Rippling and buckling carpeting is the last thing you want to see after having your carpets cleaned. Rippling and buckling refers to the appearance of ridges and valleys in the carpet, giving the appearance of a bed sheet that has not been pulled tight. The appearance of such rippling and buckling after cleaning does not necessarily indicate a serious problem with the carpeting.
What is Rippling and Buckling?
Rippling and buckling can happen naturally to a carpet over time. As the foam underlayment beneath the carpeting breaks down, and the carpet stretches, ripples and buckles can begin to form. This is especially true in heavily trafficked areas of the house, such as entryways and halls. Persistent ripples and buckles may necessitate pulling up the carpet and having it stretched and reinstalled professionally.
If your carpet presents ripples and buckles immediately after cleaning, it is possible the carpet is not yet fully dry. Wet carpeting can stretch and form ripples that will disappear once the moisture evaporates from the fibers. Set up a fan to blow on the carpet, circulate the air and aid in drying.
Persistent Rippling Following a Cleaning
If enough days pass for the carpet to dry out after cleaning and the ripples and buckles do not resolve on their own, you may have a more serious problem. Older carpets may stretch during cleaning. Once stretched, a carpet needs to be pulled up and stretched further using a carpet stretching machine. The carpet can then be reinstalled and pulled tight to the walls.
One cause of carpet rippling and buckling may be high humidity in the home. Just as wetting the carpet for cleaning causes ripples and buckles, a high indoor humidity can keep the carpet damp and allow it to stretch. Run a dehumidifier in the room with the problem carpet to see if the problem resolves itself.