How to patch damaged carpet in 4 easy steps

If you burn or stain a section of your carpet, don't worry. You can patch it up so it looks good as new. Here's how in four easy steps.

How to patch damaged carpet in 4 easy steps

What you will need

  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Carpet knife or utility knife
  • Carpet off cut
  • One-sided carpet tape
  • Scissors
  • Carpet tractor or fork

Before you begin

If you don't have any carpet off cut, just use a patch of carpet from inside a closet.

1. Mark the cuts

  • First, use your Phillips head screwdriver to mark out a squared-up section of carpet around the damaged area, parting the carpet fibres as you go.
  • These partings will let you make cuts in the carpet backing without tearing the fibres.

2. Remove the damage

  • Ease your carpet knife or utility knife into the parting and cut through the carpet's backing.
  • Make the cuts as straight as you can and avoid cutting through to the underlay below.
  • Use your cutout as a template to prepare a replacement patch.

3. Test-fit the tape

  • Use carpet tape to hold the new patch in place.
  • Cut pieces of tape and, without removing the backing, arrange them so that they will sit partly under the new patch and partly under the surrounding carpet without any overlap.

4. Patch the hole

  • Peel off your tape's backing, pull back the carpet and ease the tape into position.
  • Set your new patch tightly against one side of the hole, then lower the other edges into place.
  • For a seamless finish, mesh the fibres together with a carpet tractor or fork.

Extra tip

  • To fix a running snag in a loop-pile carpet, count the curls in the pulled yarn and snip it so that you have the right amount to refill the run.
  • You'll notice little spots of the original adhesive still clinging to the yarn (called 'scabs').
  • Squeeze a bead of carpet glue into the run. Then use a nail punch to press each scab into the carpet backing, pushing until the reset loop is at the right height.

Follow these four easy steps (and one more), and your carpet patching job should go more smoothly.

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