+ - Six costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning Click to collapse
1. You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.
No, dirt is abrasive, like sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind dry particle soil into the fiber. This soil cuts your carpet fibers, just as if you had used a knife. This cutting causes the carpet to wear out faster and causes fiber distortion. When the dry particle soil scratches your carpet fibers, it will not reflect light like it did when it was new; this is called fiber distortion. Unfortunately, carpet cleaners cannot correct fiber distortion, as the damage has already been done. Frequent vacuuming, cleanings, and re-applying stainshield protection can help to extend the life of your carpet.
2. The only reason to clean your carpet is to remove the dirt.
No. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollutants, fungus, bacteria, pollens, and hundreds of other chemicals. When you come into your home, you carry those pollutants in on your hair, skin, clothing, and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals wind up in your carpet. If you or your family members have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems, one major source of your problem could be what is in your carpet, upholstery and air ducts. Take a step to improve your indoor air quality (IAQ).
3. One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.
No. The dry cleaning methods, which consist of dry foam, dry chemical and dry compound, do not rinse your carpet in any way. Instead, they leave a chemical residue on your carpet. The most effective cleaning method is hot water extraction.
Hot water extraction means a hot water cleaning solution, under high pressure, is forced into your carpet and then extracted.
There are three types of hot water extraction:
Portables – Can be brought inside your home. You can also rent these from different stores.
Truck-mount – This unit is mounted inside a van or truck and has its own separate engine.
Truck-powered – This unit is mounted inside a van or truck and runs off the van/truck's engine (PTO).
The truck-mount and truck-powered units achieve better results than a portable due to the higher temperature and more powerful vacuum extraction. Terry's Cleaning and Restoration, uses the truck-powered steam extraction method.
4. Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpet properly.
Not true. Many companies own truck-powered equipment, but only 10% of all carpet cleaners ever get any formal training. This is why you need to choose your carpet cleaner carefully. Shaw Industries recommends you use a company certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, known as the IICRC. Any company who holds this certification is proud of it, and normally displays the logo on all of its advertising literature.
5. The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.
No. I have seen so many problems arise from the lowest-bid companies that I suggest you NEVER hire the company that quotes the cheapest price. The two most common problems are: The price may not be for the services you expect to be performed. The company may be equipped to remove only the dirt and not the bacteria and pollutants. The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many homeowners have learned that the low price they saw advertised only lasted until the carpet cleaner got to their home. Then they were pressured into paying a lot more for a variety of basic add-ons. Some cleaners even break the law by using illegal "bait-and-switch" tactics.
6. Any company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone.
I wish this were true, but it's not. Honest and reputable carpet cleaners almost never price carpet cleaning by the room. Instead, they usually charge by the square foot (length x width.) So, if you would like a guesstimate over the telephone, please have your room sizes ready. When we clean your carpet we will use an electronic measuring device to get an accurate measurement.
Most of your more reputable carpet cleaners will charge by the square foot and will have additional charges for "specialty" services, such as pet treatment, dye removal, and excessive spills Charging by the room makes it harder to give an exact quote over the telephone, since most homeowners do not provide accurate measurements. So even though we cannot give you an exact quote here are things we consider when quoting a price.
+ - How to Avoid Four Carpet Cleaning Rip-Offs Click to collapse
- Is it residential or commercial?
- Is the home occupied or is it vacant?
- Will we need to move furniture or will you already have this done?
- What is the total square footage to be cleaned (open areas, traffic areas, or wall-to-wall)?
- Are there any steps or bathrooms that need to be cleaned?
- Is pet treatment a concern?
- Is there excessive spotting, gum, or spills?
- Are there other areas of concern like red dye spots?
- The amount and type of soil (this mainly applies to commercial accounts).
- Type of carpet/upholstery – true oriental rugs, wool carpets and natural fiber furniture (cotton, silk, or rayon) will cost more than synthetic.
UNBELIEVABLE LOW PRICE. To some degree, all of us are attracted by low price because we want to work within a budget. However, some carpet cleaners use price as the bair for their false and misleading advertising. Carpet cleaning is not as cheap as some unethical carpet cleaners would like you to believe.
BAIT-AND-SWITCH. Dual process carpet cleaning describes the process of shampooing or heavy preconditioning followed with hot water extraction cleaning. Unfortunately, unethical carpet cleaners often use dual process as a bait-and-switch technique. Here's how it's done: First they "bait" you with a basic cleaning (single process) at an unbelievably low price. Then, when you call, they try to "switch" you to more expensive dual-process cleaning. If you do not fail for their switch and choose their basic service, you will likely receive poor workmanship using little or no emulsifiers.
OUTDATED BELIEFS; "HOT WATER DAMAGES YOUR CARPET." Years ago, many people believed this was true because their carpets were damaged by "technicians" who did not know how to properly clean using hot water. However, today we know this is false. By washing than rinsing your carpet with hot water, your carpet is thoroughly cleaning in the same way that the person who showers with soap and water will be much cleaner than the person who only takes a sponge bath. Obviously, each carpet cleaner will be biased toward his own method. Each method does have advantages, so I suggest you look at what Shaw Industries says. Shaw Industries, the largest carpet manufacturer in the world, recommends hot water extraction with a truck-mount or truck-powered unit. Shaw also recommends that you call an IICRC certified firm.
UNSUPPORTED CLAIMS; "THIS CLEANING METHOD IS THE BEST." You will read this claim in many ads, and you will hear this from virtually every carpet cleaner. Remember this: the method that is best for you, is the method that achieves your goal. If you want a method that dries quickly, then a method that takes a long time to dry is not the best for you. Before you choose a carpet cleaner, identify what your needs are.