What Causes Rippling of Carpet and How Can I Fix It?

Image of a Carpet that has Rippled

Rippling or buckling of carpet is common after cleaning carpet, especially if the carpet was not properly installed (power-stretched).

Below is an example of a carpet that was already rippled before cleaning from Kennays Carpet Cleaning in Dixon, IL. Per Randy Kennay, “It was like that before I started to clean it.” Kennay’s has been the most trusted carpet care company in northern Illinois since 1991, with a 99% customer retention rate.
   Many of our Bane-Clene customers have seen buckling or rippling like this many times, especially when carpet was just knee-kicked-in instead of being properly power-stretched in.

Image of a Carpet that has Buckled

CAUSES of Carpet Rippling, Wrinkling or Buckling:

  1. Failure to acclimate new carpet before installation.
  2. Failure to power stretch the carpet.
  3. Loose tackless strip on concrete sub-floors.
  4. Natural tendency of polypropylene backing to “relax” in time.
  5. Absorption of moisture by hygroscopic materials.
  6. High humidity.
  7. Adhesive failure on direct glue installations.
  8. Over-wetting during cleaning or flooding.
  9. Delamination
  10. Dragging Heavy Furniture Across Carpet.
  11. Heavy rolling traffic on direct glue-down carpet.
  12. Wrong type of carpet padding.

How to Fix or Correct Carpet Rippling:

  1. After cleaning - do nothing until humidity stabilizes. The carpet may “re-tighten” once it’s dry.
  2. Use a knee kicker to “run the perimeter” of the room.
  3. Restretch (double stretch) and trim.

Related Carpet Manufacturing and Fibers Information:

Free Bane-Clene Information PackageBane-Clene Paper Catalog

Free packet of information about Bane-Clene can be obtained by calling toll-free 1-800-428-9512 (U.S. ONLY!). Your information packet will include a full color catalog and price addendum. Packets will arrive in approximately 2 weeks through standard United States Mail.

You can also order the packet at the Catalog Request Form.

Print this page

Published by: Bane-Clene® Corp.
Copyright: Bane-Clene Corp.

Date Modified: March 28, 2021

Date Originally Published: February 16, 2018

VIDEO: Carpet Rippling Problem

Video by Bane-Clene’s chemist from a spotting class for professional carpet cleaners at the Bane-Clene training center detailing carpet rippling problem / defect.