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.

How to Prep Your House for Bad Weather – Part 2

prep your house for bad weather, storms, freezing, emergency

Previously, we provided some practical tips to prep your house by inspecting windows, roofs and gutters — and making sure they were all in good shape. Why? Because winter and bad weather is coming!

Being prepared for cold, windy, rainy and snowy weather is important. Preparation means you will — hopefully — avoid water, mold, wind, fire and smoke damage to your home.

Don’t Neglect to Disconnect

Those beautiful spring, summer and fall days mean you are gardening, watering and taking care of the outside. But winter is a different story. Before the grip of cold weather sets in, take a few minutes to walk around outside the home and disconnect any hoses connected to faucets. If you are able to, turn off the outside faucets from inside the home just in case a pipe were to freeze and break. A broken faucet or pipe means water can flood the interior of your home.

Inspect the HVAC

It doesn’t cost that much to have a professional heating, ventilation and air conditioning company inspect your heating and cooling system. Be sure to have a company inspect and clean any chimneys you use. A puff-back of smoke is expensive to clean up, and the unthinkable event of a fire can be avoided with preventative maintenance.

Keep them charged

Your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are your silent sentinels, diligently protecting your family. Prep your house by testing your detectors monthly and changing the batteries, even if they still seem to be working fine, every six months. Perhaps do this when you change the clocks for daylight savings time in the spring and fall.

Being prepared is smart. But if something does happen to your home, be sure to reach out to Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration!

Sensitive to Mold and Other Allergens?

allergens, household irritants, clean home

DID YOU KNOW that even the healthiest of individuals can still feel negative effects in the presence of some common things around the house?

It’s not something that necessarily has to start growing in the basement of your house after a flood. It’s something that can “just happen” and it’s not good news. But it can be easily fixed.

First of all, what are we talking about?

New old stuff brought in

There are some items that can come into your home that can trigger your allergies or other sensitivities. These can include cardboard boxes, packages and other items sent or brought to you. The worse of these would be old stuff, things that have been around a while, gathering allergens.

Old ‘normal’ stuff

We’ve all been to a library and sniffed old books. OK, maybe not all of us, but those that remember books and libraries can relate. These old books and documents can be allergen triggers, so be sure to remember this before checking them out or taking them into your home.

Old decorations

Sure, the holidays are a time when you use ornaments and stuff, and this is just a few times a year… but you have to store them, right? Remember that they can bring in allergens. It might be best to give them at least a wipe-down, if not a complete cleaning, before putting them into the attic.

Old mattresses

Ick. This is a tough one, and sometimes a sensitive issue. Sure, it’s OK to pass on mattresses from one generation to another (what is family for?), but what are you getting when you inherit an old mattress or other bedding from someone not close to you? And don’t be tempted by that new-looking mattress at your neighbor’s garage sale. You just don’t know what you are getting into. Did you know that everymattress has dust mites?

Old rugs and carpet

Rugs and carpet are very important to you, but be sure to have them inspected by your carpet cleaning pro before bringing them into your home. These are items that can collect all types of allergens and other contaminants that can affect you and your family.

Don’t be afraid to throw old stuff out. Remember, it’s your home and your family’s health. Protect it!

Just make sure that what you bring into your home is safe for any allergy or asthma issues you or your family may have. 

Guilty! (but it will be OK)

fruit juice spill, accident, mess, sticky drink, carpet cleaning

 

DID YOU KNOW that the devastation of spilling something like grape juice, Kool-Aid and other fruit drinks doesn’t have to be that… devastating?

So you have kids, grandkids, or some other kids come over, and they want something to drink. They surely don’t want water from the tap. That’s pretty boring stuff. They want something fruity, sweet, and with lots of color. Like deep blues, or reds. You know, the stuff that can really stain a carpet or piece of furniture.

And the inevitable occurs. The kids enjoy what you give them, but after all, they are kids. So something gets spilled. For some weird reason, this never happens on a hard, tile floor. It happens right on the carpet.

What to do?

Step #1
First of all, don’t panic. Gather your senses and realize this isn’t the end of the world.

Step #2
Start blotting. You want to use white cotton or paper towels, with no print or dyes, and blot – blot – blot! Most of any spotting or staining substance will come right out because the towel you are using is more absorbent than the carpet the drink was spilled on.

