Carpet Ripples – What They Are & How to Prevent Them

The rippling effect in carpets is something that we’ve all experienced if you clean your carpets on a regular basis. You may be wondering where exactly do these ripples come from? Well we’ve put together some information for you so you can understand it and therefor may be able to avoid this happening to you in the future!

How do ripples occur?

Ripples can appear on carpet installed over underlay. To explain why this happens, carpet cleaners will need to understand the installation process. First, gripper is fixed to the subfloor around the outside of the room close to the skirting boards. Next, the underlay is laid.

The carpet is stretched over the gripper along one wall, then stretched and attached over the gripper on the opposite wall. This is done all around the room. If ripples appear on carpets from day to day use, the underlay may be too thick or there was improper stretching when they were first installed.

If the underlay thickness raises the carpet too much above the level of the gripper, the carpet can slip off. Tension is lost in the detached carpets and, eventually, ripples appear.

As an additional note, It could also be that the carpet was not laid tightly enough during installation and possibly not acclimatised to the environment it’s being placed in. Carpets should be opened out in the installation area for at least 24 hours before fitting so that they can take on the climate of the room and relax prior to stretching.

How to prevent ripples from occurring

  • Ensure that the carpet is fitted by a fully qualified team – this is the simplest solution
  • Ensure the correct underlay has been used that isn’t too think for the overlaying carpet and is at the same level as the gripper
  • Ensure there isn’t too much moisture in the air or on the carpet as you are cleaning – having too much moisture can cause a carpet to buckle
  • Try not to drag heavy items across the floor as this can cause the carpet to stretch in certain places!

If you’d like to discuss more, we here at Derbyshire Flooring are experts in all things commercial flooring for specific industry sectors! Give us a call now and let’s see how we can help with all your flooring needs!