1. Humidity. Carpeting is made and installed with tension. The loom it is made on must have tension in order to produce a carpet which is uniform throughout. However, the backing is often composed of several layers, which are generally pre-shrunk. However, when moisture enters the scene, it can sometimes cause the latex backing or backing yarns to swell, causing the carpet to buckle. You may notice this after cleaning, due to the moisture used in the cleaning process. This is actually not the cleaners fault, but is due to insufficient tension or improper stretching during installation, only finally exposed through the moisture from the cleaning process. If your ripples just appeared after cleaning they will sometimes go away after the carpet is completely dry. It’s best to wait and see if this is the case. If your room is very humid, in general, you may want to invest in a dehumidifier to ease the problem.
2. Improper Stretching. If the carpet is not properly stretched at installation, ripples will often appear anywhere within a month to a year of installation. Sometimes installers will use a knee kicker instead of a power stretcher. A knee kicker is smaller and cannot stretch a large carpet as effectively as a power stretcher. It is usually used in small areas, such as closets or small hallways, where a power stretcher will not fit. However, some installers will take shortcuts by over-using a knee kicker, which is quicker than a power stretcher, especially if they are paid by the square footage of carpet they lay per day, as many are. If you notice rippling in your carpet within the first year, call the company that did the installation. They will usually come back and re-stretch the carpet for free. However, if it has been over a year you’ll probably need to call a professional, like Steamway Craftsmen Cleaning Services, in the Ankeny Iowa area, to re-stretch the carpet for you.
3. Delamination. Delamination is caused when the latex between the primary and secondary layers of the carpet break down, causing the carpet to bubble. This can be due to a defect in the latex or a pad that is too thick, causing the carpet to disengage from the tackless strip. Certain solvent spotters or petroleum based spills, such as lamp oils, can also cause delamination.
4. High Traffic. Where there is high foot traffic, the carpet is pushed and pulled, which may cause the carpet to stretch and cause rippling. You could have the carpet re-stretched, but the area may become rippled again. Your best bet, in this case, may be to install new carpet.
5. Dragging Heavy Furniture. Pulling heavy furniture across a carpet can cause it to pull from the small nails of the tackless strip. This can result in damage to the carpet backing and having loose edges can cause the carpet to ripple.
6. Age. A carpet’s backing can break down simply due to the age of the carpet. Over time, it may lose its integrity, causing ripples. If this occurs it may be time to invest in a new carpet.
If you’ve noticed rippling in your carpet, give Steamway Craftsmen Cleaning Services a call at 515-223-2830 in Des Moines, Iowa, or 800-798-7677 toll free. We specialize in carpet re-stretching, along with many other great services to help your home look and smell its best!