1. Making Better Decisions When Buying Carpet

    Imagine…

    You are shopping for new carpet, perhaps just a few rooms. Two of the rooms are bedrooms, which don’t get as much foot traffic as the entryway, living room and hallway you also need to replace. It’s been nearly 10 years since you had new carpet.

    You go to a local carpet retail store. The carpet salesman has a great deal for you: A virtually stain-proof carpet with vibrant colors and also soft to the touch. You put your fingers into the carpet pile and love how it feels. You order the carpet for all the rooms you need to replace.

    In a week or two, on the scheduled installation day, you remove all the furniture from the rooms and the installation pros show up and remove the old carpet and pad and put in the new.

    It looks great!

    A year later, when you decide it’s time to have the carpet cleaned, your carpet cleaning pros show up and do a great job removing the dirt. Even the spots come right out! However, there is a “worn” area in the living room and down the hallway, but not in the bedrooms. You ask your carpet cleaning pro why that is. He performs a fiber identification test and informs you that you purchased polyester carpet, which tends to matt down and look somewhat soiled just because of wear. He then kindly informs you that if you had purchased nylon, a more durable carpet fiber, this likely wouldn’t have happened.

    You are upset. Don’t you hate it when you purchase something and it doesn’t perform as promised? But remember, carpet salespeople may not be your best consultant when it comes to fibers.

    So before you go looking for new carpet or furniture, give your carpet and furniture cleaning pro a call. Ask which fiber is best for each application in your home. Yes, polyester may be soft and colorful, but it may be best to keep it in the bedrooms and use durable fibers, like nylon and wool (which is expensive), in the high trafficked areas of your home.

     

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  2. Commercial Carpet Cleaning

    Carpet cleaning image 06072016 (1)

    Apart from the fact that carpets look and feel much nicer when they are clean, they also create a refreshing look to the place. Dirty carpets, on the other hand are a potential threat and can lead to health risks and hazards as they are known to trap pollens, dirt, mites, and allergens due to continuous usage.

    Carpet cleaning experts ensure that your carpets are kept in tip top condition while also maintaining health standards . Carpet cleaning may vary from one vendor to another as there are different ways to go about when it comes to cleaning your carpet.

    Types of Commercial Carpet Cleaning

    Here are some of the most commonly used methods of cleaning the carpets commercially:

    • Dry Cleaning: Specialized machines are used to clean carpets that permit no or very low moisture known as ‘VLM Cleaning’.
    • Hot Water Extraction: Also known as ‘Steam Cleaning’ within the industry, this method uses equipment that sprays heated water with cleaning chemicals as additives on the carpet.
    • Vacuums and Other Household Cleaning: Carpet Rods or beating machines are used apart from vacuums to clean carpets in households. Though they might not be as effective as the above mentioned methods, they are still effective to some degree.

    Benefits

    Hiring a professional carpet cleaning service isn’t just about saving your carpets from getting affected from allergens and other health hazards; it also carries its own fringe benefits, some of which are mentioned below:

    Saving Energy and Time

    Cleaning a carpet isn’t child play, the size of the rug also poses hurdles as the more surface area it covers the larger it is; making it even more difficult to clean. Hence instead of breaking your back on such a troublesome issue, its best that you leave professional t the job. Plus saving time for other more significantly important tasks is also an additional bonus for those who hire the service.

    Guaranteed, Certified Services, and Equipments

    When you must choose to clean the carpet of your workplace or residential quarters by hiring a professional service provider, rest assure you are in good hands. Professionals use certified and tested equipment over time to make sure that you get the best of results. Many offer valuable information as well regarding the different types of carpets and their properties.

    Improved Durability

    Professional carpet cleaning companies make sure that their customers get what they are paying for. Hence, when they decide to clean up a carpet their immense trick of the trade is to make sure that the carpet remains undamaged and that secures their need of services in the future as well. Hence, asking for professional aid ensures that your carpets durability and lifecycle is not affected or shortened.

    Prevent Diseases, Mold Growth, and Mildew

    Professional cleaners understand the potential health hazards an unclean carpet may pose to residents and office workers. Hence, they detect and remove any potentially hazardous material including removal of mold and mildew from carpets.

  3. Three Steps to Cleaner Clothes

    #1. Pre-treat spots and stains: Remember, there is a difference from a spot to a stain. Any visible spot should be pretreated with a laundry pretreatment product. Without this step, spots may work their way into the fibers and become stains.

