Who is the IICRC and why should I use an IICRC accredited business to clean my carpets, area rugs, and upholstered furniture?

The IICRC is the governing oranizaion over the carpet cleaning industry. They have a committee that creates and revises the IICRC standards which establish proceedures for the carpet cleaning process (also tile cleaning, hardwood cleaning, area rug cleaning, pet treatments, odor control, green products, and more). Also, the IICRC is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards developing organization. All of the IICRC Standards have gone through the ANSI accredidation prcess.

In addition to the creation and revision of standards, the IICRC also supports educational efforts by members. If you hire a member IICRC Carpet Cleaning Company then you are hiring an educated carpet cleaner. With the large variety of carpet fibers and protection products being used to condition the carpet fibers, it’s critical to have a professional carpet cleaner that understands the appropriate cleaning chemicals and protection chemicals to use for your application. Next time you call a Carpet Cleaner, ask them if they are IICRC approved. Look them up on the IICRC website to assure that they are in good standing. Visit the IICRC website at www.iicrc.org. (Now known as The Clean Trust)

Does your carpet need stain guard treatment?

This is a very important topic when it comes to protecting that large investment of carpet installed in your house. People spend a lot of money on carpet and should understand how to maintain it. To often people take that investment for granted and neglect it. Buying carpet for your house is no different than buying a car. You want the car to last….right? You don’t want to have to buy a new car after year or two (we’ll leave the people who lease car’s out of this discussion). Therefore, you take your car in to have service performed in order to maintain it. The same goes with your carpet. Unless you take care of it’s maintenance needs, you will be buying new carpet before you know it. One major consideration is stain guard treatment. Stain guard treatment is critical to the maintenance of your carpet. Some carpets don’t require it. Most carpet fibers have dye sites in the fibers which allow the carpet to be colored during the dyeing process. However, not all of the dye sites are colored with a stain. Some manufacturers use an anionic negatively charged colorless resin to cover the unstained dye sites called an acid dye blocker. This is common to many stainmaster and wear dated fibers. As a consumer, it is important to know this becasue if those dye sites are exposed and left unprotected, the fiber can easily be stained by household products many household products found in your refrigerator and cleaning cabinets. If your carpet doesn’t have an acid dye blocker it is important to have a stain guard treatment applied to your carpet after having it professionally cleaned. Therefore, before you have your carpet cleaning company come to your house to clean your carpeting and area rugs, review your warranty guide to determine if it necessary to have stain guard treatment applied to your carpets and area rugs. If it’s required, make sure that you spend the money necessary to have stain guard treatment applied. It’s much less expensive than replacing your carpet.

Controlling pet odors using disinfectants

People will often use disinfectants to combat pet odors, only to have the odor return. Disinfectants will create temporary relief, but will not permanantly eliminate pet odors. During the urine’s stagnant stage, the disinfectant will reduce the amount of odor causing bacteria, but as soon as the antimicrobial subsides the odor causing bacteria will be to quickly multiply, thus bring back the odor. See my other posts on eliminating odor causing bacteria for effectively controlling pet odors.

Pet odor removal

In order to eliminate pet odors, it’s critical to understand the chemistry of pet odors.

Pet urine is the most common cause of pet odors. Urine is composed of water, excess proteins, hormones, inorganic salts, urea, uric acid, and a natural pigment called urochrome. There are three catagories/stages of urine. 1) The fresh accident. 2) In the 2nd stage the bacteria split proteins cause an offensive odor. As urine decomposes it’s PH level turns from acid to alkaline. 3) In the 3rd stage the water completely evaportes and leaves residual alkaliine salt. These salts are hygroscopic which means that they attract atmospheric moisture which causes odor to be released to the air.

In order to effectively decontaminate the urine and accompanying odor, we must remove the dried salts. Since urine is normally alkaline, to remove it we must clean the urine contamination on the acidic side. Therefore an acid rinse is recommended for the initial pretreatment of soft surfaces such as carpet, upholstery, and area rugs. This step suppresses urine related odor, dissolves and dislodges urine salts and fecal deposits.

The two primary options for removing urine contamination are encapsulation and bio-enzymatic digestion. In the encapsulation method, as the name suggests, the solvent surrounds and encapsulates the contamination, rendering it odoless. The bio-enzymatic digestion method involves using an enzyme which digests matter durng the deodorization process.

Complete odor removal in severe urine and pet odor removal may require other techniques including the removal of carpet cushion, and sealing surfaces such as subfloors with a non vapor coating. These methods are extreme and somewhat costly, so it is important to deal with the situation early on to minimize your cost. Some pets, especially cats, are attracted to their smell and will continually go back to the same area, so resolve the situation early.

Updated carpet cleaning coupons for the Lake Norman area

The new carpet cleaning coupons have been posted on our website at . This is a great time of the year to get excellant deals as many of the carpet cleaners are lowering their prices. Call now at 704-663-2787 to take advantage of thes great deals before the holiday season begins.

As Fall arives I want to thank all of our loyal customers who had carpet cleaning, area rug cleaning, upholstered furniture cleaning, ducts and dryer vents cleaning, tile cleaning, pet accident cleaning, pet odor treatment, and water damage services performed by us this past summer. We will continue to reward your loyal support with great deals during the fall and winter months! Call Sheila in October 2011 to make your arrangements before the holiday season arrives so that we can reserve your appointment early.

Spills, spills, spills

The key to resolving spills is to react quickly. Spills can be minimized or completely eliminated if they are treated immediately. Go to our spot removal guide in our client services area and look up the type of spill that you have. If you are not sure call Sheila at (704) 663-2787 and she may be able to help you resolve the spill without spending a lot of money.

