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What Causes Carpet to Buckle

What Causes Carpet to Buckle

by Dylan Johnson

In every day’s life, you may have probably seen the wall-to-wall broadloom with ripples in it and now you begin to think what causes carpet to buckle.

In some cases, this is typically because the areas are affected, causing the carpet to loose and buckle rising from the surface. This case is called buckling or wrinkling. Many people also call it stretching.

In this regards, there are some factors underlying the reasons why it can happen to the most of carpeting.

In this article, we are going to share you not only the causes of buckling on carpet but also the tips how to treat it and the ways to fix it.

So keep staying with us to read the whole article especially when you notice your carpet buckles.

Humidity and Carpet Rippling

Humidity always becomes the major problem in flooring, not only on hardwood, laminate or other flooring types but also on carpet.

In the world of carpeting, humidity plays a big role to carpet buckling. In this case, carpet buckling does occur particularly in areas with four-season climates.

In summer, humidity cause the carpet to buckle due to the drastic change of temperature from cooler months.

When the humid climates are high enough, the moisture in the air will definitely penetrate the carpet and make it swell.

In some non-severe cases where the carpet is experiencing buckling because of the humidity, the carpet can possibly lay back to a flat position without any treatment.

In the other words, we may not do anything to fix the buckled carpet but soon it can lay flat again as before.

This may occur when the moisture levels in the air are back to “normal”, making the carpet goes “normal” again. However, in some severe cases, we need to take actions to fix the buckled carpet.

In this regards, it is always possible to reduce the carpet buckling that is likely to happen due to the humidity.

Usually, people run the air conditioning in summer time and run a dehumidifier to draw the moisture out of the air. This will help the carpet to get rid of the buckling.

Read Also: Carpet Power Stretcher: The Importance Using for Installing Carpet

Dragging Heavy Items

The second reason dealing with what causes carpet to buckle is dragging the heavy items.

Whatever types of flooring you have at home, either hardwood or carpet, dragging the heavy items on it will cause a buckling. This is a common issue in the world of flooring.

Basically, once you drag the heavy items such as furniture on the surface of the carpet, the carpet will stretch.

In this regards, there must be some ideas you can try to avoid causing your carpet to wrinkle or buckle when you are moving a heavy set of furniture. Be aware of the pre cautions. Try to lift the items and carry them if it is still possible.

If it is impossible to lift the heavy items off the carpet, you can use two sheets of tough plywood to move them.

Lay the first sheet of plywood on the carpet and walk the items onto the plywood. Move and walk slowly.

Later, you can lay the second sheet of plywood on the carpet in front of the first sheet and walk slowly. Repeat this step until you finish moving the heavy items.

Well, this may takes time and energy but it can help you avoid causing the carpet to buckle when because of dragging the heavy items.

Improper Installation of The Carpet

Carpet buckling can also be caused by the improper installation of the carpet. If you want to install wall-to-wall carpet, make sure you stretch the carpet tightly and secure it in place using the tack strip along the carpet edges.

If you or the carpet installer do not stretch the carpet tightly, the carpet will probably loosen too quickly, resulting it to buckle or ripple.

In this case, to make sure that the carpet is tightly install, using power stretcher is much recommended to reduce the carpet buckling opportunity.

If you want to install the carpet in a different area than it was previously installed, for instance from an unheated warehouse to a heated home, you must acclimate the carpet first before installing it.

This is also one of the solution to reduce the carpet buckling because of the poor installation.

Wrong Underpad

What causes carpet to buckle also refers to the use of wrong underpad. Believe it or not, providing the carpet with cushion or underpad under the carpet can cause it to buckle.

This definitely occurs if you choose an underpad which is not dense enough to fully support the carpet installation. The underpad also makes the carpet too flexible, resulting a buckling.

To avoid this problem, the only way to can do is to provide the right underpad under the carpet.

Ask the professional installer for recommendation in selecting the right cushion for your carpet types.


Delamination refers to the primary backing of broad loam at which the carpet fibers should be fastened along with the secondary backing to hold everything together in place.

In this case, delamination occurs especially when the secondary backing removes the primary backing because of the latex adhesive breakdown.

When carpet is experiencing delamination, the surface of the carpet is moving freely, causing buckling.

Delamination also occurs due to the wet carpet as well as manufacturing defect. If you are told that the carpet is defective, you must make a call to your carpet retailer or manufacturer so that it can send an inspector to evaluate the delamination problem.

Wet Carpet and Ripples

Like humidity and moisture that cause the carpet to buckle, wet carpet and ripples do the same way.

In this case, the carpet becomes so wet if there is too much moisture in it. Flooding and improper steam cleaning can be the reasons why a carpet is wet and potentially experiencing stretch damages.

