How to Fix Carpet That Has Buckled

By Robert Sylvus

A carpet needs its buckled areas fixed before the fiber strands on the carpet's surface and the padding underneath wear beyond repair. Walking on a buckled carpet flexes its mesh backing, which deteriorates the mesh backing's latex coating. The latex coating holds the carpet fibers in place. Over time, the padding around the bunched area rips free from the glue securing it to the subfloor. This allows the padding to bunch up and gather in the void under the buckle. Fixing a buckled carpet increases the carpet's life expectancy.

List of Items Needed

  • Carpet blade
  • Broom
  • Dustpan
  • Tape measure
  • Carpet padding glue
  • Carpet padding
  • Power stretcher
  • Chisel
  • Oscillating tool with sanding or scraping accessory
  1. Remove the furniture from the room.

  2. Lift the carpet from the tack strip along the wall closest to the buckled area. A tack strip, the wooden strip nailed to the subfloor, encircles the perimeter of the room and holds down the edge of the carpet.

  3. Pull the carpet away from the wall and expose the padding under the buckled area.

  4. Inspect the padding. If the padding has gathered under the buckle, cut out a rectangular-shaped section of padding around the damaged area with a carpet blade.

  5. Remove the cut-out section of padding. Sand or scrape the padding's glue from the subfloor with the oscillating tool, letting the blade of the tool do the work while you position the tool with your hands. Remove the debris from the bare subfloor with a broom and dust pan.

  6. Measure the removed section of carpet padding with a tape measure and transfer the measurements to a new section of carpet padding. Cut the new padding to size, using the transferred measurements as a guide.

  7. Apply a wave-shaped 1/4-inch-wide bead of carpet padding glue to the subfloor.

  8. Press the replacement padding into the glue.

  9. Unroll the carpet. The loose edge of the carpet should rest on the tack strip.

  10. Set up a power stretcher with its foot on the opposite wall from the loose end of the carpet and the power stretcher's head resting on the loose carpet 2 inches from the wall. Adjust the two halves of the power stretcher's pole to reach across the room's width. Tighten the locking screw on the adjustable pole. The power stretcher's foot connects to one end of the pole, and the head connects to the other end.

  11. Pull on the power stretcher's lever, located near its head. This stretches the carpet.

  12. Trim the excess carpet near the power stretcher's head with the carpet blade.

  13. Tuck the carpet into the seam between the tack strip and the wall with a chisel blade. Release the power stretcher's lever.

  14. Tighten the carpet with the power stretcher every 3 to 4 feet along the wall and tuck the carpet against the tack strip the entire length of the wall with the chisel.

Tips and Warnings

  • Use a power scraping tool if available to clean the carpet padding from the subfloor.

© Demand Media 2011