Why is My Carpet “Buckling” After I Got It Cleaned?

Why is My Carpet “Buckling” After I Got It Cleaned? 2020-01-03T22:01:05+00:00

So, You Got Your Carpet Cleaned & Now It’s “Buckling”- What Gives?

What Caused This “Buckling-Rippling- or Wrinkling of your carpet RIGHT AFTER it was cleaned?

Short Answer: The Addition of Humidity, namely the water that the carpet cleaner used, did NOT cause the buckling of the carpet, it revealed the already loosened carpet condition

“Well, My Carpet didn’t do this before the carpet cleaner came, so it must be his fault, right?

Let’s investigate this deeper…

Detailed ‘Anatomical’ Answer: Understanding the dilemna

Carpet Construction: The answer is found beginning with the Latex Secondary Backing
carpet construction anatomy

Carpet is made up usually of nylon, polyester, wool, olefin, or polypropylene fiber that is tufted and woven in a primary backing.  The primary backing is adhered to the latex secondary backing.

The carpet SHOULD then be power-stretched with a power stretcher, that exerts over 674 pounds of tension on the latex backing of the carpet.  Carpet is usually stretched about 1.5% when it is installed new. There are standards for the installation of carpet by the Carpet & Rug Institute, they can be found here: https://www.carpet-rug.org/Industry-Resources/CRI-Installation-Standards.aspx.STRETCHING 4

Natural Atmospheric Stretching of Carpet: Latex just expands slowly-completely normalexpansion of latex backed carpet

Latex backing of carpet expands with regular, normal atmospheric conditions. Because carpet is power-stretched upon installation when it is new, you wont be able to see that the normal expansion of carpet per year is hidden by the over expansion or power-stretching of carpet, thus nullifying normal carpet expansion year to year.

Now, on your carpet, perhaps you only noticed it “loose” perhaps near the door.  However, in fact it was loose ALL OVER, but due to gravity and force, the expanded carpet had nowhere to go, so it chose the weakest spot to buckle.  You probably thought “I need to tighten the carpet right here”, not even knowing or thinking that your carpet was loose all over.  In fact, if you can pick up the carpet with you thumb and index finger and it comes up kinda like when you went camping and tried to raise your tent, this is validation of the fact that your carpet is loose all over.  The average person’s hand is not necessarily strong enough to pull up properly stretched carpet. Even if you are strong enough, a strong person would pull on properly stretched carpet and pull out tufts of carpet. If your carpet raises up any significant amount, your carpet is loose and needs to be power-stretched.

Carpet Cleaning: “Unnatural” Addition of Water in Carpet or Humidity

When you add water to anything it usually expands, it is no different for most carpet fiber types.  So, when your carpet cleaner cleans with water, you will have excess water in your carpet that will eventually dry with vapor pressure in as little as 1 hour depending how much water your carpet cleaner used.  If your carpet WAS NOT power-stretched, but rather “knee-kicked” in, then adding water causes acute expansion almost immediately.  Now, with carpet that you didnt “really” notice that was wrinkled, perhaps you see waves and rows of rippled carpet.

Adding Water to Already “Loose” Carpet Makes the Buckling or Rippling of Carpet Very Visible, but the water cant expand carpet to the degree of the large “waves” or ripples in your carpeting.

It just revealed the already loosened condition of the carpeting

Other Reasons For “Loose” Carpeting

So give us a call at (805) 910-7066 to discuss your current carpet stretching & repair situation 🙂

About us:

  • in 2018, we did 3,330 Carpet Repair & Stretching jobs- more than anyone in the US or the World
  • in 2019, we were recognized as an expert witness in Court (we can provide the case info upon request), and based on our testimony, we won the case for the plaintiff.
  • Currently, we hold 8 certifications in: Carpet Cleaning, Odor Control, Carpet Repair & Reinstallation, Color Restoration, Fire & Smoke Restoration, & 3 wool rug certifications
  • We are constant learners and spend thousands in continuing education
  • We teach real-world carpet power-stretching & patching, no class room, all done in people’s homes, call us for more info.
  • We Dye Carpet, Clean Carpet, Install Carpet, Sell Carpet, Repair Every type of Carpet Repair
  • We Install & Repair Tile, Hardwood, Laminate as well as sub-strate repair.


Carpet Stretching, Carpet Stretcher needs, Carpet Restretching, Carpet Reinstallation, Carpet Delamination Repair, Carpet Waves, Carpet Bumps, Carpet Wrinkles, Carpet Buckling, Carpet Bubbles or Bubbling, Carpet Trip Hazards, Carpet Seam Repairs, Carpet to Tile Transitions, Carpet to Hardwood Transitions, Carpet to Vinyl Transitions, Vinyl Tears