Why is my leather couch peeling and cracking and how can I fix it?
Leather can last for years as long as it is well taken care of. Environmental conditions like low humidity and sunlight can cause it to dry out and start peeling or cracking. This is why leather furniture needs regular maintenance and moisturizing.
There are other factors that cause leather furniture to peel and crack, which we shall look at in this article. We shall also talk about how you can repair cracked or peeled leather and how to prevent it from happening in the future.
Why is my leather couch peeling and cracking? 3 Reasons
1. You have a bonded leather couch
Genuine top quality leather tends to be very expensive. It doesn’t peel or crack easily unlike low quality bonded leather.
Bonded leather is a cheaper alternative to real leather. It is made from scraps of real leather that are glued together to form a sheet. In order to look like genuine leather, the bonded scraps are then coated with a synthetic sealant like polyurethane.
The synthetic sealant is not very elastic; thus, it does not stretch much. So after using your couch for a while, the synthetic coating on it reaches its stretching point and begins to peel or crack.
Therefore, if your leather couch is peeling or cracking, then most likely it is made from bonded leather because genuine leather has high elasticity so it does not peel or crack easily.
2. Exposure to extreme weather conditions
Real leather needs extra care. Since it is animal skin, it is bound to dry out if exposed to extreme weather conditions like direct sunlight and low humidity.
Dry leather can easily start to crack and peel if not properly moisturized.
3. Your couch is actually faux leather
Faux means fake or artificial. So faux leather couches are simply made from man-made material like vinyl, PVC, or polyurethane.
This type of leather is even way cheaper than bonded leather because it does not contain any real leather in it.
As earlier mentioned, synthetic materials like PU and vinyl do not have the same elasticity as genuine leather.
Thus, faux leather seats are bound to start peeling and cracking once they reach their stretching point. This usually happens after a few months in use.
See also: Best non-slip leather couch slipcovers
How to repair and fix cracked and peeling leather couch
Damaged leather can be repaired in a few steps as discussed below.
Step 1: Clean the couch
The first step is to clean the couch to prepare it for fixing.
Use an abrasive pad to scrub off the peeled leather in the affected areas.
Wipe the surface using rubbing alcohol and leave it to air dry for about an hour.
Step 2: Use leather recoloring balm or cream for minor cracks
Once dry, if the affected area is not too big, use a recoloring balm to restore its color.
The balms come in different colors so choose the one that matches the color of your couch.
See our previous article on the Best leather color restorer balm
Step 3: Get a peeling leather sofa repair kit
Applying the restorer balm is only a temporary solution and may not work on large surfaces.
For a permanent fix, you will need a leather repair kit that can easily repair holes, burns, cuts, tears, scratches, and marks on leather couches, sofas, and recliners.
Fortivo leather repair kit for instance consists of a leather filler that helps to cover the damaged surface.
It is made of a high-quality repair adhesive compound that dries quite fast; thus, hiding the cracks and peeled areas on the couch.
You do not have to worry about color because Fortivo repair kit comes in seven inter-mixable colors; black, white, yellow, green, blue, brown, and red.
To use this kit, it is advisable to first mix the colors to match your couch if it has a different color from what is provided.
Keenly follow detailed instructions provided on how to mix the colors in order to achieve the desired results. You can try this first on a practice leather patch that is included in the package.
How to stop leather couch from peeling and cracking
The best way to stop your leather couch from peeling or cracking is to ensure proper maintenance by moisturizing or conditioning it regularly.
To moisturize the leather, apply a generous amount of leather conditioner at least twice a year.
The conditioner helps the leather to maintain its natural oils so that it remains soft and supple and prevent drying and cracking.
There are several brands of conditioners available but the most popular is Lexol leather conditioner. It works perfectly not only on couches and sofas but also on shoes, bags, car seats, and other leather items.
In addition, it can be used on vinyl items to prevent cracking and premature aging.
Why is my leather couch peeling and cracking? If you have been wondering why this is happening, we have highlighted some of the reasons such as poor quality bonded leather, faux leather, and exposure to extreme weather conditions.
Luckily, you do not have to get a new couch because there are various ways to repair damaged leather. You can use a recoloring balm if the damage is minor or a leather repair kit for a permanent fix.
Most importantly, get into the habit of moisturizing and conditioning your leather furniture at least twice a year to prevent drying out and cracking.