Why are my carpets buckling and getting wrinkles?

powerstretcherThere are many causes for carpets to wrinkle over time.According to the Carpet and Rug Institute it is mandatory for a carpet installation company to use a Mechanical Stretching Device (power stretcher) when new carpet is installed.

It is important that companies use the proper tools when installing your carpet by not using other devices as a substitute or an attachment that could penetrate through the carpet backing. These could cause injury, damage to the carpet or result in inadequate stretch.

A mechanical stretching device used during carpet installation is also referred as a “power stretcher” or “carpet stretcher” they can be found in a number of styles but all should have the four basic capabilities”

  1. A method to positively engage the carpet without slippage or damage. Most approved stretchers usually have a pin plate or similar structure referred to as the “stretcher head.”
  2. A method to bridge between the “stretcher head” and a stationary structure, usually the opposite wall. Typically the stretcher has a series of adjustable metal tubes ending in a padding so not to damage the wall.
  3. A leverage or some other form of device that is capable of supplying force or multiplying the force applied by the installer. This force is required to allow the installer to elongate the carpet to the correct stretch needed to properly install the carpet.
  4. A locking mechanism so the stretcher can be locked into place safely while the carpet is set into place.

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CAUTION: Failure to mechanically stretch a carpet may result in:

  • Wrinkling and buckling over time
  • localized damage to the carpet
  • delamination

*Wrinkles and buckles most often caused by a failure to adequately stretch carpet using a mechanical device, using inappropriate or improperly installed cushion, adverse temperature and humidity conditions, or inadequate conditioning time.

Many times when Masterkleen customers give us a call to remove carpet buckles and wrinkles in their carpets is because the installation wasn’t properly completed by a certified professional or it’s to correct a DIY weekend project completed without the proper tools.

carpet_strechingThe truth for many carpet installing companies they get paid by the install not the quality of the install. Those same companies feel that the power stretcher is too slow and it costs them money. Not using an stretcher might save them money but will cause wrinkles to develop over the first 18 months and will void the carpet warranty immediately.
It is important to ask questions when purchasing a new carpet. As the consumer you should know what tools are being used and if possible be present when the carpet is installed. Manufacturer warranties are very specific and if not done correctly will cause your new carpet to wear unevenly, wrinkle or become damaged and leave you with a voided warranty.

If the company installing doesn’t use a power stretcher or tells you it’s not needed don’t purchase the carpet from them, no matter how great a deal they offer. You are going to pay more in the long run and probably end up having to replace or repair within 24 months.

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You can find out more about Masterkleen’s carpet stretching services by visiting our website carpet care section.