What Causes Carpet To Buckle?

Have you ever tripped on your carpet while walking carefree around your house? Well, it could be due to carpet buckle or ripple. But what causes the carpet to buckle?

Carpet buckles look like tiny bumps or creases that not only take away from the way your carpet looks but also make you and your family members prone to tripping.

So how can you fix the carpet buckle? How can you avoid this problem? Make sure you read this article till the end to find out!

What Causes Carpet To Buckle?

How To Identify Carpet Buckling?

Carpet buckling or wrinkling may ruin the look of your carpet; if you are not sure what carpet buckling then here are some signs that can help you identify it:

  • Ripples or Wrinkles: The most obvious sign of carpet buckling is when you see wrinkles or ripples on any area of your carpet.
  • Bunching: If you see your carpet bunching or forming small hills, then that is a sign of carpet buckling.
  • Loose Carpet Edges: If the edges of the carpet are coming off your flooring or if it appears lifted up, then it might be because of carpet buckling.
  • Prone to Tripping: Carpets that have loosened up will make you more prone to tripping especially if you jump or skip rope on carpet. If you find yourself tripping very often on your carpet, then that’s a sign of carpet buckling.

What Causes Carpet To Buckle?

Wall-to-wall carpets add character to a boring room and make the space more cozy. However, these types of carpets are also the most prone to buckling.

Here are some common reasons why carpets buckle:

Dragging Heavy Objects

Dragging Heavy Objects - What Causes Carpet To Buckle

One of the most common reasons why a carpet ripple is when you drag heavy furniture or other objects on its surface.

When you drag a heavy item on the carpet, it tugs on the carpet’s surface and causes it to stretch and get lost.



Humidity is one of the major culprits that cause a carpet to ripple. This is usually common in four-season climates because there is such drastic change in weather.

But how does humidity cause the carpet to buckle?

So in a humid climate, the moisture present in the air is absorbed by the carpet and causes it to swell.

In non-severe humid climate areas, the carpet may get back to its original shape once the temperature gets normal. However, in severe cases, you might have to take action to remove the ripple.

Improper Carpet Installation

Improper Carpet Installation - What Causes Carpet To Buckle

When a wall-to-wall carpet is not installed and stretched properly, it may loosen and become rippled.

Ideally, while carpet installation, a carpet should be stretched using a power stretcher so that no loose space is left behind.

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to install a carpet?

Moisture or Wetness

Moisture or Wetness

We now know that humidity can cause a carpet to ripple, but so can moisture.

If your carpet becomes overwet, may be due to improper steam cleaning or due to water flooding, etc., then that can cause your carpet to buckle.

Too much moisture makes carpets susceptible to stretching and swelling. So make sure to keep your carpets safe.

Wrong Carpet Underpad

Wrong Carpet Underpad - Causes Carpet To Buckle

Another common reason why carpet ripple is when you use the wrong size and type of cushion under the carpet.

If you do not use dense enough underpads for your carpet, then your carpet can become loose and flexible, causing it to buckle in multiple places.



Your carpet comes with two types of backing. One is the primary backing, where the fibers are fastened to, and another is the secondary backing which holds together everything.

So delamination is when the secondary and primary backing gets detached due to the breakdown of the latex adhesive. When this happens, your carpet becomes buckled or rippled.

Delamination can be a manufacturing defect or a result of a wet carpet.

Inadequate Carpet Maintenance

Inadequate Carpet Maintenance

Carpets are not items that you can buy and forget about. These are items that require the most care and maintenance.

Dirt and debris accumulate on and underneath your carpet over time.

Letting the debris sit beneath your carpet without proper vacuuming and cleaning can cause it to become uneven and lose over time.

How To Avoid Carpet Buckling?

Carpet buckling can be dangerous as it can cause you or your kids to trip over and injure yourselves. So here are some tips that can help you to avoid carpet buckling:

Stop Dragging Furniture

Stop Dragging Furniture

Cleaning and rearranging your house might require you to drag furniture and other items. Especially if you live alone, dragging objects that are heavy might seem like the only option for you.