    #2: Sort it out: Separate delicate clothes, dark clothes and white clothes.  Delicates should usually be cleaned in colder water, with a shorter cycle. Consider air or hang drying delicates. Dark clothes might bleed, so washing them separate is smart, and also on colder water (to be safe.) White clothes definitely show more dirt but often are also more durable. You can use hot water on most whites. Always look at the tag, nothing is more frustrating than a sweater coming out three sizes smaller than when it went in.

    #3: Laundry Boosters: They boost the cleaning power by using oxidizing solutions that aren’t as strong as chlorine bleach, which can easily remove color. A booster really does the trick on tough dirt, spots, and odors. Follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully.

     

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  4. Leaks Happen – Be Ready!

    You know the normal sounds your home makes.

    The air conditioner kicking on as the dog days of summer begin. The heating system starting up on a cold, winter evening. The creak of a loose floorboard as someone rises early in the morning.

    What you don’t normally hear — and you do not want to hear — are the sounds of spraying water from a broken pipe or hose, or a malfunctioning hot water tank or water filter system. Even worse is when this happens when you aren’t home and upon arrival you wade through inches of water on the floor, or duck from the dripping water from an upstairs leak.

    When water damage occurs (and statistics say water damage claims are among the highest with insurance companies) you need to act quickly. The #1 concern is to think “safety first.” Before entering into any areas of the home that are damage from flood waters, be sure that the power is turned off. Nothing is worth getting an electrical shock!

    Next, find the water turn-off valve and stop the flooding. Many homeowners aren’t sure where the water turn-off valve is located. Now is the time to figure that out, and even put a tag on it so it is easy to find, especially in the dark or in the beam of a flashlight. Don’t delay… find that valve and mark it!

    It’s always best to be prepared. Contact your water damage restoration contractor and get the info you need to be safe… just in case.

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  5. Washing Your Dishes – Like a Pro!

    Washing dishes may seem like a pretty easy chore. But many skip a few steps, thinking they can just get it done quickly. Washing dishes is a task that no one really enjoys.

    Here are a few tips to consider to make it a little bit easier and also more effective.

    • Scrape it:  When getting ready to wash dishes, you do the obvious. You scrape off the excess. Get rid of all the extra “gunk.” The more you put into the garbage can before going to the sink, the better! This is especially true if you are using a dishwasher.
    • Soak it: Don’t think that cold or even warm water will do the trick. You need hot water. Depending on the dishes, perhaps hotter than your hands can handle. So fill that sink with super-hot water but be sure not to burn yourself. You can protect yourself with high-quality gloves.
    • Soap it: Be sure to add the appropriate amount of dish detergent. Usually known as a “squirt”. This helps the hot water to penetrate and remove soils. Without getting too technical, what you are doing is reducing surface energy of the dish water, allowing it to get to work better. You are allowing the water to flow, doing its job.
    • Splash it: When you pull that now-clean dish out of the dishwater, rinse it off and set it aside to dry. When rinsing, if you use soft water, all the better. But if not, consider a special rinse additive to use when you are finishing up the dishes. This helps remove more residue, more hard water minerals and generally ensures a better looking (clean) dish.

    Now it’s time to give the dishes some time to recover from the bath you just gave them, and then inspect them to ensure they are really clean. If they are, put them in the cabinet. If not… wash them again!

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  6. Keep Mold at Bay: Take Away its Food

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes how water damage situations (such as from a flood, leaky or broken pipe, sewage backup, etc) can be potentially hazardous… not just initially, but over time as well.

    Why? Because of the potential of mold and how it affects human health. Exposure to damp and moldy environments and materials can be especially harmful to those sensitive to irritants common to mold contamination. Some find that even being outside near plant life in the process of decomposition is a problem. Mold and mildew can run rampant under certain conditions, causing allergic reactions.

    So when a water damage does happen in your home, don’t take chances. Mold needs moisture. It needs to be fed. It will grow on organic materials that are wet. If you take away its “food” you inhibit the ability of mold to grow.

    Important Reminders

    Remember that mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, anywhere there is a leak. This can be around windows, behind walls where water has intruded, from leaky roofs, and especially from leaky pipes – especially those that are leaking and you didn’t know about it!

    Many homeowners are tempted to clean up water that comes into their home, such as when a sump pump might fail or when a toilet might overflow. Good intentions for sure. But if you don’t get it really dry, really fast, there can be problems.

    Here’s a scary thought: Some professional water damage experts won’t even do a water removal job if they can’t get to it within 24 hours. They know mold could have started to grow and that means more work than simply extracting water and drying the home could be required.

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  7. Protect Yourself From Fire & Flood

    There aren’t many events that are more disturbing or more tragic than a flood or fire in your home.

