5 Health Benefits of Keeping Your Home Clean

A clean home isn’t just nice to look at and pleasant to be in, it can also directly benefit your health as well. While we often think of threats to our health coming from outside the home, even the Environmental Protection Agency agrees that indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. We might not normally associate carpet with improved indoor air quality, but it does have a very positive effect. Gravity cause common household particles, such as dust, pollen and pet and insect dander, to fall to the floor. Carpet fibers trap the particles, removing them from the breathing zone and reducing their airborne circulation. Frequent vacuuming and professional cleaning effectively removes dust and allergens from the carpet and helps keep them out of the air we breathe.

Other benefits to keeping the floor surfaces (carpet, hardwood, stone /tile) of your home professionally cleaned include:

Reducing Allergies

A misconception is that people with asthma and allergies should avoid carpet in the home. Actually, the opposite is true. Allergies can range from being inconvenient to debilitating, causing breathing issues and cold and flu like symptoms when the allergy is triggered. Some of the major triggers of allergies are found around the home – namely dust mites and pet dander. Dust mites are found in almost every home, in the carpet, upholstery, curtains and bedding, while pet dander is commonly encountered if you have pets at home that live indoors with you.  Studies have shown that properly cleaned carpet helps reduce symptoms. Frequent vacuuming can help to eliminate these allergens in the short term, but a thorough professional carpet cleaning once every 6 months to one year can help to control allergen levels more effectively. Hot water extraction cleaning can be particularly effective for dust mites.

Improving Breathing

Dust mites and pet dander are also a major trigger for asthma, another good reason to conduct regular carpet cleaning. In fact, even people without allergies or asthma will experience some breathing difficulties in a very dusty environment. A common trigger that can affect breathing is mold in the home. Mold can build up on the roof and in tiles and grout, in any room that is high in moisture and humidity and low in ventilation. Keeping an eye out for mold in the bathroom or kitchen will help you to target the problem early.

Decreases Stress

While we think of a clean home benefiting our physical health, a neat and tidy environment positively influences our mental health too. Having a clean and organized home makes moving through the house and finding things easier. It also helps to keep you prepared in case unexpected guests turn up, and certainly makes it easier to find your car keys in a hurry!

Reduced Infections

It’s no secret that we share our home with billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other germs that can cause disease. Germs like Salmonella, E. coli and Staphylococcus lurk in most homes, and regular cleaning targets these germs preventing food poisoning and infections. In some cases, we share our space with bigger creatures as well. Pests such as mice, rats, cockroaches, insects and weevils can contaminate food sources and damage the home. Keeping your home clean of crumbs and food scraps and sealing bins discourages these pests from setting foot in your home and maintains a healthier and more hygienic environment.

Did you know- Mold and VOC misperceptions :

When carpet is kept clean and dry, mold simply cannot grow on synthetic fibers. Mold requires a food source, such as wood or cellulous debris, and moisture to grow. Carpet is recognized by the Carpet and Rug Institute as one of the lowest emitters of volatile organic compounds among various flooring choices and interior finishes.

Knowing the health benefits of a clean and tidy home helps you to maintain the right balance of daily maintenance and professional cleaning for a safer, healthier living space.

 

The Basics of Vacuuming

If you have carpet or rugs, you have a vacuum cleaner. A vacuum is absolutely necessary to keep your valuable carpet and rugs clean of particulate or dry soil. Vacuuming is not rocket scientist but there are essential elements to make it effective.

While vacuuming may seem like a basic housekeeping chore and simple to do, the biggest challenge is getting out the vacuum and actually putting it to use.

Frequency

How often you vacuum depends on the size of your family, and this includes pets. As a general rule, you should vacuum the main areas in your home, such as the living room, hallways, and other high traffic areas, one time each week per occupant.

For example, if you have four people and one dog in your family, vacuum five times per week, in those high traffic areas. For low-trafficked areas, once per week should suffice. This might seem extensive and perhaps unnecessary, but it keeps your carpet and rugs virtually free of dry soil buildup.

