Hello, this is Graham Hall, and I''m grateful for the opportunity to provide you with information about carpet and upholstery cleaning. I''m the owner of Hall''s Premier Carpet Care and have been in the carpet & upholstery cleaning industry for 28 years. I''ve learned that carpet & upholstery cleaning is the subject of much confusion. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about carpet cleaning that I decided to offer this consumer education guide so that when you select a carpet cleaning company, you can make an informed decision.
I will share with you 6 costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning, offer 4 recommendations and provide you with 7 questions to ask any carpet cleaner BEFORE inviting them into your home.
Now here''s misconception 1 - You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpets. NO - dirt is an abrasive - like sandpaper. Every time you step onto your carpet you grind dirt into your carpet fibres. This cuts your carpet, just as if you''d used a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last as long as a clean carpet. Vacuuming helps, but by itself it''s simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage will be done to your carpet and it will wear out faster.
Misconception 2 - The only reason to have your carpet cleaned is to remove the dirt. NO - As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust and hundreds of other chemicals. When you walk into your home, you carry these in with you, in your hair and on your clothes and shoes. Not surprisingly, these pollutants end up in your carpets and soft furnishings. If you suffer from allergies, asthma, emphysema or other breathing problems - one major source of your problem could be these pollutants trapped in your home. In addition, tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 different chemicals, 43 of which cause cancer. Even if you don''t smoke, those chemicals get onto your shoes, you walk them into your home and leave them in your carpets and upholstery. If you are sensitive to tobacco smoke you might find that you breathe more easily after you hire a specialist company to remove these harmful chemicals. So in addition to getting rid of dirt another important reason to clean your carpets is to rid them of pollens, fungus, bacteria, chemicals and the tars and residue from tobacco smoke.
Misconception 3 - One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another. NO. You can choose from 2 primary methods - dry cleaning or hot water extraction.
First, dry cleaning. Most people believe that dry cleaning your carpet is the same as dry cleaning your clothing. This is not true - all forms of carpet cleaning use water in one form or another.
When a carpet cleaner uses dry foam, he applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry then extracts the dried shampoo with a vacuum. This method leaves a residue in your carpet and is not very effective.
The dry chemical method is simular to dry foam. The difference is that when dry chemical is used, the carpet cleaner sets a large cotton bonnet on your carpet. Using a machine, the bonnet spins, absorbing the dirt that''s in the carpet. Bonnet cleaning is like using a large towel to rub the dirt from your carpet. Like dry foam this process is not very effective.
The dry compound method spreads an absorbent compound that looks like wet sawdust over the carpet. A machine brushes the mixture in, causing the dirt to absorb into the mixture. When the mixture has dried it is vacuumed out of the carpet. Because the carpet is not rinsed, this method is not very effective.
The second method is called hot water extraction. This is a technical way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet and extracted. This method is also referred to as steam cleaning although steam is not used. Shaw industries, the world''s largest carpet manufacturer and Wilton Royal recommend hot water extraction. It''s the most effective way to clean your carpet. It is also the most powerful cleaning process available and the only process that can thoroughly clean your carpet of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens and tobacco residue. This is the method that our company recommends and uses.
Some people believe that hot water will damage your carpet - but this is not true. By washing and then rinsing your carpet, we will clean your carpet completely - in the same way that a person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who takes a sponge bath.
Misconception 4 - Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly. Sadly not always true. Many companies own hot water cleaners, but a large number of employees don''t know how to use them. The company may own good equipment but the employees may not know how to use them correctly. This is why it is so important to choose your carpet cleaner carefully.
You should select a carpet cleaner that has undergone extensive training, and been certified by relevant trade bodies. A carpet cleaner must earn certification and have undertaken formal examinations - in effect earned a degree in carpet cleaning - so ask for proof of the companies credentials.
