Carpets are an integral part of any indoor space. They help to provide comfort and add to the aesthetics of a room. However, carpets tend to get loose and wrinkle over time as you walk on them. This is where carpet stretching comes in. If you’ve never heard of carpet stretching, here is a guide that will tell you all you need to know about this service and how it could benefit your home or office.
What Is Carpet Stretching?
Carpet stretching is a process used to tighten and straighten carpets. It is often done when carpets become loose over time and start developing unsightly ripples that can also be a safety issue. Carpet stretching helps restore a carpet to its original condition, making it look and feel new again.
Signs Your Carpet Needs Stretching
Carpet is very durable and manufactured to last. But heavy foot traffic or furniture sitting in one place for years can start to wear down or loosen it from the floor over time. This means your carpet will need additional maintenance as it ages. Here are some signs to look for that indicate your carpet needs stretching.
- Loose carpet and carpet wrinkles
- Carpet pile and excess carpet
- There are visible ripples in the carpet pad
- The carpet is starting to bunch up near the carpet edges
- You keep tripping over your carpet
Why Is Your Carpet Buckling?
The reason for carpet lumps, buckles, wrinkles, and more will be based on your carpet, your home, the amount of use, and the original installation. Here’s a look at some of the sources of carpet issues and what to do about them.
In areas that experience four seasons, changes in the carpet are especially prevalent as the seasons change. Drastic and fast changes can leave moisture in the air which penetrates your carpets. This leads to carpet swelling. Sometimes this problem resolves once the humidity returns to normal levels in your home. Other times, it needs to be stretched to fit the space again.
Dragging heavy items across the carpet
Heavy furniture must be fully lifted when moving it. Dragging heavy items across the carpet can mean that you get lumps and buckling in your carpet. You can place items that are too heavy for you to lift off the ground entirely on plywood. Then walk the plywood to the new area slowly. This prevents furniture legs from damaging your carpet during the moving process.
Improper carpet installation
When carpet installers put in new carpet, they must stretch it tight before placing it in the tack strips. Failing to pull the carpet taut could result in lumps as the carpet wears in. Good carpet installers stretch carpet during the installation process using a power stretcher. This provides better security that the carpet will stay in place long term. Another tactic good carpet installers use to prevent buckling after installation is to allow the carpet time to acclimate to your home. Warehouses are often at different temperatures and moisture levels compared to the average home. So when the carpet enters the home, it needs time to acclimate to prevent issues later.
Many times a homeowner will use a steam cleaner on their carpet, not knowing that the machine can be a source of damage if the carpet is not dried well enough. A steam machine forces wetness into the carpet and if the remaining moisture is not fully removed then the carpet can end up buckling. Another issue is large spills or unseen moisture that exists between the carpet like an unsealed concrete floor or a leaking appliance. The carpet may separate from the backing in the event of too much moisture and this is an issue that must be resolved or even a brand new carpet will fall victim to the same issue.
Wrong pairing of carpet with padding
Different types of carpet pile are meant to be used with specific types of carpet padding so the carpet is properly secured and supported. If your carpet installers used the wrong padding when installing your carpet, the carpet could buckle. Carpet with too much flexibility due to the wrong padding can leave room for the carpet to stretch.
This means the latex that keeps the carpet backing intact has deteriorated; the carpet may start to fall apart by losing fiber or rippling.
How Do You Stretch a Carpet?
There are various things that your carpet expert might do to stretch your carpet. He might employ one or all of these methods.
- Peeling back the carpet – As the carpet is pulled back, a lot of care is used to avoid the destruction of the fiber on the carpet as well as the existing carpet pad.
- Replacing old tack strips with new ones – Tack strips may be replaced if they are old or crushed (their nail points are not standing at the popper angle to grab the carpet).
- Resetting the carpet – This happens after all the tack strips are replaced. If the carpet pad was removed it should be restapled to the floor or a new pad should be put down. After this, the carpet can be stretched.
- Stretching – The stretching should be done with a proper stretcher. It takes a lot of force to restretch the carpet back into its original shape. By pulling the carpet out and then stretching it over the backboard and into the “teeth” or nails, a carpet is saved.
Should You Clean Your Carpet Before Stretching?
Have you ever tried cleaning a carpet that is loose? It can be very difficult. When you vacuum or attempt to sweep the carpet or rug it often bunches it up. This can be very frustrating and it can become nearly impossible to get a good cleaning with a vacuum or broom. When your professional carpet cleaner comes to clean they will face the same challenges. They may attempt to clean your carpet the best they can, but the ripple will prevent your carpet from getting the most thorough cleaning.
If you want the best possible clean for your carpet it’s best to clean it after stretching. When your carpet is stretched properly you don’t have to worry about wrinkles returning. There is no risk of those wrinkles returning due to cleaning. You can have confidence that stretching the carpet first is the best decision. It will lead to extending your carpet’s lifespan and the best cleaning possible.
Does Furniture Need to Be Removed for Carpet Stretching?
This is a case by case situation. Generally, furniture does not need to be removed, however there are exceptions. Talk to your carpet stretching professional to find out more.
Can I Do Carpet Stretching Myself?
Carpet stretching is a job that should be left to professionals. It requires skill and experience to do it correctly. Doing it yourself can lead to poor results and can cost you more money in the long run.
How Often Should Carpets Be Stretched?
There is no set answer regarding how often to stretch your carpet. It depends on several factors such as the type of carpet, how often it is used, and the climate. However, most experts recommend stretching carpets every few years to keep them looking and feeling their best.
How Much Does Carpet Stretching Cost?
The cost of carpet stretching will vary depending on the size and condition of your carpets. It’s best to get a quote from a local carpet stretching service before you decide to have the work done.
What Are the Benefits of Carpet Stretching?
- Restores Your Carpet – Carpet stretching can help restore your carpet to its original condition. This means the carpets will look new again and be free of any unsightly wrinkles or ripples.
- Improves Carpet Durability – Carpet stretching can help increase the life of your carpets. When carpets are loose they can quickly become worn and damaged due to heavy foot traffic. Carpet stretching helps to prevent this from happening.
- Adds Value to Your Home or Business – Carpet stretching is a great way to add value to your home or business. By making your carpets look new again you will be increasing the overall aesthetics of the space. This makes the right impression on potential customers and buyers walking into your business or home for the first time.
- Enhances Safety – Wrinkles and ripples in carpets can be a safety hazard. They can cause people to trip and fall leading to serious injuries. Carpet stretching helps eliminate those hazards.
- It Saves You Replacement Costs – If you have a carpet that is beginning to lift or show signs of rippling, carpet stretching can be a cost effective way to repair it. Rather than replacing the entire thing, you can get your carpet stretched and save yourself some money.
Carpet stretching will help restore carpets to their original condition, improve durability, add value to your home or business, and enhance safety. However, it is a job that should be left to professionals. If your carpet is starting to ripple and wrinkle, it may be time for a stretch.