FAQ about carpet services
Here we have provided sensible answers to the questions we are asked most frequently. If you don't see the answer to your question, feel free to call us and we will make every effort to assist you.
Q: I get coupons all the time for really low whole house rates. What is the difference
between you and those guys?
A: Don't be discouraged from reading the answer because of its length. The cleaning method you choose coupled with the expertise of the technician is the most important factor in determining the results of your cleaning service. The method matters! A thorough cleaning is achieved by utilizing as many of the following cleaning factors as possible. A cleaning agent, agitation to distribute the cleaning agent, heat to activate the cleaning agent, dwell time to allow the cleaning agent to work, a liquid or other medium to hold the soil and cleaning agent in suspension and an effective way to remove the soil and cleaning agent from the material.
Bonnet dry cleaning as well as dry powder cleaning offer some of these cleaning factors in one form or another with minimal to moderate effectiveness. These methods are best utilized for light surface cleaning -- for example, a monthly maintenance cleaning in an office environment. Dry cleaning-whether by bonnet, powder, or granule-is NOT considered deep restorative cleaning.
However, hot water extraction (HWE) offers all of the cleaning factors plus water pressure to help separate soil from the material it's adhered to. Hot water extraction kills many germs and serves as a disinfecting agent. We all know that hot water cleans better than lukewarm water. If dry cleaning produced a result comparable to hot water extraction then of course, dry cleaning would make some sense. Think of it in terms of your laundry. Dry cleaning carpet is like washing clothes with a dry cloth and soap. In fact, unbiased industry experts continue to point out that the only benefit of dry/bonnet cleaning is a rapid dry time. A bit extra dry time is a small price to pay to have your carpets thoroughly deep cleaned . Dry cleaners often warn people of "molding" and "soaked padding". Is it possible for that to happen using hot water extraction? Absolutely, just as it is also possible for a poorly trained, inexperienced, or apathetic technician to damage your carpet using a dry cleaning method!
The bottom line is this: Hot water extraction by a certified technician is recommended by almost every major carpet manufacturer and using other methods on your carpet may actually void your warranty. In addition, Hot Water Extraction is the only method that is recognized as a legitimate, restorative process by the The Clean Trust which sets the standards for our industry.
A: Ideally, there should be a world of difference in a professional cleaning versus a do-it-yourself job. Professional equipment is much more powerful, heats the water to a much greater degree, and the suction power of a pro's machine is incredible next to a home steamer. A home machine puts a great deal of water and detergent into the carpet that it doesn't have the ability to extract. Dirt is washed deeper into the fibers and backing, causing carpets to appear cleaner temporarily. But not much soil has actually been removed from the carpet and the carpet will now probably have a soapy, slightly sticky residue. You should be able to tell the difference between a professional cleaning and a cleaning that involves a cheap plastic machine .And while carpet cleaning is not rocket science, there is some chemistry involved. A properly trained technician will know which types of spot cleaners are safe to use on various spots and stains. At Accu Care, we participate in ongoing training and education relating to our profession so we are always up to date on the latest technology in carpeting and cleaning methods.
A: Hot water extraction takes longer to dry because it goes deeper into the carpet and flushes out soils, residues and other contaminants. When the latest technology is utilized, such as the RX-20, drying times can go down to 4-6 hours instead of 1-2 days. A thoroughly trained technician who takes the time to extract the water back out of the carpet will produce beautiful results with minimal drying time. Deep soiling in carpets or humid weather may slow the drying process. We will make every effort to ensure your carpets will dry as quickly as possible.
A: All carpets act as a sink. Carpeting filters and collects sources of soil, bacteria, allergens and pollutants from the indoor environment. This collection and filtering process allows carpet to trap contaminants within the carpet and, like any filter, it needs to thoroughly cleaned out from time to time. These contaminants in your carpet can contribute to an unhealthy indoor environment, whether in a home or office. These days, carpets are designed to hide soil and maintain a clean appearance. By the time your carpet looks dirty, it is very dirty. A soiled carpet will wear more quickly and will not last as long as a carpet that has been properly maintained.
A: The five largest fiber producers--Allied, BASF, DuPont, Hoechst Celanese, and Monsanto--all recommend periodic professional cleaning. Most major carpet mills agree. Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction cleaning by a trained professional. DuPont, in their report on "Indoor Air Quality: A Technical Review of Carpet Contributions" states, "Since carpets do act as a sink for many types of particles, periodic professional cleaning is very important". Exactly how often depends on a number of circumstances. DuPont recommends cleaning at least once every 18 months. Other considerations increase the frequency rate: indoor smoking, children, pets, & allergies are some factors to consider when determining the ideal frequency for your home. Most of our clients are serviced every 6-12 months.
Q: I get coupons all the time for really low whole house rates. What is the difference between you and those guys?
A: Sometimes when I am asked this, I don't even know where to begin. We all know the old adages "if something seems to good to be true, it probably is" and "you get what you pay for", yet some of us seem to throw caution to the wind when it comes to choosing service providers for our homes. We have invested thousands and thousands of dollars into our business equipment, as well as continuing industry education, insurance, gasoline, taxes, etc. We will never run a "whole house for $89.95" special. Why? Because we wouldn't be able to stay in business! It cannot be done for that price. That is the bait to get the cleaners in the door. You can bet that the person sent to your home has little or no carpet care training or experience. He will, however, be schooled in high-pressure sales techniques. The switch is the next step. Extra charges for spot cleaning, traffic lane treatment, basic furniture moving, even for a "cleaning chemical" to be added to the carpet will rack up quickly. You lose in the end because now you have paid much more than you ever expected, and your carpet has probably been poorly serviced as well.
Companies who engage in these practices are not ethical. And if they don't practice ethics in their pricing, do any of us really believe they are going to go the extra mile to make sure your cleaning is performed with care? I have heard enough horror stories to last me a lifetime from folks who couldn't resist the siren call of a dirt cheap price. Ask around--it's a guarantee some of your friends and neighbors have used these coupon people. Find out what their experiences have been and check the company records with the Better Business Bureau. And remember, the bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of a cheap price is forgotten.