There are tons of guys out there who call themselves carpet cleaners. But for better or for worse, the bar to entering the business is pretty low which means just about anyone with a machine and a truck to put it into can call themselves a “professional.” Knowing what to look for can help you from getting one of the incompetent ones.
First of all, avoid all those “10 rooms for $10” specials you have probably seen on those little signs stuck in the grass at large intersections. When the service guy gets there, you will find out that the “special” doesn’t include any cleaning solution and he will only clean with plain water. (You may think that’s crazy but that is how they work.) As with all things, you get what you pay for.
Ask your carpet cleaning company what steps they take when cleaning. Do they move the furniture? If so, is it extra? Do they vacuum thoroughly before doing the job (very important!)? Also, make sure they do a good walk-through before committing, so they know what to expect.
The most important and most obvious point is: how long have they been in business. It takes about 5 years to get pretty good at carpet cleaning, and at 10 they are just about experts. If you can find one that has been in the business 20 years, you’ll often be getting ninja level service. Now, that doesn’t mean that the longer you’ve been in business the better the service experience, because there are still unscrupulous providers out there. Nevertheless it’s the best thing to look for first.
Knowing what cleaning method your carpet cleaner is using is something you should also look at, but that statement must be qualified. Most people think of hot water cleaning when they think of carpet cleaning, and if that is the method you want you have a right to ask for that. However, there are other methods, –low moisture methods– which do not use hot water and are just as good or better than hot water extraction. So remember, be open minded and don’t dismiss your carpet cleaner if he doesn’t use hot water cleaning.
As a rule, the more questions you ask, the better you will be to gauge their reaction. If it seems that they cannot answer your questions, or act like your questions are a nuisance, move on to the next guy.
Written by, Derek Beyer.