Misconception 5 - The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire. Maybe - but not usually. The price you see offered may not be for the services you require. Before you select a company, decide what you wish to accomplish. If you want a carpet cleaner to remove only some of the dirt, then you can choose from many companies that use small shampooers, or other cleaning methods. Or you could rent a machine and do the job yourself. On the other hand if you want your carpet cleaned thoroughly and want to remove the pollutants, you need to hire a company that uses hot water extraction and is trained to use the equipment. This is the only way to ensure that your carpet remains healthy and free from dirt, disease causing bacteria and harmful chemicals. So remember the price you see offered may not be for the service you require.
The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many homeowners have learned that the low price they saw advertised was not the ammount they were charged. If you''ve ever hired a carpet cleaner you too may may have been the victim of false or misleading advertising. Some carpet cleaners offer a cheap price - usually between ú10 and ú16 a room - and then pressure you into paying a lot more once they get inside your home.
As in all businesses the carpet cleaning industry has its share of bad apples. Some are unethical and sadly a few are dishonest. By their misleading advertising and false promises they can cast a dark shadow over our entire industry. Then you will find professionals like ourselves who work hard to earn your respect and trust. As a way of improving our profession, we''ve dedicated our business to informing the public. The only way you can make an informed decision is to have all the facts you need. This is why we print this guide.
Misconception 6 - Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price over the phone. I wish this were true but it''s not. Any honest carpet cleaning company will require answers to a number of relevant questions. So even though we can''t give you an exact price over the phone, here are some things we consider when quoting a price.
Firstly the type of carpet or upholstery. Certain types are harder to clean than others, and different types may require different cleaning methods.
Secondly the amount of soiling. Carpets or upholstery that haven''t been cleaned for 10 years will be a lot harder to clean than those that have been cleaned more recently.
Thirdly, has the carpet been cleaned previously and by which method. It is very important not to cause a reaction with any residues from a previous clean.
Fourthly - the amount of furniture that has to be moved. If we have to move your furniture and many other items the job will take longer.
If you are thinking of having your carpets or upholstery cleaned, we offer these 4 recommendations.
Recommendation 1 - Make a commitment to yourself to have your carpets and upholstery cleaned. The longer they remain dirty, the sooner they will wear out. Also you will have to breathe all the pollutants and dust mites that live in your carpets and upholstery.
Recommendation 2 - List your objectives. Do you only want the dirt removed or do you want to remove the bacteria, fungus and chemicals as well. If you do, then you will need a hot water extraction cleaning process, as we use. Do you want to work with an honest reputable company or are you willing to risk working with the company that offers the lowest price.
Recommendation 3 - Ask questions. The only way to learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are the questions we suggest you ask :-
1. What method of carpet cleaning do you use?
2. What equipment do you use to clean carpets and upholstery?
3. What will your equipment remove from my carpets and upholstery?
4. How often should I have my carpets cleaned?
5. What formal training have you had in carpet and upholstery cleaning?
6. Are you certified by any trade bodies, and if so which ones?
7. Do you carry full public liability and treatment risk insurance?
Recommendation 4 - Once you''re satisfied that that you will be using an honest, competent professional, invite them into your home and ask for a specific written quotation. A written quote gives you the assurance that you know exactly what the job will cost - with no hidden extras.
By following these 4 recommendations, you''ll gain all the information you need to make an informed decision. If you want a quick cheap clean many companies in the phone book can help you, or you can rent a shampooer and do the job yourself. But if you want your carpet cleaned thoroughly - removing the bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens and tobacco productd - then call our company - Hall''s Premier Carpet Care. We will be happy to answer any questions, or arrange to visit your home and provide a written quotation - without obligation. To contact us call 02392 461741.
Here''s one last point. We guarantee our work. If you are not completely satisfied, we will re-clean the area for free. And if you''re still aren''t pleased, you pay nothing. What could be fairer than that.
In fact, add this question to your list - Do you guarantee your work. Not all companies do and it''s important that you have this information before making your decision.
Thank-you for reading this information. We hope you have found it of use. If you have any questions or comments, or if you would like to arrange a free in home survey and quotation, please contact us directly. We will deal with your enquiry promptly and efficiently.
On behalf of Hall''s Premier Carpet Care may I thank you for your kind attention.