In most instances the wrinkles will relax over time. However, this is not always the case. Wrinkles not only affect the surface yarns, they go all the way through the carpet backings and may be permanent.
Steaming and grooming the carpet can improve this condition, but results will vary based on the type of carpet yarn, backing, and the severity of the wrinkles.
Another reason for ripples is carpet that was not properly acclimated to the structure prior to installation, especially if the carpet was installed in cooler weather. A carpet needs to acclimate to normal room temperature and humidity for at least 48 hours before installation. It is difficult to stretch cold carpet, so as the carpet warms and absorbs atmospheric moisture, it will relax.
Occasionally, carpet will develop ripples immediately after cleaning. The cause is moisture absorption into the adhesive layer between the primary and secondary backings of the carpet. Even though the ripples appear after cleaning, the root cause is improper stretch of the carpet during installation. Once the carpet dries completely and acclimates to the normal temperature and humidity of the home, the carpet will lie flat. This can take up to 48 hours. In rare cases, the ripples may persist.
The only way to fix rippled carpet is to stretch the carpet again. Re-stretching requires training and patience. Often it is more difficult to re-stretch a carpet than it is to stretch it right the first time. If ripples are ignored for too long, the carpet will develop buckles.
So what should you do if your carpet develops ripples? If the carpet is still under warranty, the best thing to do is contact the retailer where you purchased the carpet. If you don’t get any help there, the manufacturer would be the next logical step. If you have purchased the carpet at FloorQuest, we are always willing to help wherever we can.