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.

The Ultimate Floor Cleaning Guide for Tiles, Carpet, Hardwood, Vinyl, Laminate and More!

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Keeping floors clean, safe and hygienic is an essential part of home maintenance. But what’s the best way to clean the floors you have at home or in the office? Here we look at the ultimate guide to cleaning different flooring types to get the best results and outcome for your residential and commercial floors.

Carpet

Clean carpets are one of the defining features that add to a home or business’s appearance, safety and health. On the other hand, dirty carpets are not only unattractive, but can also be unsafe, worsening conditions such as allergies and asthma. Keeping your carpets cleaned should involve a three-pronged approach that includes regular vacuuming, professional carpet cleaning, and professional stain and odor removal.

  • Regular Vacuuming – Regular vacuuming is the first step in keeping your carpets clean and healthy from week to week. Regular vacuuming with a powerful vacuum cleaner helps to pick up dirt, dust and other debris from the floor, and diminishes the buildup of dust mites which can cause allergies. Vacuum once a week, going over the same patch of carpet 3-5 times to lift as much dirt as possible.
  • Professional Carpet Stain Removal – Understanding how to minimize the impact of stains when they first occur at home is a key skill to prevent carpet damage. Blot up as much of the stain excess as possible, you can attempt to remove stains yourself, but the safest bet is to call a professional carpet cleaner to do this for you. They can accurately analyze and diagnose your carpet fiber type, and provide the right stain removal treatment to restore your carpet’s appearance while protecting the carpet from damage.
  • Professional Carpet Cleaning – Professional carpet cleaning is recommended twice a year, to deep clean carpets and remove ingrained dirt, dust, stains, and allergens. If your business has carpet that receives high traffic, you may need to have your carpets professionally cleaned more often. Professional carpet cleaning removes dirt, bacteria, and pathogens, while also freshening carpet, removing odors, and leaving your carpets with a spotless appearance.
  • Professional Odor Removal – Even if your carpets look clean, they may not smell Unfortunately, pet accidents, smoke and cooking smells can seep deep into the carpet layers, lingering no matter how much vacuuming, air freshening and candle burning you do. That’s where professional carpet odor removal comes in. Professional carpet inspection can help to identify the odor problem and diagnose the best solution for fresh results.

Area Rugs

It’s not just wall-to-wall carpet that needs cleaning and maintenance – your area rugs need cleaning and care as well. The most important thing to remember about area rugs is that they are often delicate and composed of materials that need extra care. Each area rug is also unique, and cleaning needs to be tailored to the specific composition of the rug. Just like wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs can harbor dust mites, allergens and germs if not thoroughly cleaned. Area rugs can be kept clean through a combination of regular vacuuming and occasional professional cleaning.

  • Vacuuming – Vacuum your area rug on a regular basis in the same way you would vacuum your carpet. Take care with delicate trims and tassels to ensure they are not damaged by the vacuum cleaner.
  • Professional Area Rug Cleaning – Just like wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs can be professionally cleaned. This process is carefully and meticulously done in order to remove allergens, dust, and pathogens, while also protecting delicate fibers and dyes. In some cases, an area rug can only be cleaned ‘in plant’ to ensure they are specially handled and the dyes don’t run. Area rugs usually need to be inspected before cleaning, to ensure a correct and safe approach.

Hardwood

Hardwood floors are a stunning, classic option, and they are generally easy to keep clean. Hardwood floors are highly valued by homeowners, as with proper care, they can last for decades. Prolonging the life of your hardwood floors and keeping them in pristine condition involves checking your hardwood floor type with a flooring expert, regular cleaning, and occasional professional hardwood cleaning and refinishing.