Step #3
It may be appropriate, with some coaching from your carpet cleaning pro, to do some spotting. Use a spotting product, like a mild neutral detergent spotter, recommended by your carpet pro. Apply a small amount to the spot and keep blotting. Never scrub. Scrubbing can damage the carpet fibers and you can’t fix that. Keep blotting.

Step #4
Did we say keep blotting? Keep it up! You may need to apply more approved mild detergent spotter. One thing you do not want to do is apply too much moisture, as that gets into the backing of the carpet and into the padding, creating additional problems.

Step #5
Once the spot is gone, it’s time to dry the carpet. How to do this? Keep blotting, of course! But also aim a fan on the spot and let the air current remove more moisture.

Is the spot still there? It may be a stain, very tough to remove. It is definitely now time to call your carpet cleaning pro!

Best case scenario

When anything happens, like spilling grape juice, red wine, mustard or other tough-to-remove substances, call your carpet and furniture cleaning professional. We have what it takes to get the job done right the first time.

Make that phone call especially for pet “accidents.” Your carpet cleaning pros at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration know exactly what you need to keep your home spot and stain free!

Flooring Trends for the 2018 New Year

flooring trends 2018, hot fresh new style floors

As we clean flooring throughout San Ramon, Danville, and Blackhawk, Diablo Carpet & Floor Restoration customers are starting to ask where to expect flooring trends to go. This is particularly true for homes where the flooring is outdated or those looking to renovate.

 

Gray Colored Flooring

2017 saw a big push towards gray colored flooring.  It looks modern, fresh, and is easily compatible with multiple interior design styles. This flooring tends to come in various patterns and can be carpet, vinyl, tile, and even some stained hardwood flooring.  The coming year will see gray flooring get even more popular, it’s just getting started!

 

Textural Color

While grays have been in, variety of looks and colors has also exploded.  What does this mean?  Solid browns, whites, and other traditional solid colors are out.  Dappled, streaky, and patterned colors are in.  Companies are utilizing a variety of materials, prints, and designs to expand upon what a floor can be in a home.  Families are now bringing more of their personality out through flooring color choices.  Check out a local flooring store and see all the unique styles that have taken hold.

 

Dent Resistant

Do items somehow get dropped in your home? Have you been frustrated by a dent in your floor? One of the newest flooring trends emerging is the development of dent resistant flooring.  We are seeing this mostly in luxury vinyl tile but it’s expanding into laminate flooring too.  If you have kids or tend to be clumsy, this could be a great option for flooring.

 

Waterproof Flooring

Bigger than dents, a floors biggest enemy is water.  Manufacturers have been working for years to find a way to limit the impact of water on floors.  When you spill that glass of water, your flooring could get moldy or it could become discolored. In the past, this has led many homeowners to replace their flooring.  However, 2018 may see this problem evaporate.  Beautiful hardwood flooring, vinyl tile, and carpet are already being released that is water resistant or waterproof.  While this will not remove the need to getting your flooring professionally cleaned by your local carpet cleaner or hardwood floor cleaner, it will reduce the need to get flooring replaced due to water damage.

 

Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration has been keeping Bay Area home flooring professionally clean and in good condition. Please contact us today if you have any questions about flooring trends, floor care, or would like us to connect you with a local flooring provider.

How to Care for Your Area Rug

Area rug cleaning and care

As hardwood floors have risen to equal popularity as home carpeting, area rug cleaning has become a more common need.  We all know to vacuum our carpets but what should we do to keep our area rugs clean?  Some are old, and made of finer materials than carpets.  Others utilize newer materials that have special cleaning requirements.

Always read the manufacturers cleaning requirements.  Following those guidelines will usually put you on the right track. If you don’t have instructions or can’t adhere to them, here are some tips for cleaning area rugs.

 

Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs, especially traditional ones, are usually handmade, older, and need careful care.  A normal vacuum’s brushes are generally too harsh and can damage these rugs.  You can use an older vacuum with a beater bar and work with the vacuum attachments to avoid sucking up the fringes of the rug.  A common practice is to use a covering over the hose attachment to prevent sucking it up.  Nylon hosiery or a sheer cloth is usually the best type.

