Q: There's a 3-inch scorch mark on my wall-to-wall carpeting where an ember from the fireplace landed. How can I make it go away?
—Dan Largesse, Danbury, Conn.

A: Tom Silva replies: Fortunately, you don't have to buy new carpet or even rearrange the furniture to cover isolated damage from burns, red wine stains, and other blemishes. For the price of a patch kit, some glue, and a star roller—about $30 total—you can make an invisible repair that will last the life of the carpet.

The basic kit, available at flooring distributors and online, includes a hockey-puck-sized carpet cutter and adhesive disks to glue the patch in place. The cutter slices out the damaged section and an identically sized replacement patch. If you don't have any leftover scraps, harvest a patch from the back of a closet, beneath a radiator, or under furniture that's rarely moved.

Patch repairs work best on plush, tufted pile with no patterns that require matching. Follow the steps on the next page, and you'll be done in about half an hour.

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