How to vacuum

You might be thinking, “You just plug it in and push it across the floor.” Which is basically what you do. The problem is how fast you move and how much overlapping you cover when running the vacuum.

While you may push the vacuum forward fast, slow down when you pull it towards you. This way the beater bar, if your vacuum has one, has a chance to work loose the soils. Also, overlap several inches from side to side so you have complete coverage of the floor.

Choosing the best vacuum

Quality matters when choosing a good vacuum cleaner. The cheaper ones at department stores may work fine for a while, but they quickly lose efficiency and often break down. Look at the reviews of any vacuum cleaner you are contemplating and spend a few more dollars on a superior model. Your carpet and rugs will be better off in the long run.

Choosing a vacuum with a beater bar is smart. Especially with thick pile carpet, it helps remove more dry soil. Some choose vacuum cleaners with a bagless option. If you use a vacuum cleaner with a bag, change it out when about half full, for maximum efficiency. Purchase plenty of replacement bags and have them on hand for this purpose.

Get with the pros

Cleaning companies, especially those who specialize in carpet and rug cleaning, can help you choose a quality vacuum for vacuuming. Get their input. After all, it pays to call a pro like Diablo Carpet & Floor Restoration!

How Long to Dry?

DID YOU KNOW that when you have your carpet professionally cleaned it can take as little as one hour to dry — and, according to some reports, as long as THREE DAYS to dry? Carpet Cleaning dry time has a lot of factors but cleaning method and experience are critical factors.

According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC, the certifying body for professional carpet cleaners, carpet should take about six to eight hours to dry, and never longer than 24 hours to dry because after that amount of time, microbial growth (like mold and mildew) can begin to grow.

 No one wants that!

This is why you need a complete carpet cleaning system that guarantees your carpet is dry fast. How fast? It depends on the carpet type you have and also the weather conditions the day you have your carpet cleaned.

 Sad to say, some experience really long drying times when they have their carpet cleaned. Who knows why this happens, except that it never should happen!

 One thing is for sure, having your carpet cleaned should be a pleasant experience and after it is clean, you should be able to get back onto the carpet and back to a normal family routine quickly. Some companies don’t have the powerful cleaning machines necessary for doing the best work, and some don’t have the training they should.

 When you have your carpet cleaned, or your furniture or hard floors like wood, granite, marble and all the different surfaces you may have, you deserve complete satisfaction and the best cleaning you will ever see.

 Remember: Clean and dry – that’s the goal! The carpet cleaning method and the experience of the cleaning company can make all the difference.

Always Do This When Cleaning

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

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

Spot removal

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

Odor removal

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

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

Using Products

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

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

Three Steps to a Cleaner Home

clean homes, 3 tips for a cleaner home

It’s a never-ending chore, tasks that must be done each day, each week, each month, each year…

That’s right — keeping your house nice and clean and healthy for your family.

Keeping your home clean is much easier if you have an easy-to-keep schedule. Especially if you concentrate on “preventative maintenance.” If you think ahead and plan your cleaning tasks appropriately, you will find you aren’t stuck an entire weekend playing catch-up with house cleaning chores.

Here are a few tips to an always-clean home.

1: Keep the dirt outside

Be sure to have quality welcome/walk-off mats outside your front door and any other entry door you frequently use. A small — but polite — sign that asks visitors to remove their shoes is a huge step to keeping dirt and grime outside (or at least at the front door.)

2: Stop the stacking

In the kitchen, that is. It’s easy to let dishes and other mealtime items to pile and stack up, with dirty dishes slowly taking over the kitchen sink and nearby countertops. Instead, make it a habit that after mealtimes or snacks that everything is washed, cleaned and put away immediately. If you use it, you clean it.

3: Team effort

It can be challenging, especially when everyone is running all over the place trying to get to work and school, but if the entire family pitches in and spends just a few minutes on making beds, tidying up bedrooms, cleaning up after themselves, first thing in the morning… then the house is much cleaner for the entire day. Plan a short amount of time each week where the family all works together to “speed clean” the home. Pick up and put away items lying around, dust, vacuum, sweep and more together.