    Your home is a place to raise your family. It’s a place to feel safe and secure. So when an event occurs that takes it all away from you — even temporarily — it’s normal for a feeling of helplessness to overwhelm those in the family.

    You need help. You need reassurance. You want everything to be back to normal and you can’t do it alone.

    So you turn to your insurance company and your agent you have been paying faithfully for many years. All you want is for your valuable items lost in the disaster to be replaced.

    That’s what insurance is for, right?

    But then you discover the hassle of proving what you had in the home and the condition of the items. Sure, you may eventually get replacements for all your lost belongings, but it can take a lot of time as you haggle with the insurance adjuster.

    How to avoid this

    Prepare now. There are some simple steps you can take to ensure that if the unthinkable does occur — even if it is just your basement flooding from rain waters — you are prepared.

    Step 1:  Ask your insurance agent if he or she has a worksheet available so you can create an inventory of all your belongings. There are also online sites that have resources to document your belongings.

    Step 2: Make a list of all your valuables and take video or photographs of everything. Scan all your paper receipts. If you don’t have a scanner, take close-up photographs of your receipts.

    Step 3: Protect your documentation. Your lists, photos, scanned documents… all need to be put in a safe location. The “cloud,” an online file system that can be accessed from any computer is a good option. Of course, you have the username and password, so all your data is safe.

    Protect yourself. Have the proof you need in the event of a disaster.

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  8. Man’s Best Friend & Woman’s

    DID YOU KNOW that man’s best friend can actually become your worst nightmare?

    That’s right. He’s cuddly, cute and you love him, but sometimes he has a problem with “accidents” and pretty soon, you start to notice the… ummm… odiferous situation.

    Besides the obvious occasional accident from Fido, his hair can also be an issue. Once he shakes a bit off, it goes into the carpet and furniture and sticks to it all and it can be quite a problem.

    Then you have the issue of “I want in. I want out. I want in.” You know it… Fido is always on the move and the constant going outside and then back inside brings in all kinds of dirt.

    What can you do about all this?

    1.    Clean messes up quickly. Once you discover an “accident,” it’s important to grab a few paper towels and blot up the mess before it sinks down into the padding of the carpet. A good enzyme deodorizer like you might get from the vet helps with lingering odors, but of course it’s best to have a professional carpet cleaner come over to handle these odor challenges.

    2.    A hairy situation can be tamed by brushing your dog often. Loose hair that’s about to go into the carpet and furniture can be easily pulled from Fido with a good grooming brush. And guess what? He probably likes the attention!

    3.    While you may not have the time to wipe off Fido’s muddy paws each time he wants back inside, it is a good idea to place mats inside and outside the door. When Fido want’s back inside, let him beg a little bit on the outside mat because some of that dirt is definitely going to come off.

    Do all of this and man’s best friend is going to be a dream to live with, not a nightmare!

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  9. How to Remove Blood Spots from Carpet and Furniture

    Blood spots on your carpet or on your furniture… what a terrible thing. Hopefully when it happens, it’s not from a very serious accident.

    But when it does happen, you must remove it quickly. Blood spots can be removed fairly easily if you get to it quick enough. Of course, if there is a fair amount of blood, more than just a few spots, it’s best not to do anything except call a pro.

    For a small amount of blood, though, you should be able to handle the task of removing the spot if you follow some simple, safe procedures.

    1. Blot. When you have a fresh blood spot, get a white absorbent and disposable towel (like a paper towel without print on it) and blot up as much as you can. Never rub or scrub. That can damage the color and/or texture of the fabric, especially furniture fabric.
    2. There is probably still a spot remaining, even with a lot of blotting. So take about a quart of luke-warm water in a bowl, and add a drop of dish soap to it. Just a drop, you don’t want to leave any sticky residue behind. Dip a fresh, white absorbent and disposable towel into the solution and carefully blot the blood again. What you are trying to do is use the detergent solution to release the blood from the fibers into the towel.
    3. After that, if there is still some light blood staining remaining, use a fresh, white, absorbent and disposable towel to apply a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide, the same strength you purchase at a drug store. But remember, hydrogen peroxide is a “bleach” and you must be careful with colors, especially on furniture fabrics. It’s best to test an area like on the back, bottom skirting to make sure the colors aren’t affected.

    Phew! That’s a lot of work. And it might do the trick, but it might not. You could set the blood and it could become a difficult stain if you aren’t careful.

    So if you don’t like to live dangerously and would rather play it safe… call your favorite carpet and furniture cleaning company. They know exactly what to do and they have the tools and cleaning solutions to do it right!

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