 

Alternatively, if your area rug is on the smaller side, you could utilize an old fashioned but effective method: hanging it outdoors and using a soft brush to clean it off.  Even if you do this, we recommend running a vacuum over the back of the rug as it can gather debris, and won’t be damaged by the vacuum.  It is recommended that you have the rug professionally cleaned annually, or every year and a half if it’s in a low traffic area.

 

Flat-Woven Rugs

These area rugs are usually very similar to carpeting.  It’s recommended that you clean the rug as often as you would vacuum other areas of your home.  You can hang it outdoors and clean it with a soft brush for smaller rugs, or even shake the dust outside if the rug is small enough.  A select few types of flat-woven rugs can be washed.  Read the manufacturer’s instructions, some may require you to hand wash them or put them in a bag when using a washing machine. It’s important to professionally clean flat-woven area rugs approximately annually or depending on the traffic volume.

 

Pile Rugs

If a pile rug is made of wool, then wet cleaning is preferred.  If your area rug is made of silk, then it should be washed with a dry method.  A simple technique to check if you’ll lose color while cleaning is to take a damp cloth and run it gently over the area rug.  If color transfers to the cloth then you know the area rug will lose color if you wet-clean it.

 

Shag Rugs

If you have a shag area rug then a canister vacuum works best.  Traditional upright vacuums will likely damage the shag loops.  Another effective tool for maintaining these area rugs is a carpet rake, as it could help detangle them.

 

Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration has been keeping Bay Area home flooring professionally clean and in beautiful condition. Please contact us today if you have any questions or would like us to professionally clean your area rug anywhere in San Ramon, Danville, Blackhawk, Alamo, Dublin, Pleasanton, or Walnut Creek.

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.

The Great Flooring Debate: Should You Choose Carpet, Hardwood or Tiles?

Whether you’re building a new home, or remodeling an older house, choosing the right flooring for your home and your needs is one of the most important decisions. Flooring can be expensive, and you want it to last. If it’s unattractive, difficult to maintain or doesn’t perform the way you’d like it to, it’s really going to detract from the comfort and atmosphere of your home. When it comes to flooring choices, for most homeowners it boils down to carpet, hardwood or tiled floors. Should you go for the easy cleaning of tile, the comfort of carpet or the timeless beauty of hardwood? Here we look at the benefits and limitations, to help you find your ideal flooring choice.

Hardwood Floors

Hardwood flooring is one of the most popular choices because it’s stunning, durable and not too difficult to clean. One of the greatest priorities for homeowners when it comes to flooring is appearance. We want our floors to look good, both from when they are installed and as time goes by. This relies on how easy it is to clean the flooring, maintain its original condition and be resistant to wear and tear. In all of these conditions, hardwood floors fit the bill. Hardwood floors last for years, and professional hardwood floor cleaning can help to deep clean hardwood floors from time to time to maintain this stunning flooring in its optimal condition.

On the downside, hardwood flooring is the most expensive choice and represents an investment that is out of reach to many homeowners.

Tile Floors

Tiles can provide a huge versatility of applications and purposes, and many homeowners choose tiles for the floors and even the walls of kitchens and bathrooms. Tiles are water resistant and generally easy to clean, although they can sometimes stain and require professional tile cleaning or tile stain removal.

Tiles can also be used as an alternative to more expensive floors, with luxury vinyl floor tiles and other types of high quality tile providing the look of wood, stone or marble with less cost. There are a range of tile options to choose from to fit your needs and budget. However, one downside of tile floors is that their sheer hardness and durability can also make them harder on the human body for falls or long periods of standing.

Carpet

Carpet flooring has long been a popular choice for comfortable, cozy flooring, particularly in bedrooms and living areas. Although carpet can be prone to collecting dirt and stains, professional carpet cleaning and carpet stain removal can help to erase most of these. Keep an effective but gentle carpet cleaner on hand for when stains occur and contact your carpet cleaning service quickly in order to get the best carpet stain removal results.

Carpet is available in a range of types and colors to suit any décor, and also any budget. While keeping carpet clean can be a challenge in some households, there are not many floor coverings that can compare when it comes to the level of comfort that carpet offers, and many homeowners prefer this feel for personal spaces like bedrooms.

While choosing the right floor covering for your home is always going to involve investigation, research and assessment of your own needs and preferences, weighing the pros and cons between carpet, hardwood and tile is a great start for finding the perfect flooring for you.

 

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.