one you speak with, but I do the work as well!
Also make sure to check out my full gallery of before and after pictures to see that I do much more than just restretch carpet. If you have a problem with your carpet and think there are no options, there’s a very good chance I can not only fix it, but make it look like nothing ever happened!