  • Daily Sweeping – A quick sweep every day keeps your hardwood floors spotless and prevents excess dust and dirt collecting in cracks.
  • Weekly Mop/Vacuum – A weekly mop or vacuum helps to pick up all the extra dust and dirt you may have missed during the week. Check with your hardwood manufacturer or flooring expert about which technique is right for your floor, as some hardwood finishes benefit from a damp (not wet!) mop, while others are best to be vacuumed only. Ensure you have a hardwood fitting for your vacuum before you use it on hardwood floors, as a beater bar can damage your hardwood.
  • Professional Hardwood Floor Cleaning – Occasional professional hardwood floor cleaning protects your hardwoods floors and keeps them looking their best. Deep hardwood floor cleaning should always be done by a professional to prevent damage to floors. The best professional hardwood floor cleaning should involve no harsh chemicals, contain low VOCs and fumes, and be GREENGUARD Children & Schools SM Certified.
  • Sanding/Refinishing – Sanding and refinishing removes deep stains and restores the luster of your hardwood floors. As sanding takes some layers off your hardwood floors, you only need to do it every 3-5 years.

Tiles

Tile floors are attractive, durable and easy to clean, and there is a huge range of materials and designs to choose from to make your tile floors. While keeping grout clean is a priority for all types of tile floors, certain tile types might need other specific care as well.

  • Basic Tile Cleaning – Keep your tiles clean week to week by sweeping or vacuuming daily (without beater bar on the vacuum cleaner) and mopping weekly. Use a gentle detergent and chamois style mop to collect dust and dirt, rather than a sponge type mop that can push it into the grout.
  • Grout Cleaning – One of the most important aspects of clean tile floors is clean grout. Unlike most tiles, grout is porous, which means it readily absorbs dirt and dust and can stain more easily. Keeping grout clean can be a challenge as grout accumulates dirt and mold over time, and many household cleaning products only erode grout when ‘cleaning’ it. The best way to keep grout white and gleaming is to have grout professionally cleaned every 12-18 months. This professional grout cleaning treatment can lift ingrained dirt and deep stains out of grout while protecting grout and tiles, leaving outstanding results without the back breaking
  • Grout Sealing – After installation of tiles, or professional tile and grout cleaning, you should have your grout sealed. This offers the best protection to your grout, limiting the buildup of dirt and dust, and preventing stains affecting your grout.
  • Glazed/Polished Tiles – Glazed and polished tiles include glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles, as well as dense, polished stone or marble tiles. These tiles are usually highly water and stain resistant, and easy to clean as they don’t stain or absorb spills. Glazed and polished tiles can be cleaned with sweeping/mopping/ vacuuming weekly, and professional tile cleaning once a year.
  • Unglazed Tiles – Unglazed tiles tend to be ‘softer’, more absorbent and more porous, including unglazed ceramic tiles and some stone tiles. Because unglazed tiles absorb more spills, they are more likely to stain. Deep professional tile cleaning can lift stains, marks, and dirt out of unglazed tiles.
  • Slate/Stone Tiles – Certain types of stone tiles, such as slate, need to be sealed after installation for protection and water resistance. Sealing helps to prevent slate tiles being scratched or stained. Acid based cleaners can wear away at the slate, so use only gentle cleansers for your slate tiles.

Engineered Wood

Engineered wood provides the look, feel and performance of real wood, integrated with composite materials and a protective polyurethane coating. Engineered wood is easy to care for, durable and practical, and maintaining it is easy too.

  • Regular Sweeping/Damp Mop – Engineered wood floors are more moisture resistant than hardwood, thanks to their finish and high-quality plywood base. Use a cool, damp mop with gentle cleaning agents to wipe away dirt and dust, or a gentle sweep to clear away day to day debris. Never use harsh chemicals (including ammonia or vinegar) or steam on engineered wood floors.
  • Sanding/Refinishing – Some engineered wood floors can be sanded and finished, and some cannot. It’s important to check with your flooring manufacturer or a flooring expert before you attempt to do this. Because the wood layer on engineered wood floors is thinner, even if your floors can be refinished, it can only be a limited amount of times. In some cases, engineered wood flooring can benefit from professional wood floor cleaning, so speak to your local professional cleaning company for more details and an inspection.

