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

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

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

Act Fast

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

Send Area Rugs and Removable Items Out

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

Cleaning and Drying Carpet

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

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

Drying Wood Floors

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

Preserve Furniture As Well

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

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

Do Homemade Carpet Cleaning Solutions Really Work?

homemade carpet cleanser

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

‘Dry’ Home Carpet Cleaning Powders

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

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

Home Carpet Cleaning Solution For Machines

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

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

Homemade Spot Carpet Cleaning Solutions

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

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

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

Carpet: It’s Just Good for You

Everyone is concerned about better health. We shop for healthy foods. We take our vitamins. We visit our doctor on a regular basis. We drink filtered water. What we might not appreciate is the value of filtered air. What else will filter the air at your home?

How do you effectively filter the air in your home? You are right… changing the filters in your furnace system on a regular, scheduled basis. If you wait too long, you know it because the filter is just so darned dirty. It makes a mess when you change it. So you vow to do it more often, and maybe you even put it on your wall calendar so you don’t forget. You might even pick up a better quality filter, such as one that uses HEPA standards.

But what about the biggest filter in your home? Wonder what it is? Just look down… if you have carpet, that’s the filter that often gets ignored. If you don’t have much carpet, odds are you have area rugs covering those hard floors. Those area rugs are filters, too.

Carpet in a home is a protection for you, because it traps all kinds of allergens that can be the bane of asthma sufferers. Carpet is a filter and, like all filters, has to be either changed or cleaned. It’s not practical to change your carpet every year or so (heck, no one could afford that!) but you can — and should — have it cleaned.

Remember, allergens are very light and float in the air, and are respiratory concerns, especially for allergy and asthma sufferers. Carpet helps to keep those particulates to a minimum.

There are many documented studies about how homes and facilities, such as schools, are healthier because of carpet and regular cleaning schedules.

So enjoy your carpet… and have it cleaned by the professionals at Diablo Carpet & Floor Restoration.

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.

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

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

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

Evaluating Your Carpet

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

Renewing Old Carpet and Upholstery

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

Repairing Damaged Carpet

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

When to Replace Carpet

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

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

Carpet Cleaning Tips

DID YOU KNOW:

Carpets need to be vacuumed once a week and more often in areas of heavy traffic. Frequent vacuuming prolongs the life of your carpet by preventing a buildup of gritty particles that can cut carpet fibers. Every few weeks, take a little extra time and use your crevice tool for cleaning around baseboards and radiators and in other hard-to-reach places.

STAIN REMOVAL

BLOT….DON’T SCRUB: Never aggressively scrub a carpet as it will distort the fiber. BEST PRACTICE: Blot the spill with a white towel or cloth….then apply the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth/towel and blot the stain, thereby transferring it to the cloth/towel. Reposition the cloth/towel to a clean spot and repeat until the stain is completely transferred.

HELPFUL HINT

Never use bleach to try and remove stains from carpet. Yes, it will take the color out of your carpet and not always the stain. If you have any doubts or questions in regards to stains on your carpet call our office for FREE advice over the phone. Our number is 925-833-0408

See more helpful hints on our Facebook page

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.

 

Fabric Protection that Really Works

DID YOU KNOW that one of the best ‘feel good’ experiences you can enjoy is having freshly-cleaned carpet or furniture? This is hard without fabric protection.

And one of the most frustrating experiences you won’t enjoy is when, within just a few days, something like red wine, coffee or tea is spilled on that freshly-cleaned carpet or furniture.

This is not good!

So you feverishly apply all kinds of household cleaning products and scrub in desperation. That spot does look a little better but it is still there. You have an important appointment so you give up. When coming home a few hours later… it has grown! (This is another mystery and you might want to ask your carpet cleaning pro why this happens.)

Fabric Protection

All of this drama could have been avoided if you had asked for fabric protection when you had your carpet or furniture cleaned. You know, like Scotchgard or Teflon or some of the other products available to consumers.

Yes, fabric protection does cost a little bit more but… it’s worth it!

How does it work?

Fabric protection is quite a mystery to many, but basically what it does is act as a kind of invisible shield that repels most substances that are spilled.

You might compare this to waxing a car. You are providing protection to your paint job by applying an invisible shield, and you know it is working because you can see water beading up on the surface.

Carpet and furniture fabrics need the same type of protection.

Besides the obvious immediate benefit of cleaning up fresh spills, you can rest assured that a protected carpet or piece of furniture is going to last longer because when something is clean, it performs better and increases the lifetime of the fabric.

This doesn’t mean you can skip regular cleaning. Anything that is dirty will wear out prematurely. Fabric protection enhances a good cleaning. It’s an added step that you want for your carpet and furniture in your home.

So you want peace of mind? The next time you have your carpet or furniture cleaned, ask for protection. You will like it… and so will your carpet and furniture.

Cleaning Wool Carpet and Rug: Good News? Or Baaaad?

wool carpet, sheep wool, care and maintenance

DID YOU KNOW that choosing a wool carpet or rug for your home is both good news… and sometimes bad?

The good news is choosing wool, which is a high quality fiber but not really that popular because of the higher price, means your carpet or rug will last longer, look better and retain value.

The bad news is choosing wool means you won’t see as much dirt on it, and so you may not vacuum or clean it that often — which means your nice, wool carpet or rug may prematurely wear out.

Why is that?

Most consumers base their cleaning frequencies on appearance. That can be dangerous for any carpet or rug, or any surface, for that matter. With wool, the physical makeup of the fiber has the characteristic of hiding dirt, especially those tiny, gritty particles that wear on the fibers. You might compare this to putting sand on a piece of Plexiglas and walking on it. The sand will act as an abrasive, damaging the surface.

While wool fibers won’t damage as quickly as other fibers, such as nylon, polyester or olefin, any type of dirt or soil on them isn’t good news at all.

What you should do is talk to a cleaning professional about cleaning based on frequency, not appearance. Get your cleaning scheduled on a regular basis, and remember that not every situation is the same. Your home may not need as frequent cleaning as another; that’s why a professional opinion is smart.

Yes, wool is good… or baaaad… depending on how you treat it.

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