Do it yourself carpet cleaing?

It’s understandabe that many people will go out and rent or buy an inexpensive carpet cleaning machine in order to save money on carpet cleaning, area rug cleaning, and upholstery cleaning (not recommended for tile and grout cleanin). And maybe that is all you can afford to do. That fact of the matter is that most of these machines lack the power that is needed to deep clean your carpets. Yes, you may remove the bladder that holds the waste water and see that it is dirty, but did that really remove all of the dirt that is deep down in your carpet or upholstery? If you are using a rental unit, you may want to continue to clean until you see that the waste water is relatively clean. Even then, you may not be getting out the dirt or soil that has ventured it’s way to the bottom of your carpet. Some of these units just lack the power to deep clean your carpet, area rugs, and even your upholstered furniture.

It’s critical to make sure that you do not overuse the cleaning product that you are using to clean your carpets. If you do not have a machine that is powerful enough to remove all of the soap that you applied to your carpet, and residue gets left behind in your carpet, it will cause more problems down the road. Soap particles that are left in the carpet attract soil. Soil scratches or abraids the fibers and will lead to conditions that will cause your carpets wear out sooner. Many of the carpet manufacturers will only warrant your carpet if it has been professionally cleaned by the water extraction method every 12-18 months (make sure that you keep documentation if your are professionally cleaning your carpet).

You may save money in the short run by using rental equipment or buying a carpet cleaning machine, but it may cost you much more money in the long run. It’s much easier to absorb a $100-200 carpet, rug or tile cleaning job done by a professional, than absorbing the cost to repace your carpet which may cost thousands of dollars. Don’t be penny-wise at the expense of being pound foolish. Also, it’s important to spend a little extra money to have a stain guard treatment applied to your carpet after it has been cleaned. Some carpets do not require stain guard treatment (such as solution dyed fibers), so check the type of carpet that you have to verify whether or not stain guard teatment is needed.

Think your pets are the source of your cleaning problems?

We love our pets, we treat them like our children. We tell them how much we love them, and we scold them when they are bad. We also have to potty train them like our children. Unlike our children that wear diapers, our pets don’t wear protection and are frequently left unattended in our homes. So when they have an accident, the best way to save your flooring is to call a professional to come out and clean up the accident. Some accidents are minor, which most homeowners try to take care of themselves, but others are more invasive and require a professional with special chemicals to properly remove the accident and save your flooring from irrepairable damage. Yes, it can be costly to have a professional come out and clean your carpet, area rug, ceramic tile and grout, couch, or chair. However if it’s not done in a timely manner, your going to incur a larger expense by replacing your flooring sooner than later.

Although our pets are the most obvious and visible reason for the wear and tear on our carpet, area rugs, and hardwood floors, there is another danger out there lurking around our homes that is less visible and tends to go unattended. The soil that is tracked in our house by our kids, our friends, our pets, and our shoes is a danger to our floors that will destroy our floors and lead to costly expenses in repairs and replacement. Soemtimes, it is not as visible as a pet accident, and it hides itself extremely well in carpet. Left alone it will destroy your flooring. It acts like an abraisive that will scratch your hardwood floor and abraid your carpet fibers creating the dreaded “Ugly out” or “Brown out” condition that can never be restored. Sweep and vacuum your hardwoods and carpets on a regular basis. A couple of times a week if necessary. Use only recommended cleaning products for normal maintenance. And call a professional, when the situation warrants. You will save yourself a lot more in the long run.

Extend the life of your carpet – get the wrinkles out !

Does your carpet have wrinkles in it?

This is an unfortunate issue that many people have with their carpet. Besides the fact that it looks terrible, it’s also a safety hazard. Fixing the problem may be less of an inconvenience and a financial burden than having someone in your household become injured.

There are several causes behind this problem, the biggest one being that the carpet wasn’t properly strected per Carpet and Rug Institute guidelines when it was originally installed. However, there are other circumstances that can lead to this condition. Most carpet installers only warranty their installation for a year, so in all likelyhood, you’ll have to pay for someone to come out and stretch your carpet to get rid of the wrinkles. If you find wrinkles in your carpet within the first year, it easy to discover whether it was an installation issue or not. If you pull back one side of the carpet where it was attached to the tack strip, you should see elongated holes from the tack strip. If the holes are round and small, then your carpet was not properly stretched upon installation.

We’ve found this condition occur in a large amount of houses in subdivisions like Northstone, Wynfield, The Hamptons, Cedarfield, and Birkdale in the Huntersville area; Davidson Landing, River Run, and The Farm in Davidson; Linwood Farms, The Farms, Bay Crossing, Wildlife Bay, and The Pointe in Mooresville, and various subdivisions in Denver, NC.

It’s not inexpensive to have a professional come in and get the wrinkles out of your carpet, but it can certainly extend the life of your carpet and help you create a healthier living arrangement. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call us at (704) 663-2787 and we’ll get you in the schedule as soon as possible. Then consider having your carpet and area rugs cleaned when the repair is finished.

Neighborhood specials

Sheila will be putting out flyers in specific neighborhoods for unbelievable deals for on the spot carpet cleaning while we’re in your neighborhood. Just fill out the form, tape it to your front door and we’ll be there that day to clean your carpets. These deals are priced so low that we can only afford to do them that day while we’re in your neighborhood.
While we’re there, make sure to ask the technician about area rug cleaning, duct cleaning, tile cleaning, upholstered furniture cleaning, carpet restretching (get the wrinkles out), car interior cleaning, and dryer vent cleaning.