Breathe Easy with Better Indoor Air Quality

protecting kids and adults from allergies through improved indoor air quality

Can you tell what the indoor air quality is like? In the Tri-Valley, allergies are running really high. Do you want to spread that into your home.

As you start reading this, do a quick exercise. Breathe in, really deep… go ahead, fill your lungs. Feels good, right?

Taking a deep breath of air, especially outdoors after a thunderstorm or when the air is crisp and clean, smells and feels good. It’s refreshing.

But taking a deep breath of air inside, such as in a home or commercial building, can be a different matter altogether. Indoor air quality in building can differ dramatically.

The air you breathe, you innocently assume, is clean and healthy. That may not always be the case, as reports of poor indoor air quality (IAQ) prove that not every indoor environment can be considered healthy.

When indoor air quality is poor, there can be issues for many people. Especially those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and respiratory illnesses, among others. The list can be quite extensive.

Poor indoor air quality doesn’t just mean “stuffy” air, like can build up in a home that doesn’t have sufficient air exchanges. Although that can contribute to poor health, what really causes health concerns is excessive dust, pet dander, pollen, mold, and other pollutants. While these pollutants are often indoors, they can also be outdoors, and you must recognize the effect they have on your health. You may decide to stay indoors after a poor outdoor air quality report on the news.

What you can control, though, at least to some degree, is the indoor air quality in your home.

What can you do? It’s simple. Keep things clean. Change your furnace and air conditioning filter on a regular basis, according to the manufacturer. Use a quality vacuum for your carpet and furniture and use it weekly, and more often if you have a busy household. Those hard floors? They need cleaned as well, as dust can easily build up and become airborne from those surfaces. When you dust surfaces, use a soft cloth that will hold the dust instead of pushing it off onto the floor.

And, of course, have your carpet and furniture cleaned based on the recommendation of your favorite cleaning company. In fact, isn’t it time you had your carpet and furniture cleaned… right now? For a healthier, cleaner home free of allergies, have your flooring and furniture regularly cleaned by a professional.

Taking On Holiday Stains

clean carpet spots, avoid holiday stains

It’s that time of year when you start planning for family and friends to visit and, since you are hospitable, you start thinking of all the delicious meals, snacks and beverages you will serve them when they arrive.

Despite the very best attempts of you and your guests to keep things on the plate, in the bowl, in the glass and on the spoon or fork, the inevitable happens: Food or drinks spill, and for some reason they always spill on the carpet. Usually white carpet.

There is no need to panic, but there is a need to gather your thoughts, keep your cool and not overreact to the situation. That is difficult when you witness a full glass of merlot splashing onto your white, wool rug in the middle of the living room.

Your first reaction might be to grab a random cleaning product from the collection underneath the kitchen sink. This can be a mistake. Some consumers have been known to use window cleaner, bathroom tile cleaners and other products on carpet.

Instead, keep things simple. Use these three, easy-to-remember steps:

1. Scrape and Blot

If the spill is food related, scrape up as much as you can. Then, using white, disposable paper towels or white, washable cotton towels, start blotting up the spill. Keep at it until the area you are working on is fairly dry and you have removed as much of the spot as you can. Then…

2. Add product

Using a flip-top or trigger sprayer application, apply small amounts of a product manufactured specifically for carpet fibers. The best products for this can be obtained from your carpet and furniture cleaning company. Blot in between applications, and when the spot is gone, use a little warm water to help remove the cleaning residue, blotting as you do so. Then…

3. Blot some more

When the job is complete, and you are happy with the results, blot until all moisture seems to be removed and then leave a white, absorbent towel on the spot with a weight on the towel, so any remaining moisture wicks up into the towel. Leave the towel in place for several hours.

But when the occasion occurs (and it will) and the spot just won’t come out, stop your work to avoid damage to the color texture of the carpet and “setting” of the spot or stain. Quickly call your carpet and furniture cleaning specialist.

Carpet Traps Allergens

Beware of the Moth Man

Do you know your Fabric?

The First Area Rug

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.

Who Spilled the Grape Juice?

Waterproof Flooring (Next Generation)

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For years Bay Area homeowners have struggled through the challenges of keeping their flooring new and beautiful. They’ve been told to vacuum or mop it regularly. In addition, some floorings have been required to be sealed every year or two. Finally, professional carpet cleaning and hardwood cleaning is also recommended on an annual or more frequent basis. However, despite all of this, the unknown spill or pet stain has always loomed as a potential added expense or unknown factor that could ruin the flooring.

Things are changing. In the past six months, many major manufacturers have come out with new waterproof flooring. While this doesn’t take the odor away and is not full proof for everything, it does add a layer of protection which can keep the unexpected away. The flooring has taken on several forms.

Waterproof Carpeting

A few months ago, Shaw Floors, a leading manufacturer, came out with “Life Guard”. This carpeting has waterproof backing and can withstand up to 25,000 pounds of water. A kid’s accident will not penetrate this very easily. Additionally, pet accidents are better protected, although the bacterial infections have to be considered. Thus, the carpet is protecting you from many of life’s spills and accidents. This can help alleviate some of the worry and leave you with just your usual professional carpet cleaning needs.

Waterproof Hardwood Flooring

Carpet is not the only type of flooring getting a fresh approach. Shaw and other manufacturers are also coming out with waterproof hardwood flooring. These types of flooring usually involve a waterproof core. This keeps the liquid from seeping beyond the first layer of flooring. As a result and similar to the carpet, kids and pet stains become less prominent and the unexpected no longer needs to worry a Bay Area homeowner.

Styling Included

A big concern homeowners may have is how stylish is this flooring. The answer is that it’s very nice. However, this is a relatively new product so it doesn’t have the vast diversity of product lines. As a result, it will take some time for the amount of options grows to a reasonable level.

Whether you have this latest style or maintain the traditional flooring, contact your hardwood and carpet cleaning specialists today at Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration at 925-833-0408 to help keep your flooring beautiful.

Robot Vacuums for Carpet, Hardwood, and Area Rug Cleaning

Robotic vacuum cleaners, automatic robovacuum, robot vacuum

As technology takes over our lives, robot vacuums are appearing in more and more homes.  They go around your home and handle things without you having to bend, crawl, or move items.  How can this impact your floor cleaning?

Regular Cleaning

These vacuums allow you to have your floors cleaned on a regular, consistent schedule.  While you may have previously vacuumed your home on a weekly or more infrequent basis, you can now have your floors cleaned daily, perhaps while you sleep. To make this system work, you will now have to empty and maintenance the robot vacuum cleaner every day or few days.

Hard to Reach Spots

Beyond the more consistent schedule, these vacuums are generally smaller and able to go into hard to reach spots.  Think about the last time you vacuumed, did you actually lift your couch to clean underneath it?

Spot Cleaning

Some of these robot vacuums have a mode for handling a spill or mess in one area.  This allows the vacuum to focus on that section of the home and clean it up, although not all the robot cleaners come with this setting.

Mop Replacement

While not all robot vacuums have it, a few of them have an option for it to mop or “wet clean” certain types of floors too.  This is a nice feature but the technology is still evolving, and they have extremely limited scrubbing power. This is not at a level that should be used as a regular replacement to mopping just yet.

Technology Limitations

Some of these vacuums are now wifi-connected, so you can trigger it through an app on your phone or computer. Things are still a little behind though, as with the mop feature, much this technology is still evolving.  The battery can be limited, the bin size maybe too small to handle more than one cleaning worth of dirt, or the device may fall down stairs, get stuck on area rugs, or have trouble finding its way back to the charging station.

Vacuum-Proof the Home

Having these devices doesn’t mean you can leave it and forget it.  You need to clean up the surrounding areas as small toys, socks, or other small items could get stuck in it and break it.

In fact, this can be a big issue with pets, especially if they are not toilet trained.  Recently, one of our clients had severe damage to the device and their flooring when the robot vacuum spread a puppy’s accident all over their home.  We were able to completely clean and sanitize their flooring but the vacuum had tremendous damage.

Doesn’t Fully Replace Vacuuming

While this helps keep the house somewhat cleaner, these devices are not as powerful or effective as traditional vacuums. It is recommended that you still vacuum regularly and use a robotic vacuum for home maintenance in between more familiar methods of floor cleaning. A recent robot vacuum review found that the upright traditional vacuum is still far more effective that the best bots.

While robot vacuums promise to be one of the next wave of useful technologies, we still have a long ways to go.  Regular vacuuming and even professional carpet, hardwood, or area rug cleaning are still essential.  Please contact us with any questions or if you’d like to schedule your professional cleaning today.