Common Carpet Cleaning and Stretching Questions
There are often many questions when we talk to our customers about carpet cleaning and stretching.
Our customers want to know things like “should I clean my carpet before the stretch or after?”. Another common questions is “what happens if I stretch a carpet while it’s still wet?”. Lastly we get questions like “will carpet cleaning help remove the lines left over after the carpet has been stretched?
Cleaning Carpets Before or After Carpet Stretching
The relationship between carpet cleaning and stretching services is simple when you consider one thing: water. When carpet is cleaned with hot water extraction (also known as steam cleaning), hot water is sprayed into the carpet and then extracted.
Even after extracting the water, some moisture is left behind.
Even common dry carpet cleaning methods also known as low moisture cleaning still typically use some water. So don’t think mistake “low moisture for no moisture”.
Most carpet is made with a latex backing and latex glues. When these become wet and hot, the carpet expands a little bit.
Ideally Do Not Stretch Carpet While it is Wet
If you stretch the carpet while its wet and hot from cleaning (and therefore expanded), you risk over stretching the carpet. Especially when you incorporate the use of a power stretcher, as all quality carpet stretchers should.
What that means is that as the carpet dries, the carpet contracts and pulls against the tack strips holding it to the wall.
Overstretched areas of carpet can pull off from the tack strips, or worse, split a carpet seam in the middle of the room.
To avoid carpet damage, do not stretch it while it is wet. We recommend waiting a few days after a carpet cleaning before stretching the carpet.
Stretch Carpet Before Cleaning
Now that we know not to stretch carpet while it is wet, let’s discuss the ideal method for carpet cleaning and stretching.
The best way to clean carpet is after the carpet stretching is complete. There are a few reasons for this.
If you clean the carpet after you stretch it, you avoid risks of tearing seams or overstretching the carpet.
Help Erase Lines and Wrinkles in Carpet
Over time, carpet that has needed to be stretched wrinkles and buckles in the same places.
As these wrinkles continue without being repaired, they become more prominent and permanent. The latex backing of the carpet settles in that same shape.
When carpet is stretched, often the lines where the wrinkles and buckling were still show to some extent.
Hot water extraction (steam cleaning) cleans the carpet, helps relax the wrinkled shape and allows the carpet fibers to realign.
Cleaning a carpet with hot water extraction after the carpet is stretched helps release and hide the creases that formed in the carpet over time.
Special Exceptions Where We Clean Before We Stretch
Now that we have discussed the ideal scenario for carpet cleaning and stretching, we will now touch on some exceptions.
There are certain circumstances where cleaning the carpet before restretching it is necessary.
Pet Urine and Odor
We frequently are called in to handle difficult carpet cleaning pet urine and odor issues. When carpet cleaning and flooding treatments alone can’t handle the odor and pet damage, we have to get serious.
- Pulling up the carpet
- Removing the carpet pad,
- Potentially sealing the subfloor
- Replacing the carpet pad with new pad
- Cleaning both the top and backing of the carpet and performing and necessary carpet repair services
- Stretching the carpet back into place.
When we need to clean the underside of the carpet as well as the fibers on top, we obviously want to clean the carpet before we stretch it back into place.
A professional Denver carpet cleaning company (like ours) knows how far to stretch still damp carpet without causing seams to tear or causing other damage.
Depending on the scope of the carpet stretching, it may make sense to let the loose carpet dry or not.
Water Damage Restoration
Like the pet urine situation mentioned above, water damage restoration often calls for a carpet pad replacement. Depending on the source of the water damage, we may need to clean and sanitize both sides of the carpet.
The Conclusion on Carpet Stretching and Cleaning
In normal situations, stretching the carpet before cleaning is the right way to do it. However, there are certain circumstances (including ones not discussed here) that call for reversing that order.
Our skilled Denver carpet stretching and repair technicians can assess each situation and choose the right course of action.
As always, if you have any questions or you’d like to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Or Call: 1-720-233-0761