How To Repair A Carpet Seam
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What’s a carpet seam?
Carpet normally comes in twelve - foot widths on a very long roll. If you need more than twelve feet across or if your carpet needs to join to a hallway or another room then it will be seamed together. The carpet seam should be either invisible or nearly invisible depending on the type of carpet.
A properly executed seam consists of two straight edges of carpet, some seam tape under it and some seam sealer.
The carpet mills design carpet to be seamed together. If done properly, a carpet seam will stay put for the life of the carpet. (as if carpet were ever alive but you know what I mean)
Is your carpet coming apart at the seams?
If part of your carpet is coming up, it may be seam that’s to blame. Lift the carpet just a bit to see what’s under there. If what you see looks like some sort of industrial tape, then yes, it’s coming apart at the seams.
What Went Wrong?
Often times a carpet seam splits apart because it was never sealed properly. This is especially true with woven or what’s incorrectly called a Berber carpet. When this is the case, one or two rows of carpet will begin to come loose right at the seam.
Split carpet seams can be a problem in both residential and commercial carpet alike. Carpet seam splitting can be caused by improper installation, such as seams that weren’t thoroughly secured and properly aligned. Carpet seams also come apart due to poor quality seam tape and adhesives.
The last reason carpet seams split apart is due to age and traffic. If your carpet has been in continuous use for thirty or forty years and the seams are splitting apart, then the carpet has lasted far longer that it was ever designed to last.
More common in carpet repair, though, is the need to re-seam a loose carpet as part of the carpet re-stretching process.
When we stretch carpet to eliminate ripples, we end up with extra carpet at the edges. If the edge is the edge of the room, we trim off the extra around the periphery; if that edge is at a seam, we cut off the extra carpet at the seam, and then repair the seam.
Tools of the Trade; the basics
- Carpet seam tape
- Seaming iron
- Glue Gun with carpet glue sticks
- Slotted blade knife
- Straight edge
- Carpet tractor and weights
Basics of Carpet Seam Repair
The simplest form of carpet seam repair is when most of the seam is fine but a portion of the seam tape has lost its grip on the carpet backing. This usually happens when the seam tape was over melted or under melted during the original installation. It can also happen due to carpet cleaning or carpet flooding. If this is the case you may only need to use your glue gun to apply a generous portion of glue to the seam tape that’s under the carpet and press the carpet backing into the glue.
Another method would be to use latex. Simply apply a generous portion of latex glue to the backing of the carpet and stick it to the top layer. Leave a weight on top of it for a few hours or so.
If we want to take apart a carpet seam before doing the carpet repair, we place a wet towel on top of the seam and use a regular household iron to steam the seam apart. This is also how we remove old seam tape.
Before fixing the carpet seam we always make sure that the edge of the carpet is clean and free of the glue that comes off of the seam tape.
Then it is time to fix the seam. This is done with carpet seam tape, a seaming iron, and a carpet seam roller. The tape is carefully adjusted underneath the seam. The iron is applied carefully on top of the seam tape. As we move the iron along the seam tape, we carefully bring the carpet edges together other and press the carpet down into the molten glue with our carpet tractor.
As we finish pushing the hot glue into the backing of the carpet, we place a flat heavy weight on the seam in order to hold it in place while it cools.