Carpet can be a joy to walk on when you wake from a long night’s sleep. Slipping your toes against the soft fibers and cushioned pad may be a true pleasure. But sometimes carpet may begin to develop loose spots that cause ripples, buckles, or waves in the once stretched-tight surface. Here are five reasons your carpet may be rippling or stretching.


Why does carpet stretch when you move heavy furniture over the surface? The substantial nature of the furniture can drag on the carpet surface and cause a small stretched-out spot. Once the stretching begins, normal walking, children’s playing, and furniture adjustments can stretch the fabric even more and cause the carpet layers to give.


The air inside your home changes with the seasons as the humidity builds, heat rises, and air cools. The water on your feet isn’t the only moisture that can damage your carpet. As humidity changes in the air, the levels can also penetrate the fibers of your carpet. The more moisture, the more easily your carpet can stretch.


The cushion under the top layer of your carpeting is called padding, and it comes in several different thicknesses, and a variety of types. Occasionally the wrong padding is layered with a type of carpeting because a more supportive layer is required to maintain the carpet’s shape. Also, sometimes, under unusual circumstances, the padding can deteriorate allowing the fabric of the carpet to stretch.


Although carpet installation is not considered as technical as rocket science, it may still require skilled and knowledgeable personnel to stretch the fibers enough to keep them taut over time. When the carpet is attached to tack strips along your walls, if the carpet is too tight, holes can appear as the top layer is pulled and moves. On the other hand, if the carpet is not stretched tight enough, daily movement in the carpet can cause it to detach from the tack strip.


Carpet is often formed in layers. The primary layer is woven, and then a secondary coating is added against the first to hold the fibers together and help them keep their shape. When the coating becomes detached from the top layer, it is called delamination. When this happens, there is nothing to hold the carpet’s shape, so it can often begin to stretch and move.

When your carpet begins to wrinkle, stretch, or move, consider contacting a carpet layer to re-stretch the flooring before it becomes a serious issue. Dealing with the problem as soon as you find it can prevent larger ripples that require a more extensive repair.


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