Be a Dust Handler

Dust. It’s everywhere. Want proof? Reach over to a cabinet top, a window sill… just about any surface. Rub your finger on them and see what you get. Be a good dust handler!

While dust occurs naturally in Bay Area homes and buildings, there are some practical steps you can take to minimize how much dust affects the cleanliness of your Danville or San Ramon home but also how much it negatively affects health of your loved ones. A dust handler knows how to tackle it.

Exhaust fans
Talk about something you might never inspect, unless you think about it. Give it some thought now. In your bathrooms, look up at your exhaust fans — assuming you have them. Look closely. They are probably covered with dust and hair and other debris, and perhaps the circulation openings are completely clogged up. Use a vacuum to remove as much as you can, and when there is air flow into the fan, use some compressed air to finish the job. Loosening up the dust means the fan will move it on out.

Area rugs
While you vacuum your floors and area rugs on a scheduled basis, you never get as much dust out of area rugs than taking them outside and giving them a good “beating.” Of course, the area rug has to be of a size and weight you can handle. But if you get them outside, drape over a fence or patio chair, and go at them with a broom or tennis racket, you will get much more dust out of them than if you vacuumed alone.

High areas
Like your exhaust fans, other areas you might not inspect can be dust collectors. Think about your ceiling fans, trim around doors and windows, pictures and ornaments, any area above typical eyesight. Your favorite department store or online store will have a variety of dusting devices you can use. They also have products meant to, while you clean, attract dust, dander, and debris so you aren’t just moving it around. The main thing is to buy them and use them on a regular basis.

Maintenance
As with any task, performing what needs done on a schedule is important. Keeping a house clean and tidy is a task that never ends. From dusting to carpet cleaning, to hard floor care, and more, the best way to keep it all in perfect shape is to use the professionals of Diablo Carpet & Floor Restoration who are helping you see clean again.

4 Tips to Keep Your Carpet Looking Fresh and Clean for Longer

carpet cleaning, tile cleaning, grout cleaning, stone cleaning, hardwood cleaning, pet odor, pet stain, testimonial, review, walnut creek, san ramon, pleasanton, dublin, danville, concord, lafayette, orinda, alamo, hayward, pleasanton, san leandro, san lorenzo, castro valleyCarpet that stays clean and fresh for longer not only helps your home to look more attractive, it keeps your floors hygienic and safe as well. But keeping your carpet clean and hygienic can be more than a minor challenge, especially if you have pets and children around. Here we look at 4 tips that will help you maintain cleaner and fresher carpet from day to day.

Vacuum Regularly

Regular home maintenance of your carpet, including weekly vacuuming is an essential way to keep your carpets healthy and clean. Vacuuming removes weekly dirt and dust build up in the upper layer of the carpet, and can help to reduce dust mite levels. Vacuum all areas of the carpet, including under furniture and area rugs. This helps to keep the buildup of dust and dirt low and maintains your carpet’s cleanliness and hygiene.

Treat Stains Quickly

Promptly treating spills and marks can mean the difference between getting your carpets back to normal and being left with a permanent stain. By understanding the qualities of the substance that was spilled on your carpet, you can treat the stain most effectively. For example, a different stain removal method will be required to lift a fresh red wine stain compared to an oil stain. Calling a professional carpet cleaner for emergency stain removal service can be beneficial for more tricky stains, or if you can’t completely remove the stain on your first try at home.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Of course, keeping your carpets as clean as possible also means preventing them becoming dirty in the first place. Placing doormats at each entrance of your home, or asking family and visitors to remove their shoes before entering can help to keep your carpets clean. It may also be beneficial to keep some areas of your home off limits to children and pets in order to minimize staining and ‘accidents’. However, your home is meant to be lived in and enjoyed, and so you can’t always prevent dirt and stains. That’s where professional carpet cleaning can help make your carpets look and feel like new again.

Schedule Professional Cleaning

Scheduling professional carpet cleaning once a year is the ideal way to keep your carpets fresh, clean and hygienic. Professional cleaning can pick up the dust, dirt and stains you’ve missed, and reach deeper into the carpet layers to help extract odors and ingrained dirt. Professional carpet cleaning also helps to minimize dust and dust mite levels as much as possible, helping those with allergies breathe easier. Scheduling carpet cleaning means that you never forget to book a clean and your carpet stays fresh and beautiful year after year.

