Making Better Decisions Buying Carpet

buying carpet, carpet fiber, choosing carpeting

Imagine…

You are shopping for new carpet, perhaps just a few rooms. Two of the rooms are bedrooms, which don’t get as much foot traffic as the entryway, living room and hallway you also need to replace. It’s been nearly 10 years since buying carpet.

You go to a local carpet retail store. The carpet salesman has a great deal for you: A virtually stain-proof carpet with vibrant colors and also soft to the touch. You put your fingers into the carpet pile and love how it feels. You order the carpet for all the rooms you need to replace.

In a week or two, on the scheduled installation day, you remove all the furniture from the rooms and the installation pros show up and remove the old carpet and pad and put in the new.

It looks great!

A year later, when you decide it’s time to have the carpet cleaned, your carpet cleaning pros show up and do a great job removing the dirt. Even the spots come right out! However, there is a “worn” area in the living room and down the hallway, but not in the bedrooms. You ask your carpet cleaning pro why that is.

He performs a fiber identification test and informs you that you purchased polyester carpet. Polyester tends to matt down and look somewhat soiled just because of wear. He then kindly informs you that if you had purchased nylon, a more durable carpet fiber, this likely wouldn’t have happened.

You are upset. Don’t you hate it when you purchase something and it doesn’t perform as promised? But remember, carpet salespeople may not be your best consultant when buying carpet.

So before you go looking for new carpet or furniture, give your carpet and furniture cleaning pro a call. Ask which fiber is best for each application in your home. Yes, polyester may be soft and colorful, but it may be best to keep it in the bedrooms. Try durable fibers like nylon and wool (which is expensive), in the high trafficked areas of your home.

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.

3 Tips For Cleaning Your Flooring

3 Tips for Cleaning Your Floors Contra Costa Carpet Cleaner

People are always looking for the latest (and hopefully best) cleaning technique for their carpet, hardwood, tile, or area rug. What options are organic? How can I ensure the cleaner is safe for my kids? Safe for my pets? What should I do to make sure it doesn’t ruin my flooring?

  1. Read the Manufacturers Recommendations

Despite all the fancy new cleaners and techniques, it’s still important to start with the flooring manufacturer’s recommendations. This can be hard since most of us aren’t the original owners of our flooring. If you can, ask the person you bought your home from if they know the original builder or flooring manufacturer. If not, you should talk to a professional flooring cleaner to come evaluate your floors to see the best cleaning techniques.

  1. Don’t be the Guinea Pig

It is easy to see a demo at the store or watch an infomercial and want the latest trend in cleaning. You really don’t want to jump on the bandwagon to become one of the first users, though. It’s important to talk to professional, speak to the manufacturer, or at least test it on an extra piece of flooring. The last thing you want to do is use a new cleaner on your floors and discover that it caused discoloration or didn’t take care of the original problem.

  1. Read the Ingredients

While most of us are not scientists, almost all of us can read the list of ingredients. We can research any ingredients we don’t know and find out their effects on humans and pets along with their effectiveness in floor cleaning.

Even after all that, make sure there has been professional testing done on any new chemical or technique. Read through reviews and information. If in doubt, speak to a professional floor cleaner and do not use it until you are certain you won’t cause permanent harm to the interior of your home or business.

Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration has been keeping home flooring professionally cleaned and in great condition for over twenty years. Please contact us today if you have any questions about carpets or need to have yours professionally cleaned.

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.

A Weekend Lost: No Professional Carpet Cleaner

Professional carpet cleaner, The article goes over the limitations of do it yourself carpet cleaners and how many stains including pet stains will often return without proper care.

You work hard all week and look forward to the weekend, a time to relax and enjoy family and friends (but you still have to mow the grass and avoid a professional carpet cleaner!)  

But, sometime during the week, you look down. You aren’t happy with the condition of the carpet. So you make a decision to rent a do-it-yourself carpet cleaning machine from your local grocery store in the Tri-Valley. That’s right… you are going to clean your own carpet and remove all those carpet stains even the pet stains your dog left behind. Your goal this weekend is to create a nice, fresh and clean carpet and enjoy a healthier home without the cost of a professional carpet cleaner.

