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

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.

Clean It- Don’t Cover It

clean it, don't cover it! odor clean up, smell removal

 

Odors. They are everywhere. When pleasant, we might call them “scents.” When not-so-pleasant, we might call them malodors.

Odors are caused by a variety of sources. Some odors are pleasant, welcoming, such as from a fresh-cut batch of flowers or a nice, home-cooked meal. Others are not pleasant, “malodorous,” such as from an unattended cat litter box or rotting garbage left too long in a trash bin.

And when something is malodorous, you must do something about it. Sometimes, the urge is to just cover it up. That can be a very bad idea as odors just keep getting worse and worse and you eventually have a difficult situation to deal with.

You want your home to be neat, clean, and odor-free, except for odors (scents) that you introduce because they are pleasant and welcoming, such as air fresheners, perfumes, scented candles, etc. A rule of thumb is this: When it is clean and dry, there should be no odor.

Your carpet, furniture and other absorbent materials in your home, over time, become soiled and often collect odors. Normal “dusty” odors are part of life between cleaning, and routine chores keep them manageable. Yet odors from urine, feces, body perspiration, and other sources are offensive and must be removed.

There are three principles to follow when it comes to keeping your home clean and odor-free.

Remove the Source

When something is deposited, spilled, or has come into contact with a surface, the first step is to remove contamination. This means scraping, rinsing or otherwise removing any odor-causing sources. The sooner you do this, the easier the job will be. An example would be blotting and removing a fresh pet “accident”, as odors will quickly become worse over time.

Clean Affected Areas

Once the source is removed, there is still some contamination on the surface. A thorough cleaning is important to remove any residual matter that can cause odors. Using hot water is best, if the surface can handle higher temperatures. Some furniture fabrics are heat sensitive, for example.

Deodorize and Disinfect

Now it’s time to use odor-removing products, such as an approved deodorizer and/or disinfectant. This should be the final step in odor removal. Follow manufacturer directions exactly, as using too little or too much product can be counter-productive.

And never forget, Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration know how to clean and tackle tough odors. Let us do the dirty work. It pays to call a pro!

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!

Carpet Traps Allergens

Beware of the Moth Man

Do you know your Fabric?

The First Area Rug

Keeping Your New Hardwoods Lovely Despite Spills

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

 

You’ve settled in with new luxury hardwood floors, your furnishing plans are complete, and you found the perfect new area rugs. Everything is coming together great, and life is good. This place looks awesome.

So that’s it, right? Your area rugs will keep your new floors perfect, and your duty is done? Sadly, no. Maintenance is important, and knowledge of potential problems is essential. There are still a few emergencies you may have waiting in the future.

 

Threats to Your Hardwood Floors

Recently, we have had a number of calls about pet damage to area rugs. A cat that won’t chuck it’s hairballs on the vinyl or tile, she goes to the area rugs for comfort when she’s in distress.  An older dog likes to lay on the rug and has difficulty making it outside to relieve himself. A puppy that keeps going back to the rugs when the owners aren’t not there to take her out. If you have pets, this is something you should be ready for.

But it’s not only pets. We all have accidents where we knock over a hot coffee or a cool glass of Merlot. It’s just a matter of time.

In any of these spills, the moisture is absorbed by the rug, goes through to the pad, and possibly leaks to the hardwood floors. How much moisture gets through all depends on how large the spill is and what kind of pad we’ve installed. You do have a pad, I trust?

 

There’s an Area Rug Spill, Now What?

When you discover moisture or a wet spill on an area rug that covers hardwood or any hard surface, here’s what to do, step by step:

  1. Start with blotting up the surface spill with a white/non colored towel or microfiber rag. Remember: don’t scrub & do avoid using spot removers until you know what caused the damage, what type of carpet fiber you have, and how far/deep the liquid has gone.
  2. Pull back the rug and pad to inspect for damage. You’ll need to check the hardwood flooring, the pad, and the area rug backing (the fabric on the bottom side).
  3. If there is moisture on the hardwood flooring, immediately remove the wetness and clean the floor. After the floor dries, lay down a dry undyed or white cotton towel and some plastic sheeting before laying down your protective pad.
  4. Lay down your pad and check the backing of the rug. Usually you can see where moisture has penetrated the rug and gone to the pad. Note the boundaries of the saturation and where they touch the pad.
  5. Now the pad. Depending upon the type of spill, you can use a corrective spotter on the pad, clean it, or replace it. Remember, what goes into the pad will likely penetrate, so be sure you protected the hardwood floor as previously suggested with a sheet of plastic.
  6. Congratulations! Now you’re ready to respond to the top surface damage on the area rug!

Before working on the area rug spill damage, you need to put a protective barrier between the rug and the pad, like a dry white cotton towel and plastic sheeting. Notice that this isn’t the barrier under the pad from earlier, now it’s time for a barrier over the pad!

  1. Blot the spill with a non-colored cloth or microfiber towel. Do not scrub. For added pressure, you can step on the towel with your heel.
  2. Keep exchanging your wet towels with new dry towels. Double or triple fold the towel for more absorption. Do this until you think you’ve gotten all the moisture you can out of it.
  3. If you have a wet-dry vacuum/shop vacuum, you can use it to assist with this cleaning/rinsing process. We don’t recommend using multipurpose wet vacuums unless you can control the amount of water being dispersed.
  4. When applying any spot removing agent, apply the solution to the towel and transfer it to the area rug. This may take several applications. With each application, repeat the above suggestion for blotting the moisture. Remember, control the moisture so it doesn’t cause further damage to the pad and your expensive flooring.
  5. Completely dry the area rug, pad, and hardwood flooring before putting them back together.  You can air dry, or accelerate drying with a fan. You can even use a blow dryer to speed this drying process. Remember, the lesson is to not trap moisture and further damage the hardwood flooring.

Get Help with Your Area Rug Spill

If this seems like a lot of work to you, you’re right. It is! Professional services are available to help guide you and even take care of maintenance situations for you. If you need more help, call a professional carpet and floor maintenance service company that is IICRC Certified, like Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration.