Carpet cleaning and selling your home

If you’re selling your home, you’re in good company: everyone else is too. Problem is that with all the competition, you need to do everything that will give your house the edge over others. When people come into your house, the first things they see are the walls and the carpet. Having your carpet cleaned is one of the ways to increase the interior curb appeal without spending a lot of money.

If you have a lot of kids and animals and lots of spills, having your carpet cleaned before having prospective buyers over will be a must. When you live in a house with smell–not necessarily really bad ones, just the normal ones–you get accustomed to them and don’t notice that they’re there. Having your carpet cleaned will give your house a fresh neutral smell.

It’s true that home buyers look at kitchens and bathrooms consciously when shopping, but the carpet only registers unconsciously. Nevertheless, a clean carpet will tell potential home buyers that you have cared about your home and this will influence them whether they realize it or not. If you have pet odors especially, you can almost kiss the sale goodbye. A clean carpet is the best way to make the house feel like new.

Written by, Derek Beyer.

Berber carpets and their application

Berber carpets are possibly the oldest variety of carpet on earth, going back thousands of years. Their main feature is a loop pile, which is simply a continuous loop of material. Berber carpets come in a variety of materials, including nylon and olefin. They are considered the most durable of carpets, and thus are favored in office buildings, schools, and other places in which durability is a top priority. Their durability derives from the looping which is more robust than, say, cut pile shag carpets which are prone to premature wear from foot traffic and furniture.

Another plus of Berber carpet is that it hides dirt very well, because it is often speckled. Because the pile is not thick, they do not trap allergens as easily. Finally Berber carpets are reasonably priced. Put all these things together and you have a great choice for a carpet, residential or otherwise.

Care of Berber carpets is relatively straightforward. If the carpet gets stained make sure that the stain is soaked up as soon as possible. Fortunately the construction of Berbers makes that easy. Making sure that your Berber is vacuumed regularly is another way to get the most out of it. Because Berbers do not show dirt as easily, it is easy to fall into the habit of putting vacuuming off. Your vacuum should not be the agitating variety, either. The agitating brush can damage the loop over the long term. Finally, as always, have your Berber professionally cleaned regularly. More often for commercial Berbers and once a year for residential Berbers.

Written by, Derek Beyer.

Health benefits of a clean carpet

Carpeting is not just for looks, it’s important for your health as well. But you have to make a commitment to keep it clean.

Air in an enclosed area is dirtier than outdoor air as a rule and this means that keeping that air ventilated is important. Naturally air filters will do a lot of the work, but carpets are filters of a sort. Many things like pollen and dust settle onto the floor eventually. Keeping carpeted areas vacuumed daily or at least weekly will do much of the job. But eventually that dust and other allergens will accumulate and it will be necessary to have the carpet cleaned.

In fact, having your carpet cleaned regularly is of great value for your health. How often will depend on what kind of carpet and how it is used. Commercial carpet will need to be cleaned regularly, as often as once a month in cases of businesses like restaurants. Other businesses can get away with quarterly, and sometimes every 6 months, but more than that will not be adequate.

Residential carpets will not need a cleaning as often as a business, but if you get a lot of traffic, or if there are any people in the house that are prone to allergies, you might consider once every six months. Otherwise once a year should do the job.

Written by, Derek Beyer.

Should I choose underlayment for my carpet or not

Underlayment is the thin spongy material that carpet layers put under carpet. Usually it’s called padding or cushion but underlayment is the industry term . They can be used for any number of things: they make walking on them easier on the feet, they can absorb sounds so people upstairs cannot hear you walking.

Padding your carpet will protect your carpet from wearing down, and it’s not difficult to see why. Constant foot traffic mashing directly on the carpet and the floor simply breaks the backing.

When you buy padding, it should be about as thick as the carpet itself. A berber carpet with a thick padding will be too springy. Likewise a thin cushion under a shag carpet will be ineffective. Padding density ranges from 6 pounds / cubic foot for residential carpets and 8 pounds / cubic foot for commercial carpets.

As a rule, you should not use underlayment on commercial carpet, except for the reasons mentioned above. For instance you might want padding in a lobby. Also if you have employees who are on their feet all day, like in a department store, you might think about padding. Also note that commercial carpet padding is entirely different from residential padding, and if you have it installed, make sure you’re getting the right one.

Written by, Derek Beyer.

Things to think about if you are buying commercial carpet

Carpeting is a long term decision for anyone, but it’s particularly important if you own a business, because that carpet is going to create a first impression on your customers. Not having the right carpet could mean fewer return customers.

The first consideration is how much foot traffic the carpet is going to get. But just as important is where they will be walking and what about the high traffic areas.  Restaurants get lots of traffic around the front door and in and out of the kitchen. Some businesses like department stores do not even carpet the high traffic areas.

Next you need to know what it will cost to replace the carpet when it wears out. Commercial carpet usually gets a lot more use and replacement cost is not trivial. Often people go with carpet tiles because you only need to replace the tiles as they wear out. They can be a good choice but they are not necessarily the prettiest.

Then you need to decide on the color of the carpet. Make sure it goes with the rest of the decor, and also what kind of mood you are trying to set. You might not want something too bright for a physician’s office for example.

Last but not least you will need to consider how much you have to spend. It’s best to not skimp here, but we realize you’re not made of money. Not every carpet is high quality, but you can be certain that if the carpet is cheap, it will not last.

 

Written by, Derek Beyer.

Cleaning carpet tiles

Carpet tiles, also known as carpet squares, are currently the most popular form of commercial carpeting. One of the biggest appeals of carpet tiles is that when one (or a set of them in the same area) wear out, all you have to do is replace the ones that are worn.

One problem with carpet tiles is if they are not resistant to water. This means that if the backing gets moisture behind it, the tile can be ruined. There is no drying like you can with a broadloom. Low moisture cleaning methods are great for carpet tiles for this very reason.

As with all carpets, regular vacuuming is essential for the longevity of the carpet. As for measures against stains, putting baking soda on the stain before it dries, then vacuuming it up often works.

 

Written by, Derek Beyer.

Carpet cleaning in restaurants

Carpet cleaning in restaurants is different from other types of commercial carpet cleaning. The most salient quality about carpets in restaurants is that they get the most traffic of just about any type of business.  Combine that with the fact that you are dealing with food and beverages which stain easily. Finally, add in the fact that many of the stains are oil and grease based, and you have a perfect storm for a carpet that gets dirty fast.

We have found that water based cleaning methods are not so effective for restaurants, simply because the greasy character of the soiling. The hot water just doesn’t cut it. With a low moisture method, we can customize the cleaning with special grease cutting pre-treatments and cleansing solutions that are great to work with. These solutions also kill bacteria that make the carpet stink.

Ways to prevent dirty carpets are using mats in high traffic areas, especially where servers come out of the kitchen area. And of course, daily vacuuming is essential. It won’t pull up the grease, but it will keep the dirt from creating a mess that can damage the carpet fibers permanently.

Keeping your restaurant carpet clean is not only necessary for the good of the carpet, but it helps client retention.

Written by, Derek Beyer.

Should an old carpet be cleaned or replaced?

Like all other things in this world, carpets get dirty and they get old. Having your carpet cleaned regularly will help make it last longer, but the day will come when it will have to be replaced. How do you know when that time comes? Here are a few guidelines:

  • If the carpet still looks unclean after a professional carpet cleaning by a reputable carpet cleaning company, it will probably never be effectively cleaned again.
  • If the carpet is matted, i.e. it looks “crushed”. Carpets made of synthetic fibers are made to be resilient to pounding, but once they lay flat, they can never be revived.
  • If your carpet has stains that cannot be removed. Again, synthetic carpets made today are manufactured to resist staining, but they will eventually lose that property
  • If  your carpet is beginning to get rips and tears. Rips and tears can be fixed to a degree, but if they start happening more frequently, it means something else is wrong–usually the carpet backing or padding.

Note that there are times that the carpet should be replaced if it is not at the end of its life. For instance, if you are selling your house you may want to replace the carpet even it has a few years left in it. Another problem is with pet stains. If your animals have been going on the carpet for a long time and the stains have not been removed, the carpet may not look bad but will be unusable.

Written by, Derek Beyer.
 

The Various carpet cleaning methods

Carpet cleaning is not something you hear about in the news all the time, so when it comes time to get your carpet cleaned, most people don’t know enough about the various carpet cleaning methods to be able to understand what they’re getting themselves into. This article will describe briefly the major ways that professional carpet cleaners get their job done.

The most popular method is the so called steam cleaning method. This is a bit of a misnomer because there is no steam involved in the method. The term of art in the industry is “hot water extraction” or HWE for short, but there is in fact a little steam that rises from the hot water. This method involves spraying the carpet with a cleaning solution and passing a nozzle with a jet of hot water injecting the hot water into the carpet and having the dirty water sucked up by a water extracting vacuum. HWE is popular and effective, but it’s not the only game in town. Dry times are considerable in relation to other methods (2 – 6 hours).

Shampoo cleaning involves applying a shampoo to the carpet, then using an agitator machine to work the shampoo into the carpet. Afterward the carpet is allowed to dry and the shampoo absorbs the dirt so it can be vacuumed up. Shampoo cleaning has it’s defenders, but it’s not a particularly common method, mostly because other methods have superceded it. Expect at least 3 hours dry time.

One method that is rather controversial is called the dry cleaning method, which involves sprinkling a powder that supposedly attracts dirt to it like a magnet, and is then vacuumed up. There is no moisture at all involved in this method so when they say dry they mean it. This is a product that is also available in popular store brands and for upholstery cleaning. Frankly, the jury is still out on this one as far as effectiveness. Some people swear by it. Others say it’s almost worthless.

The final major method is called Very Low Moisture or VLM or sometimes LM. This method involves spraying a solution onto the carpet and allowing a set time. The carpet is then agitated with a machine that looks like the professional floor buffers you see in commercial buildings. As the solution dries, it crystallizes, and is them vacuumed up. VLM has become popular in recent years as the chief rival to HWE because it is versatile and fast. Dry times are typically 1-2 hours.

You should ask what type of method your professional carpet cleaner uses before you commit to the job.

Written by, Derek Beyer.

Carpet cleaning myths Part II

Here is a continuation of the first in the series Carpet Cleaning Myths.

  • Carpet cleaning machines are tough on carpet so you should have your carpet cleaned as least often as possible. It’s difficult to see where this one got started. We will be honest and admit that carpet cleaning machines can look exotic and powerful, and this is perhaps how people came to this incorrect conclusion. The reality is that a regular carpet cleaning will only help your carpet.
  • Having my carpet cleaned will remove it’s stain resistance. It is partially true that having the carpet cleaned will at least wear away some of the stain resistance, but this will be true after regular usage. Additionally, stain resistors are only stopgap measures for the periods between when you have your carpet cleaned. They are not supposed to be a permanent answer to soiling. Finally, carpet cleaners can apply a stain resistant treatment to your carpet after it has been properly cleaned.
  • All carpet cleaners are about the same quality. That may be true for lawn cutters or similar occupations, but with carpet cleaners there is a wide spectrum of experience and capability. That is not to say that the more expensive the better the carpet cleaning, but that it simply is not as easy as it looks.
  • Carpet cleaning machines you rent at the grocery store are just as good as professional carpet cleaners. This is similar to the previous point. The machines can be similar — hot water extraction. But those rental machines do not have the power to get the job done. And when you consider how important the pre-vacuum treatment is — and how important it is to use a professional calibre vacuum cleaner — you will realize that while you can save a few bucks on a cheap rental, you will not be doing yourself or your carpet any favors.

Written by, Derek Beyer.