Carpet Cleaning and Stretching Recommendations

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.

Carpet stretching and cleaning

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.

Avoiding Overstretching

If you clean the carpet after you stretch it, you avoid risks of tearing seams or overstretching the carpet.

Cleaning Carpet in Room

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.

wrinkled buckling carpet

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.

This involves:

  • 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.
Cleaning Both Sides of Carpet Before Stretching 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

Can Carpet Be Stretched Without Moving Furniture

When we’re discussing carpet stretching with our customers, they commonly want to know if you can you stretch the carpet in a room when there is furniture in it. More often than not, the answer is “yes you can”. Even when it’s not, we have some creative workarounds.

Factors that Impact Moving Furniture for Carpet Stretching or Not

There are a few important factors to deciding whether we can stretch the carpet with furniture present in the room. These typically include the following, which we will dive deeper into later in this article

  • What quantity of furniture is there?
  • How heavy is the furniture?
  • How big are the furniture pieces?
  • Where is the furniture located in the room?

How Carpet Stretching Works

Before deciding whether we can stretch an area of carpet with furniture on it, it’s helpful to understand what carpet stretching actually is and what it accomplishes. Customers want to get their carpet stretched when it develops wrinkles or buckling.

To stretch a room of carpet, we first have to pull up the carpet off of the tack strips. Then we use a combination of tools, most important of which is a Power Stretcher.

A power stretcher consists of a series of long poles that brace off of an opposite wall. At the working end of the tool is a large lever that grips the carpet. 

Using leverage, we can re-tension the carpet.Professional carpet stretching is a combination of skill and art to do it right. Once the carpet is properly taut, we cut the excess with a utility knife.

We then use a knee kicker to attach the carpet to tack strips that hold the carpet down. Then we tuck it securely against the wall. This completes the carpet repair.

Stretching Carpet in a room

Whether to Move Furniture or Not

At the end of the day, we want to properly stretch your carpet so that you do it once and never have to do it again. In order to do this, it’s all about achieving the right tension and about adequately distributing that tension across the whole area of carpet.

At the same time, we have to be careful to make sure that we don’t cause the carpet to rip at the seams.

Moving large furniture for carpet stretching

Heavy Single Pieces of Furniture

If we can’t achieve that desired tension across the room, or there is a particularly heavy object, we can’t achieve ideal results. The weight of the furniture can potentially cause uneven carpet stretching results.

For example, if our customer has a 500 pound piano, sleigh bed, exercise equipment or pool table in the middle of the room we are trying to stretch the carpet in, this will likely be a problem. Similarly, things like entertainment centers can pose a challenge.

As hard as we try stretch the carpet past extremely heavy items, the large piece of furniture is going to prevent us from stretching the carpet behind the heavy item. The result would be that we are only able to effectively stretch a portion of the room from that direction.

In these circumstances, its usually best to move the heavy piece of furniture when stretching the carpet.

 

Large Piece of Furniture

While heavy items can be a problem, so too can a significant amount of furniture or large pieces of furniture.

Big furniture items, like a sectional sofa, can make it difficult to know what the condition of the carpet underneath it is. They also can present a challenge in stretching around it because of how much of the room it blocks.

Significant Amounts of Furniture

Trying to stretch carpet in a room filled with a lot of furniture can be tricky to maneuver around. Delicate items like vases and lamps should always be moved to keep them from being knocked over or damaged.

Beyond delicate items, it also makes life easier to move small items like chairs or side tables etc. The fewer items in a room, the easier it is to achieve using the power stretcher from multiple angles to achieve the best stretching.

What to do About Moving Furniture

Often times it’s not feasible for homeowners to move their large pieces of furniture themselves. We bring furniture glides as well as lifting equipment to help.

Sometimes it’s a bit of a juggle, but these allow heavy items to be moved from one side of the room to the other with relative ease.

Depending on how much furniture we need to move, there may be an additional cost to move it.

Whatever you can get out of the way (at the minimum try to move all of the small and/or delicate items) before we arrive, the less expensive the service will be and the better the final stretch will be.

Get in Touch

If you still have questions around can carpet be stretched without moving furniture or if you’d like to book an appointment with us, please give us a call or book an appointment online. We service the greater Denver area.

Or Call: 1-720-233-0761

How Long Does it Take for Carpets to Dry?

Carpet cleaning a staircase

Wet and soggy carpet can be concerning. Understandably, you’d prefer your carpets to be dry sooner than later. Usually after a carpet cleaning, carpets are dry in 6-10 hours. For a flood or other more extreme amounts of water, we provide detailed answers to each scenario below.

In general, the answer to how long does it take for carpets to dry has a lot to do with how wet your carpets are presently, what caused them to get wet, and what external factors are affecting dry time. 

A General Rule of Thumb for Carpet Drying

In general, you don’t want your carpets to be severely wet for more than 24-48 hours. This is to avoid concerns about having smelly carpet or developing microbial growth. Carpets that are over-wetted or wet for a long period of time can also develop carpet buckles or rippling. Carpet water damage restoration can be both costly and time consuming. 

