Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do to prepare to have my carpets cleaned?
Please remove any loose impediments and vacuum thoroughly, especially along walls and under furniture to be moved. Though we use a non abrasive vacuum system (no brush), embedded hair and debris that are meshed into the fibers may remain. If you are having us move furniture, the carpet underneath needs to be vacuumed prior to our arrival as well or extra charges will apply for us to do so. In the event you are having us move furniture, all contents and breakables need to be removed from the surfaces. All toys and clothing need to be removed from the floors.
Typically, customers have us clean only the exposed areas of the floors which includes the picked up areas of most small items like toys, clothes, shoes… (about 98% of the time around beds, large dressers, hutchs…). Most times people find deep steam cleaninmg is of little value under most larger pieces of furniture after vacuuming prior to our arrival and unless you really feel it necessary, it’s not worth the cost. That’s a great way to reduce your cost as the cleaning is charged by the square foot (not to be confused with a furniture moving charge, in most cases).
Do I need to remove the furniture?
It is very helpful if you are able to remove as many small pieces as possible. Larger pieces can remain and if you choose to have us move them, they will be protected from the carpet with plastic strips or foam pads after the area is both vacuumed and cleaned underneath. However, the larger pieces must be completely empty. Some pieces may be too heavy to elevate off the carpet with the foam pads and therefore cannot be moved.
Can we walk on the carpets after cleaning?
Yes – The carpets will be ready for immediate use following cleaning. It’s a good idea to wear cleaned soled indoor shoes and walk sure-footed while carpets are allowed to dry. A towel should be placed on any hard floors that transition from carpeted areas and used to dry your soles\feet before stepping on the hard surface.
How long will it take for my carpet to dry?
For us, the dry time is between 6 to 10 hours depending on the density and height of your carpeting as well as if an after coating is being applied post cleaning. There are many factors that affect the dry time. Some include humidity levels, temperature, fiber makeup (water absorbsion capabilities), age, residues left from the home owners attempts to spot clean without neutralizing rinse (that creates a drag on extraction power), and quantity of soiling, to name a few. Dry time does not differ much between winter and summer in that the air is drier in winter than summer, plus we usually run heaters in winter that create better circulation to the interior both pushing the moist air out and replacing it with dry warm air. We have found our process of cleaning and guarding, dry in less than 10 hours.
Much depends on the person doing the work. Weather or not they’re diciplined in their work ethics, like are they continuously monitoring the steam cleaners filter to assure maximum suction efficiency, are they in shape enough not to fatigue, do they cut corners by having no concern for a diciplined professional and effective style, are they physically capable to use continuous pressure with the cleaning tool for proper extraction throughout the job\day\every day, do they understand the importance in identifying soiling, breaking the surface tension of soil, properly emulisfying the embedded soiling using the right product or do they count on multiple wet passes in an effort to force out soiling making the carpet wetter and wetter with each pass (and little effect), has their equipment been kept up and is it working at peak performance or is it looking a bit weathered, are they using a heavy duty detergent in the rinse process that will not only leave a residue but wil prolong the evaporation process efficiency. These kind of issues are some of the main reasons for extended dry times. We consider them to be operator error, but more closely identified, lazy operators.
What cleaning process do you use?
Though we are certified in all cleaning processes available to consumers today, we heavily rely on Truck Mounted Hot Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning). This is the method required by the manufacturers to uphold their warranties in both carpets and stone. (We are an approved manufacturer warranty “Firm”…one in only a hand full in the bay area) All other methods WILL void them. Steam Cleaning has proven to reverse most damage from the other cleaning methods, abrasive vaccum cleaning and normal daily use and restores resiliency and integrity of the fiber or stone product that will uphold their original look, feel, and texture when properly maintained per manufacturer warranty guidelines. This is the only cleaning method that uses extremely high heat which in and of itself, restores the manufacturers designed “twist” that makes the fiber stay bouncy and full looking (resiliency) or cleans deep down in stone that will remove damaging soil and grit that will compromise the original luster and integrity of the stone\grout. Please understand fibers DO wear, and this method will not repair damaged fibers, nor will any cleaning method. What it does is add back to the original twist that was “heat set” from the factory, remove prior residues, embedded soils, fiber cutting sand and grit from beneath the fibers, and extracts the emulsified soils up and out of your carpets, upholstered fibers, tile and stone.