Vinyl

Vinyl sheet has long been a popular form of resilient flooring that’s ideal for a range of settings in the home and the office. Luxury vinyl tile is a new innovation that accurately emulates the appearance, texture, and feel of other flooring types, including hardwood, stone, and tile for a fraction of the cost. High-quality vinyl is both water and stain resistant and easy to install, making it an increasingly popular choice for homeowners.

  • Regular Sweeping/Mopping – Regular sweeping removes dirt and grit from your vinyl floors before it gets ingrained. If you have no-wax vinyl, ensure you use a cleaner made specifically for no-wax floors. Older vinyl flooring may require waxing. Only use a damp mop, not a wet mop or a steam mop, and rinse floors well to remove soap residue.

Laminate

Laminate is a synthetic flooring composed of multiple layers of pressed wood or other synthetic products fused with a lamination process. The flooring emulates wood or sometimes stone with a photographic layer under the top protective wear layer. Laminate flooring is easy to clean, and with proper maintenance can last for years to come.

  • Regular Dusting/Sweeping/Vacuuming – Laminate can be kept clean on a regular basis with dust mopping, sweeping, or vacuuming without the beater bar. While you should avoid cleaning laminate with excess water or steam, you can use a specific laminate cleaner to remove tougher dirt and dust. Don’t spray cleaners directly onto laminate as this can stain, lightly spray on a damp cleaning cloth or mop instead.

Commercial Flooring

It’s not just at home that floors need to be kept clean and beautiful, it’s equally important for businesses to keep their floors clean and to the standard expected by their customers and their industry. It’s a good idea to outsource your commercial floor cleaning, whether that’s regular maintenance or professional deep cleaning. Most business owners don’t have the time or know how to clean their business space, and professional cleaning ensures a high-quality and safe result.

  • Floor type and Business Type – The best way to clean your commercial flooring really depends on the business type and your flooring type. Most businesses conduct light cleaning such as sweeping, vacuuming or mopping at least once daily.
  • Professional Commercial Carpet Cleaning – Carpets add comfort and warmth to business spaces, but they also need regular professional cleaning as they can quickly absorb stains and odors. Professional carpet cleaning may be recommended every 4-6 months, depending on the traffic received and the nature of your business.
  • Professional Commercial Hard Floor Cleaning – Hard floors such as tile, laminate, vinyl, and rubber are popular in commercial settings as they are stain resistant and easy to clean. In commercial settings, it is essential that these floors are anti-slip and treated correctly. Professional tile cleaning helps to remove germs, dirt, and mold from tiles and grout, while deep professional commercial floor cleaning treatments can be applied to other types of commercial hard flooring.

While incorrect cleaning can damage your floors, using the proper cleaning technique helps to create clean floors that look and smell better, and keep the users of the flooring safe and healthy. If you’re unsure about the right cleaning for your floors, talk to a floor cleaning professional to learn more or to book a thorough, professional floor cleaning.

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.

Why Odor Removal is so Important: Studies Show How Scent Influences Us

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Smell is one of the senses that is most closely connected to our emotional state. Have you ever smelled a scent or an odor that reminded you of something and contacting it again takes you right back to where you first noticed it? Scent can have a powerful effect on our feelings and behaviors. Recent research has found that 75% of the emotions that we have on a daily basis are affected by smell. Scent is powerfully connected to our memory and emotions. So, what are the scents and odors in your home saying to you? Here we look at how powerful scent can be and why it’s important to effectively remove odors from your home.

The Benefits Of Positive Scent

Positive smells have been shown to improve people’s emotions, encourage people to stay in an area longer and even to boost revenues in commercial spaces.

  • Positive mood – Studies have shown that pleasant smells improve the mood of those exposed to them more effectively than placebos (unscented sprays). Positive smells can give a higher attractiveness rating to people and environments, while bad odors can detract from our perception of the environment. Creating a pleasant odor in your home can make your home seem more attractive, stylish, and appealing.
  • Attraction and retention – Pleasant smells cannot only draw people into your space, they can help people stay longer as well. In a study by SMI and C. Russell Brumfield, researchers found that floral and citrus scents can influence people to linger as much is 25 to 40% longer in stores[1]. Creating positive odors in your home could help people feel more welcome and make your home a more inviting environment.
  • Increase value and revenue – Creating positive smells is not just important for homes, it’s crucial for businesses as well. In a 1995 study conducted by Dr. Alan Hirsch, it was found that pleasant ambient scent in one area of a casino was related to 45% more revenue when compared to a non-scented area. Because positive smells draw people in and encourage them to stay, creating an inviting odor can improve business appeal and revenue.