Typically carpets are wet for one of two reasons. Either they are wet from a flood or they are wet from a professional or DIY carpet cleaning. If you’d like to jump right to your relevant section, click the link below:

How Long Does It Take For Carpets To Dry After Cleaning By A Professional

When you have your carpets professionally cleaned, you should expect your carpets to be slightly damp to the touch after the service is completed. Your carpets should never be left wet or soggy after a steam cleaning process.

Typical dry times are 6-10 hours for residential carpet. Commercial carpet typically dries in 2-6 hours. The actual dry time depends on a lot of different factors. If your carpets are still wet 24 hours after your carpet cleaning, it’s time to call back the company that did the work.

Factors That Impact Carpet Dry Time After a Professional Carpet Cleaning

The Equipment Used

There is a noticeable difference in dry times between a high end, modern truck mounted system and a weaker, budget model. Similarly, the age of the equipment matters. A modern, well maintained machine is going to extract more water than a 25 year old beat up machine.

The best carpet cleaning equipment Prochem Everest

Quality of Carpet Cleaning Workmanship

A quality carpet cleaning service with a skilled technician is going to take extra steps that a budget provider will most certainly skip. Budget carpet cleaners need to blow through a lot of jobs in a day in order to make any money.

So, they rush by not taking the time to “dry stroke” with the carpet cleaning wand during the hot water extraction phase of the carpet cleaning. This extra vacuum-only stroke is important, since it sucks up a lot more water and leads to faster dry times. A knowledgeable technician also will set the machine properly so as not to over-wet the carpet.

carpet cleaning tan carpet near a dresser

Were Speed Drying with Fans and Carpet Grooming Part of the Process?

Higher end carpet cleaning companies use specific carpet cleaning fans to help speed up dry times. These fans are moved around as carpet cleaning is completed in each area.

Carpet grooming can also speed up dry times by aligning the carpet fibers. Aligned carpet fibers will help wick moisture away from the carpet backing and pad which will speed up carpet dry time.

MSS Cleaning employee using a carpet rake to groom carpet

How Long Does It Take Carpets To Dry After DIY Carpet Cleaning

For carpet to be thoroughly cleaned, water must be injected into the carpet. Professionals have a very powerful vacuum that extracts the vast majority of this water. By comparison, DIY carpet cleaning machines have a much weaker vacuum.

However, they also spray a much weaker spray of water, meaning there is not as much water to remove. Typical dry times will depend on how “heavy” you go with the DIY equipment. 6-10 hours would be typical dry time.

How Long Does Carpet Take To Dry After A Flood

If you have experienced a flood, don’t expect the carpet to dry on its own before damage sets in. We recommend you call a local water damage restoration company right away. Certainly, we’d love to be that first call.

Not taking care of water damage is a recipe for a much larger bill once the carpet, padding, drywall, and other surfaces develop mold. 48-72 hours is when mold typically begins to propagate, so you want to act quickly to avoid further damage and higher costs.

Professional Water Restoration and Drying Services

After you experience a flood you need a company to take initial moisture readings, extract the water, and remove any unsalvageable material such as drywall.

From there, they will set up fans and dehumidifiers to remove the remaining water. Next, they will also take daily moisture readings until the moisture reaches a normal range. Expect this to take at least a few days.

If the flood water is clean and the water restoration beings on the day of the flood, it may be possible to save the carpet and the padding. In this case, we can also repair and stretch the carpet as needed. However, If the flood was caused by grey or black water (such as a sewer backup), everything must be removed.

Don’t wait too long before calling a restoration service. Otherwise, much more work and a higher cost will be required to remedy the problem. Once mold is discovered, containment will need to be set up and mold mitigation will begin. This will skyrocket the price, the time it takes, and the hassle required for you, in order to get everything fixed.

What Can I do to Speed Up Carpet Drying Time?

If your carpets are only damp to the touch (not wet, like after a flood or a faulty carpet cleaning), these recommendations will help get it dried out quickly. If the carpets are truly wet, you are best off calling in a professional.

Open windows speed carpet dry time

Circulate Some Air Around

During any time of the year, turn on any ceiling fans you may have, and/or set up a few box fans. If it’s warm out, open up your windows and doors. This will help the moisture escape while allowing for circulating air to carry the moisture out of your home or office.

During the Summer or in a Hot Climate

Let the air conditioning run. Keep the HVAC fan running. Air conditioning pulls moisture out of the air as it cools.

During the Winter or in a Cold Climate

Turn the heat up to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep your HVAC fan running full time to circulate air.

We’re Here To Help

If you have any other questions about how long does it take for carpets to dry, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d be happy to help. As always, if you need professional carpet cleaning services in Denver, give us a call or schedule an appointment.

Or Call: 1-720-233-0761

What Caused my Carpet to Buckle?

Carpet Buckling and Ripples

Carpet buckling is a common problem that you’ve probably seen before. There are a number of factors that contribute to carpet developing buckling or ripples. This article will explore some of the common causes for carpet wrinkling of all sorts. We’ll also look at what you can do about it.

