If your children or pets have damaged your carpets, don't fret! You don't have to get rid of the entire carpet--you can just patch it. In this post, we'll discuss the step-by-step process of repairing your carpet so that you can hopefully save a bit of money instead of having to replace it entirely.
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Here are the steps needed to patch a carpet:
- Inspect the Damaged Areas
- Procure A Donor Piece
- Mark The Damaged Area
- Cut and Remove The Damaged Carpet
- Lay The Donor Piece
- Apply Carpet Tape
- Blend The Donor Patch
As you can see, the steps to patch your carpet aren't that cumbersome and typically be completed within 30-minutes or so. Let's look at some of the most common causes of carpet damage and discuss the steps to repair it.
Common Causes of Carpet Damage
Home carpets often endure a lot of wear and tear from daily use, especially when it's located in high-traffic areas such as entrances, kitchens, and bedrooms. Everyday household accidents can cause permanent damage to a carpet. In cases where the damage is small, you may consider repairing the carpet instead of replacing the entire carpet itself. Here are some of the most common causes of damaged carpets.
Spilling a small cup or even a pitcher of water usually won't cause much damage to your carpet. Though left on the carpet for an extended period of time, the affected area may bubble up and need to be cut out. Carpet can be permanently damaged when flooded with large volumes of water, such as from a burst pipe, broken water heater, or overflowing sinks or tubs. If drying methods are not implemented immediately, the carpet will need replacement.
Cigarettes and Tools
Cigarette burns, clothing irons, and hair tools can all cause minor burns to carpet fibers when they're dropped. Unfortunately, when a carpet is burned, it can be challenging to clean, and instead, patching may be more suitable.
Liquid or Food Stains
Today, several cleaning products can effectively remove some of the toughest carpet stains imaginable. However, depending on the cause of the stain and the amount of time that it's left to linger on the carpet, even professional carpet cleaning may not be able to remove it. In which case, patching the stained spot may be more suitable.
Too much humidity can cause areas of the carpets to bubble up or ripple. More often than not, the carpet can be patched or stretched to fix the damage.
Furniture in the same area for years and sometimes even months can cause permanent dents in the carpet's fibers. However, there are ways to remove these divots yourself with carpet patching, or you can call a carpet professional.
Steps to Patch A Carpet
It's important to make sure that you have a donor patch that closely matches the carpet that you'll be installing it on so that it can be easily blended. It's also helpful to vacuum the carpet and clear area around the damaged carpet before performing the task.
Things you'll need:
- Utility knife
- Heavy-duty tape
- Carpet patch adhesive
- Carpet seam roller
- Carpet patch (or "donor" carpet piece)
Step 1. Inspect the Damaged Areas
Take a look at the carpet's damaged area and make sure that it is small enough for a donor piece to be applied as a patch effectively. Typically, carpet patching works best when the damaged area's square footage is relatively small (1-sq.ft. or less). If it is larger, you may need to replace the entire carpet.
Step 2. Procure A Donor Piece
If you're wondering how do you blend patched carpet, pay particular attention to this step. When procuring your donor piece of carpet, make sure that the color, style, and texture matches that of the current carpet. If not, it will stick out like a sore thumb after it's patched. If you have leftover carpeting from when you initially installed the carpet, it's best to use that.
You can also check any nearby carpeting or a textile store that may have scrap carpeting that matches the damaged carpet. And if that doesn't work, try to find an inconspicuous area in the house where a small patch of carpet missing will go relatively unnoticed and take the piece from there.
Step 3. Mark The Damaged Area
Take a ballpoint pen or a stitching awl and draw a square around the damaged area. Be sure to press the tool firmly into the carpet, dragging it from the starting point and back around. Doing so will separate the tufts in the carpet, making it easier to cut out pieces without ripping it.
Step 4. Cut and Remove The Damaged Carpet
Take your utility knife and cut the damaged piece out of the carpet. Be sure to cut along the same line that you created the circle with to avoid cutting the tufts of the carpet. Once you cut out the circle of damaged carpet, remove the piece and place it to the side. If any carpet fiber pieces began to pull as you remove the piece, simply cut them away with your scissors.
Step 5. Lay The Donor Piece
Now, take your donor piece and place it beneath the damaged piece of carpet. You're going to use this to size the donor piece. Use the same process as you did with the carpet and take your pen or awl and draw a line on the donor piece that is the shape of the previously removed damaged piece.
