Evansville, like most other cities, offer a variety of carpet cleaning options when you have decided to hire a professional carpet cleaning company. This article will arm you with a list of questions to ask to help you decide which carpet cleaner will be the right one for you.
1. What method do you use to clean carpets?
The industry standard and the method recommended by most carpet manufacturers for carpet cleaning is called Hot Water Extraction (HWE), generally referred to as “steam cleaning.” In this process the carpet is simultaneously rinsed with a cleaning solution and vacuumed up.
Another method, referred to as low-moisture cleaning, “dry” cleaning, encapping, or shampooing is NOT recommended for residential carpet cleaning. One example of these machines is called a HOST machine, which can be rented by the consumer from local stores. While low-moisture cleaning can improve the appearance of your carpet, it does not actually remove contaminants (pet waste, dust mites, mold, bacteria, etc) from your carpets, leaving these things behind in your carpet for you and your family. In addition, since no flushing action occurs, heavier sediments -sand for one- are left behind to grind away at your carpet fibers, shortening the life of your carpet. While low-moisture cleaning is useful in maintaing commercial carpet, HWE is the obvious choice when cleaning the carpet in your home.
2. Do you use Truckmount Equipment?
This refers to the actual machine that a carpet cleaner will be using to clean your carpets. Some cleaners will use an electrically powered machine that either sits outside your door or that is brought into your home to clean your carpets. These “portable” units generally can’t provide the same heat, rinsing, or vacuum recovery(crucial for soil removal and drying times) that a truckmount unit provides.
These portable machines may also pollute the air in your home, since the vacuum system is generally unfiltered and blows contaminated air directly into your house.
A “truckmount” machine is one that is permanently mounted in the cleaner’s van and runs off of it’s own power supply. Truckmount machines supply the flushing, vacuum, and heat needed to thoroughly clean your carpets and to get them dry the quickest. Truckmount equipment is the best option for cleaning carpets.
3. How long does will it take for my carpets to dry?
This is a question that is asked frequently, and is very important. You need to know how long before you can walk on your carpets! Long drying times are not only an inconvenience, they are also an indicator of how well your carpets were cleaned. Since soil is liquified and then vacuumed up in the HWE (steam cleaning) process, it is important to be sure the most moisture is removed, since the moisture contains liquified soil. The fact of the matter is, the wetter your carpet is, the more dirt that is being left behind! Also, the longer a carpet is wet, the better a chance that mold or mildew may take root in your carpets. Drying times of 1 to 2 hours are best, 6 hour drying times are typical, and anything longer than 8 hours is unacceptable.
4. Do you offer a Satisfaction Guarantee?
There is no excuse for a service company like carpet cleaning to not offer a guarantee. You should find out exactly what the terms of the guarantee are, and if they are acceptable to you. Is it written? What exactly will happen if you are not satisfied with the service? Any guarantee that does not offer you a full refund is not a guarantee.
5. How much will the carpet cleaning cost?
Before agreeing to ANY work to begin, have a written quote in your hand. Will there be any extra charges for things like: traffic lane cleaner, pre-conditioner, spot removal, or furniture moving?
You may see an ad, call the company, and assume you will get the advertised price. This is a mistake, do not assume anything! Unfortunately, too many unethical companies will add charges to the bill without your knowledge or permission. Get a written, detailed quote that lists the cost of everything that will be necessary to get your carpets clean before the work begins to avoid any nasty surprises.
With these 5 questions you can avoid some of the biggest mistakes, and hopefully hire the professional carpet cleaning company that is right for you!