These are the factors that make the people keep questioning why they occurs and cause such buckling to the carpet.

Simply, when the carpet is wet, it can face lots of problem such as wrinkling or browning.

In this case, the excess moisture inside the carpet is the source of such problem. When the wrinkling or browning fill up the space inside the carpet, swelling occurs.

Luckily, when the caret dries out, the carpet fibers will shrink again and the wrinkles will just easily disappear. Perhaps you would never realize how the carpet turns to normal again.

However, to avoid the risk of over wetting and to minimize the wet issues on carpet, it is much recommended that you get your carpet cleaned rightly and professionally instead of doing it yourself using a rented machine.

This is because the professional installer knows well what to do to avoid the common issues on carpet and how to treat them as well.

What To Do If The Carpet Is Buckling

Once you know the specific reasons of what causes carpet to buckle, the one big thing to do first is to re-stretch the carpet. Don’t leave the buckled carpet too long because the carpet crease due to the severe ripples over time.

Note, the creased carpet will be difficult to fix. Even when you resolve the ripple problem by folding the carpet sharply, you cannot be able to get rid the crease out of the carpet. The caret will remain to look buckled even you have laid it flat.

Hence, the solution you can take into account is to re-stretch the carpet.

First, don’t forget to contact your manufacturer or retailer and hire a professional installer to fix it. Make sure your buckled carpet is less than a year old.

You may possibly spend around $100 and more depending on the buckling severity and any other work like moving furniture and etc.

Luckily, if you find your carpet buckling is not severe and limited to a common space which is far from any seams, re-stretching can be possibly done by yourself.

Useful Tips For A Buckled Carpet

Where there are some issues, there are solutions, too. Buckled carpet might cause you feel overwhelmed. So here we share the three solutions for your buckled carpet.

Those are how to get your carpet dried faster, how to prevent buckling to happen and how to fix the buckled carpet.

Check them all out here in the following review sections.

How To Get Your Carpet Dried Faster

When you finish steam-cleaning your carpet and notice the buckling, running your air conditioning is a good idea to perform during and after the process of steam-cleaning. This will help your carpet dry quickly either in summer or in winter.

In this case, the air conditioning plays the role to reduce the moisture in the air. Thus, the carpet will also release its moisture quickly, too.

In addition, you may also run the dehumidifier that does the same way to dry the carpet fast.

If you have small room with carpet flooring, you can take Pro Breeze Electric Dehumidifier to decrease the moisture level while for bigger room you may use Waykar Dehumidifier which is up to 2000 Sq Ft.

If you notice there are still wrinkles after the steam-cleaning and they stay for several days, try to stretch your carpet until you see there is no wrinkle in the carpet anymore.

How To Prevent Buckling

When you get a right understanding about what causes carpet to buckle, you must take an action to prevent the carpet from buckling. Typically, there are three best kinds of prevention.

Firstly, you may stem-clean the carpet by yourself to keep your budget save. In this case, you don’t have to use too much products. Using too much product becomes the people’s mistakes when they are cleaning their carpets.

Secondly, hiring a professional carpet cleaner can be a good idea since he knows well what makes the carpet prone to buckling. Thus, they will carefully use the amount of cleaner product based on the proper dosage.

Thirdly, using power carpet stretcher is to make sure that the carpet won’t wrinkle. However, some carpet cleaners will not use it unless you ask them to do it. When they are using the machine, they may ask you for extra charge.

This way, you must think of negotiating though paying extra price is also good to make sure they do the project perfectly.

Read Also: Best Carpet For Family Room: 6 Considerations to Select Carpet

How To Fix The Buckled Carpet

Once you notice buckling or wrinkle on your carpet, start figuring out to fix it before it stays permanently. Though you may already know that some problems may disappear even without doing nothing.

This way, sometimes it is common to see the buckled carpet can turn back to normal without any treatment. However, it is not a guarantee. It may not work either.

In this regards, purchase a couple of tools and try to fix it yourself. Just start with the way you are treating the small buckles method and move the large buckles method then.

Prepare a gear for the small buckle method in the large buckle method. When it is time to scratch the carpet, make sure you can do it well.

If you are not so sure about doing the project, hire a professional. Though it may cost you a lot, it ensures the proper way of fixing the buckled carpet.

What about you find it hard to look for a carpet stretcher?

What should you do then? No worry!

Most carpet cleaners offer an additional service that is a carpet stretching, too. You can simply call the carpet cleaner and he will do it perfectly for you.

So, what can you summarize about what causes carpet to buckle?

Just be aware of the humidity and moisture level of the rooms where the carpets are laid.

Thought there are still more and more ideas to inspire, humidity and moisture are the major factors that are also the sources of problems causing the carpet to wrinkle or buckle.