Clean carpets not only help to clean your home looking beautiful, they are also safer and more hygienic for your guests and family. Don’t put up with dirty and stained carpet. Keeping your carpets always looking fresh and clean is easy with regular attention and a structured cleaning schedule to lift out stains and renew your carpets.

Cleaning The Shower: Fast, Cheap and Easy

shower cleaning, clean your shower

The job of your shower or bathtub is to keep you and your family clean… yet you might have noticed that the shower or bathtub themselves are in need of attention from time to time.

The problem is a common one. You combine soap residue with hard water and the resulting challenge is a build-up on the walls of the shower, the fixtures and more. It can be an ugly, difficult-to-clean mess! Sometimes, the shower and bath seem to be dirtier than you…

The solution is also a common one, pretty easy to accomplish, if you have the right tools.

A somewhat misleading concoction some think works for cleaning shower stalls and bath fixtures is to mix vinegar with ammonia and add a few other ingredients. The problem with that is the vinegar and ammonia cancel each other out because of their respective acidity and alkalinity. Remember that the “crud” on the tile and tub need acidity to remove… thus the idea of using a vinegar or acidic solution.

Use This for Cleaning the Shower

Create your own cleaning agent using vinegar, a drop of Dawn Dish Soap (or similar product) with super-hot water. You will need a trigger sprayer or small pump-up sprayer. Apply the home-made concoction liberally over all the areas that need to be cleaned. Allow at least 5 minutes of contact time (the more the better) and then rinse.  You may need to repeat the application of vinegar, dish soap and hot water.

Using vinegar is safe. Don’t use a harsh acid (such as a rust removing product) in place of vinegar. The chemical reaction and resulting residue from using a strong acid can be harmful to your skin or the skin of your family.

Don’t forget that a little elbow grease may be necessary to get the job done right. The soap scum and mineral deposits can be very tough to remove. But with the right amount of cleaning solutions along with your own scrubbing efforts, your shower dilemma will be over.

Of course, for all your cleaning needs, from carpet to upholstery to tile floors and more, call your 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

How to Take Care of Your Outdoor Gas Grill

There’s nothing more enjoyable to food lovers everywhere than firing up the gas grill and creating some delicious meals, whether steaks, burgers, bratwursts or healthy home-grown vegetables.

Keeping that gas grill in good shape is, therefore, paramount to happy outdoor barbecues and family gatherings.

And here’s something we all know: Outdoor gas grills don’t clean or take care of themselves. It takes determination on your part to keep them working for you, meal after meal after meal.

Here are a few easy steps to keeping your gas grill in good shape.

Step 1: 

After cooking your favorite treat on the grill (after removing all the food to a platter, of course) keep the grill on. In fact, turn it up a bit, and let all the bits of meat and drippings burn to a crisp so after everything cools you can scrape them off the grill grate. If you don’t do this, the next time you fire up the grill means you will be dealing with the remnants of the previous meal. That’s not tasty.

Step 2: 

Look underneath… no matter the quality of your grill, if you have a storage area for pans, spatulas and the propane tank, food drippings and debris can quickly create a problem. Clean out that storage area on a regular basis, keeping everything neat and ready for the next meal.

Step 3:

Don’t ignore the exterior of the grill. Washing the outside of the grill with warm, soapy water keeps grime from building up.

Step 4: 

When not in use, keep everything covered up. Some feel that with warmer weather, they can leave the grill exposed to the elements. Hey, it’s meant to be outside, right? Yet keeping the grill under a quality grill cover can add years of life to your trusty outdoor cooking partner.

Of course, with outdoor grilling comes greasy spills that can spot and stain your carpet. Nearly everyone has dropped a burger or a hot dog on the floor when bringing the food inside. Even worse is when your tasty treat is covered with mustard or ketchup. Do your carpet a favor and call Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration when that happens.