Carpet Wrinkles, Ripples and Buckles
Tuesday, 12 January 2021 05:43

Carpet Wrinkles, Ripples and Buckles. Featured

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Carpet Wrinkles, Ripples and Buckles. Photo by Sanketh Rao from Pexels

What are the causes? Can they be fixed?

Occasionally, we get questions from clients about ripples and wrinkles in their carpet. Sometimes it is a fairly new carpet that has had little traffic! Other times, it is an older carpet that has developed ripples over time.

Ripples may occur in small localized areas, an entire room, or around the edges of a room.

What causes these unsightly conditions, and can they be fixed?

Wrinkles are usually seen in new carpet immediately after installation. Carpet wrinkles are areas where the carpet has been folded or crushed during storage. Wrinkles not only affect the surface yarns, they go all the way through the carpet backing and may be permanent. It is best if this condition is identified before the carpet is installed. If possible the wrinkled portion of the carpet roll should not be used.

Wrinkles may be improved by steaming and grooming the carpet, but the results will vary based on the type of carpet, yarn, backing, and the severity of the wrinkles.

Ripples are small waves that usually appear some time after the carpet is installed, installer error is the most common cause of carpet ripples, carpet should be installed using a power-stretcher. Other, an installer will save time by using a knee-kicker rather than a power-stretcher. Their results in inadequate stretch and the potential for ripples to develop as the carpet relaxes.

how to fix ripples buckles and wrinkles wrinkled carpet
power stretcher repairing ripples professionally

Another reason for ripples is carpet that was not properly acclimated to the structure prior to installation, especially if the carpet is installed in cold weather. A carpet needs to acclimate to normal room temperature and humidity for at least 48 hours before installation. It is difficult to stretch cold carpet, so as the carpet warms and absorbs atmospheric moisture, it will relax. It may take months for ripples to appear.

Occasionally, carpet will develop ripples immediately after cleaning. This can be quite disturbing to both the cleaner and the homeowner. The cause is moisture absorption into the adhesive layer between the primary and secondary backing of the carpet. Even though the ripples appear after cleaning, the root cause is improper stretch of the carpet during installations.

Once the carpet dries completely and acclimates to the normal temperature and humidity of the home, the carpet will lay flat again. This can take up to 48 hours. In rare cases, the ripples may persist

The only way to fix rippled carpet is to stretch the carpet. Re-stretching requires training, skill and patience. It is more difficult to re-stretch a carpet than it is to stretch it right the first time.

If ripples are ignored for too long, the carpet will develop buckles.

Buckles are large ripples that form peaks and/or wrinkles through the face yarns and carpet backing. If buckles are not corrected, permanent damage to the texture and structure of the carpet will result.

Even if the carpet is re-stretched, the damage from buckles may still be apparent. Steaming and grooming the pile yearns may help minimize the appearance of the damage.

Other reasons for carpet ripples are:

  • Excessive rolling traffic
  • Improperly specified carpet cushion
  • De lamination of the primary and secondary backing
  • Manufacturing defect

So what should you do if your carpet develops ripples?

If the carpet is still under warranty, it's best to contact the installer and the retailer where you purchased the carpet. If you don't get any help there, the manufacturer would be the next logical step.

You may have to be persistent and patient to get results, so keep track of names, dates and times of all calls, email or correspondence.

professional restretching before and after

"If your carpet is out of warranty and has ripples or buckles, call Healthy Home Carpet Repair. We will be happy to take a look and assist you in finding a solution that's right for you!"

Don deleeuw


carpet ripple restretching repair before
carpet ripple restretching repair after

Before and After


Watch our 2 minute video demonstrating a complete re-stretching process of a club house, including use of our equipment and more:


If you're ready to fix your carpet for good, give us a call.

Our certified technicians will repair your carpet or area rugs with expert techniques and precison. Call today.

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Read 5902 times Last modified on Tuesday, 02 March 2021 14:16

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