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Written By Ellie BrooksPublished 12/08/22
Carpeting sets the tone of a room. A clean carpet in a neutral or soothing color lends a comfortable and tidy air to a space. Conversely, a warped, matted, discolored, or otherwise dingy carpet makes an otherwise neat room appear unkempt.
If your carpet is a little worse for wear, it’s not always immediately clear how you can bring it back to its original condition. The pros at Liberty Home Guard have some answers for you. Here are common carpet problems and what to do to resolve them.
Some carpet problems may require professional help, but there’s plenty that the average homeowner can accomplish alone. Refer to our guidance for each common issue below.
Matting and crushing occur when carpet fibers become compressed. This is most often due to foot traffic day after day. Over time, the pressure of people walking over the carpet leaves a distinct matted path or trail.
Matting and crushing are unavoidable, but you can delay the inevitable with regular vacuuming. The suction of the vacuum cleaner will help the carpet fibers resist compression.
If your carpet is more severely matted, you can experiment with heat, moisture, and brushing. Visit your local hardware store to rent a carpet-cleaning machine for a day or two. Beyond cleaning your carpet of stains, dust, and odors, these machines can use detergent, water, and heat to revive matted or crushed fibers. While the carpet is still damp, you can comb over the matted areas with a carpet brush. Alternatively, you can hire a carpet-cleaning service or invest in Liberty Home Guard’s carpet-cleaning warranty coverage for professional service.
For localized treatment, you can use a hot, damp rag or clothes iron to help carpet fibers expand. Then use a comb or fork to tease the fibers upright.
Carpet shedding and pilling occur when bits of carpet fibers tear, unravel, or come loose from the carpet base. Some materials are more likely to shed than others. Wool carpeting, for example, is prone to shedding, while synthetic carpet fiber is reasonably resistant to it. New carpets are also more likely to pill and shed.
You can manage carpet shedding by vacuuming regularly—but don’t go overboard. Vacuuming once a week will extract loose fibers and keep your carpet looking well-groomed, but excessive vacuuming will weaken fibers and can result in more shedding. When you do vacuum, run the appliance with the carpet pile rather than against it.
A carpet brush or rake can serve to collect shed fibers. But go easy. Brushing too hard will worsen the problem and may visibly damage your carpet.
If you notice some minor shedding here and there, you can also use a pill removing tool or pair of scissors to sever loosening fibers.
Carpet depressions and indentations are essentially localized spots of matted fibers. They’re usually caused by the weight of furniture compressing the fibers.
Some depressions are of little consequence simply because the cause of the depression—furniture—stays in one place, obscuring the compressed fibers. You might find them bothersome if you expose them after rearranging your furniture.
Treat carpet indentations the same way you would a matted carpet. While a vacuum or carpet cleaner can help, often a damp rag or hot clothes iron will suffice. Use a comb or fork on the damp fibers to eliminate the depression more effectively.
Carpet buckling has several causes, and you must identify the source of the problem to adequately resolve it.
Moisture. Carpets can buckle when they become saturated with water. Even an exceptionally humid environment can cause rippling.
If your carpet was exposed to water in a flood or accident and has since dried and buckled, the carpet might be salvageable if you have it professionally re-stretched. The padding beneath the carpet will almost certainly need to be replaced.
If your carpet has started to ripple in humid weather, try to bring down the moisture level as best you can. Run your air conditioner to lower the temperature and dry out the air. Use a dehumidifier to capture moisture from the air. Run oscillating fans to facilitate evaporation. With a little luck, the carpet will flatten as it dries out.
Poor installation. A carpet needs to be stretched tight during installation. Professional crews typically use a machine to get the material as taut as possible. If the carpet is not stretched properly during installation, rippling and buckling are much more likely.
The only solution to this problem is to re-stretch the carpet. If you had a professional contractor recently handle the installation, you may have a carpet warranty you can claim to fix the issue at no cost.
Dragging heavy furniture. Whenever possible, you should always lift pieces of furniture and other heavy items to move them across a carpeted room. Dragging heavy desks, dressers, bureaus, and similar items can cause your carpet to bulge.
If you have a stained carpet, create an all-purpose stain remover by mixing distilled vinegar, dish soap, and warm water in a spray bottle. Sometimes a little baking soda can help to absorb stains as well.
Carpet fading is usually caused by exposure to direct sunlight. You can avoid this by drawing your blinds or curtains when the sun shines directly through the windows of the carpeted room. Unfortunately, once the carpet is faded or discolored, there’s not much you can do to fix it. You can try rearranging your furniture to cover up the faded spot, or simply replace the carpet when you have the means to do so.
A musty or smelly carpet will ruin a room. Your best bet is to use a carpet cleaner with a detergent or carpet shampoo. Specialized enzyme cleaners are effective for pet stains and odors.
For a DIY approach, you can mix some distilled vinegar with water and spritz the carpet, being careful not to oversaturate it. Some people recommend shaking baking soda over the carpet and letting it set for several hours before vacuuming it up, but beware that such quantities of baking soda can harm your vacuum cleaner.
Want to extend the life of your carpet without breaking the bank? Create a custom Liberty Home Guard warranty. You can add our carpet cleaning services to a plan that protects your major home systems and appliances. Get started by calling (866)-432-1283. You can also use our website for a free quote.