Protect your floors by keeping carpets clean - March 20th 2012
Flooring is a major investment in your home, so you need to make sure that you maintain it properly. Cleaning your carpets on regular basis can help prolong the life of your carpet. Carpets act as a "filter" in your home, so you can imagine that if you do not keep your carpets clean it can create an unhealthy environment in your home.
I am often asked how often carpets should be cleaned. The answer depends on a few elements, such as how much traffic goes through the home and how often the carpets are vacuumed. This obviously is different for each household. Carpets should be steam cleaned every 1-2 years to remove hard soiling from the carpet. If you are able to vacuum your carpet on a regular basis, this will help remove the majority of dry soiling in carpets.
The most common method for carpet cleaning is Hot Water Extraction (also known as Steam Cleaning). First the carpet is pre-treated with a cleaning solution, then using a truck mounted steam cleaning unit the solution is rinsed off of the carpet using steam and suction at the same time, after the carpets are rinsed a couple of dry passes are used to dry the carpets.
Another method which is becoming better known is called "encapsulation" cleaning. This method uses a cleaning solution that encapsulates the dirt in to microscopic crystals and is vacuumed out of the carpet once it is dry.
I am often asked about pet stains. In general, pet stains are removable. If the pet stain is more of a surface stain, the cleaner can do a urine decontamination to remove the stain and odour. One of the most difficult pet stains to remove is cat urine. Cats can spray urine on the walls, furniture which can saturate an area. Cat stains are extremely difficult to remove because often the urine has made its way through the carpet to the underlay and sometimes the subfloor. If the stain has deeply penetrated the subfloor and the odour is still present, you can paint the subfloor in order to seal the odour in the subfloor, before putting your underlay and carpet back into place.
Most cleaning companies are using environmentally friendly products that are safe for pets. If you have pets or young children it is important for you to make sure the cleaning company is using products that are safe for use around children and pets.
Homeowners are usually responsible for moving breakables such as pictures and lamps, however most cleaning companies will move the bigger items such as sofas, end tables, and chairs. After these items are removed the cleaner should put them back in their place using a styrofoam block under the furniture to protect the carpet. Homeowners are responsible for removing the styrofoam blocks 24hrs after the cleaning. Most cleaners will not move Beds, china cabinets or electronic equipment.
Typically an average 2500 square foot home takes between 3-4 hours. When hiring a professional cleaning company make sure you ask them how long their process will take, if the cleaner says it will only take an hour to clean the average home it would be wise to keep searching for a company that will spend the time required to clean your carpets thoroughly.
Carpets take between 4 to 8 hours to dry after they have been professionally cleaned. If possible it is best to stay off wet carpets until the carpet is completely dry.
Most carpet cleaning companies offer some form of carpet protection. Carpet protector can greatly improve the life of your carpets while making your carpets less susceptible to staining. For example, if coffee is spilled onto the carpet, the carpet protector helps keep the stain from penetrating into the carpet fibres. This helps make the stain more of a surface stain than a stain that has heavily penetrated into the carpet, which greatly improves the chances of removing the stain. I often recommend Pink Solution to clean stains in carpets, it is natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable.