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What Causes A Carpet To Buckle?

What Causes A Carpet To Buckle?

If your carpet has started to buckle you’re probably wondering what caused this to happen in the first place.

There are lots of different reasons why a carpet can buckle, ranging from humidity to poor installation. Let’s take a deep dive into the different reasons your carpet may buckle as well as what you can do if your carpet has already buckled.

Reasons Your Carpet May Buckle

Most people think that spillages of water or other fluids are the main reason that carpets buckle, but that’s not exactly the case.


Humidity is one of the leading causes of buckling carpets, especially in climates where the heat index changes drastically between seasons. When the humidity is very high, moisture is absorbed by carpets from the air which can cause it to swell and change shape.

Mild buckling is common in many areas of the world and usually will return to normal when the humidity levels are lower. If you experience this type of buckling then there isn’t much need to replace or refit your carpet.

However, if the climate changes are quite severe this can lead to serious buckling. This is identified as buckling that stays in place regardless of the time of year.

Once this happens the only option is to refit or replace your carpet, however, the refitting process can become a lot more difficult depending on the severity of the buckling and may not be possible in all cases.

Moving Furniture

Moving furniture can cause a lot of problems to your carpet if you don’t pick up the item properly and instead drag it along the floor. This can not only lead to buckling but fraying as well.

Smaller pieces of furniture such as chairs or stools tend are usually okay, but larger pieces such as sofas require more care when moving; even if you are just cleaning up and need to quickly one over to the side.

Dragging large pieces of furniture over carpet causes damage to the seal of the carpet, whether that be staples, sealant or simply the carpet tack. It can also damage the underpad of the carpet as well as damage the fibre of the carpet itself, all of which lead to an increased chance of buckling.

Low-Quality Installation

Choosing a quality carpet installation expert can save you lots of stress and headache down the road. One of the issues with poor installation is that it is not always easy to tell – especially for novices – what the problems are with the installation.

If your carpet hasn’t been fitted correctly it is only a matter of time before buckling occurs. If your carpet isn’t stretched correctly, this can lead to buckling. If your carpet hasn’t been fitted to the carpet tack properly, this can also lead to buckling… The list goes on.

The money spent on getting a quality fit will far outweigh the costs of repair in years to come.

Incorrect Underpad

Before a carpet can be fitted into place an underpad must be first placed to provide cushioning and support for the carpet.

If the underpad is not fitted correctly, or if the material of the underpad itself is not complimentary to the carpet, buckling may easily occur. Common problems with the underpad are having a material that is not firm enough to give support to the carpet above, or space being left between the carpet and underpad that could allow for unwanted movement of the carpet.

All of these factors mean that the carpet can move more freely which increases the likelihood of buckling occurring.

Carpet Delamination

You may not have heard above carpet delamination before, but it can lead to buckling so it definitely pays to know about it.

Carpet delamination is a term used to describe when the secondary backing of the carpet starts to separate from the primary backing or the bottom of the carpet fibres.

Delamination in carpets is usually due to the adhesive between layers being worn down which can happen over time or more commonly with spillages or friction.

The result is that the top layer of carpet will become detached and as a result move around more easily, which naturally leads to buckling. The problem with delamination is that you’ll most likely have no choice but to replace your carpet entirely or have the actual carpet repaired which is not very practical.

4 Methods To Prevent Carpet Buckling

Luckily there are quite a few methods you can use that greatly reduce the chances of your carpet buckling.

Let’s take a look at the top 4 methods you can use to prevent carpet buckling.

1. Use Rugs In Higher Traffic Areas

If an area of your carpet experiences more footfall than others, most commonly experienced in places such as hallways, then a rug can be placed over the carpet to protect it.

High traffic areas are not only places that cause more friction on your carpet, but they are also more prone to spillages and other damage. By placing a rug in areas like this, you’ll have peace of mind that your carpet is protected in the places where it needs it the most.

2. Regularly Clean Your Carpet

Many people don’t realise just how much they should be cleaning their carpet. You should aim to have your carpet professionally cleaned at least once per year alongside vacuuming every week and addressing stains and spillages as soon as possible.

Regular cleaning will prevent the build-up of liquids which, as mentioned previously, is the most common cause of buckling.

3. Use The Right Cleaning Techniques

Regularly cleaning your carpet is of no use at all if you don’t use the right methods. Whilst this is a whole different topic – that you can read more about here – the general rule of thumb is to not leave excess liquid on your carpet.

Excess liquid from cleaning can cause more damage than actually helping to prevent buckling, so always keep this in mind when you decide to clean your carpet thoroughly.

4. Use An Air Conditioner Or Dehumidifier

To keep humidity down in the summer months an air conditioner is a great option. This will work to circulated air around the room and

Likewise, a dehumidifier can be used which actively removes moisture from the air to directly combat humidity. Both of these methods are great to keep humidity down and therefore reduce the amount of water in your carpet.

How To Treat A Buckled Carpet

If your carpet has already buckled then you need to know what to do about it.

As mentioned before, if you live in a climate with a high heat index then there is a chance that the buckling is seasonal and that your carpet may return to normal when the humidity lessens. If this is not the case, and your buckling stays put throughout the course of a year then you have 2 realistic options to choose from.

1. Replace Your Carpet

The easiest option would be to simply replace your carpet, but this does of course depend on your budget as well as the severity of the buckling.

If your buckling is severe and, more importantly, the fibres of the carpet are damaged and experienced delamination then it might be time to get a new carpet.

Always consider the option of getting your carpet re-stretched before you decide to replace it entirely.

2. Get Your Carpet Re-Stretched

If you think there is still life left in your carpet you can get a professional to re-fit the carpet by stretching it back into place.

This is a much cheaper option that can save you a lot of money. You could save even more by attempting to do this yourself but again we advise you at least seek a professional opinion to save further headaches down the line.

Final Thoughts

So, that covers just about everything there is to carpet buckling including why it occurs and what you can do to prevent it as well as treat it.

If you have any other questions that you would like answering don’t hesitate to contact us here.