Keeping Your New Hardwoods Lovely Despite Spills

protecting hardwood floors, protecting hardwoods, area rugs, rug pad, area rug care

 

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

Spot removal, spot cleaning carpet, bay area carpet cleaner

 

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

carpet blood stains, get blood out of carpet, bloody spot

 

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.

Taking the Haze off of your Hardwood

hazey hardwoods, cloudy hardwood floors

You scrub and scrub and clean your hardwood but you notice that there is this haze or cloudiness on the hardwood in the living room. The source of this issue is usually a result of the chemicals and liquids used or spilled on the ground. This is taking away from the beauty and clean lines of hardwood flooring. So what can you do to fix the haze on your hardwood floors?

The following is one approach that could help remove the issue:

Step 1

Use your vacuum or broom to sweep the hardwood floor around the area of the haze. Should your vacuum have a brush head, we recommend using this as this can help dig deep and remove the residue on the floor. This step helps remove the stuff that would be making the floor dirty.

Step 2

The next step is to create a solution to clean the area by combining a ½ cup of ammonia and a gallon of warm water.

Step 3

Use the above formula with a soft cloth mop (i.e. terry cloth) to clean the impacted area.

Step 4

After you’ve mopped the area, you should remove the solution using a microfiber cleaning cloth. This should be followed by buffing the dry floor through circular motions, applying moderate pressure on the hazy areas.

Step 5

Upon completion, let the floor recover by not walking on it for 1 hour.

Lastly, if the problem persists, repeat the above process until the haziness leaves. The following are some additional tips to maintaining your hardwood flooring:

  • On a weekly basis, you should be vacuuming the area with a brush head and using a damp mop. You can even use some mild water with microfiber cleaning cloth.
  • Place hardwood designed floor mats in high traffic areas and have them shaken off each week.

If you are still unsuccessful in getting haze off the floor, contact Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration where we offer professional hardwood cleaning throughout the East Bay.

Making your Tile like New

tile cleaning, grout cleaning,

 

Do you remember when you moved into your Lafayette home or remodeled that Walnut Creek house? Do you recall how beautiful the tile and grout looked in there. It’s now been several years and all you can see is brown, black, and other grime in between the tiles. Tile floors and surfaces lose their shine and luster. Scrubbing and mopping do not fully clean the area. Grout absorbs almost all dirt and debris. Weekly cleaning does not bring out the gunk absorbed in the grout. What can you do to return the luster?

Grout and Tile Cleaning Options

You have a few options. The most draconian of these options is to just tear the tile out and move to a different/new material that is clean and devoid of all the residue. This is very drastic and would not be recommended unless there are other reasons to go this route.

Many people take the choice of getting a chemical from the store, some commercial gloves, and brush. They then can spend hours or even days scrubbing like crazy to get all the little crevices clean and free of dirt. This solution can be cost effective but it may not be thorough enough and could waste a lot of your precious time.

Lastly and the best recommendation is to hire a professional tile cleaner to come and restore your tile to “like new” condition. These professionals have commercial level equipment, high quality solutions, and experience in doing detailed cleaning. In addition, professional cleaners are usually qualified to place a sealant on the tile and grout to protect against future soiling of the area.

By having your tile and grout professionally cleaned, you are extending the life of your flooring and avoiding the necessity of spending large amounts of money for new tile. Thus, contact your tile flooring specialist today at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration at 1-925-833-0408.

What Should You Ask Before Hiring a Professional Carpet Cleaner?

Questions to Ask Your Carpet Cleaner

 

Most of us know that you should get your carpet professionally cleaned periodically. What questions should you ask before hiring a company near you to clean your carpet?

  1. How long have you been doing professional carpet cleaning?

This question is important because being able to clean carpets is not enough. With experience comes the ability to recognize solutions and dangers. Certain flooring may require special treatment or a less common method of cleaning. There are multiple ways to clean carpets and get rid of stains. While some of this can be “book learned”, quite a bit of it comes through the experience of using and trying several methods through the course of business.

  1. What do your services include?

Many shoppers look at the quoted price and compare them as if they are equal. This usually isn’t the case. Some carpet cleaning companies will charge incidentals like travel, stain removal, extra room charges, etc. The best professional carpet cleaning companies will actually come do a free estimate and give you a final price that won’t be changed once you’ve hired them.

  1. Will you be able to remove the stain?

Families will most often call to have the carpets professional cleaned in two scenarios:

  • it’s time for their regular cleaning
  • they need a stain removed

Stain removal can be very tricky and is most effective if the call is made right away. Find out what techniques the cleaner uses to clean stains (pre-spray is usually recommended) and also ask them about the likelihood of the stain coming completely off. Do not be misled into paying hundreds of dollars for service that doesn’t solve the stain issue.

  1. What is your response time?

It’s important to know a company’s response time, because how quickly they can address a recent stain us very important. Plus you’ll want to know how long you’ll have to wait for your appointment. If they give you a four hour window, this can impact your daily schedule. Make sure you know how attentive the carpet cleaning company is to your needs.

Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration has been keeping home flooring professionally cleaned and in great condition for over twenty years. Please contact us today if you have any questions about carpets or need to have it professionally cleaned.

3 Tips For Cleaning Your Flooring

3 Tips for Cleaning Your Floors Contra Costa Carpet Cleaner

People are always looking for the latest (and hopefully best) cleaning technique for their carpet, hardwood, tile, or area rug. What options are organic? How can I ensure the cleaner is safe for my kids? Safe for my pets? What should I do to make sure it doesn’t ruin my flooring?

  1. Read the Manufacturers Recommendations

Despite all the fancy new cleaners and techniques, it’s still important to start with the flooring manufacturer’s recommendations. This can be hard since most of us aren’t the original owners of our flooring. If you can, ask the person you bought your home from if they know the original builder or flooring manufacturer. If not, you should talk to a professional flooring cleaner to come evaluate your floors to see the best cleaning techniques.

  1. Don’t be the Guinea Pig

It is easy to see a demo at the store or watch an infomercial and want the latest trend in cleaning. You really don’t want to jump on the bandwagon to become one of the first users, though. It’s important to talk to professional, speak to the manufacturer, or at least test it on an extra piece of flooring. The last thing you want to do is use a new cleaner on your floors and discover that it caused discoloration or didn’t take care of the original problem.

  1. Read the Ingredients

While most of us are not scientists, almost all of us can read the list of ingredients. We can research any ingredients we don’t know and find out their effects on humans and pets along with their effectiveness in floor cleaning.

Even after all that, make sure there has been professional testing done on any new chemical or technique. Read through reviews and information. If in doubt, speak to a professional floor cleaner and do not use it until you are certain you won’t cause permanent harm to the interior of your home or business.

Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration has been keeping home flooring professionally cleaned and in great condition for over twenty years. Please contact us today if you have any questions about carpets or need to have yours professionally cleaned.