Advice on stretching carpet

May 11, 2011

Question: I have 5-year-old wall-to-wall carpet that is stretching. There are lumps against the walls and especially under arches. The problematic carpet is on the center level of my three-level townhouse. The carpet was new when we bought the place five years ago, so I don’t want to replace it. I got one $300 estimate for restretching, but I fear that unless I figure out the cause, it might happen again. Is my fear justified? --Timonium, Md.

Answer: Proper restretching should fix the problem. A technical guide on recommended procedures is available from the Carpet and Rug Institute, a trade association. Titled “Guidance for Restretching to Remove Buckles, Wrinkles, and Bubbles,” it’s available at www.carpet-rug.org.

Even though you’ll want to hire someone to do the work, it’s worth reading the recommended procedures so you can ask appropriate questions of the people you might hire. Among the requirements: All furniture must be removed first, the carpet needs to be pulled loose from tack strips and the job must include use of a power stretcher.

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