Is your process safe for children and pets?
Absolutely! We know this is a sensitive subject with most people. Being health and outdoor enthusiast as well as fitness coaches and competitive participants in our off time, I would say we are even more concerned than most about being exposed to cleansers, as it’s a daily routine for us. You can bet we wouldn’t compromise our health, nor would we expect you or your loved ones to be compromised by our services. All our products are VOC compliant and we have a “green” line of EPA approved cleansers that has returned better than satisfactory results. In addition, our standard product line is state of the art, well thought out, and results in the cleanest you will have ever seen your carpets come following a cleaning. All detergents we use are the latest in technology, compatible with one another, and therefore, NO TOXIC USE OR MISTAKES and completely rinsed away upon completion to boot. To put this in perspective, these products are rated safer to use than any hand cleaners or dish soaps you may use, as well as cleaning detergents sold publically in todays marketplace, and most facial cosmetics as a few examples. That said, weather you are having your furniture cleaned, your carpet cleaned, or your stone floor restored, all materials and surfaces will be rinsed out and residue free upon completion. In the 28 years we’ve been in business, and having dealt with people that are extremely sensitive to chemicals, not once have our customers been in a compromised situation in regards to our cleaning detergents. However, if you feel you may have a special need of precaution in a cleanser, upon request, we will be more than happy to use our line of approved and certified “GREEN” cleaning agents.
Does Scotchgard really work?
Yes! It’s fabulous! ALL manufacturers apply protection from the factory as the carpet is being made. The reason we reapply it is due to the fact that it ages like anything else and becomes oxidized from the sun, or gets brittle and starts cracking, or starts to wear off with abrasion. Reapplication is a good preventative and restorative measure that will minimize future possible damage that will add longevity to your investment. Please note: The protection we use is already on your carpets from day one. There is no “detectable” odor when applied nor will it cause you any harm as you’ve been living with it before cleaning them was even a thought. If you have carpets, you have been living with carpet guard the entire time. Good stuff!
What about my carpet warranty?
Truck Mounted “Hot” Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning) is the ONLY cleaning method recognized by carpet manufacturer’s warranty guidelines. Also, the cleaning must be performed by an IICRC Certified firm or technician, or the carpet warranty will become void. The reason for this is the manufacturers have determined that the other cleaning methods; dry cleaning (or absorbent pad\bonnet cleaning), dry foam, shampooing, and absorbent compound (host system) are not able to extract the dirt and other particulates sufficiently, leading to fiber abrasion and premature fiber breakdown.
If steam cleaning is so good, why do other methods exist?
At 45 years old, the carpet cleaning industry is relatively new. In that time we have seen a lot of methods come and go: First came carpet shampooing with the Kirby vacuum cleaner, then portable steam cleaners, then in the drought years the start of so-called dry cleaning methods took hold. Thankfully, carpet shampooing in the residential market is a thing of the past (The Von Schrader shampoo method is still the preferred method for larger hotels and casino’s). Portable steam cleaning machines were riddled with so many inadequacies that they made carpet manufacturers look for something different. These portable machines were not able to produce enough power for proper extraction and the detergents at the time weren’t compatible with rinsing, leaving residues behind causing premature soiling and health related problems. These underpowered portables also left carpets so wet they caused delimitation of the backing (partly operator error). Dry methods, such as Chem-Dry, were invented to cope with water rationing during draught years. The carpet manufacturers found them to just redistribute soil and were only capable of light surface cleaning. Also, “Bonnet Cleaning” (another name for Chem-Dry) equipment is a cheap way to start a carpet cleaning business. Many start-ups choose it because of the ability to offer a method that dries within an hour or two is enticing to consumers. The problem, and the reason it dries so quickly, is that it’s only contacting the surface of the carpet and not cleaning to the bottom of the fibers. In addition, “Bonnet” cleaning can void the manufacturer’s warranty because of the abrasive nature of this method. The tops of the fibers were literally being stripped off, causing fraying and pre-mature traffic patterns. Dry cleaning companies that are looking to stay in business today are having to go to the expense of buying truck-mounted cleaning equipment and educate themselves in proper cleaning methods. We are sure to see dry cleanings demise in the near future. The manufacture of high powered truck-mounted steam cleaners has revolutionized the cleaning processes. The only high power and high heat extraction system, coupled with improved technology in detergents that rinse away and self neutralize is todays safest and most effective cleaning method available, and carpet manufacturers are now recommending it as the preferred method in upholding warranties.