The nap of a carpet will usually run in one direction. To determine the direction, you can simply run your hand over the top of the carpet. Run it back and forth a few times and note the direction in which it feels smooth; this is the direction of a nap. Place that donor piece in the previously damaged area of the carpet and align it so that it runs in the nap direction.
Step 6. Apply Carpet Tape
Before removing protective backing from your tape, cut four strips of the tape and lay them in the patch area, placing one strip on each side. Make sure that they are long enough to cover each side completely. Next, take the carpet tape pieces and remove the protective backing to expose the tape's adhesive side.
Be sure only to remove the adhesive from the piece of tape that you are currently using, to avoid taking off more than you need. Use caution because handling carpet tape can be extremely sticky. Next, apply the carpet tape to the back of the donor carpet patch and place it in the damaged carpet area, pressing down finally on it so that it sticks properly.
Step 7. Blend The Donor Patch
Use your carpet roller, a dry cloth, brush (or comb), and run it over the carpet to blend the new patch in. Be sure to go in all directions and along the new patch's edges to ensure a full blend.
How Much Does It Cost To Patch A Carpet?
If you hire a carpet professional to patch your carpet for you, it can cost anywhere from $100 to $250, depending on where you live and the size of the patch.
However, if you're a DIY kind of person or are looking to save money on the task, you can do it yourself for less. You could purchase a stitching awl online for around $10, as well as carpet tape for around the same price (you can also buy a utility knife for under $10 online).
And if you have donor pieces of carpet at home, you won't have to buy any. However, even if you get them from a home improvement or textile store, they typically won't cost that much (you may be able to get them for around $20 or even less), depending on the size and if they can find a matching piece.
Factors To Consider Before Replacing Your Carpet
How do you know whether it's best to replace the carpet or simply patch up the damaged area? Here are a few factors to consider if you are unsure which option is best:
If money is not a factor and the size of the damage is extensive, it may be best to go ahead and replace the entire carpet. Homeowners may also choose this option if the damage is in multiple areas in a room or if the carpet is fairly inexpensive.
If you are moving out of the home within the next year or so or plan to do a complete renovation in the next few years, it may be better to patch up the area instead of starting a new project to replace the entire carpeting.
Another thing to consider is the carpet's value, and if replacing it will add value to your home. The carpet's cost plays a huge factor in this case, and weighing the replacement costs against the repair costs can help you determine which is best.
Carpet Location and Use
If the carpet's damaged area is located in a high-traffic or entry area in a room or hallway, and the damage is extensive, replacing the entire carpet may be best for aesthetic purposes. However, if the carpet is in an area that doesn't have much visibility or doesn't need to look as well-kept and other areas of the house (i.e., children's playrooms, basements, etc.), perhaps a patch will suffice.
Also, if the room is often frequented by young children and/or pets, it will probably endure more wear and tear in the future. In which case, patching it is probably better than continuously replacing it.
Can You Patch Burnt Carpet?
Yes, you can repair a burnt carpet with carpet patches. The size and type of burn will determine the best method for doing so. Let's look at a couple of ways to do this.
How to Remove Small Burn Marks (less than one inch)
If the carpet burn marks are relatively small, you can simply cut them out with a pair of scissors. Be sure only to snip away the burned tufts of the carpet and not the surrounding areas, as it can be easy to cut out a noticeable patch in the carpet. However, if you do, you can take the carpet fibers and glue them back onto the carpet with a few drops of crazy glue. When doing this, you need to be very careful when applying the crazy glue to the carpet tufts (it only takes a small amount).
Removing Larger Burn Marks
Take a piece of sandpaper and gently rub it against the burn marks on the carpet. Next, vacuum away any visible residue. If you see any remaining burnt carpet fibers, simply grab a pair of scissors to cut them out. If there are scorch marks on the carpet, you can use diluted hydrogen peroxide to remove them (only do this if you have a light-colored carpet).
To make the solution, add 1-cup of hydrogen peroxide to 10-cups of water and pour it into a large bowl. Then, take a soft cloth, dip it in the solution, and then blot the burned area on the carpet. It's best to try a small test area first to prevent discoloration. After you've blotted out the scorch marks, simply allow the carpet to dry.
Wrapping Things Up
Patching up a damaged carpet can save you money on having to pay for a completely new carpet. It can also be done relatively quickly and with minimal effort.
Have other carpet-related questions? Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts: