What Causes Carpet Rippling?

If you notice that your carpet has become loose, or wrinkled looking, do not panic. There are several causes to carpet rippling, all of which can be remedied. It is important to know why the rippling is happening so that you can avoid the issue happening frequently or ever again.

One of the most common reasons for carpet rippling is improper installation. Manufacturers will have very detailed specifications on the proper way to install the carpeting you choose and the company that you hire to lay your carpet needs to follow these guidelines to ensure that the carpet is stretched properly from wall to wall. If your carpet installation technician is not using a pole or power stretcher, you can count on some rippling to occur in your carpeting after installation.

Along with the installation specifications, manufacturers will also provide guidelines on the type of padding that should be used when laying the carpet. If a low quality padding is used, not only is the manufacturer’s warranty usually voided, but carpet rippling will most likely be in your future.

Over-wetting of the carpet can also cause the rippling effect. Over cleaning or improper cleaning can lead to the carpet retaining moisture and loosening the adhesive underneath the carpet and/or padding. Flooding, especially in basements, can also cause the carpet to ripple if proper care is not taken to ensure that all the water is suctioned out of the flooring.

Temperature and humidity is a problem that can cause carpet rippling, especially in older homes where there is not proper ventilation between rooms, or in a home that has been closed off for a long period of time in high temperatures. By allowing the carpet to acclimate to the temperature and humidity levels in the room in which it will be installed, the carpet is less likely to ripple.

The last factor that can be involved in carpet rippling is delamination. This is when the backing of the carpet separates. Many times, as long as proper installation procedures were adhered to, this occurrence is covered by manufacturer’s warranty.

How Do You Fix Carpet Rippling?

Most carpet rippling can be fixed by having a carpet installation technician come to your home to re-stretch the carpet. This is usually a fairly quick and easy process that involves taking the furniture out of the room and pulling up the carpet in the area of the ripple and using tools to stretch the carpet flat again.

In cases of delamination the carpet will need to be repaired completely. Keep in mind that if your carpet is rippling due to over-wetting caused by flooding or excessive water contamination, you may want to consider pulling up the carpet completely to check for mildew or mold. If your carpet is damaged severely, replacing the carpet will be your best option. If there is damage in only one location, however, and you can still order or still have some of the carpeting left over, the carpet technician can replace just the piece of carpeting that is damaged. This is an ideal option for carpet that is still fairly new looking that hasn’t been stained or faded.