How Bad Odors Detract From Your Space

Bad odors can quickly accumulate in your home and settle in carpet and soft furnishings to linger in your home. Some of the most common sources of bad odors include –

  • Dirty or wet pets
  • Pet hair
  • Pet urine or droppings
  • Cooking smells
  • Cleaning or maintenance chemicals
  • Mold, mildew or must
  • Smoke

Removing these odors can be tricky, especially once they’ve settled fully into carpets, area rugs and soft furnishings. Deep professional carpet cleaning, area rug cleaning, and upholstery cleaning can reach deep into soft furnishing fibers and completely remove odor particles. When it comes to preventing and removing odors due to pet accidents and stains, it’s important to act fast to prevent the spill reaching the deep layers of padding and settling there. When spills reach this deep level, odors can be harder to remove so it’s important to catch these spills early to remove odors more effectively. Emergency carpet cleaning and stain removal can help to address spills and stains quickly to prevent lasting issues.

Creating an inviting and appealing home or work environment starts with removing unpleasant odors and cultivating more pleasant scents. Talk to us today about expert odor removal to help make your space more pleasant and welcoming.

[1] http://www.exhibitoronline.com/topics/article.asp?ID=688

The Steps You Should Take When You Get A Stain On Your Carpet

Carpet Stain, Pleasanton Carpet Cleaner, Pleasanton Carpet Cleaning, Livermore Carpet Cleaner, Livermore Carpet Cleaning, Walnut Creek Carpet Cleaner, Alamo Carpet CleanerYou’re enjoying dinner at home with friends or a quiet night in with the family when all of a sudden there’s a spill. Perhaps you spilt a glass of wine on the carpet, your child dropped their plate of food or your pet decided to go to the toilet in the middle of the area rug. The steps you take next will determine whether you remove the stain from your carpet or whether it’s stained for good. Here we look at the steps you should take when you get a stain or spill on your carpet.

1) Blot, Never Scrub – if the spill is still fresh, blot up the excess using a clean, white cloth. If there is solid matter, pick or scoop it up without spreading it around. When used with a blotting motion, the white cloth or towel will pick up the liquid component of the stain from the carpet and transfer it to the cloth. Once you’ve blotted one area of the stain, choose a fresh area of the cloth and blot the next area. Scrubbing stains on carpet damages the carpet fibers and potentially pushes the stain further into the carpet padding.

2) Choose The Right Cleaning Solution – Whether your stain is old or new, using a cleaning solution to remove all trace of the stain is the best next step. However, it’s important to choose the right cleaning solution at this step to ensure that you don’t end up simply doing more damage to your carpet. This is why it’s often best to choose a professional carpet cleaner to provide expert stain removal for your carpets. Check with your carpet manufacturer or leading carpet authorities as to which stain removal solutions are safe for your carpet.

3) Homemade Cleaning Solutions – Gentle stain removal solutions you can make at home include a dilution of clear Dawn liquid soap (not dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent or bleach as these can affect carpet color and dyes) or a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water. Always avoid bleach, as this can leave your carpet with a bleach stain that’s even harder to remove.

4) Gently Remove Stains – If you plan trying to remove your own stains, test any carpet cleaning solution you plan to use on an inconspicuous area out of plain sight first. Use a clean cloth in a blotting motion once again to work from the edge of the stain to the center, to avoid the stain spreading.  You may need to allow the spotting solution to sit for up to 10 minutes to work on the stain before blotting it up.

5) Repeat Stain Removal – It’s important to be patient at this stage to ensure you can completely remove all traces of the stain. The above steps may need to be repeated to achieve complete stain removal.