Friday

Friday evening arrives. Off you go to your grocery store and you find yourself in front of a bunch of do-it-yourself cleaning machines and the various cleaning solutions available. There are products to put on the carpet before you clean it. You can use products to put in the machine with the water. Or there are other types of products for all kinds of spots and stains. Still others for pet odors. You aren’t sure which ones you will need. It is all very confusing. You grab a selection of them and take them to the front of the store to pay.

At the register, while paying for the daily rental of the carpet cleaning machine, you discover the cost of all those carpet cleaning products is about what you spend on food for the family for an entire week. But you aren’t deterred!  You are going to clean your carpet and remove the pet stains. Nothing will stop you.

So you go home with all your cleaning stuff and get started. It takes all your Saturday and, sad to say, part of your Sunday as well. It’s backbreaking work. You had no idea what sweating was really like. Yet… it looks pretty good when you are done. The bad part is it takes a few days to dry and you yell at the kids to not walk on the carpet. Maybe you thought they could float over it?

Two Weeks Later

Within two weeks, though, the carpet starts to look worse than before it was cleaned. The dog odor is back and so are the pet stains. Uh oh… what happened?

You didn’t call your carpet cleaning pro! You know, those who have the training and the very best equipment and cleaning solutions to get the job done right.

The Professional Carpet Cleaner Solution

Don’t ruin another weekend. Have a professional carpet cleaner tackle the carpet stains and bring you healthier, cleaner home.

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!

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.

3 Things You Need To Know About Ultra Soft Carpet

ultra soft carpet cleaning info

The popularity of thick, luxurious, ultra soft carpet has soared in recent years. Maybe you recently bought a home with extra soft carpet and want to prepare yourself for its care and maintenance. Maybe you just installed or already have ultra-soft carpet and want to know more about it.

Here are 3 essential things you need to know about ultra soft carpet.

1) It Can Hold Onto Dust And Allergens

Everyone’s home has dust and debris that gather on the floor. This can include food crumbs, pet dander, hairs, skin flakes, dust and dirt tracked in from outside. Most carpets have some amount of dust mites in them, although vacuuming can reduce their numbers. Left too long, some of that debris can attract ants and other small insects, like carpet beetles.

Any carpet can hide and hold onto dust and other allergens. However, ultra soft carpet has an even greater tendency for this. The thick and plentiful carpet fibers may feel lovely, but they come with the drawback of being more textured and harder to clean. If you are prone to allergies, extra soft carpet would need frequent, thorough cleaning in your home.

2) It Can Be Harder To Clean at Home

Most of us know what to do when our carpet needs cleaning – simply get to work vacuuming the floor. Unfortunately, many vacuums are not well-equipped to deal with the thickness of plush ultra soft carpet. 

Due to the nature of extra plush carpeting, a vacuum may only get the surface clean without reaching deep into the carpet fibers, or even just past the surface, because the fibers of the carpet don’t separate easily. Ultra soft carpet has deep, textured and dense fibers that can cause it to hold onto dirt and debris. Also, plush carpets aren’t built on mesh like traditional carpets, they’re sealed underneath, so the vacuum can’t suck air through the carpet from it’s foundation. No dry vacuum will be able to deep clean your carpet. Your vacuuming attempts can feel somewhat futile, leaving much of the dust, debris and dirt behind.

If you buy a new, specialized ultra-soft carpet vacuum, you’ll have an easier time vacuuming at home, but you’ll still need a regular professional cleaning to remove the dust and dirt that ultra soft carpets retain even after vacuuming. Professional carpet cleaning services have proper equipment to clean ultra dense carpets.

3) It May Need To Be Replaced More Often

Given the fact that ultra soft carpet is harder to clean, it stains more frequently, because spills can’t be lifter quickly and easily. It is also harder to remove stains once they’ve set in ultra soft carpet. You may need the help of a professional carpet cleaning company to remove both surface stains as well as the dirt and dust that is trapped under the surface. Even then, your carpet may become unsightly and worn, so that you need to replace it more quickly than other carpet options.

When selecting carpet options or discerning your carpet maintenance regimen, be sure to consult with carpeting and flooring professionals. These specialists can advise you on the best flooring to meet your needs, and how to take care of it. Ultra soft carpet can be an outstanding flooring choice, but it’s important to take proper care of it to keep your home low-allergen, clean looking, and fresh smelling. Contact your local professional carpet cleaning company for help with ultra-soft carpets.