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Carpet is one of the most neglected items in your home. People often go years without cleaning their carpets, assuming that as long as it looks clean it is clean but, truth be told, its not always the dirt you can see that makes it dirty. If left uncleaned for an extended period of time dirt can actually dull your carpet, much like sand paper can dull the paint on your car, dirt and soils are abrasive and can rub the “sheen” off your carpet. In fact, to ensure proper maintenance, some of today’s major carpet manufacturers require you to clean your carpet every 12-18 months using the hot water extraction method by an IICRC Certified Firm to maintain your warranty. Citywide Restoration is an IICRC Certified Firm and would like to show you the benefits of cleaning your carpet on a regular basis. We can keep your carpet looking as new as possible as long as possible, all while maintaining your warranty.
What to Expect From a GOOD Carpet Cleaner
Knowing what questions to ask is essential in avoiding problems. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a nonprofit certification body that sets and promotes high standards and technical proficiency within the cleaning industry.
Here’s what they say you should expect:
No hidden costs. Expect itemized costs for services and firm prices before technicians begin each portion of the work sold. Consumers should never feel pressured to accept anything more than the services they request.
Customer Satisfaction. Cleaning firms should offer workmanship guarantees in writing.
Vacuuming. The cleaner should start by vacuuming high traffic and open areas where soils accumulate.
Moving furniture. Unless clearly specified, moving of most furniture to clean carpet underneath should be considered part of the normal cleaning job.
Spot-cleaning. Special attention to spots is included in normal job performance. However, time-consuming specialized spotting may incur an additional charge. Customers should be advised of additional charges before extensive spotting procedures are undertaken.
Preconditioning. Special treatment with “preconditioning” agents in heavily soiled entry, traffic and general areas should be included in the cost of the cleaning.
Minimal drying time. It is the cleaner’s responsibility to ensure that the carpet is dried and returned to normal use within a reasonable time frame. The amount of time required for drying will vary with different methods, the degree of soiling and the aggressiveness of cleaning necessary. But under no circumstances should drying require more than 24 hours with proper ventilation. However, the consumer’s cooperation in providing continuous air flow and/or ventilation to expedite drying cannot be overemphasized.
8 Mistakes to Avoid
Choosing a carpet cleaner based on equipment alone. No question, your carpet cleaner needs first-rate equipment. But he also needs something else. He needs employees who are skilled at operating that equipment. Many companies own hot-water extractors, but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly. The best way to know that the carpet cleaner’s employees have been properly trained is to make sure the cleaner has been certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company’s and the technician’s IICRC certification.
Choosing a carpet cleaner based on low price. Low price could be a problem in three ways: (1) low price can be the bait that attracts your phone call. But once the cleaner gets into your home, he pressures you into a much more expensive job. (2) Low price can be for single-process cleaning. Rarely does the consumer know what this means and, when told, ask s for dual-process cleaning instead, which costs much more. (3) Low price means the carpet cleaner has cheap equipment, which will not effectively clean your carpet.
Choosing a carpet cleaner based on a single telephone call. Instead, invite the person to your home and ask for a specific written quotation. Then you’ll know exactly what the carpet cleaner recommends—and you won’t be the victim of high-pressure tactics when the technician steps into your living room.
Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee. In my view, every carpet cleaning company should be fully accountable for its work. And if you aren’t pleased with the job in every way, you shouldn’t have to pay for it. Period. Not all carpet cleaners offer a guarantee. Or, if they do, the guarantee may be “limited.” Ask the carpet cleaner if he offers a money-back guarantee and then make sure the carpet cleaner includes his guarantee on his written quotation.
Choosing a carpet cleaner without getting comments from his other clients. Any carpet cleaner can say anything about his past jobs. And, sadly, some of what he says may not be true. Make sure you ask for references or read comments from current customers so you can depend on the carpet cleaner and his work.
Choosing a carpet cleaner who isn’t certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). If your carpet cleaner isn’t a close friend, you may not know whether he has the knowledge or experience to clean your carpet well. If you want to be sure you’re hiring a competent professional, make sure he is IICRC certified. The carpet cleaner must earn that certification through study, experience and successful completion of formal, written examinations. In effect, cleaners who are certified by the IICRC have earned a college degree in carpet cleaning.
Look for the following certification credentials-
The IICRC is a certification and standard-setting non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning and restoration industries.
The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) is the science-based source for the facts about carpet and rugs.
Choosing a carpet cleaner who doesn’t use a truck-mounted hot water extraction system. You might expect this from me, since my employees and I use this type of system. But there are several good reasons. Portable hot water systems are good, but they aren’t as good as truck-mounted systems. Truck-mount systems are the Rolls Royce of carpet cleaners. Compared with portable hot water systems, truck-mount systems use hotter water, higher pressure and stronger suction. So all the way around, you get a much better job. No two ways about it.