6) Allow to Dry – Carpet needs to dry fully before you can observe the effects of your stain removal efforts. Carpet that’s too wet can fail to dry properly, and this can lead to mold growth. Avoid using too much water in the stain removal process, and use fans to assist carpet drying if necessary.

7) Call A Professional Carpet Cleaner – If you’re dealing with a particularly large stain, a difficult stain, an older stain or a bleach stain you will most likely need to call your local professional carpet cleaner. With controlled and advanced techniques for expert stain removal, your professional carpet cleaner can help lift even the toughest stains from your carpet. It may be worthwhile to get professional assistance when you’re dealing with multiple stains as well. If you have more than 2-3 stains in a room, calling a carpet professional can produce a more complete stain removal result with greater effectiveness and in less time than doing it yourself. Professional carpet stain removal can produce results that are so good they even surprise you, returning your carpet to a newer and more flawless look than you believed possible.

When a stain next appears on your carpet, don’t delay! Act fast to remove the stain as best as you can, or call your local carpet cleaner for quick professional service.

5 Things Every Home With Pets Needs

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Our pets can bring so much joy to our lives – wagging tails, furry cuddles and licked faces. You love your pet’s company, but you need to look after the cleanliness and hygiene of your home as well. Any pet owner will know that pets can also bring dirt, hair, dander, odors and pet accidents into the home. Choosing the right tools to keep your home clean can keep your pet comfortable and your home beautiful and safe as well. If you have a pet at home, ensure you have these 5 things  to keep your home clean and hygienic.

  1. Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner

A pet hair vacuum cleaner is specially designed to pick up those stray pet hairs that can cover your carpets, area rugs and upholstery. Pet hair can contain allergens such as pet dander mites, as well as being unsightly. Regular vacuuming is one of the most important things you can do for your floors and furniture if you have pet. Pet hair vacuum cleaners are capable of dealing with large volume of pet hair and removing it effectively from different surfaces. Having a powerful vacuum cleaner on hand is essential for households with pets.

  1. Pet Accident Clean Up Kit

Pet accidents can happen so fast, and if you don’t act quickly you could be left with permanent stains and odors. Put together your own pet accident clean up kit, with clean light colored blotting cloths, natural cleaning solution (such as diluted white vinegar and water), scrapers and rubber gloves to remove debris, and if necessary, a stronger pet stain removal agent. Always check with your professional carpet cleaner before using chemicals on your carpet, to ensure they are safe for your carpet, your pets and your family.

  1. Professional Floor and Upholstery Cleaning

If you have a pet at home, regular professional carpet cleaning, area rug cleaning and upholstery cleaning is absolutely essential. Aim to have professional cleaning done at least once a year to remove tracked in dirt, hair, dander mites, odors and stains from your floors and furnishings. A professional carpet cleaner can provide expert stain removal for those hard to shift pet accident stains. Professional carpet cleaning also reaches deeper into the carpet layers to remove all traces of stains and odors for fresher, healthier carpets.

  1. Automatic Pet Feeder

Leaving pet food out all day can attract pests and vermin to the food bowl and your home. Not only could you end up with a dirtier home, you might even foster a pest invasion! An automatic pet feeder reduces the amount of time your pet’s food sits out for, and there are a number of other advantages too. Automatic pet feeders take the pressure off you remembering to feed your pets every day, while ensuring your pets get just the right portion for their needs.

  1. Pet Grooming Tools

Keeping your pet well-groomed and washed also helps to reduce dirt levels, odor and pet hair in your home. This is especially true for dogs who don’t groom themselves. Washing and grooming your pet once a week can help to limit the dirt levels in your home and reduce the amount of dropped pet hair as well.

Pets make our homes better by providing love, company and security. Take care of your home and your pet with these 5 essentials for every pet owner.

5 Most Common Misconceptions About Professional Carpet Cleaning

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Professional carpet cleaning can refresh and renew carpets and soft furnishings more effectively than any other cleaning method. However, there are some common misunderstandings about professional carpet cleaning that can cause confusion for both home owners and businesses that want to maintain the cleanest environments possible. Here we bust 5 of the most common myths and misunderstandings about professional carpet cleaning.