What caused my carpet to buckle

Poor Installation Leading to Carpet Buckling

Here in Denver, improperly installed wall to wall carpet seems to be far too common. Improper carpet installation can often leave the carpet loose and improperly stretched. The result is carpet rippling and buckling.

We see this a lot in new home builds. Subcontractors are rushing to finish jobs and they speed through a carpet installation using the improper tools. Often, this means they skip using a power stretcher. This is necessary to properly tension the carpet, but takes more time.

Proper carpet installation requires using a power stretcher to pull the carpet tight. Only then should a knee-kicker be used to place the carpet onto tack strips to hold the carpet securely against the wall.  

Initially the installation may look fine, but over time with other stressed placed on the carpet, carpet buckling or rippling starts to occur.

 

Improper Carpet Cleaning

Unfortunately there are plenty of inexperienced carpet cleaning companies, or those using beat up old equipment. These companies may apply too much water to a carpet. Or they may not properly extract the water.

Carpet buckling occurs soon after the cleaning. Similarly, when someone rents a DIY carpet cleaner and drowns their carpet, carpet ripples can occur.

Any time over-wetting of the carpet takes place, expect to see carpet ripples or buckles. The good news? Normally this is a temporary condition that can be fixed with proper drying.

Which Carpets?

Certain carpets are also more susceptible to buckling or wrinkling. Usually old carpets that have stretched out over time or carpets that have been improperly installed are more likely to buckle when the are hit with steam cleaning (AKA hot water extraction).

Typically if your carpet buckles after carpet cleaning, its best to wait 24-48 hours and 99 times out of 100 it will go back to it’s normal appearance.

Here’s the caveat: if the carpet was left drenched and is still not dry the next day, call your carpet cleaning company (or a different one). You’ll want to discuss why the carpet is still wet as well as options to get it dried out quickly.

Carpet Damage or Delamination

It’s not incredibly common with modern carpet mills manufacturing carpet, but warranties exist for a reason. If your new(ish) carpet is buckling, there is a chance that there is a manufacturing defect.

Typical carpet has a primary and secondary backing. When delamination occurs, the backings can separate. This is due to the latex adhesive that holds everything together breaking down. The result? You guessed it… carpet rippling or buckling.

Overwetting the carpet (think a flooded basement) or manufacturing defects can cause delamination. Normally, if you suspect that there is a manufacturing defect, you’ll need to contact the retailer and/or an independent certified carpet inspector to check things out.

Another consideration is delamination due to solutions applied to the carpet that have caused damage. Acetone, for example, is frequently applied to carpet, though it really shouldn’t be.

Unless it’s quickly rinsed out of carpet, acetone and other harsh chemicals can cause the carpet to delaminate. This often leads to buckling, wrinkling, or ripples in the carpet.

tan carpet buckling

Dragging Something Heavy Across the Carpet

Whenever possible, it’s best to lift and move heavy furniture, not drag it. Dragging heavy items over carpet can easily cause the carpet to buckle. It can also pull the carpet off of the tack strips that attach it to the wall.

Another consideration is that when you drag anything over a carpet, it can snag and pull a carpet run. We’ve even been called to offices where people drag filing cabinets and desks over commercial carpet. This resulted in permanent “burned in” lines drawn all over the office, leaving the occupants with no choice but to replace the entire carpet.

To avoid these issues, get plenty of help with moving heavy furniture.

 

humidity sweat on person's face

Humidity and Seasonal Changes can Create Carpet Rippling

While we don’t see this much in Denver, due to our arid climate, in more humid environments, seasonal changes can bring with it rippling carpets. As we discussed in bullet point number 2, too much moisture in carpet can cause it to buckle and wrinkle.

High humidity can inject too much water into the carpet, causing it to relax. As the humidity lessens, the carpet will likely return to its normal shape again. If it doesn’t, a dehumidifier can be a good choice to fix the problem.

In the world of carpet cleaning, when carpet is too wet, fans and dehumidifiers are used to reduce the humidity. In the case of moisture related carpet buckling, this can be an effective fix.

Your Carpet is Old and Worn Out

Carpets have a useful life. Once that useful life is exceeded, all bets are off. Sometimes a carpet with a 10 year useful life that is properly maintained and professionally cleaned at proper intervals can last 20 years. Other times, it’s ready to be ripped and replaced at 10.

The older a carpet is, the more likely it is that it’s going to buckle. Over longer periods of time, the latex and backing in carpets can begin to relax, allowing the carpet to ripple. Depending on the age and condition of the carpet, sometimes it makes more sense to replace the carpet instead of trying to salvage it.

A professional opinion will help make the decision for you. We’re carpet experts in Denver, if you have specific questions or if there is anything we can help with please don’t hesitate to reach out.

What to do When Your Carpet Buckles?

Typically when you have bumps, wrinkles and ripples in your carpet, its time to call the professionals to stretch the carpet. Stretching the carpet properly, using a power stretcher along with the right know-how, should eliminate your issues.

A professional is going to use the right tools to properly tension the carpet, cut off the excess, reattach the carpet to the tack strips, and tuck away the excess material. Done right, your carpet buckling and ripples will be gone.

Or Call: 1-720-233-0761