Do you use Chemicals?
That’s a loaded question. When people ask this, given that “pure water” is considered “earths most universal solvent” and most abundant chemical on earth, i think you may be asking: is what you use to break down soiling from oils from your feet, from the dogs coat, from the spilled coffee, the glass of wine, the dog accident…chemically safe? The answer is yes! But it’s not necessarily “yes” when it’s mixed with another cleanser or not properly rinsed away. That’s where we come in. We are 3 decades deep in our expertise and have studied the effects of proper mixing and neurtralizing techniques through professional schooling. We are not only a certified company, but a Certified Firm with the carpet manufacturers nation wide. It’s true! We need detergents to break down soils in flooring and fabrics just as we need shampoo, dish soap, and detergents for our body, dishes and clothes to come clean. Weather organic or man made products (chemicals), they are a necessary part of any cleaning. What you need to know is, do we use them responsibly so there are no effects from them after the cleaning. That answer is yes. As an owner operated team, we are very in touch with our jobs and use a very diciplined method that doesn’t allow for residues to remain. What you will be left with is wetness from our rinse, which is water, squeeky clean, not slippery.
Following the cleaning, it looks like some areas wern’t cleaned, why?
Though we have missed cleaning ENTIRE rooms (Ugh! Usually a side closet or detached room from the rest of the carpet), we rarly leave an area untouched if we’ve been in it to clean that room, but it’s possible. Generally, our method is at least a 5 pass overlapping system minimum, followed by a two step guard and brushing of the carpets. It would be extremely hard for us to miss cleaning a given area so many times without noticing. However, we have found that customers sometimes mistake neglect on our part with a directional cleaning stroke that alters the direction of the carpets nap giving the illusion that the difference in color they see is because we missed that area. This happens mostly around walls and under cabinets. We have to pass along walls going parallel and against the wall in order to clean all the way up to the edge without damage to the wall or paint. Under cabinets, we need to use the angle of our tool to reach under the overhang. However, at some point, we have to shift directions with the cleaning tool that will leave a directional pattern that is lighter or darker in that direction than the prior direction we just switched from. It might show up like we missed getting under the cabinet as the last stroke of the Wand (tool) butts up against where the cabinet starts and not underneath, thought we got it. At the wall, we will not finish our stroke right at the baseboard, but we got it.
In addition, our tool has a finish stroke that patterns many vacuum cleaners marks which is sometimes confused with their prior vacuuming job. What you need to ask yourself is: does the carpet in the “thought” uncleaned area look clean? do you see any hair, dust or debris on the surface? If the answer is no, then the likely answer to the mystery is that it has been cleaned as thoroughly as the rest of the carpets. Please keep in mind, we would be happy to come back, free of charge (of course) if you feel this is not the case and you paid for something you didn’t recieve!
Shoes off inside or not?
This is another myth that will likely change a few patterns in your home. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a good idea to walk bare footed on the carpets. The majority of visible soiling in the form of traffic patterns being established can usually be attributed to the lack of footwear inside. Thats right! Oils from your body transfer directly to the carpets providing a source for particulates it bond to. Once started, it will act like a magnet for the collection of soil. Taking your shoes off at the door is the right thought, but is usually the worst idea. Usually preceding acticivity, your socks are loaded with sweat and oils from your body. Nuf said! The option is to keep indoor shoes available to you at entries and bedside. Socks are fine as long as they don’t follow use for something sweaty.
Will my carpets resoil quicker once I clean them?
The answer should be no! However, we understand there are still many companies using generic cleansers that will attract premature soiling, as well as those that don’t understand the importance of using compatible cleansers that rinse out completely. That is not an issue we have, as stated above.