It’s Best To Wait As Long As Possible Between Carpet Cleanings

Many business and home owners think that it’s best to wait as long as possible between carpet cleanings to ensure the maximum amount of dirt and dust is picked up with every professional clean. However, unfortunately this misunderstanding couldn’t be more incorrect, because the dirtier your carpet gets, the harder it actually is to clean. Leaving longer times in between carpet cleanings allows dirt to build up and seep deeper into the carpet layers. It also allows stains to become set into carpet, making complete stain removal impossible. Grainy dirt and dust particles can damage and mat and tangle carpet fibers over time, while stains can leave marks that permanently damage the appearance of an entire room. Regular carpet cleaning, such as once a year, can help keep dirt levels minimal and control staining for more flawless carpets.

New Carpet Doesn’t Need Professional Cleaning

As soon as carpet starts being used and walked on, dirt, dust and pathogens start building up. Once dirt becomes lodged in the carpet fibers, it accelerates wear and damage on the carpet, causing it to age more quickly. No matter how new your carpet is, professional carpet cleaners strongly recommend that you clean your carpets yearly. This helps to prevent dirt and stain build-up, and ensures your carpet keeps it’s ‘as new’ look for longer.

All Carpet Cleaning Methods and Companies Do The Same Thing

Not all carpet cleaning methods are equal and neither are carpet cleaning companies. Dry carpet cleaning is quicker because it requires no drying time, but it can leave a residue on your carpet and dry cleaning isn’t as powerful as ‘wet’ or steam carpet cleaning. Hot water extraction using powerful truck mounted machinery is the most effective carpet cleaning method to remove ingrained dirt and stains. The effectiveness of your professional carpet clean also depends on the skill and training of your carpet cleaner. Just because a cleaner has the machinery, doesn’t mean they know how to use it safely and effectively. Choose a highly-rated carpet cleaner who has varied experience, and knows how to handle your unique of carpet composition and type.

DIY Carpet Cleaning Machines Do The Same Job As Professional Cleaners

While it seems like they do the same job, DIY rental carpet cleaning machines are nowhere near as powerful as professional carpet cleaning technology. Professional carpet cleaning equipment is more powerful and effective. Additionally, for the best carpet cleaning result, you need more than just a carpet cleaning machine. Professional level carpet cleaning requires training and skill with the machinery in order to ensure an effective clean that doesn’t deposit too much water in the carpet, or wear the carpet out. Given the cost of hiring a carpet cleaning machine and the potential damage improper use could cause, choosing a professional for your carpet cleaning is always the better choice.

Carpets Don’t Need Professional Cleaning Until You Can See Dirt and Stains

Just because your carpet is not visibly stained or dirty, doesn’t mean that it isn’t in need of professional cleaning. While not visible to the naked eye, pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, as well as allergens like dust mites, pet dander and roach droppings can all be lurking in your carpet fibers. Even without a single stain you can see, your carpet can be full of disease causing compounds. Regular carpet cleaning at least once yearly minimizes these disease causing pathogens in your carpet and keeps your home healthy and fresh.

Breaking through these common misconceptions about carpet cleaning makes it clear how important regular professional carpet cleaning is. Talk to your local carpet cleaning company about setting up a regular carpet cleaning schedule to ensure your carpets are always spotless and healthy.

4 Ways To Ruin Your Hardwood Floors With Cleaning

Hardwood floors are an outstanding asset to home’s both old and new. Keeping your hardwood floors in top condition means ensuring they receive proper care and maintenance on a regular basis. However, applying incorrect or inappropriate cleaning techniques to your hardwood floor can end up doing more damage than good.

Often, floor restoration companies are brought in to repair and correct flooring that has been damaged due to inappropriate cleaning. The unfortunate aspect in most of these cases is that the damage to the flooring could’ve been avoided had the proper cleaning techniques been used in the first place. Here we look at which cleaning techniques you should avoid to preserve and protect your hardwood floors while properly maintaining your wood floor’s enduring quality and beauty.

