Cleaning tile, stone, and grout on your floors

For the most part, it is not necessary to seal cermamic and porcelain tiles. Most ceramic and porcelain tiles have a baked glazed surface, and therefore the surface is not very porous. However, natural stone products such as tumbled stone, travertine, and marble are very porous and should be sealed periodically. Additionally, whether or not you have ceramic, porcelain, or natural stone on your floor, your grout is very porous and should be sealed periodically. How often….. you can determine that as a homeowner, by simply putting some drops of water on your natural stone and grout. If the spots darken, then the water is penetrating the material, and it’s time to seal your floor.

After sealing your floor, which should be done by a professional, it’s important to understand which products are suitable for cleaning your tile. You should only use a PH nuetral cleaner to maintain your floor. This will keep your sealer properties at a higher level. Use of any cleaner other than a PH nuetral can cause damage to the sealer, and allow liquids spilled on the floor to penetrate the grout and floor, thus causing spots to appear that may be very difficult to remove. If you have questions about tile and grout cleaning, carpet cleaning, pet accident cleaning, and upholstery cleaning call Sheila at PCS Lake Norman at (704) 663-2787.

You can see the same posting at our sister divsion’s website

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.

How to maintain your carpets

If you have just purchased new carpeting or your just trying to prolong the life of your existing carpet, you should follow your carpet manufacturer’s carpet cleaning guidelines to keep you carpet warranty in effect. You should hire a professional to clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months. Keep the sales receipts! Review the warranty and the carpet maintenance suggestions to make sure your carpet lasts through their warranty period.

Most carpets don’t wear out, they ugly-out! When your carpet loses it shine, it will look dull and worn. Once this has happened, there is no magic that any carpet cleaner can do to bring your carpet back to life. Dirt and soil brought into your house from the outdoors and oils (like from you feet or skin) are the main contributors leading to this condition. The dirt attaches itself to the carpet fibers and begins to scratch the fibers as people and pets walk on it. Make sure that you have a vacuum cleaner that has enough power to get the dirt out of your fibers (see below for more on your vacuum cleaner).

When it comes to choosing a carpet cleaning company, some are definitely more reputable than others. Be careful who you hire. Hiring the company with the lowest price may not be the smartest answer. If the cost is too good to be true, then it probably isn’t the best solution. An inexperienced carpet cleaner may do more damage than good. Too much moisture in your carpet may not dry quickly enough and lead to mold and mildew odors. Worse yet, it may lead to delamination of the backing, a process in which the primary and secondary backing of the carpet begins to break down, thus separating the fibers from the backing of the carpet.

Also, dry cleaning methods (not recommended by the manufacturers), will only clean the top 16 – 20% of the fiber and leave residues in the fibers that will scratch and abraid the fibers causing premature “ugly out” conditions in high wear areas. A bad carpet cleaning job can void your carpet warranty and ruin your carpet.

How ofter should you vacuum your carpets?

A rule of thumb is to vaccum your carpets once a week for every individual that lives in your house. If you have three people in your house then vacuum three times a week. However, even vacuuming everyday won’t help if you don’t have a good vacuum cleaner. If your vacuum is not doing a good enough job, the dirt that penetrates the nap of your carpet will scratch or abraid the fibers. Abrasion is a main contributor of carpet wear. You’ll see it most prevalent in high traffic areas such as hallways, main walkways throughout your house, and stairs. These are the areas that “ugly out” the quickest and should be vacuumed most frequently. Carpet fibers can only tolerate a certain amount of abrasion before they start matting down and wearing your carpets.

If you have children that are active, they can significantly increase the wear and tear of your carpet, by forcing dirt and debris further into the nap of your carpet. This is another good reason to have a high quality vacuum cleaner that has a significant suction power to remove particles deep into you nap.

Check the mechanical parts of your vacuum and clean them.

The vacuum cleaners motor creates suction and rotates the the beater bar which lifts the carpet fibers, and loosens the particles from deep inside the carpet, allowing these particles to be more easily suctioned up into the vacuum dust bag or dirt receptacle.

The beater bar should be checked monthly for build-up of debris, which should be carefully removed from the brushes on the beater bar.

Check the drive belts to make sure that are moving the beater bar appropriately. The brush bristles also wear out over time and may need to replaced over time.

Taking care of your carpets in between professional cleaning will lead to a healthier environment for you and your family and extend the life of your carpets, and save you a lot of money in replacement cost in the long run.

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.

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.

Surviving hurricane Irene

I hope everone up and down the east coast made it through Irene with their health. We’ve been through several of these natural disasters in the past (Hugo, Northridge earthquake, Wittier Narrows earthquake, and countless fire), but this one did not seem as distructive. Always important to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

In the aftermath, if you had water damage make sure to take proactive measures to prevent mold and sustain a healthy environment. Don’t wait, if you suspect that you have damages in your crawl space, your subfloor, your padding and carpet, and especially in your HVAC system and walls, call a professional to come out and mitigate your circumstances. Look for the obvious, standing water, musty odors, and wet walls. Mold will hide in places that you never see. If you see or sense any symptoms, it’s time to act. Your health is most important.

If you have any questions, call Sheila at (704) 663-2787 and she’ll help point you in the right direction.

Make sure to look at our available coupons for great savings on water damage restoration, carpet cleaning, area rug cleaning, carpet repairs, tile cleaning, upholstery cleaning, pet accident and pet odor treatment.

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.