Seam peaking is a challenge that every carpet installer deals with on a fairly regular basis and it occurs even more often when carpet is being re-stretched. Well thanks for that information! But What is seam peaking? Are you some kind of politician? Answer the question!
The short of it, is that seam peaking makes seams become more visible after they are stretched. A really good explanation is given by The Carpet and Rug Institute of Georgia. (Georgia is where a large portion of North American carpet manufacturing occurs) In 2008 they released a technical bulletin which you can read for yourself at —-> http://www.carpet-rug.org/documents/technical_bulletins/2008_Peaked_Seams_in_Stretch-In_Carpet_Installation.p
It even has a nice illustration to explain things. But if you don’t
want to click the link I will quote directly from their bulletin.
“The Mechanics of Seam Peaking
Seam peaking is an expected response to the natural line-up of force to stretching carpet.
The condition is based on the principle that the backing absorbs the forces of stretching until it
reaches the point where the carpet has been joined together with a seaming tape adhered to the
carpet’s secondary backing. As the force is applied to the seamed area, the seaming tape is
pulled upward to align itself with the approximate center of the carpet backing. This creates an
elevation in the carpet along the seam which,causes the pile to gap open in a V-configuration
(see figure below). When light strikes across the peaked seam, the edge facing toward the light
source appears lighter than that facing away from it. Thus, a more visible seam is the result.” -The Carpet and Rug Institute of Georgia, Technical Bulletins, 2008 Peaked Seams in Stretch-In Carpet Installations.
So why should you care?
Well in many cases when carpet is re-stretched there is a tremendous amount of tension or pressure that occurs along the seam and this is what causes seam peaking. In some carpets, usually lighter shaded ones, seam peaking can be more obvious than others.
Will it go away?
Yes! Right after an install or a re-stretch the carpet will be at it’s highest level of tension. Over time with foot traffic and vacumming the seam will gradually sit back down. A good steam cleaning will also help to speed up the process.
The reality is that seam peaking is a fact of life, and it actually provides evidence that a carpet has been stretched with a great deal of force. The good news is that it will go away with time.