How to Fix Puckered Carpet Padding


Moisture can cause carpet padding to loosen and pucker. Failing to repair it can result in unnecessary carpet wear and damage to the padding. The solution involves detaching the carpet in the affected area and pulling the padding back into the correct position. You can do it yourself with a few tools and flooring glue.

Things You'll Need

  • Pry bar
  • Replacement carpet padding (if needed)
  • Floor adhesive
  • Knee-kicker tool
  • Power carpet stretcher (if needed)
  • Pull the carpet loose from the wall (or walls) in the area with the puckered padding. Remove the tack board with a small pry bar. Pull the carpet out of the way.

  • Stretch and straighten the puckered padding; replace it if it is torn. Attach the padding to the flooring boards with a floor adhesive. Follow the manufacturer's recommendation for drying time before reinstalling the carpet.

  • Reattach the tack board to the edges of the floor. Pull up the carpet tightly toward the wall, then use the knee-kicker tool to reattach the carpet to the tack board. Place the teeth of the tool into the top edge of the carpet and use your knee to force the carpet up onto the tack board. Small kicking motions against the padded tool will get this tedious job done quickly. Continue until all of the carpeting is in the proper position.

    Newer carpet may require the use of a power stretcher to pull it back into position. A power stretcher works by bracing one end of the tool against the far wall and placing the teeth of the tool into the carpet 5 or 6 inches from the tack board. The lever you pull down on the tool will cause the teeth to grip the carpet backing and stretch it toward the wall. You can find a knee-kicker tool and a power stretcher at your local equipment rental company.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check the availability of a knee-kicker tool and power stretcher before starting the project. More tips for carpet care and repair can be found at The website provides video tutorials for some projects.
  • Take frequent breaks if you have to cover a large area. This project can be very labor-intensive and hard on the back.

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  • Photo Credit Dane09212006;
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