Keeping Your New Hardwoods Lovely Despite Spills

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You’ve settled in with new luxury hardwood floors, your furnishing plans are complete, and you found the perfect new area rugs. Everything is coming together great, and life is good. This place looks awesome.

So that’s it, right? Your area rugs will keep your new floors perfect, and your duty is done? Sadly, no. Maintenance is important, and knowledge of potential problems is essential. There are still a few emergencies you may have waiting in the future.

 

Threats to Your Hardwood Floors

Recently, we have had a number of calls about pet damage to area rugs. A cat that won’t chuck it’s hairballs on the vinyl or tile, she goes to the area rugs for comfort when she’s in distress.  An older dog likes to lay on the rug and has difficulty making it outside to relieve himself. A puppy that keeps going back to the rugs when the owners aren’t not there to take her out. If you have pets, this is something you should be ready for.

But it’s not only pets. We all have accidents where we knock over a hot coffee or a cool glass of Merlot. It’s just a matter of time.

In any of these spills, the moisture is absorbed by the rug, goes through to the pad, and possibly leaks to the hardwood floors. How much moisture gets through all depends on how large the spill is and what kind of pad we’ve installed. You do have a pad, I trust?

 

There’s an Area Rug Spill, Now What?

When you discover moisture or a wet spill on an area rug that covers hardwood or any hard surface, here’s what to do, step by step:

  1. Start with blotting up the surface spill with a white/non colored towel or microfiber rag. Remember: don’t scrub & do avoid using spot removers until you know what caused the damage, what type of carpet fiber you have, and how far/deep the liquid has gone.
  2. Pull back the rug and pad to inspect for damage. You’ll need to check the hardwood flooring, the pad, and the area rug backing (the fabric on the bottom side).
  3. If there is moisture on the hardwood flooring, immediately remove the wetness and clean the floor. After the floor dries, lay down a dry undyed or white cotton towel and some plastic sheeting before laying down your protective pad.
  4. Lay down your pad and check the backing of the rug. Usually you can see where moisture has penetrated the rug and gone to the pad. Note the boundaries of the saturation and where they touch the pad.
  5. Now the pad. Depending upon the type of spill, you can use a corrective spotter on the pad, clean it, or replace it. Remember, what goes into the pad will likely penetrate, so be sure you protected the hardwood floor as previously suggested with a sheet of plastic.
  6. Congratulations! Now you’re ready to respond to the top surface damage on the area rug!

Before working on the area rug spill damage, you need to put a protective barrier between the rug and the pad, like a dry white cotton towel and plastic sheeting. Notice that this isn’t the barrier under the pad from earlier, now it’s time for a barrier over the pad!

  1. Blot the spill with a non-colored cloth or microfiber towel. Do not scrub. For added pressure, you can step on the towel with your heel.
  2. Keep exchanging your wet towels with new dry towels. Double or triple fold the towel for more absorption. Do this until you think you’ve gotten all the moisture you can out of it.
  3. If you have a wet-dry vacuum/shop vacuum, you can use it to assist with this cleaning/rinsing process. We don’t recommend using multipurpose wet vacuums unless you can control the amount of water being dispersed.
  4. When applying any spot removing agent, apply the solution to the towel and transfer it to the area rug. This may take several applications. With each application, repeat the above suggestion for blotting the moisture. Remember, control the moisture so it doesn’t cause further damage to the pad and your expensive flooring.
  5. Completely dry the area rug, pad, and hardwood flooring before putting them back together.  You can air dry, or accelerate drying with a fan. You can even use a blow dryer to speed this drying process. Remember, the lesson is to not trap moisture and further damage the hardwood flooring.

Get Help with Your Area Rug Spill

If this seems like a lot of work to you, you’re right. It is! Professional services are available to help guide you and even take care of maintenance situations for you. If you need more help, call a professional carpet and floor maintenance service company that is IICRC Certified, like Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration.

Who Spilled the Grape Juice?

The Basics of Spot Removal

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It’s a good feeling. You have a beautiful home, you spend time keeping it in perfect shape, and your brand-new carpet is the icing on the cake. It’s soft, comfortable and clean.

Then one day, you notice (gasp) a spot right in the middle of the living room. There’s no way you can live with that eyesore. It has got to go. What do you do?

Here are a few tips to basic spot removal. Don’t forget that a spot can really be a stain, which needs professional attention.

Identify

Do your best to visually identify the spot. Some spots are easy to figure out; others are pretty tough. It’s not always possible to identify the spotting substance in the carpet. Yet, a little sleuthing on your part can get you close. Where is the spot? Is it near the dining room or where those in the family might eat? Odds are, it’s food related, and you might find success with a spotting solution for sticky residues. Is it in a bedroom? Could be cosmetic, shoe polish or other substance common to getting ready for the day, and you might find success with a dry solvent spotter.

Apply product

When you have figured out as best you can the type of spot you have, choose a reputable product for that particular spot. Some of the best spotting solutions can be obtained from your carpet cleaning company. Ask them what they recommend.