Using Too Much Water

Using a mop that is too wet to clean your wood floors is a quick way to ruin them. Excess water can seep between the cracks and the fibers of the wood in the floorboards. This water can cause the wood to swell, buckle, and become malformed over time. Water damage can also happen when wood floors are steam cleaned, or when excess cleaning solution is not removed from the floor after cleaning. When cleaning your wood floor only use a small amount of moisture and make sure to dry the floor off after cleaning. This helps to avoid water damage to your wood floors.

Cleaning with the Wrong Products

Using the wrong type of floor cleaner can cause immediate damage to your hard wood floor. Harsh cleaners can damage the finish on your hardwood floor or even the wood underneath. Different hardwood floors or engineered wood floors have different finishes, which need to be treated differently. Harsh cleaning solutions may strip the finish or damage the surface of your hardwood floors, leaving you requiring expensive refinishing to get your floors looking smooth and sleek again. Some DIY cleaners also contain wax which might give a shiny finish on first use, but which builds up in a clumpy grime over time. It’s best to always check with a professional hardwood floor cleaner or your flooring installer before using a cleaning product.

Cleaning with Vinegar

Many people think that going natural is always best, so using vinegar on hardwood floors shouldn’t be a problem. Some cleaners even recommend using vinegar. However, because vinegar contains natural acetic acid, this can actually eat away at your wood floor finishes over time. It’s best to avoid using vinegar and choose a recommended wood floor cleaner instead.

Using Harsh Tools or Vacuum Attachments

Harsh tools like wiry brushes, bulky floor polishers, or even the beater bar on your vacuum cleaner can cause heavy damage to wood floors. Wood floors rarely require harsh treatment with cleaning tools, and if you do have problem areas on your floors, it’s best to recruit the assistance of a professional floor cleaner. Rather than trying to clean your hardwood floors with heavy tools, use a soft cloth cleaning pad to sweep and clean your floors. If you want to use the vacuum, disengage the beater bar, or use the ‘hard floor’ setting to prevent damage.

Preserving and maintaining your valuable hardwood floors means this precious asset can add beauty to your home for years to come. Always clean your hardwood floors carefully with the right tools and cleaning solutions, and contact your local hardwood floor cleaners for professional advice on deeper cleaning.

What’s The Best Way To Clean Engineered Hardwood Floors?

Engineered hardwood can provide beautiful yet economical flooring for modern homes. While maintaining this flooring is relatively easy, it’s important to understand the qualities of engineered hardwood flooring and it’s unique cleaning needs. Properly caring for and maintaining your engineered hardwood floor ensures that it offers resilience, durability and an attractive appearance for years to come. Here we look at how to properly clean your engineered hardwood flooring for performance and longevity.

Start With Light Surface Cleaning
It’s important to remove loose dust dirt and debris from the surface of your engineered wood floor. A soft broom can be used to collect art and dust on the surface of the floor, or if you prefer you may use a vacuum. It’s important to use a vacuum without a rotating bristle bar or a ‘hard floor mode’ in order to protect your engineered wood floors. You can also use a slightly damp mop to collect and remove any remaining dust.

Be sure to towel dry your engineered wood floor to ensure no moisture remains after cleaning. It’s important that moisture is not left on the surface of an engineered wood floor. As moisture can get through the surface and into the cracks of an engineered wood floor and cause damage, it’s important to never use a steam cleaner or wet mop. Avoid using ammonia and vinegar when cleaning as these can damage the surface of the engineered wood floor.

Cleaning Up Spills
Because engineered wood floors are not designed for prolonged exposure to moisture, it is important to clean up spills as quickly as possible.  Of course, spills can also cause staining on an engineered wood floor, and cleaning up spills as soon as possible helps to prevent staining. Quickly removing a spill and lightly mopping the area can help to ensure stains don’t take hold.

