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Your carpet cleaner left your home or office a few hours ago and while examining your newly clean carpet you find that it has wrinkles now. Ripples are all over your carpet and you are in a panic. Did they just ruin your carpet? Calm down, all is probably going to be fine. Let’s learn about what has just happened.


There are a few things that are causing your ripples. First, residential carpet is rarely installed correctly these days. Because of this, it is usually a little loose to begin with. It might look fine to you, and it might lay flat most of the time, but it probably does not have the needed tension. This is contributing to your problem because just a little bit of expansion on your carpet will cause a major change in appearance.

The main cause of the problem though is the carpet backing itself. Carpet manufacturers use clay as a filler in the latex backing. When this backing absorbs moisture, it will expand.  So, when the clay in the backing is damp, your carpet is actually bigger. This will cause wrinkles or ripples to appear on the surface. If a manufacturer uses more clay than average in the backing, the problem is more noticeable.

To remedy this situation, you simply need to let the carpet dry completely. Once it is dry, it will go back to normal. This can take 24 to 36 hours on very humid days. To speed the process, use fans to help dry the carpet and turn your homes air conditioning on to reduce humidity levels.


Commercial carpet is typically glue down carpet. When commercial carpet gets too wet, the glue or adhesive can loosen. Just like with residential carpet, the backing can also expand when it becomes wet. Combine these two things and you get wrinkles in the carpet.

In most cases, the carpet will lay back down flat when it dries. The backing will dry out and the carpet will lay flat and re adhere to the sub-floor. This can take 24 to 36 hours during humid times. If, after a few days, you still have a wrinkle or a loose spot on the carpet, glue can usually be injected under the carpet to reattach the carpet.


Improperly or inadequately stretched carpet can also be the culprit.  Often times, carpet is too loose and things like sliding furniture or even a carpet wand can reveal the underlying problem and manifest as a wrinkle.  A simple power stretch is often the solution.

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