How to repair your carpet yourself

July 28, 2015

Your carpet doesn't need much care to last a long time, but along the way there are sure to be a few mishaps, and some wear. Here's how to do the repairs yourself.

How to repair your carpet yourself

Repair loose or missing yarn

  • Level-loop carpet consists of long lengths of yarn installed in loops.
  • If something — say, a furniture leg — snags and pulls a loop, you can wind up with around five centimetres (two inches) of loose yarn. Fortunately, this is easy to fix.
  • If the yarn is still attached to the carpet, all you need are a nail set (a tool you can get at a hardware store) and some carpet-seam adhesive.
  • First protect the area around the run with masking tape; then put a heavy bead of adhesive into the run.
  • Use the nail set to press each "scab" (where the original adhesive clings to the yarn) down into the carpet backing until each new loop is at the right height.
  • If the loose yarn is missing, count the number of carpet loops it will take to fill the run.
  • Then pull a piece of yarn from the edge of a scrap piece of carpet, count the curls in the loose yarn, and cut it to provide the right amount of yarn to fill the run.

Snip off burns

  • Singed carpet is no tragedy. Just snip off the charred tips of the tufts with a pair of sharp scissors.
  • If the carpet is plush, it helps to feather out the area by lightly tapering the nap in a circle a little wider than the damaged area.

The cookie-cutter patch

  • If a small section of carpet is so badly stained that you can't clean it or is burned too deeply to snip off the damage, you can still fix it easily enough, thanks to spot-patch repair kits.
  • The kits come with a circular tool with a centre pivot and a blade attached to the outside.
  • You just rotate the tool to cut out the damaged area; then do the same to cut a patch from spare carpet.
  • Put down double-stick tape that comes with the kit, plug in the patch, and that's it!
  • If you don't have spare carpet, you can steal a patch from a hidden area.
  • The inside of a closet is usually a good choice.

Sew up seam tears

  • Most carpet tears happen along seams where two pieces were originally glued or sewn together.
  • To fix a tear along a seam, thread some heavy fishing line through a curved upholstery needle.
  • Stitch the tear together, pushing the needle through about one centimetre (1/2 inch) from the edges of the tear and spacing the stitches about two centimetres (3/4 inch) apart.
  • The top of the stitches should be square to the tear — the underside diagonal — for the least visibility.
  • If you are rejoining a seam that was once glued together, you'll find the old glue tape tough to work the needle through. Use needle-nose pliers to help push the needle.
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