RESTRETCHING LOOSE CARPET
Carpeting that isn’t glued down is held around the perimeter of a room by wood strips with metal pins that grip the carpet backing. To repair loose carpets, you’ll need to rent a “knee kicker,” a stretching tool to pull the carpet tight and reattach the edges to the strips. These can be found at rental centers and carpet distributors.
How to restretch carpet:
1. Turn the knob on the head of the knee kicker to adjust the depth of the prongs. The prongs should extend far enough to grab the carpet backing without penetrating through the padding.
2. starting from a corner or near a point where the carpet is firmly attached, press the knee kicker head into the carpet, about 2 inches from the wall. Thrust your knee into the cushion of the knee kicker to force the carpet toward the wall.
3. Tuck the carpet edge into the space between the wood strip and the baseboard, using a 4-inch wallboard knife.
REGLUING LOOSE SEAMS
Most carpets are held together at the edges with heat activated seam tape. The tape comes in rolls and has hardened glue on one face. You will need to rent a “seam iron.”
How to reglue loose seams:
1. Remove the old tape from under the carpet seam.
2. Cut a strip of new seam tape, and place it under the carpet so it is centered along the seam with the adhesive facing up.
3. Plug in the seam iron, and let it heat up. Seam irons work like curling irons and regular irons, but they vary in the amount of time needed to heat up. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how long you should wait for it to heat up.
4. Pull up both edges of the carpet, and set the hot iron squarely onto the tape. Wait about 30 seconds for the glue to melt.
5. Move the iron farther along the seam, as necessary.
6. Quickly press the edges of the carpet together into the melted glue behind the iron. If anything goes wrong you have only 30 seconds to repeat the process.
7. Separate the pile to make sure no fibers is stuck in the glue and that the seam is tight.
8. Place weighted boards or phone books over the seam to keep it flat while the glue sets.