Blot

Next comes removal. Carefully blot the spot. Do not scrub. You will damage the tips of the fibers and there’s nothing short of replacement to fix that. Keep applying and blotting product until the spot is gone.

Remember, if you do your own spot removal, there is some danger of removing original fabric color and causing other damage. Take your time and do it right. Pretesting fiber and solution compatibility is always recommended.

And when in doubt (or when a spot stumps you) always do the very best thing: Call Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration right away!

Odor Control in the Home

How to Remove Blood Spots from Carpet and Furniture

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Blood spots on your carpet or on your furniture… what a terrible thing! These spots can come from a family member or pet. Hopefully when it happens, it’s not from a very serious accident.

But when it does happen, you must remove it quickly. Blood spots can be removed fairly easily if you get to it quick enough.

Of course, if there is a fair amount of blood, more than just a few spots, it’s best not to do anything except call a professional carpet cleaner.

For a small amount of blood, though, you should be able to handle the task of removing the spot if you follow some simple, safe procedures.

Removing Fresh Blood from Your Carpet

1. Blot.

When you have a fresh blood spot, get a white absorbent and disposable towel (like a paper towel without print on it) and blot up as much as you can. Never rub or scrub. That can damage the color and/or texture of the fabric, especially furniture fabric.

2. Wet blot.

There is probably still a spot remaining, even with a lot of blotting. So take about a quart of luke-warm water in a bowl, and add a drop of dish soap to it. Just a drop, you don’t want to leave any sticky residue behind. Dip a fresh, white absorbent and disposable towel into the solution and carefully blot the blood again. What you are trying to do is use the detergent solution to release the blood from the fibers into the towel.

3. Peroxide.

After that, if there is still some light blood staining remaining, use a fresh, white, absorbent and disposable towel to apply a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide, the same strength you purchase at a drug store. But remember, hydrogen peroxide is a “bleach” and you must be careful with colors, especially on furniture fabrics. It’s best to test an area like on the back, bottom skirting to make sure the colors aren’t affected.

Phew! That’s a lot of work. And it might do the trick, but it might not. You could set the blood and it could become a difficult stain if you aren’t careful.

So if you don’t like to live dangerously and would rather play it safe… your favorite carpet and furniture cleaning company, Diablo Carpet & Floor Restoration can help you. They know exactly what to do for your East Bay home. They have the tools and cleaning solutions to do it right!

If you have questions or need our assistance, contact our stain removal specialists at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration at 925-833-0408 to help keep your flooring beautiful.

Man’s Best Friend – Pet Accident

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DID YOU KNOW that man’s best friend can actually become your worst nightmare?

That’s right. He’s cuddly, cute and you love him, but sometimes he has a problem with “accidents” and pretty soon, you start to notice the… ummm… odiferous situation in your Bay Area home.

Besides the obvious occasional accident from Fido, his hair can also be an issue. Once he shakes a bit off, it goes into the carpet and furniture and sticks to it all and it can be quite a problem. This may not be noticeable at first if Fido has short hair, but you’ll notice it building up over time.

Then you have the issue of “I want in. I want out. I want in.” You know it… Fido is always on the move and the constant going outside and then back inside brings in all kinds of dirt.

What can you do about all this?

1. Clean messes up quickly. Once you discover an “accident,” it’s important to grab a few paper towels and blot up the mess before it sinks down into the padding of the carpet. A good enzyme deodorizer like you might get from the vet helps with lingering odors, but of course it’s best to have a professional carpet cleaner near you come over to handle these odor challenges. They are best equipped to tackle the accidents that have seeped deeper than the first layer.

2. Brush your dog frequently. A hairy situation can be tamed by brushing your dog often. Loose hair that’s about to go into the carpet and furniture can be easily pulled from Fido with a good grooming brush. And guess what? He probably likes the attention!

3. Use mats. While you may not have the time to wipe off Fido’s muddy paws each time he wants back inside, it is a good idea to place mats inside and outside the door. When Fido want’s back inside, let him beg a little bit on the outside mat because some of that dirt is definitely going to come off.

Do all of this and man’s best friend is going to be a dream to live with, not a nightmare!

Whether you have a dog, cat, or other pet, let the carpet cleaning specialists at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration take care of any pet stains or odor removal needs by calling them at 925-833-0408.

Do It Yourself Carpet Cleaning

This video provides a good description of using the carpet cleaning machines that are available for rent throughout the Bay Area.

 

Always Do This When Cleaning

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Taking care of cleaning chores around the house is something Bay Area homeowners have engaged in since houses were invented. Not much thought goes into it other than it just needs done. Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration is here to make it easy for you.

However, some specialized tasks, such as removing a spot from a carpet, getting rid of an irritating pet odor from the family dog or trying to find the best cleaning solution for the toughest jobs can actually end up causing more harm than good.

Spot removal

When we find a spot on the carpet, there are two things people tend to do. The first is to put way too much cleaning solution on the spot, saturating it and even getting the padding wet. This just spreads the spot and causes trouble in the future. The second is we tend to scrub way too long and way too hard. This can fray the fibers and you can’t fix that. So when you get a spot, put some solution on a white towel and blot. Never scrub or rub. This is very important. Should the problem persist, contact your Bay Area carpet cleaning specialists at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration.

Odor removal

The biggest question when Fido or Fluffy does their thing on the carpet is “How do I get it out?” That’s not always easy unless you get to it right away. Urine will penetrate into the carpet, the padding and even the subfloor, and when it dries, over time it becomes sticky and smelly.

People will sometimes put powdered carpet deodorizers on those spots, which only gums up the carpet and creates a residue very difficult to remove. Like with spot removal, blotting the area quickly is usually the best remedy for the do-it-yourself types. If you are unsure or the issue continues, contact the Bay Area pet stain and pet odor specialists at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration.

Using Products

When one product works well and you find another one works well, too, the tendency is to mix them. Remember, never mix ammonia and bleach. Both are effective products on their own, but mixed together, they become deadly. Other products on your shelf could, if mixed together, create toxic fumes that can cause harm to your family. Always follow directions.

How can you avoid all these problems and challenges? It’s simple: Call Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration today at 925.833.0408. We’ll be right over to save the day.

Spring Cleaning – Simplified

 

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Spring is the season of new and fresh starts. It is often looked upon as a time to declutter and cleanse your house of all the grub. However, this process can become overwhelming and subject to eternal procrastination. Thus, Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration has simplified it into a few steps to make the process fun and less daunting.

Organizing the Project

If we sit down and write down every cleaning task we’d like to do, we would have the list that will never die. Instead, we always recommend the rule of 3. This means that you do not need to do everything but stick to the most important. Thus, start with creating a to do list and put the top three items that need to be done in the house. Subsequently, put a list of the top three items in each room in the house beyond those initial ones. A key provision to all of this is that each of these items must be very specific. Do not simply put “Clean the Bedroom”. Specify things like “Organize the Closet” or “Go through all the Toys”. Once you have your detailed list, you should then split up the list among all family members and set two to three weekends to get the job done.

Plan Ahead

While you will do each set of tasks over a period of time, it is important to plan ahead for each weekend of activities. Beyond having the list of what you have to complete this Spring, take the time to break down the tasks needed to do the specific cleaning. For instance, if one of the items is to get the carpets professionally cleaned, then you need to research and contact companies in advance so they come on the day you are prepared to accept them and allow them to clean everything. Along the same thought process, if one of the cleaning tasks is to move all your boxes from one room to the garage, you should plan to do this before having professional carpet cleaning. Otherwise, you’ve wasted the professional carpet cleaning of your Bay Area home.

Make it Fun

Spring cleaning can be very taxing and often emotional, especially for the little kids. The children rarely want to give up their long held toys, even if they haven’t been touched in years. Thus, you can make a game out of the whole affair. For instance, you can give them incentive by letting them keep any monies they receive for them. Alternatively, you could show them how those items could benefit those who are less fortunate. Another option could be to create a scavenger hunt game out of the decluttering so the kids have fun and forget about the impact the loss is having on them.

Thus, contact your carpet cleaning specialist today at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration at 925-833-0408 to make your spring cleaning a breeze.

Waterproof Flooring (Next Generation)

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For years Bay Area homeowners have struggled through the challenges of keeping their flooring new and beautiful. They’ve been told to vacuum or mop it regularly. In addition, some floorings have been required to be sealed every year or two. Finally, professional carpet cleaning and hardwood cleaning is also recommended on an annual or more frequent basis. However, despite all of this, the unknown spill or pet stain has always loomed as a potential added expense or unknown factor that could ruin the flooring.

Things are changing. In the past six months, many major manufacturers have come out with new waterproof flooring. While this doesn’t take the odor away and is not full proof for everything, it does add a layer of protection which can keep the unexpected away. The flooring has taken on several forms.

Waterproof Carpeting

A few months ago, Shaw Floors, a leading manufacturer, came out with “Life Guard”. This carpeting has waterproof backing and can withstand up to 25,000 pounds of water. A kid’s accident will not penetrate this very easily. Additionally, pet accidents are better protected, although the bacterial infections have to be considered. Thus, the carpet is protecting you from many of life’s spills and accidents. This can help alleviate some of the worry and leave you with just your usual professional carpet cleaning needs.

Waterproof Hardwood Flooring

Carpet is not the only type of flooring getting a fresh approach. Shaw and other manufacturers are also coming out with waterproof hardwood flooring. These types of flooring usually involve a waterproof core. This keeps the liquid from seeping beyond the first layer of flooring. As a result and similar to the carpet, kids and pet stains become less prominent and the unexpected no longer needs to worry a Bay Area homeowner.

Styling Included

A big concern homeowners may have is how stylish is this flooring. The answer is that it’s very nice. However, this is a relatively new product so it doesn’t have the vast diversity of product lines. As a result, it will take some time for the amount of options grows to a reasonable level.

Whether you have this latest style or maintain the traditional flooring, contact your hardwood and carpet cleaning specialists today at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration at 925-833-0408 to help keep your flooring beautiful.