Some of the most common carpet problems that homeowners encounter are dreaded wrinkles and buckles.Over time, carpet and the padding underneath it loosens and begins to bunch up, resulting in a lumpy flooring that is both an eyesore and uncomfortable to walk on.
Here are the basics of how to avoid carpet bunching up.
Stretch with Power StretcherWhen the carpet is bunched up, the first thing that you need to do is stretch it with a power stretcher. The power stretcher is a device that goes across the room and pulls the carpet both directions to stretch it out. You will use leverage in order to press down on the lever and stretch the carpet.
Remove furniture from the area where the carpet pad is bunched up so that you have space to work. Pull up the edge of the carpet closest to the area that’s buckled, loosening it from the tack strip, and then pull the carpet back a little past the point where the pad is bunched and set it down leaving the pad exposed.
Knee KickerOnce you get to the edge of the wall, you need to use a knee kicker to continue stretching the carpet. A knee kicker is a device that grips the carpet and allows you to kick it with your knee to stretch it. This helps you stretch the carpet up over the tack strip along the wall.
Push the end of the kicker with your knee to stretch the carpet as far as possible. If the carpet doesn’t seem tight, hold it in place, move the head of the kicker back so that it’s about 6 inches from the tack strip, and push again. Push the edge of the carpet into the tack strip. Work your way out from the center on either side until all of the carpet edges are secured.
Cut Off ExcessIn some cases, you have excess carpet along the wall after stretching. Take a utility knife and cut this off. Cut excess carpet with a carpet cutter or utility knife. If working with the latter, cut from the back of the carpet for the cleanest line. When using a carpet cutter, which is typically rented from hardware stores unless you do enough carpet work to justify the purchase of a tool, follow the directions for the specific cutter. In most cases, you’ll use a utility knife to make a starting cut, slide the cutter into place, and run it along the edge of the carpet to remove the excess.
Consider this: investing in carpet repairs and routine maintenance now is the best way to extend the life of your carpet and long-term replacement costs.