Carpet Repair: An Introduction
Let’s start with the basics: It is possible to do your own repair. If you would rather repair than spend hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars replacing then a carpet repair may be for you.
Although the average homeowner may be able to repair their carpet themselves, it’s not necessarily the best choice.
A professional can help you in a small fraction of the time it would take an untrained person, all while making a hard job look easy.
If you are a homeowner and want to try to fix it yourself, I caution you that if quality really matters, then hire a pro.
For now I’ll just skim the surface and describe the most common types of repairs. Later, I’ll go in depth and explain in more detail about each type.
Here are some different types of carpet repair:
• Seam Repair
• Pet Damaged (Including Removing Pet Urine)
• Repairing Flood Damage
• Reinstalling After Remodeling
• Repair Stairs
• Stain Removal
When an original installation is done properly, you should never need to re-stretch loose carpet. Proper installation requires a tool called a stretcher or a power stretcher. (Not a kicker, kickers aren’t nearly enough.) When you see ripples, wrinkles, or bunched-up carpet, that’s when you know you need to have it stretched.
Most of the time, a loose carpet can be re-stretched without needing to take apart seams. If seams do need to be taken apart, it opens up a whole other can of worms.
If there’s some furniture in the room, we can often use our carpet stretcher without having to clear the room entirely. Often we can move the furniture from one side of the room to the other and stretch one side of the room at a time.
If you have a stain that you can’t get out or you have damaged carpet due to a burn (not the good kind), or your bad dog or cat thinks that carpet is a food group, then a patch may be the only solution.
Patching isn’t as easy as it looks. The patch needs to be exactly perfect. If there’s any overlap or gap at the seam (at all), you’ll be sorry.
You can use a leftover piece of carpet from the original installation or steal a piece of carpet from a closet to do your carpet patching. One thing you probably can’t do is go to the carpet store and buy a piece to match.
A carpet to floor transition is anyplace where the carpet ends and the floor begins. If it’s at a tile floor we call it a carpet to tile transition.
Many people install their own tile but don’t know how to finish the job with the carpet to tile transition. Often professional tile installers don’t know how to finish their job with a proper carpet to tile transition. There are several good ways to do a carpet to floor transition that I will explain in the carpet to tile transition article.
When people refer to a Berber carpet, they’re referring to a looped carpet with rows. It’s not really a Berber carpet but for our purposes here it’s okay to call it Berber. For an interesting read on the history of Berber carpet click here.
Berber carpet repair is often needed due to a snag in a Berber carpet or a pull in a Berber carpet. A pull in a Berber carpet happens when one or more threads get caught, either in a vacuum or some other way. Often times it’s the family pet or a child that pulls Berber carpet and creates the snag or run.
If there is just one Berber carpet row that has been pulled, it can be re-burled (glued back into place). If the Berber carpet run is more serious, say for example a dog was trapped in a room and tried to dig her way out, then a patch is in order.
If your Berber carpet is loose then it will need to be stretched. Stretching Berber carpet isn’t really any different than stretching carpet of any other type.
If a carpet comes apart at the seam it can be repaired in several different ways. One way is to glue it back together, another way would be to remove the old seam tape and do the entire seam over. If the seam that came apart is on a Berber carpet then it becomes a bit more challenging.
A seam needs to withstand a lot of use, and do so for many years. This is one place where it really makes sense to use the best products available. One thing you definitely should not use is the cheap two-sided carpet tape that some web sites sell. It won’t last.
Repairing carpet that’s been damaged by a dog or a cat may be as simple as using a solution to remove the stain and odor. Or it may require much more, such as removing carpet and replacing it with a patch, or even going deeper by removing and replacing the carpet padding and cleaning and deodorizing the floor below the carpet, the tack strip, and even the baseboard.
When a room becomes flooded, most often we will remove the padding, dry out the carpet and then replace the padding with new carpet pad. In most cases the tack strip does not need to be replaced. A flood damaged carpet can mildew quite quickly so it’s important to take quick action.
Removing, replacing, or installing new built-in furniture, walls, floor heaters, toilets, cabinets, and other fixtures are just a few reasons that a carpet installer will need install the carpet properly into the room. This will require some new tack strip and possibly some new carpet and pad to add to the area. Many times the customer will have some carpet left over from the installation. If not, we can often take carpet from the closet.
Removing carpet and carpet pad is simple but sometimes strenuous. If we are trying to save the carpet to use in a different room or to re-carpet the hallway or stairway, we will want to try to keep it in one piece. If the objective is just to remove old carpet and old carpet pad, we will make it easy on ourselves by cutting the carpet into strips approximately two feet wide.
Sometimes we charge to haul the carpet and pad away but most often we leave it in garbage bags for the customer to feed into their garbage can over a period of a few weeks (no charge).
The first stair always wears out first. One way to save a LOT of money is to use a scrap of leftover carpet from the installation or from a closet to replace just a stair or two.
If more stairs need to be re-carpeted, and if the stairway carpet matches the carpet in the hall and the rest of the house, you can save a LOT of money by replacing the stairway carpet with carpet removed from a different room. It’s far less expensive to replace just one room of carpet than to re-carpet your entire house, and the stairway carpet continues to match the carpet in the hall and the rest of the house.
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of products that you can use to remove stains from your carpet. If you want some great tips on how to remove carpet stains click here.
The preceding information only scratches the surface of what’s possible with carpet repair. In the future we do plan on writing additional articles describing in further detail every category that was listed.