Before we tumble too far down the rabbit hole of what causes carpet bubbling, we need to explore what exactly it is. Carpet bubbling happens when an area of wall-to-wall carpeting starts to lift or rise over the subfloor. This creates little hills or bubbles in the carpeting.
And it’s easy to think that this process will have no drastic impact on your flooring. But truthfully, carpet bubbling can wreak havoc on your floors. That’s why it’s essential to know what might be causing your carpet to bubble up.
Humidity With a Chance of Ripples
When it comes to what causes carpet bubbling, humidity throughout your home often plays a significant role. This is especially true if you live in a four-season climate in the summer, as there is a dramatic change in conditions compared to the colder months.
Regardless, in high-humidity areas, moisture in the air will start to seep into the carpeting, causing it to swell. In minor incidents, carpet swells will reduce and lay flat over time. But in more challenging situations, flooring sustains permanent moisture damage and widespread rippling.
In these cases, a full-fledged removal of your carpeting is likely necessary. The good news is that you can prevent this kind of problem by following a few guidelines:
- Run your air conditioner in the summer months
- Use a dehumidifier in particularly humid spaces
- Keep an eye on your carpet for early signs of bubbling
Heavy Items Are a Drag for Your Carpet
Another common reason that carpet bubbles is the frequent dragging of heavy furniture (or other items) across the carpet’s surface. We know; re-positioning your couch or moving a weighty bookshelf probably doesn’t seem like a big deal.
But truthfully, it can spell big trouble for carpeted floors—especially when heavy objects are being moved across them frequently. When you drag heavy pieces across the floor, it causes the carpeting to stretch. As a result, the loosened spots create bubbles. Thankfully, preventing this sort of issue is also pretty straightforward.
The simplest precautionary measure here would be to lift your heavy items and carry them. If the things you’re moving are too heavy to be lifted, you can place plywood underneath them and use the added leverage to get your items in the ideal areas of your home.
Improper Installation Causes Carpets To Buckle
Of course, one of the most common causes of bubbling carpet is improper installation. For wall-to-wall carpeting to be correctly installed, it must stretch tightly over the subfloor and be secured with tack strips or a hammer tacker stapler and staples.
If a carpenter doesn’t pull the carpet tautly enough, it forces the carpet to shake loose and bubble. But just like all our other carpet rippling issues, improper installation is easy to catch and avoid. Plus, it’s usually simple to fix.
Ensure your installer uses a power stretcher to keep the carpeting tight during the installation process. Further, it’s wise to give the carpet a chance to acclimate to your home’s conditions before installation. This is especially true if your home’s interior environment vastly differs from where it was stored.
After that, it’s a matter of upkeep and knowing when to call a professional to help. In any case, carpet bubbling can occur for various reasons. But when you know what to expect and how to prevent it, you can keep your carpets beautiful.