Protecting Engineered Wood Floors
Protecting engineered wood floors helps them to last longer with a flawless finish. Using area rugs and other protective coverings can help to preserve your engineered wood floors. If your engineered wood floors are looking a little worse for wear you can get them refinished or replaced. The options you have for repairing your engineered wood floors depends on the material that your floors are made of.

Thicker flooring can usually be refinished more than once however thinner engineered wood flooring cannot be refinished and will need to be replaced within 10 to 15 years of wear. It can be helpful to check with your engineered wood flooring provider about what repair and refinishing options are best for your floor. Refinishing and repair of an engineered wood floor should only be done by a flooring professional in order to ensure the best results.

Deep Cleaning For Engineered Wood Floors
You may wish to give your engineered wood floors a deeper cleaning on occasion. A professional hardwood floor cleaner can provide your engineered floors with a deeper clean that preserves their condition and beauty. It’s important to assess whether your local carpet cleaner or hardwood floor cleaner knows how to properly treat engineered and laminate wood floor surfaces. Incorrect cleaning can permanently damage the floors. However, an expert touch can make your floors shine like new.

Engineered wood floors are not only an economical, attractive and environmentally friendly solution to floor covering, they are also easy to maintain. Taking good care of your engineered wood floors helps to ensure they last in excellent condition for years to come.

Carpet and Floor Cleaning: Should You DIY or Hire a Professional?

If dirty, soiled and stained carpets, or scuffed and marked hardwood floors are detracting from your home environment, you may need a deep floor cleaning. The question is, should you hire a professional floor cleaning company, or try a do-it-yourself method to get your floors clean again? Each option has different benefits and drawbacks, and the choice depends on your cleaning needs and desired result. With professional carpet cleaning you are always assured a deep clean and high quality result. But how does DIY compare? Here we compare both professional and DIY floor and carpet cleaning.

The Procedure

Professional carpet and floor cleaners use a number of different expert methods to deep clean your carpet, hardwood floors, tiles and grout. For carpet, professional cleaners can choose from 4 different methods depending on your specific needs, including bonnet cleaning, steam cleaning, pre-spray hot water extraction, and shampoo scrub.

The hardwood floor and tile cleaning methods used by professional flooring cleaners are gentle enough to protect your floors while thorough enough to deeply clean and draw out dust and dirt from cracks and grout.

DIY floor cleaning methods usually involve using a detergent, along with a wet carpet cleaning method like hot water extraction. A homeowner can hire a carpet cleaning machine to use on their own home for a day and then return after the cleaning is completed.

The Depth of Cleaning Needed

There’s no doubt that professional floor cleaning is much deeper and more thorough than DIY hired machines. Professional carpet cleaners know how to target stains and heavily soiled areas, and maneuver the carpet cleaning machine in the most effective way to really get your carpets and floors fully clean. For DIY machines, the result is usually less effective, and is often heavily dependent on your technique while using the machine.

The Cost

Professional carpet cleaning can be very cost effective and great value for the outstanding result it produces. However you are likely to save a few dollars by hiring a machine and doing the hard work yourself. It’s important to know how to use the home machine effectively if you want to do it yourself, as incorrect usage can easily cause water soaking, wet carpets and the conditions for mold growth, which can be very costly to fix.

The Result

Professional carpet cleaning delivers an excellent carpet cleaning result with carpets that can be walked on straight away for ‘dry’ cleaning methods. For the deeper ‘wet’ cleaning methods, some drying time will be required, although for professional carpet cleaning this is usually reduced due to the use of powerful and effective machines. The effects of professional hardwood floor cleaning and professional tile floor cleaning methods are immediate, and the floors can be used immediately.

DIY carpet and floor cleaning machines often use wet methods, however they are less powerful than professional machines. This can mean your carpet takes longer to dry. It’s important to take care while using a home cleaning machine to ensure as much water and detergent is removed from the carpet. If not, chemical residues may be left in the carpet or the carpet may go musty or moldy. It’s also important to maneuver the machine to get into corners in order to pick up as much dirt and residue as possible.

For a cleaner, safer and higher quality finish, professional floor and carpet cleaning is always the best choice to preserve the comfort and beauty of your floors.