Q: I recently found a noticeable cigarette burn in my carpet. Can you tell me how to fix it? - John Weston, South Milwaukee, WI
A: To repair burns and other major damage to carpeting, look for a tool called a carpet cookie cutter (or a carpet doughnut). Available at some carpet and floor-covering stores and easily found on the Internet, these tools are usually about 3 in. dia. and have two or more cutting blades on the bottom. You simply rotate the cutter over the damaged area, cutting the carpet so you can remove a perfectly circular piece. Do not cut into the carpet pad.
To patch the carpet, first check to see whether you have any leftover carpeting from the installation. If so, cut a patch with the cutter and use it to fill in the hole in the damaged area. In most cases you can bond the patch to the floor or pad with carpet-seam adhesive. If you do not have leftover carpeting for the patch, find an out-of-sight spot, such as in a closet or under a couch, and cut out the patch there. When you position the patch, pay attention to the nap of the carpet and try to orient the patch the same way. - HANDY