When you shampoo your carpet or have it professionally cleaned, you expect the end result to be a carpet that's cleaner and better looking. So when your carpet appears to start buckling or rippling after shampooing, it's normal to be concerned. Here's what you should do in this situation.
Step 1: Be patient.
Don't immediately try to flatten the carpet by walking over it, placing something heavy on it, or ironing it. Sometimes carpets stretch out a little bit while moist but will shrink back down to their normal shape again once they dry. This is most likely to happen with older carpets since the padded backing may be breaking down, allowing the upper layers of the carpet to be more flexible. Let the carpet dry completely. If it is still buckled, move on to step 2.
Step 2: Contact the carpet cleaning company.
If you shampooed the carpet yourself, then of course you will skip this step and go on to step 3. But, if you had the carpet shampooed professionally, you need to contact the company that did the work. In many cases, they guarantee their results and will cover some, if not all, of the costs associated with having the carpet stretched and re-installed. This is because buckling can sometimes be caused by defective equipment that pulls on the carpet too strongly or does not remove enough water from the carpet.
Step 3: Arrange to have the carpet stretched and re-installed.
If the buckling bothers you, then contact a carpet installation company. They will detach the carpet from one side of the floor and use a special device to stretch it out so it lays flat again. They may then trim some material off the edge of the carpet before re-attaching it to the floor along that side. Note that if the buckling occurred because your carpet is very old and the underside padding is worn away, they might recommend that you just replace the carpet as stretching it may cause it to tear.
Step 4: Keep the carpet from buckling again.
If you shampoo the carpet yourself, take steps to make sure it dries quickly, as this will help prevent buckling. Go over the carpet again on suction mode after you shampoo it. Open windows for better ventilation, and keep furniture out of the room until the carpet is entirely dry.
If you hire a carpet cleaning company, tell them you've had trouble with buckling in the past. They can use less suction power and less water to help prevent buckling this time around.
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