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imagesCA0NZYGS.jpgThis is our opportunity to describe the Professional Cleaning process.

People don’t always realize the value of a sound, knowledgeable carpet-cleaning professional. It’s very important to ask the right questions and do the research to save yourself from future headaches.


If you’re finding that no matter how much you vacuum, your carpet still does not look like it used to, it may be time for a deep cleaning. While there are do-it-yourself cleaning methods on the market, hiring a professional may be the safest, fastest and easiest option.

Decisions, Decisions...Why have your carpets cleaned? Dirt is an abrasive-like sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind dirt into the carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife. This cutting causes your carpet to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last as long as a clean carpet. While vacuuming helps - by itself, it's simply not enough.  The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out. The only reason to clean your carpets is not dirt. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust and hundreds of other chemicals. When you come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all of those chemicals and toxins wind up in your carpet. If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems - one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus smoke and chemicals in your carpet.

How often should you clean your carpets?  The biggest enemy of carpet is dirt. Soiled carpets wear out faster because foot traffic grinds dirt into fibers, causing them to fray. Then fibers unwind and mat together like dirty hair on a stray dog. The most effective defense against this kind of carpet wear is frequent cleaning. Carpets should be professionally cleaned at least once, preferably twice, a year.

Clean your carpet and you clean your air...What the experts have to say: Carpet cleanliness can improve indoor air quality which is often 10 to 100 times worse than outdoor air. Indoor air quality, a growing government and consumer concern, is forcing contract cleaners to focus on health as well as appearance. When properly maintained, carpet can improve indoor air quality, acting as a filter to hold soil, debris and other contaminants, and preventing them from becoming airborne. Routine carpet maintenance includes controlling the spread of dirt with entry mats, vacuuming with proper filtration and micro filter bags, and immediate spot removal. Regular vacuuming helps keep indoor air cleaner and extends carpet life. Vacuums have improved via stronger and better suction and use of filters that trap dirt down to 0.3 micron (a micron is one-millionth of a meter). It is equally important to regularly clean or replace vacuum filters to ensure efficiency. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also recognizes the effect of regular carpet cleaning on indoor air. Cleaning includes regularly scheduled wet cleaning or extraction for total soil removal. Truck Mount Extraction cleaning is the most effective way to remove soil. Remember, carpet is a filter, clean your carpet - clean your air.


Steam Clean versus Dry Clean...What's the difference? The dry cleaning methods - which are dry foam, dry chemicals, and dry compound - do not rinse your carpet in any way. You might say they clean your carpet only halfway. The most effective cleaning method is hot water extraction as the primary method of cleaning carpets, along with an  approved firm. Carpet cleaners use one of two types of hot water extraction. If they use a large unit that operates from a van or truck outside your facility, it's called truck-mount extraction. If they use a small unit that can be brought inside, it's called portable extraction. Shaw's first choice is the truck-mounted unit-and it recommends the small, portable unit only in areas where the truck-mounted unit won't reach.


Carpet Protector: What is it and what does it do for your carpets: Carpet & Fabric Protectors give you an "Invisible Shield" as it replaces and enhances factory stain protection and extends the life and cleaning cycles of fabrics and carpets.  Carpet Protectors improve fibers' resistance to oil-and water-based stains, as well as soiling from everyday use.  Under "normal" conditions and with reasonable care, carpet & fabric protectors will provide long lasting benefits.  Research has shown that carpet protector is very durable to foot traffic.  However, performance will diminish somewhat over time with each steam cleaning.  Carpet Protector should be reapplied by a professional carpet cleaner after the second or third steam cleaning.  Reapplying after every cleaning can only enhance the protective properties of the treatment.  Regular vacuuming is essential.  Carpet protector helps keep dry soil and oily residues from sticking to the carpet fibers.  This makes routine vacuuming more efficient and delays the need for a general steam cleaning.  Carpet protector manufacturers recommend professional steam cleaning and carpet protection reapplication after 2 to 3 steam cleanings.


 Why You Should Have Teflon® Advanced Applied After Cleaning

Stop Dirt and Stains in Their Tracks.

Over time the mill-applied carpet protectors can loose their effectiveness. This is due to the fibers being abraded during foot traffic. Although the fluorochemical treatments are very good, it is believed that they need to be replenished after approximately 2 years, especially in high-traffic areas. The fluorochemical applied in the mill can wear off over time, and portions of the fiber can be exposed during abrasion that were not exposed during the mill treatment.  The application of Teflon® Advanced after cleaning will ensure that the performance of the fiber will be maintained.  We recommend that Teflon® Advanced be applied after every cleaning.

Forms an invisible shield around each fiber
  • Repels liquid spills
  • The best soil protection for all types of carpets Helps carpets last longer
  • Protects your carpet investment
  • Helps make carpets easier to care for
  • Safe around family and pets

    How to avoid common carpet cleaning rip-off's,
    no matter where you live:

    Unbelievably Low Advertised Prices...Too good to be true?  To some degree, all of us are attracted by a lower prices because we want to work within a budget. But some carpet cleaners use low price as the bait for their false and misleading advertising. They offer a cheap price - usually between 3.95 and 9.95 per room - and then, once they're in your home, they pressure you into buying "add-ons." It's as if you were buying a car and found that the dealer was charging you extra for the tires and steering wheel. Carpet cleaning is not as cheap as some unethical carpet cleaners would like you to believe.  Dual Process carpet cleaning describes the process of shampooing or heavy preconditioning, followed with hot water extraction cleaning. Unfortunately, unethical carpet cleaners often use dual process as a bait-and-switch technique. Here's how it's done: First, they "bait" you with a basic cleaning (single process) at an unbelievably low price. Then, when you call, they try to "switch" you to a more expensive dual-process service, you'll likely receive poor workmanship using little or no chemical and they will not guarantee their work. get what you pay for!

    How to Choose a Carpet Cleaner... Perhaps the best way to select a carpet-cleaning professional is through references from friends and family. A glowing endorsement can provide great peace of mind. But, if you don’t know anyone with recommendations, request references from the company. A reputable cleaning professional should have available a list of satisfied clients or businesses that use their services. Also, the local Better Business Bureau can act as a reliable source of information on the cleaning company’s history.
    Be cautious of any company contacting you over the phone or one that is canvassing your neighborhood. Also, be wary of any company that advertises a cleaning price by the room without stating a minimum room size, as room sizes vary and charges should be based on the total area cleaned. Some companies advertise the use of brand name cleaning products or chemicals; however, it should be noted that this does not necessarily suggest an affiliation with those companies or added credibility for the cleaning service.

    The Interview
    Once you have identified one or two companies, we suggest conducting an informal interview to make sure you are dealing with a qualified, professional cleaner. Here are some questions you can ask:

    • How long has the company been in business or a part of its current community? The answer can speak volumes about its reputation and experience.
    • What formal training is required for the company’s management and cleaning technicians? A reputable company should require that employees receive training certification from recognized national companies or organizations and participate in continuing education programs.
    • What are the basic services offered and what constitutes an extra charge? 
    • What type of cleaning method should be used? 

    When the technician arrives, have them inspect your carpet for problem spots or extremely soiled areas. Discuss in detail the exact services that are needed.
    Signing the Contract or Invoice
    After all decisions are made but before work begins, you should secure a written contract or invoice that confirms the total price, as well as statements of guarantees that the cleaning company offers. Carefully scrutinize the laundry list of services to be performed.
    While there are more than 35,000 reputable, ethical and good carpet cleaning professionals in the United States, it is helpful to arm yourself with these tips to ensure a quality job. Although it may be tempting to base your decision on price alone, it is not advisable. Consider all aspects of the company to get the full picture.

    How to Prepare for your Professional Carpet Cleaning:  Before the technician arrives make sure all small, breakable items are removed from tables, dressers, etc. Remove any items from under tables and beds that are to be cleaned under. Point out any stubborn spots to the technician, so they may be properly pretreated. Pre-vacuum your carpets to ensure a better clean, so that there are no small particles that will be obstructing the cleaning wand. 

    During your Professional Carpet Cleaning:

    SPOTS AND STAINS: Not all stains can be removed completely, even with the aid of professional spotting agents. Due to dye characteristics, pH effects, oxidation and other reactions, some spots may not be completely removed.
    AIR FILTRATION LINES: (dark lines that often appear around the wall edges and under doorways): It is difficult to predict how filtration lines will respond to cleaning, for they are a combination of excess soil and discoloration due to various gasses passing over the carpet. The soil will be removed, however the remaining discoloration may still be quite noticeable.
    TRAFFIC AREAS: More heavily soiled areas often show some degree of minor discoloration after cleaning. This will vary depending on the amount of use, type and color of carpet and general wear.
    SAFETY: For health and safety reasons, always keep small children and pets off of freshly treated carpets and out of the way of the technician during the clean.

    After your Professional Carpet Cleaning:

    Damp Carpet: It is best to stay off of damp carpet as much as possible both to avoid soil tracking and to allow the pile to dry in its "up" position. If you walk directly on the damp carpet, it is best not to wear shoes, only white socks.
    Drying Time:
    Drying time will be 2 to 6 hours, depending on the fiber and degree of soiling. If the carpet was treated with a protector, allow 24 hours for curing.
    Furniture Blocks:
    Plastic squares and Styrofoam blocks found under any furniture should be left in place for about 48 hours or until the carpet is completely dry.
    Increased air circulation will aid you in carpet drying. Consider opening windows if the humidity is low outside. Remember cool air circulating promotes drying.
    When you vacuum you should vacuum 20-30 strokes in high traffic areas to pull the dirt from under the carpet. This will extend the life of your carpet!


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