Recovering Pile Crush
Unsightly carpet pile crushing, or localised flattened pile, spoils the look of a carpet; particularly if you like to move your furniture around occasionally. Have a go at restoring the pile using some moisture, with a little cold or heat applied. These tips work best on a wool pile carpet, although they are still worth trying out on a synthetic pile, such as nylon or polypropylene.
1) Place some ice cubes over the indentations for a short while and allow them to melt. Then, when the carpet is almost dry, gently tease back the pile with a small spoon, coin or the tips of a fork.
2) Place a damp cloth over the indentations. Hold a hot steam iron a few inches above it to allow the moisture to work its way into the pile. Do not let the iron touch the carpet pile. Alternatively, use a hair dryer to warm the pile. While it is still warm, use a spoon, coin or the tips of a fork to gently tease the pile upright.
The way this works is that the carpet pile fibres slowly accept the moisture which helps them to relax, recover and remember their original shape. This then allows you to re-position them. If these procedures don’t recover the flattened area fully, it could be that the backing has stretched and sunk down into the underlay. If this is the case, you have no way of getting the surface level again.
Preventing Pile Crush
There are steps you can take to help to reduce the severity of future carpet pile crushing.
1) Make sure to buy a new, dense underlay (US: padding) at the same time as installing a new carpet.
Choose an underlay or padding that is reasonably firm and of uniform construction; such as a crumb rubber, high density sponge rubber or compact PU foam. Bear in mind that the soft waffle rubber underlays -the type with ripples or a knobbly back and large air pockets – may feel good to walk on but they can compress under concentrated pressure and not recover.
2) Consider the use of furniture cups (glides) under furniture legs and periodically move your furniture a couple of inches each way to give the carpet pile a rest.
3) If practical, think about buying a wool carpet with a tight, dense, twist or double ply pile. Wool is naturally crimped and recovers well from compression.
For the best performance, buying a good quality carpet with a densely constructed pile will always be superior to a loosely constructed and ‘open’ pile.