Lush, colorful carpet can help make a room look beautiful. But torn, stained, or unsightly carpet can tarnish an entire room.
When your carpet gets wet, pulled out, or otherwise damaged, you can’t always disguise it by placing a floor mat or piece of furniture over it. Luckily, there are a few ways you can repair the carpet without having to tear it all up and start fresh.
If you can’t clean a stain, you can still get rid of the wetness underneath your carpet.
How to Fix Wet Carpet
Surface stains will generally come out of carpet. But if you have a water leak or a major liquid spill, it could seep into the pad underneath, where it cannot be removed by traditional cleaners.
Your best bet is to remove and replace the soaked carpet pad – but you’ll have to act fast. Start by using pliers to pull the carpet away from the corner or edge closest to the stain until the whole wet part is removed. Then take a utility knife and cut out the sections of wet pad (or use a floor scraper to remove it) and wipe up any remaining liquid.
Put the carpet back into place and let it dry for a day or two. Meanwhile, measure how much new pad you’ll need, and take a piece of the old pad with you to the home improvement store to get the same density and thickness as you had before. Once the carpet is dry, lay the new pad down with adhesive or staples and duct tape the seams where it meets the existing pad. Then stretch the dried carpet toward the wall or corner and reattach it.
This is a knee kicker. You’ll need it to stretch your carpet toward the new threshold.
How to Refasten Detached Carpet from a Threshold
Sometimes, your carpet will pull away from the threshold of a door, which can create a tripping hazard. If left unaddressed, it will get worse over time as people move through the doorway. So you’ll need to purchase a new threshold before fixing this problem.
Remove the door from its hinges and pry up the threshold with a pry bar or screwdriver (don’t rip the carpet, however). Then gently take pliers and pull the carpet out of the threshold teeth and roll it back. Pull out the threshold nails with a pry bar and remove the threshold.
If you have badly-frayed carpet, trim off the excess fibers with a carpet knife. Then place the new threshold farther into the room to compensate for any slight gap (up to an inch) and secure it with either adhesive or drywall nails. Then using a knee kicker, stretch the existing carpet until it reaches the threshold and push it down under the threshold lip with a putty knife. Finally, take a rubber mallet and pound the threshold into place.
Replacing a piece of damaged carpet is easier than you think.
How to Fix Damaged Carpet
Sometimes, carpet can get burned, frayed, punctured, or stained with a substance that won’t come out. Fret not: you can cut out the area of damaged carpet and replace it with a “plug” of untarnished carpet taken from scraps or remnants (or purchased at a carpet store).
First, take a carpet knife and part the carpet fibers around the damaged area, leaving at least a half inch of space on all sides. Once the area is marked, then cut out the damaged carpet with your knife. Measure the empty space and cut a new plug of carpet to match it, testing it in the hole for fit and direction of the fibers.
Using heavy-duty mesh carpet tape, cut pieces to fit the space so that the tape “frames” the hole, then mark their positions with a marker on the pad.
Then take out each piece of tape, carefully remove the backing, and position each piece so that it’s partly under the existing carpet. Place the new plug into the hole onto the tape and roll over the seams with a carpet tractor, seam roller, or rolling pin. Put a phone book on the spot overnight to flatten the fibers over the seams.
See? You don’t necessarily have to spend a bunch of money replacing a room of carpet just to hide one unattractive area. With the right tools and supplies, you can fix your carpet so that no one will ever know that it was damaged – and save money in the process!
Written by Chris Martin