However, you need to stop dragging objects on your carpet if you do not want them to ripple.

Ask for someone’s help if you live alone, and if you have people living in your house, then take their help to lift and move the items in your house.

Choose the Right Padding

As already mentioned, uneven carpet and underpadding can lead to carpet rippling. So make sure you choose a carpet that is no less than six pounds in density and is no more than seven-sixteenths of an inch in diameter.

Additionally, make sure to check the specifications of your carpet from the manufacturer to avoid the warranty from getting void.

Invest in a Good Quality Carpet

Invest in a Good Quality Carpet

Purchasing a cheap carpet and underpadding might save you money in the short run, be it is not going to last long or look good for too long.

Always make sure to buy a good quality carpet. A cheap carpet might get detached from its layering or maybe more prone to absorbing moisture.

Regular Cleaning

Make sure you vacuum your carpet regularly and get your carpets cleaned from time to time.

Uncleaned and unmaintained carpets lose their shine and become loose and buckled over time.

Keep Humidity in Check

Keep Humidity in Check

Since humidity is a major contributor to carpet buckling, you need to keep the humidity in your house in check.

For this, make sure you keep your house door and windows open to let air circulate and allow sunlight to fall on the carpet.

You can also use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner when the humidity levels in your rise.

Get Your Carpet Professionally Installed

Carpet professionals know how to install carpets properly. So instead of trying to save money and doing the carpet installation yourself, please hire an expert for the job.

A carpet professional would be able to stretch and install the carpet minimizing the risk of buckling.

Proper Maintenance

Proper Maintenance

To avoid carpet buckling, make sure you use proper tools and cleaning methods for your carpet.

Do not rub abrasive tools or use harsh chemicals on your carpet. Instead, use gentle cleaning products, a soft-bristled brush, or a vacuum while cleaning your carpet.

How To Fix Ripples In Carpet?

How To Fix a Buckled Carpet?

So now you know how to avoid carpet buckling or rippling, but what if your carpet is already rippled? And in such a case, how can you fix a rippled carpet? Here are some useful tips:


If a small area of your carpet has rippled, then you can get it patched. In this, the rippled area of the carpet is cut and replaced by a new piece of carpet.

However, this solution may not work for a large area.

Professional Re-Stretching

The best way to fix your carpet is by hiring a professional for this job.

A professional would be able to re-stretch your carpet using a power stretcher and would be able to re-secure your carpet to the floor, making it smooth and even.

However, it will cost you $120–$350 to get a 1000-1500 sq. ft. stretched.

DIY Re-Stretching

If you do not want to spend the money on hiring a professional for carpet re-stretching and are confident that you would be able to do the job yourself, then you can do this yourself.

However, we would still recommend you hire a professional, as a single mistake could ruin your carpet entirely.

Carpet Replacement

If you have tried everything, but your carpet does not get fixed, then carpet replacement may be the only option left for you.

Since carpet replacement is expensive, make sure you keep all the above-mentioned tips in mind to avoid the rippling of your new carpet.

What Causes Carpet To Buckle?- Wrap Up

No carpet is made to withstand “carpet abuse” that is caused by high foot traffic, running around of kids, pets, etc.

Apart from daily wear and tear, stains, etc., carpet rippling or bucking is another common problem that homeowners face.

Knowing what causes a carpet to buckle can be really helpful for you to avoid this issue to a great extent. Also, use carpet tack strips to keep wall-to-wall carpets in place.

We hope the tips shared in this guide on how to avoid and fix carpet buckling were useful to you.

What Causes Carpet To Buckle? – FAQ

Will the creases come out of carpet?

Will creases come out of your carpet will depend on the degree of rippling. In severe cases, it might be impossible to get rid of the creases completely.

You should consult a carpet ce-stretching professional to find out if it is possible to get your carpet re-stretched completely.

Can steam cleaning lead to shrinking of the carpets?

Yes, steam cleaning done at very high temperatures can cause the carpets to shrink.

What is the ideal time frame to get carpets professionally clean?

A duration of 12-18 months is ideal for getting your carpets professionally cleaned. This will ensure your carpets looks new and lasts long.

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