Rusty's Carpet Cleaning Blog
One of the best ways you can learn about a company before hiring them to clean your textiles is to simply ask questions. This is a simple thing, but most people just don't know what questions to ask, or the answers to listen for. Hope this helps...
1. What method of carpet cleaning do you recommend? The best, most deep cleaning method is Deep Steam Extraction aka Hot Water Extraction.
2. What type of equipment do you use to clean carpet? It is recommended to use a truck-mounted system, as this is the healthiest option for your home or business because it uses a HEPA filter and immediately removes allergens and other pollutants from the indoor area.
3. What does your equipment remove from my carpet? You should expect it to remove allergens, dirt, bacteria, dustmites, fungus, chemicals, pollens and residues left behind by previous cleanings.
4. Are you certified by the IICRC? ONLY use companies who have technicians who have been certified by the IICRC. This certification is not something a company can buy. Each individual technician must be trained and take an exam to EARN this certification. This insures they know how to properly run the equipment, identify different fibers/materials and know how to care for your textiles appropriately. They also must continue education to maintain this certification.
5. Do you guarantee your work? If the company is doing their very best, they should have no problem guaranteeing their work. This means that if there is something you are not satisfied with, they should come back and re-clean at no extra charge.
Hopefully this gives you an idea of what to ask as well as what to expect from a textile cleaning company. Unfortunately, in the textile/carpet cleaning industry (as with any industry), there are some shady people to look out for. However, if you know the right questions to ask and what your expectations should be, you should be able to find a company with whom you can have a positive experience.
If you're getting your carpet or upholstery professionally cleaned, and have done any research at all, chances are you've heard of the "bait and switch" scam that is common in the industry. Basically, this is when a company gets into your home with the false promise of extremely low prices. You may have seen coupons that seem too good to be true (for example a whole house cleaning for $60), and chances are that this is a scam. This gives the impression that you can have your whole house completely cleaned for that price...but don't be fooled.
Carpet Cleaners have expenses to cover, and they cannot stay in business by charging extremely low prices and give you the quality of cleaning you need. Once in your home the day of the cleaning, your extra costs start to add up. They may tell you that the price advertised was for smaller sized rooms, and your rooms are too large- extra charge. They may say that since you have pets, you need pet treatments, even if there is no stain- extra charge. You want your furniture moved- extra charge. These can keep adding up and tac hundreds of unexpected dollars onto your bill. A legit company will make sure their prices are clear BEFORE they clean your carpet- rather than suprising you at the end. A good way to do this is to get a guaranteed estimate ahead of time.
Secondly, ask questions. If you're looking at a coupon that advertises something like "3 rooms for $40", ask them what size room this includes. Many times people will think this means any room, when in fact their area is much larger than the coupon will cover. Also, if they say you need a pet treatment for stains you cannot smell or see, ask them to show you the spots with their UV light. Just because you have a pet, does not mean you need a pet treatment.
Basically, if you have a deal in front of you that seems "too good to be true," then it probably is. The solutions used to remove stains and do pet treatments cost money and take more time, so chances are they will be an extra charge to you. Just get the facts ahead of time from an honest business who will be up front about their prices. Your best bet is to go with a company that has technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. These companies have standards they are abiding by and professionals who are trained in this area of expertise.
For more info on the standards set forth by the IICRC, visit http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/default.shtml.
One of the first things to think about when hiring a carpet cleaner is whether to use a company with a steam extraction system or a dry carpet cleaner. A common carpet-cleaning misconception is that it could be "bad" to put moisture into your carpet during cleaning.
This idea that it is bad to use moisture when cleaning carpet comes from people who have experienced poorly trained carpet cleaners who leave the carpet too wet. This is why it is important to hire a company with IICRC certified technicians who will use a low-moisture, deep steam extraction system, which is the ONLY system recommended by Mohawk and Shaw Industries (the nation's leading carpet manufacturers). Look for a company that uses a truck-mount system, rather than a portable unit that they bring inside with them. The truck-mount systems usually use a HEPA filter and are healthier for your family as they extract and immediately remove the pollutants from your home.
Dry Carpet Cleaning usually uses a foam or cleaning granules. When using the foam, they must use rotating brushes to remove the foam which can be harmful to your carpet fibers, making them wear and ultimately look dirty faster. Also, many of the vaccums used to extract the foam are not strong enough which can lead to residue being left behind. The idea of using the cleaning granules is that the granules break down and aborb dirt and oils, then they are vaccumed away. Unfortunately, this does not kill harmful dustmites or bacteria that the deep steam extraction can kill.
Deep steam extraction is the only method that "deep cleans" your carpet, and the ONLY way to successfully remove harmful dustmites, toxins, dirt and other materials that sit in your carpet, without leaving residues behind. If you have already used dry cleaning methods in the past, don't worry. A legit IICRC certified company with a Deep Steam Extraction unit should be able to remove residues left behind by other cleanings, as well as the other pollutants. Remember, look for the truck-mounted system!
A common question I get from our customers is, "How often should I clean my carpet?" Many times people wait until the carpet looks dirty to have it professionally cleaned, but I have news...this is too late!!
Your carpet does an important job by acting as a filter- trapping damaging air pollutants like pollen, fungi, chemicals, bacteria, cigarette smoke, tars and residues. However, once your carpet gets "full" it no longer can trap or hold these harmful pollutants, so your family and friends end up breathing them in.
Carpet, upholstery and mattresses can also become infested with dust mites who's droppings can trigger asthma attacks, allergies, eczema and rhinitis attacks, as well as the dust mite saliva which is known to cause allergic reactions.
The only way they can be removed is through professional cleaning, which is recommended every 6-8 months depending on the household. (For example a house with 3 kids, a dog and a cat would need cleaned more often than a newly wed couple living by themselves). Bottom line is...if your carpet already looks dirty, you're overdue!