Carpet rippling and lumpiness after cleaning can be attributed to various factors. One of the common causes is latex displacement, also referred to as expanding differentials. This happens when the carpet absorbs moisture during the cleaning process, causing it to expand and form ripples or lumps.
Sometimes, the carpet does not revert to its original state, or wrinkles start appearing inexplicably. Several factors can cause this, the most common being improper installation. According to manufacturer guidelines, carpets need to be power stretched into place, and then “tacked down.” The installer must also use a knee kicker to position the carpet properly on the tack(less) strip, which will hold the carpet in place. If the carpet is not appropriately stretched in, it will revert to its original, un-stretched state. As you might guess, this results in uneven wrinkling in the carpet, as some areas of the carpet will be attached to the tack(less) strip, while others won’t.
The age of the carpet also contributes to this condition- if the backings are starting to fail, or if the glue is beginning to break down, the carpet’s stability is compromised, and the carpet will start to buckle. This condition can also be a factor in the delamination of the carpet, where the primary and secondary backings separate. One of the most frequent causes of delamination we encounter? Office chairs with wheels. Placing a rug under the chair’s wheels can help avoid this problem. Improper use of solvent spot removers (Goof-Off, Goo-Gone), or over-saturation (for instance, pet accidents) of the carpet can also cause delamination.
Interestingly enough, we often see more wrinkles appearing in carpets that were laid during the winter. Carpets are usually laid out, measured, and cut in the driveway, then promptly brought into the house and stretched into place. During warmer months, this isn’t a problem, but in winter, when it’s cold outside, the carpet backing becomes very stiff and hard to stretch into place. As the weather warms up, the carpet backing relaxes more, and suddenly, bubbles start appearing on the carpet.
The last possible cause of carpet wrinkling, albeit the most unlikely, is a manufacturing defect. If the glue was not mixed, spread, or cured properly, wrinkles can occur. If your carpet has been properly maintained, this could be covered under your manufacturer’s warranty. For more information, refer to your manufacturer.
The type and make of the carpet can also influence this displacement. Not all fibers have the same water absorption capacity. Wool fibers can retain almost 100% of their weight in water, Nylon up to about 20%, and polyester and polypropylene fibers much less. This means that Nylon and wool carpets take longer to dry, and are more likely to have water seep into the backing of the carpet, and to the clay. Looped carpets may also take longer to dry, as water doesn’t wick as easily from the fibers.
While it can occasionally happen, the experts at Denver Pros Cleaning Services strive to prevent any carpet ripples after a cleaning. Our carpet cleaning method is simple and lets us avoid oversaturating your carpet with harsh chemicals and soaps. Instead, we spray our pre-
treatment, and then we clean using our proprietary solution! It’s that straightforward. Our process not only helps prevent carpet wrinkles but also allows for faster dry times. In the unlikely event that your carpet wrinkled immediately after being cleaned by us, remember that unless there’s a bigger underlying issue, your carpet is fine and will return to normal soon! Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions!