Robot Vacuums for Carpet, Hardwood, and Area Rug Cleaning

Robotic vacuum cleaners, automatic robovacuum, robot vacuum

 

As technology takes over our lives, robot vacuums are appearing in more and more homes.  They go around your home and handle things without you having to bend, crawl, or move items.  How can this impact your floor cleaning?

Regular Cleaning

These vacuums allow you to have your floors cleaned on a regular, consistent schedule.  While you may have previously vacuumed your home on a weekly or more infrequent basis, you can now have your floors cleaned daily, perhaps while you sleep. To make this system work, you will now have to empty and maintenance the robot vacuum cleaner every day or few days.

Hard to Reach Spots

Beyond the more consistent schedule, these vacuums are generally smaller and able to go into hard to reach spots.  Think about the last time you vacuumed, did you actually lift your couch to clean underneath it?

Spot Cleaning

Some of these robot vacuums have a mode for handling a spill or mess in one area.  This allows the vacuum to focus on that section of the home and clean it up, although not all the robot cleaners come with this setting.

Mop Replacement

While not all robot vacuums have it, a few of them have an option for it to mop or “wet clean” certain types of floors too.  This is a nice feature but the technology is still evolving, and they have extremely limited scrubbing power. This is not at a level that should be used as a regular replacement to mopping just yet.

Technology Limitations

Some of these vacuums are now wifi-connected, so you can trigger it through an app on your phone or computer. Things are still a little behind though, as with the mop feature, much this technology is still evolving.  The battery can be limited, the bin size maybe too small to handle more than one cleaning worth of dirt, or the device may fall down stairs, get stuck on area rugs, or have trouble finding its way back to the charging station.

Vacuum-Proof the Home

Having these devices doesn’t mean you can leave it and forget it.  You need to clean up the surrounding areas as small toys, socks, or other small items could get stuck in it and break it.

In fact, this can be a big issue with pets, especially if they are not toilet trained.  Recently, one of our clients had severe damage to the device and their flooring when the robot vacuum spread a puppy’s accident all over their home.  We were able to completely clean and sanitize their flooring but the vacuum had tremendous damage.

Doesn’t Fully Replace Vacuuming

While this helps keep the house somewhat cleaner, these devices are not as powerful or effective as traditional vacuums. It is recommended that you still vacuum regularly and use a robotic vacuum for home maintenance in between more familiar methods of floor cleaning.

While robot vacuums promise to be one of the next wave of useful technologies, we still have a long ways to go.  Regular vacuuming and even professional carpet, hardwood, or area rug cleaning are still essential.  Please contact us with any questions or if you’d like to schedule your professional cleaning today.

3 Things You Need To Know About Ultra Soft Carpet

ultra soft carpet cleaning info

The popularity of thick, luxurious, ultra soft carpet has soared in recent years. Maybe you recently bought a home with extra soft carpet and want to prepare yourself for its care and maintenance. Maybe you just installed or already have ultra-soft carpet and want to know more about it.

Here are 3 essential things you need to know about ultra soft carpet.

1) It Can Hold Onto Dust And Allergens

Everyone’s home has dust and debris that gather on the floor. This can include food crumbs, pet dander, hairs, skin flakes, dust and dirt tracked in from outside. Most carpets have some amount of dust mites in them, although vacuuming can reduce their numbers. Left too long, some of that debris can attract ants and other small insects, like carpet beetles.

Any carpet can hide and hold onto dust and other allergens. However, ultra soft carpet has an even greater tendency for this. The thick and plentiful carpet fibers may feel lovely, but they come with the drawback of being more textured and harder to clean. If you are prone to allergies, extra soft carpet would need frequent, thorough cleaning in your home.

2) It Can Be Harder To Clean at Home

Most of us know what to do when our carpet needs cleaning – simply get to work vacuuming the floor. Unfortunately, many vacuums are not well-equipped to deal with the thickness of plush ultra soft carpet. 

Due to the nature of extra plush carpeting, a vacuum may only get the surface clean without reaching deep into the carpet fibers, or even just past the surface, because the fibers of the carpet don’t separate easily. Ultra soft carpet has deep, textured and dense fibers that can cause it to hold onto dirt and debris. Also, plush carpets aren’t built on mesh like traditional carpets, they’re sealed underneath, so the vacuum can’t suck air through the carpet from it’s foundation. No dry vacuum will be able to deep clean your carpet. Your vacuuming attempts can feel somewhat futile, leaving much of the dust, debris and dirt behind.

If you buy a new, specialized ultra-soft carpet vacuum, you’ll have an easier time vacuuming at home, but you’ll still need a regular professional cleaning to remove the dust and dirt that ultra soft carpets retain even after vacuuming. Professional carpet cleaning services have proper equipment to clean ultra dense carpets.

3) It May Need To Be Replaced More Often

Given the fact that ultra soft carpet is harder to clean, it stains more frequently, because spills can’t be lifter quickly and easily. It is also harder to remove stains once they’ve set in ultra soft carpet. You may need the help of a professional carpet cleaning company to remove both surface stains as well as the dirt and dust that is trapped under the surface. Even then, your carpet may become unsightly and worn, so that you need to replace it more quickly than other carpet options.

When selecting carpet options or discerning your carpet maintenance regimen, be sure to consult with carpeting and flooring professionals. These specialists can advise you on the best flooring to meet your needs, and how to take care of it. Ultra soft carpet can be an outstanding flooring choice, but it’s important to take proper care of it to keep your home low-allergen, clean looking, and fresh smelling. Contact your local professional carpet cleaning company for help with ultra-soft carpets.

 

 

How Pets Are Changing the Cleaning Industry

Pets changing the cleaning industry

Pet-safe cleaning has become a higher concern, with pets increasingly playing a more important role in our lives and our homes. A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 33% of young home buyers aged 18-35 were motivated to buy their first home in order to have a better space or a yard for their dog. In comparison, marriage was the motivation for 25% of home buyers that age, while having a child was motivation for only 19%. A 2016 report also found that 44% of Americans own dogs (78 million dogs in homes total) and 35% own cats (that’s 85.8 million cats).

Cleaning Your Home With A Pet

Pet owners are always looking for new and better ways for their homes to support their pets. Pets are spending more time indoors and have a greater impact on our homes. And our homes have a significant impact on them, too. A part of this is finding home cleaning solutions that create a safe and healthy environment for both humans and their pets. The cleaning industry is adapting and changing to provide solutions that are pet-safe, while also dealing with the sometimes difficult cleaning problems pets can cause. Here we look at the different ways we can adapt our cleaning to protect our pets and address the unique cleaning challenges pets create.

How Pets Can Affect Your Home

It’s no secret that pets can affect the cleanliness and hygiene of our homes. Even well-trained pets have accidents, and their indoor/outdoor life means that they’re another source of dust and pathogens being dragged into the home.

Our furry friends affect the cleanliness of our homes in a range of ways including –

  • Tracking dirt, mud, and pathogens into the home, which can accumulate in carpets, area rugs, hardwood floor cracks and tile grout. This creates a dirty and less hygienic environment.
  • Pets, particularly cats, can bring dead  rodents and birds into the home, which can be a health concern.
  • Carpets, upholstery and other soft furnishings can adopt pet odors when pets use them often.
  • Pets may urinate, defecate, leave hairballs, or vomit on carpet, hardwood and soft furnishings, leaving stains or damage. Odors from liquid spills can remain in carpets, rugs, and furnishings for a long time as they seep deep into carpet padding and upholstery stuffing.
  • Dogs and cats can drop fur and skin cells on floors and furniture, which is known as pet dander. This can be an allergen, causing allergic reactions and triggering asthma. It can also create odors and just look bad.
  • Pet dander is also a site for dust mites, another allergen that can trigger allergies and asthma.

How Pets Have Impacted the Cleaning Industry

We know pets have influenced our homes and contributed to cleaning issues. That’s why clear trends toward pet-safe cleaning dealing with these hygiene dilemmas have emerged. These trends include –

  • Installation of Hard Surface Floors – Many homes have resorted to installing hard surface flooring such as tile, hardwood floors, and vinyl, laminate or engineered wood to avoid absorbent surfaces. Hard surfaces are easier to clean and don’t absorb or ‘catch’ pet accidents or hair. Odors and stains from pets are much less likely to impact hard floors.
  • Area Rugs and Their Unique Cleaning Needs – Of course, as homeowners install hard floors, use of area rugs also increases to improve comfort underfoot and improve the warmth and atmosphere of a space. But guess what? Pets prefer these soft, warm and comfortable rugs as well. Area rugs may then become the ‘preferred site’ for pet accidents, as well as the place pets prefer to sit and relax. Unlike the hard floors they sit on top of, area rugs can accrue stains, dirt, and odors quickly, which are often difficult to remove. Area rugs made of fine fibers and delicate designs may need to be sent out for professional cleaning so that they are gently cleaned, while preserving their structure.
  • Carpet Odor and Stain Removal – When pets use carpeted floors, these floors need deep professional carpet cleaning and professional stain removal more regularly. Carpets get stains and odors much more quickly and hold them for longer than other floor types. Liquid spills and accidents can soak deep into carpet padding, which makes odors difficult to reach and fully remove. Specialized, professional carpet odor removal services are increasingly popular, aimed at achieving the difficult goal of fully extracting deep-seated odors from carpet.
  • Professional Upholstery Cleaning and Odor Removal – Carpets aren’t the only surface in the home that is affected by pet stains and odors. If pets utilize upholstery and furnishing in the home, it’s likely that these furnishings will also be subject to pet hair, urine, saliva, feces, and dander as well. Professional upholstery cleaning and deep odor removal is a service that’s becoming increasingly popular and important for pet owners as they strive to keep their home clean and hygienic.

The Impacts of Home Cleaning on Pets

For homeowners with pets, keeping the home clean at all costs isn’t the only consideration. Where pets are living in an environment, they are also going to be affected, so it’s important to consider the impact of cleaning on pets.

  • Some cleaning products can be extremely dangerous and poisonous to pets. Just like children, they don’t know or understand the difference between what is ‘safe’ and ‘dangerous’ so cleaning products should be kept away from where pets can access them.
  • Because animals are naturally closer to the ground, they will be more heavily impacted by the cleaning products and processes that happen to your floor. Even just casual exposure to these chemicals through the environment in your home can negatively impact their health.
  • Pets ingest chemicals from cleaning products when the chemicals rub off onto the pet’s fur or feet. When the pet licks and cleans themselves, they ingest these chemicals.
  • The worst culprits for pet poisoning are bleach, laundry detergent, and phenol-based disinfectants. Some carpet cleaning agents are known to be irritating or unsafe for pets.
  • There is an upside: Pet-safe cleaning products that are known to be safe for both pets and children are available and help to keep homes beautifully clean, while furry friends are kept healthy.

How The Cleaning Industry Is Innovating

The cleaning industry is responding to the need to make home cleaning pet-friendly and pet-safe. Professional carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning companies are now more aware of the impact of cleaning solutions on pets, as well as cleaning techniques that help to produce a better result for your home, while also keeping your pets healthy. You will now find a wide variety of innovations available that make professional and home cleaning safer for our animals.

Pet-Friendly Cleaning Products

One of the most significant developments of the cleaning industry in relation to pets is the development of non-toxic, pet-safe cleaning products. This gives homeowners peace of mind when undergoing professional cleaning or cleaning their own homes. Not to mention that many homeowners, especially those with children, prefer to use non-toxic cleaning products in their homes.

  • Pet-safe cleaning products – For home cleaning, you can look for products that specify they are pet-friendly on the label or bottle. Keep in mind that just because a cleaning product says it is ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, does not necessarily mean that it is pet-safe or non-toxic for pets. Many natural substances can still be toxic to pets so always check for pet-specific information on the label.
  • Correct product use – It’s important to also know how to use a cleaning product correctly to ensure that your pets stay safe. For example, if a product specifies that you should keep children and pets away from the area until dry, you need to follow these directions for pet safety.
  • Pet-safe professional cleaning – When booking professional cleaning, you should ask if your cleaning company uses pet-safe cleaning solutions and techniques or practices that help protect pets.
  • Adjusting expectations – Keep in mind that some cleaning products and techniques that are safer for pets may not be as effective as stronger chemicals. This may leave you with a different result than you were hoping for. To balance your expectations and your pets health and safety, ask about all the options available.

Safer Cleaning Techniques

It’s not just the cleaning solutions that have been innovated in relation to pet-safe cleaning. Professional cleaning companies have also developed specific techniques to address pet related home hygiene issues while keeping pet’s safe.

  • Pet-safe cleaning techniques – If you need more thorough carpet cleaning with traditional cleaning solutions, don’t despair. Carpet cleaning companies have developed techniques that allow for more deep and thorough carpet cleaning and carpet stain removal, while also minimizing chemical residue. That’s one big reason why it’s best to choose a professional carpet cleaning company for home cleaning rather than trying to do it yourself. With the proper truck mounted, hot rinse carpet cleaning machine, and expert can cleanse and lift traces of cleaning solution from your carpet, and your flooring is left with low chemical residue and no impact on your pets.
  • Knowing how to handle pets – professional carpet cleaners are now trained and knowledgeable with dealing with pets and understanding how they need to be treated in the home. Just as you and your family need to vacate the house during professional carpet cleaning, tile cleaning or upholstery cleaning, your pet also needs to be kept safe from the cleaning process, and surfaces should be allowed to fully dry before pets use them again.

Home Cleaning Plans

Not only are the tools and techniques for cleaning houses being innovated to better accommodate companion animals, cleaning companies are also adapting to provide better service to homes with pets.

  • Professional cleaning plans – Cleaning plans and packages are available to help households with pets stay on top of keeping the home hygienic and safe. These plans can be annual or semi annually, and provide specially tailored cleaning services to keep homes with pets clean, including carpet cleaning, stain removal, tile and grout cleaning and odor removal. The best aspect of these plans is that they save organizing and remembering on the part of the homeowners. With cleaning already arranged and scheduled, you can keep your home safely clean and pet-safe at all times.

Your Guide To A Safe and Clean Pet Loving Home

So how can you formulate your own plan to not only keep your pet-friendly home clean but to keep your clean home pet-safe?

  • Do Your Research – Find out about pet-safe cleaning solutions and pet-friendly cleaning companies. Conduct research about which chemicals in cleaning agents affect your pets, and avoid using these products. Ask your vet for recommendations if in doubt.
  • Ask Your Professional Cleaner – It’s a great idea to talk to your professional carpet cleaner or upholstery cleaner about the type of products and techniques they use and the outcome you expect. This can help you understand the process they’ll use, as well as helping them understand your needs and the needs of your pet.
  • Start A Cleaning Plan – A cleaning plan from a professional cleaning company helps you save money on keeping your flooring beautiful longer, while also ensuring your home stays clean and healthy for the family. A cleaning plan can be specially developed to target some of the issues affecting households with pets, such as pet hair removal, stain and odor removal, and regular carpet cleaning.
  • Pet Accident Cleaning Kit – For homes with pets, preparation is key. It’s more than likely that at some point, your pet will have an accident or create a mess that needs cleaning. Homeowners should be prepared in advance to provide a rapid response that minimizes damage and prevents the accident happening again. Put together a kit with plenty of clean blotting cloth and a pet-friendly carpet and surface cleaner so you can quickly clean up accidents to prevent odors and stains. Promptly and thoroughly cleaning the area of a pet accident is essential to prevent the pet from ‘marking’ the same spot again.

Creating an inviting, healthy home that is pet-safe is a focused recent innovation of the cleaning industry, achieved thanks to pet-safe cleaning products and techniques. Develop your plan for a clean, pet-friendly home with the help of your local professional carpet and floor cleaning company.  

How Water and Flooding Can Damage Your Home and Your Health: How To Protect Your Flooring

Flooding and Water Damage, flooring mold, hardwood and carpet cleaning

 

Flooding can occur in your home due to adverse weather events, plumbing failure or more. While flooding can be detrimental to your whole house structure, one place that flooding always affects is the flooring. Flooding and moisture can weaken or damage your flooring, affect the foundation underneath your floors or create the conditions for mold growth or other damage to occur in the future. Not to mention that the effects of flooding such as mold, bacteria and mildew in your floors can pose a risk to your health. Here we look at ways to protect your flooring and the health of your home and family against the risk of flooding.

Act Fast

When it comes to protecting your flooring from a flood the most important thing is to act fast. Mold and mildew can start growing in your flooring, furniture and walls within 48-72 hours after it first gets wet. This means it’s important to stop the flow of water into your home and begin cleanup as soon as possible.

Send Area Rugs and Removable Items Out

Cleaning up flood damage is very different from handling a small spill or stain. It’s best to send any area rugs or removable carpets out of the home for professional cleaning. This ensures they receive the care that they need based on their unique properties and are dried quickly to prevent damage. It also helps to reduce the cleaning burden for you.

Cleaning and Drying Carpet

Heavily soiled or damaged carpets may need to be removed and disposed of quickly. Calling in a professional carpet cleaner to evaluate the damage is a good idea to allow you to get an expert opinion. Carpet contaminated by raw sewage, oil, or other toxic waste will need to be immediately disposed of.

You can begin drying out your carpets by using a wet dry vacuum to remove as much water as possible and opening windows or using a dehumidifier to begin drying them. After you have removed as much water as possible, call in a professional carpet cleaner to clean and rinse the carpet using an extraction method to ensure all traces of contaminated water have been removed. If carpet is deeply flooded it may be necessary to pull up the carpet to dry the padding and floor underneath. Your professional carpet cleaner can also help advise on a safe and effective way to dry your floors effectively.

Drying Wood Floors

Wood floors can be vulnerable to flooding as the wood absorbs water, expands, and becomes permanently damaged. Wood can also harbor bacteria or mold. Lift as much moisture as possible from the wood floors as soon as you can. You will then need to ascertain how to salvage the flooring pieces and determine whether water has collected under the wooden flooring. If you’re unsure of how to thoroughly dry the wood floor yourself, seek professional advice from the manufacturer or call a professional hardwood floor cleaner.

Preserve Furniture As Well

 

Flooring is not the only item at risk in your flooded home. If water has reached upholstered furniture and been absorbed, your furniture will also need professional cleaning. Professional upholstery cleaning can force your furniture dry faster and prevent it becoming moldy.

If your home floods, it’s essential to act fast to preserve your flooring. Seek professional carpet cleaning and professional hardwood floor cleaning assistance as soon as possible to protect and preserve your floors.

Do Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solutions Really Work?

homemade carpet cleanser

Creating homemade cleaning solutions can seem like a great way to save money and create a more natural way to clean. But are homemade carpet cleaning solutions really as effective and safe as professional carpet cleaning? While the idea of making your own carpet cleaning solution seems tempting, it’s important to investigate if homemade cleaning solutions are really worthwhile. Here we look at some of the most popular homemade carpet cleaning solutions and how they compare to professional options.

‘Dry’ Home Carpet Cleaning Powders

One of the easiest and simplest ways to use a homemade carpet cleaner is to dry carpet clean with a powder that’s then vacuumed up. This eliminates the need for getting the carpet wet to shampoo, which is always risky when not done by a professional. Many homemade powder carpet cleaners are made of some combination of baking soda and cornstarch, scented with herbs, potpourri or essential oils. For a stronger cleaner, occasionally borax and baking soda are combined.

Once sprinkled and left on the carpet for some time, these powdered cleaners are vacuumed up. Powders can be useful for adding scent to a room, but they don’t really ‘clean’ the carpet. Thorough carpet shampooing and rinsing is required to really provide any effectiveness in removing stains, odors, dust and dirt. Furthermore, borax and baking soda and extremely alkaline, and can be irritating when small amounts are left in the carpet after vacuuming. For the most effective deodorizing, cleaning, stain removal and rinsing for safety, professional steam carpet cleaning is necessary.

Home Carpet Cleaning Solution For Machines

Some homeowners have developed homemade solutions to be used in carpet cleaning machines that may be hired for home use. These solutions can include vinegar, dish soap, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, salt, essential oils and other household ingredients. However, although they are used with a carpet cleaning machine, these homemade solutions could create issues.

Firstly, using anything other than a professionally developed cleaner on your carpets always carries the risk of damaging your carpet. Solutions containing any kind of bleach should be particularly avoided, as this can lead to bleach stains. You need to choose the right cleaner for your carpet fiber type as well as the right technique with the machine. Secondly, using your own cleaning solution in a hired carpet cleaning machine could make you liable for any breakages or problems with the machine. Finally, if you are inexperienced with how to use a carpet cleaning machine, you can cause your carpets to become sodden or matted, which is difficult to reverse. Overly wet carpet can become the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew.

Homemade Spot Carpet Cleaning Solutions

For quick spill clean ups, homemade spot cleaning solutions can help when you need to counteract a spill fast. While professional solutions that are proven safe for your carpets are always preferable, gentle spot cleaners can help to manage the spill until professional carpet cleaning or professional stain removal is undertaken.

After thoroughly blotting, a sprinkling of baking soda on a water-based spill or pet accident can help to lift additional moisture, and can then be vacuumed away. Blotting a gentle dilution of clear Dawn liquid soap on the affected area can help to further remove residue.

If in doubt it’s always best to ask your carpet cleaning professional about what’s right for your carpets. A professional carpet cleaner can accurately diagnose and provide the best treatment for your specific carpet type.

How To Make A Better First Impression With Office and Reception Cleaning

The lobby or reception area of your business is where your clients and visitors get their first impression of your business. Studies have shown that within 12 seconds of observation, people establish a conclusion about another person or a place. An unclean reception with musty upholstery and stained carpets is unwelcoming and unpleasant, and presents a negative first impression of your business. Maintaining a spotless, hygienic and flawless environment in your reception and office area helps to create a better first impression for your clients and a healthier environment for your employees. Here we look at how to create a better first impression with a cleaner office environment and more beautiful lobby and reception area.

A Spotless Entrance

The entrance and reception area of your business is where your clients and visitors are most likely to receive their first impression of your business. However, the entrance is also the highest traffic area and most prone to wear, staining and soiling. Regular commercial carpet cleaning and stain removal for this busy area is essential to keep it clean and spotless.

Your entrance area should be inviting as well as clean, with clear signage indicating the reception area and welcome desk. A clean and tidy environment assists traffic flow and creates a welcoming reception and efficient workplace

Clean And Comfortable Reception

Before your clients and visitors go on to their appointment in your offices, they will be spending most of their time in the reception area. Because this area receives so many visitors, it’s essential that your reception area is clean, tidy and hygienic. Thorough carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning can help to remove dirt, grease and stains from the surfaces and soft furnishings in your reception, so your office always looks great and your guests are comfortable. Professional commercial cleaning helps to extract deeply ingrained grease and dirt from reception carpet and furnishings, creating the fresh and renewed atmosphere that’s ideal for a welcoming reception area.

An Inviting Layout

While you may only have limited control of the structural design of your reception area, implementing stunning interior design and creating the most appealing layout helps to make your business reception more inviting and attractive. Recruit the assistance of an interior designer to bring your space to life or get inspiration from other welcoming and comfortable corporate reception designs.

Up To Date Amenities

In order to ensure your reception area is most comfortable for your visitors, ensure the amenities and facilities available to them are sufficient. Clean bathrooms are a must, along with adequate comfortable seating. Beverages on hand provides extra comfort and a welcome for your guests. If you don’t have time to maintain a spotless reception area, a commercial cleaning service can provide professional carpet and upholstery cleaning, as well as tile and grout cleaning for a flawless guest bathroom. Providing the amenities and resources to keep your visitors comfortable is an essential component of the ideal reception area.

Commercial carpet cleaning and professional upholstery maintenance can make your reception area look and feel more appealing and welcoming for employees, clients and visitors. Create the perfect first impression and make your visitors comfortable with a clean, attractive and well-designed lobby area and office space.

4 Reasons Your Carpets or Area Rugs Need Professional Inspection

Your carpet is an investment in your home’s value and comfort, and so it’s important to protect your carpet with regular cleaning, maintenance and care. But how do you know the right type of care for your carpet? And what should you do about issues such as stains, worn patches and carpet replacement? This is where carpet inspection by a professional who knows all the details of carpet care and cleaning can be a critical part of preserving your carpet.

A carpet inspection can help you identify and diagnose issues with your carpet and determine the right treatment to optimize your carpet’s condition and give you the best results. Here are 4 reasons why you might need a carpet inspection, and how a professional carpet inspection can benefit you.

Carpet Cleaning or Stain Removal

If you are considering a professional carpet cleaning or you have a number of stains or bleach spots on your carpet that need removal, a carpet inspection should be an integral part of preparing for your carpet cleaning. A carpet inspection allows the cleaning professional to check the current condition of the carpet in order to recommend the correct mode of cleaning. The carpet inspection evaluates how old the carpet is, the pattern of wear, how well it has been maintained, and the type of fiber the carpet is composed of. This information allows the professional carpet cleaner to determine the most appropriate and safe mode of cleaning.

When it comes to carpet stain removal, you want stains to completely disappear, without leaving any residue or trace of the stain removal process. Bleach spots are even more difficult to correct because the carpet color needs to be correctly matched and added back in, or otherwise the carpet must be patched. Before these intricate and difficult processes to correct your carpet are undertaken, your carpet professional should provide a detailed carpet inspection.

Area Rug Cleaning

Area rugs are popular in houses with hardwood or tiled floors, in order to add warmth and comfort to the home. But cleaning area rugs can be tricky, as there are so many variations in the types of area rugs, the composition, the dye and the fringing, that expert attention needs to be paid to correctly inspecting and recommending a treatment for these rugs.

Cleaning an area rug incorrectly can lead to the dye bleeding, colors fading and even irreversible physical damage, which can lead to the loss of your valued rug. Many expert carpet cleaners offer complimentary carpet inspection before they conduct area rug cleaning in order to determine the most appropriate and safe methods of cleaning and handling.

Buying A New Home

If you are buying a new home with carpet, you want to ensure that the carpet is worth investing in. Repairing or replacing damaged carpet can cost thousands of dollars, and you don’t want to find out that you need this kind of expensive work on your prospective home’s carpet when it’s too late. If you are thinking of purchasing a new home that has carpet, call your local carpet care company to join you on a carpet inspection of your new home before you decide to buy.

Replacing Your Flooring

Carpet inspection can also be useful when you are thinking of replacing the flooring in your existing home. You may think your carpet is too stained or worn out and has to go, but an expert carpet inspection can help you understand whether it’s time to replace or whether you can simply repair.

A flooring inspection can also help you decide whether carpet, tiled or hardwood flooring would be best for your home if you do decide to replace, by inspecting the current condition of your flooring, evaluating your flooring use and taking into account your family’s lifestyle.

Carpet inspection is often neglected, but can be an extremely important aspect of caring for your flooring and help you to save money on floor replacement and repair in the long run.

The Move Towards Luxury Vinyl Tiles and What It Means for Flooring

While carpet, area rugs, hardwood floors and ceramic tile flooring have traditionally been some of the favorite flooring choices for homes and businesses, it’s clear that the trend for flooring is moving to a new and different kind of flooring. This move is demonstrated in the announcement from Shaw Industries, one of the largest carpet and rug manufacturers in the world, that they are moving away from area rug production to invest over $100 million in luxury vinyl tile (LVT) floors. Shaw Industries CEO Vance Bell says “The economics of the rug business today simply does not allow for future growth or encourage future investment,” indicating that the money in the flooring business has shifted from soft floor coverings, to cost efficient and appealing luxury vinyl tiles. But what are luxury vinyl floor tiles and what is the importance of these luxury tiles for homeowners and businesses?

What Are Luxury Vinyl Tiles?
Luxury vinyl tiles are resilient, hardworking and truly beautiful, however, they are not a premium product in the way stone, marble or granite flooring would be considered premium. In essence, LVT floors are imitators, designed to impersonate with a high level of accuracy the look and feel of a luxurious stone, marble, granite or wood floor, while actually being composed of vinyl.

Luxury vinyl tiles are the result of advanced computer technology that allows the production of a vinyl flooring that very closely matches not only the look, but the feeling of premium flooring choices like stone, marble and granite. The production of these vinyl tile squares involves a computer “seeing” and copying what real marble or granite luxury floor tiles look like, and then making a photographic replication of that image onto the vinyl floor tiles. This results in an incredibly realistic product, of much higher quality than flooring imitators of the past.

How Are Luxury Vinyl Tiles Used?

The quality of luxury vinyl tiles can vary depending on the compositions and the manufacturing country (manufacturers in Asia, the United States and Europe all have their own manufacturing procedures and technologies). Luxury Vinyl Tiles that are composed of 100% vinyl are often used in commercial flooring, and have an additional protective layer (the mil layer) added to the vinyl to enhance the durability in commercial settings.

Luxury vinyl floor tiles used in residential settings may not be 100% vinyl and may not have an extra mil layer. However, it’s important to ensure your vinyl tile floor has a sufficient mil layer in order to make it more durable and easy to clean.

How To Care for Luxury Vinyl Tile Floors?
LVT floors do not need to be sealed or finished and many manufacturers strongly recommend against this. LVT floors are resistant to spots, stains and moisture, and sealants and finishes will merely end up peeling off the floor with wear.

Luxury vinyl tile floors are prone to soiling over time however, and need targeted care to maintain their finish and beauty. A professional floor cleaner is best able to remove soiling and staining from luxury vinyl floors using a neutral cleaning solution and a wet/vac system to remove all moisture along with the soiling and dirt.
Of course when it comes to cleaning floors, prevention is better than cure, so using a ‘high-performance’ matting system to help keep LVT floors looking great can be very effective. These ‘high-performance’ mats last for many years and are more effective and durable than conventional mats. Having the right matting and seeking professional floor cleaning care for your luxury vinyl floors helps to retain their appearance and functionality.

For more information on luxury vinyl floor tiles and their care, contact Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration.

Don’t Touch Another Carpet Stain Until You Read This!

The scenario is all too familiar. You’re sitting in the living room, entertaining friends, and someone has a spill on your carpet. You spring to the rescue to try to blot up the excess …but now what? Do you dab, blot, put vinegar on it, bleach it? The moments just after a spill and your actions could be what determines whether your carpet is left with a permanent stain. Remember, staining is influenced by many factors and no carpet is completely stain proof.

What you need to know:

What type of fiber is the carpet made from? Knowing the type of carpet fiber greatly helps you when selecting the type of spot and stain removing solutions you want to use. Most carpet (60%) sold in the USA is Nylon or Synthetic Fiber. This type of fiber is fairly stain resistant and many of the cleaning/spotting solutions sold through your local retail stores are made for these carpets. Wool/Natural fibers are more sensitive to stains and over the counter cleaning products. Yes, there are variations and brand names that will confuse this issues, but what you really care to know is if the carpet fiber is a synthetic (man-made fiber) or natural.

What was spilled?

Knowing what was spilled on the carpet will help you determine what approach and the types of spotting or stain removing solutions you might select to remove or reduce the likely hood of residual staining or permanent damage.

Spot Removal Steps:

Blot: Never scrub carpet fibers, as this can cause permanent damage to the carpet fibers. If you have solid or semi-solids in, scrape/remove them up with a spatula or spoon. Blot up the liquid with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white (no print) paper towels. We suggest fold the cloth/ towel(s) to increase the absorbency. (Hint: Applying downward pressure to the cloth/towel will improve absorption. Step or the cloth/towel will help with downward pressure. Change to dry cloth/towel frequently).

Pretest any spot removal solution in an inconspicuous area to make certain it will not damage the dyes or carpet fibers. (Hint… Closet or hidden corner)

Apply a small amount of the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth/towel, and work the solution in to the affected area….gently. Work from the edge of the spill to the center to prevent the spill from spreading. If the spill is large, work with a small portion of the stain and test the result.  Let the spotting solution sit for about 10 minutes and blot-transfer the spill to a dry clean white cloth/towel. Be patient, as the removal or the spill may require repeating the same step several times.

Rinse: After the spill has been removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water and blot with a dry cloth/towel.

Spot/Stain Removal Guide: Go to www.carpet-rug.org. There is a published guide that can assist you in selecting the appropriate solution for removing various spots and stains.

Call a Professional Carpet Cleaner if you have any doubt or require professional assistance.

Spotting Solutions to have on hand: Make your own and save $$$$$$$$$$:

Detergent Solution: Mix ¼ teaspoon of clear Dawn liquid dish soap with 1 cup of warm water. Caution: Do not use dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, bleach, as these cleaning products are not made for carpets and will affect the color and dyes.

White Vinegar Solution: Mix 1 cup of white vinegar (NOT WINE) with 1 cup of water.

Although it’s easy to overreact when a spill occurs and run for the bottle of bleach, avoiding cleaning a stain yourself could be the best thing you do for your carpet. If your carpet is an investment you want to preserve and protect, call in the professional carpet cleaners to get the best stain removal results and to extend the life of your carpet

To Mend or to End: What to Do With Old Carpet and Upholstery

Although we may not realize it, our carpet and upholstery represents a significant share of the value in our homes. Carpets, rugs, curtains and furnishings not only help to make our home comfortable and beautiful, they are also an investment that needs to be taken care of. The nature of these soft furnishings is to attract dirt, dust, oil and germs over time, so regular carpet and upholstery cleaning is needed to maintain their functionality and beauty.

But what if your carpet or upholstery is starting to show signs of wear and tear? Is it better to try professional carpet repair, or invest in replacing the carpet in your home? Here we look at how to make the decision that’s right for your budget, needs and lifestyle.

Evaluating Your Carpet

Carpet can last from between 10 to 20 years, with the type of carpet as well as the quality of the maintenance determining your carpet’s total life span. You may notice patches of wear and damage on the carpet for yourself, but a professional carpet inspection can help to more fully assess how to best maintain and repair your carpet. An expert carpet inspection can actually save you time and money by more accurately evaluating the life of the carpet, the areas of damage and staining, and plans for the future preservation of your carpet, as well as the padding underneath. 

Renewing Old Carpet and Upholstery

If your carpet is in fairly good condition, but you still have more than just a couple of stains and marks, it’s worth investing in professional carpet cleaning. Professional carpet and upholstery cleaning can help to remove dirt, dust and stains from deep within the carpet and padding, and lift out old stains, oils and dirt from soft furnishings like curtains and sofas. However, if the carpet is torn, worn down or ‘bald’, more thorough repairs will be needed. In the same way, sofas, curtains and rugs will withstand some repairs, but upholstery that is very heavily damaged will need to be replaced.

Repairing Damaged Carpet

If you are considering trying to salvage your existing carpet by conducting repairs on damaged areas, it’s always best to call in a professional to inspect your carpet and give you an idea of the benefits and costs involved. Professional carpet repair can be highly effective, restoring your carpet to an ‘as new’ condition, at a fraction of the cost of replacing the carpet in the whole room. Carpet replacement can cost up to 6 times more than a repair, and effective cleaning and repair of carpet has been shown to produce a result that’s almost as good as new, while being much easier on your hip pocket. 

When to Replace Carpet

If your carpet is very heavily worn and patchy, doesn’t have much life left and it’s over 10 years old, there’s probably not much hope of trying to repair it. Consult with a flooring expert to choose the best replacement for your needs and lifestyle. Carpet, tiles, stone and hardwood floors all offer something different, and choosing the right flooring for your needs is an investment in your home for the future.

Making smart decisions about repairing and replacing carpet and upholstery can help you to save time and money, while promoting a welcoming, attractive and safe home environment.