New to homeownership? If so, you will have to deal with a lot of maintenance tasks that you might not be familiar with. Gone are the days when you can simply call a landlord to get things done.
One of these tasks is carpet cleaning. If you have never had to hire a carpet cleaner, you will likely find yourself perplexed at all of the options. If you live in even a moderately sized city, there will likely be dozens, if not hundreds, of carpet cleaners, all claiming to be the best. How do you make a choice? We spoke with the owner of Prodigy Clean, a carpet cleaning company in Rockwall, TX, and asked him how we can sort through all of these companies. Here is what he had to say.
“First and foremost, choose a steam carpet cleaning company.”
Apparently, there are many different carpet cleaning methods on the market. They fit into two main categories, hot water extraction, and dry carpet cleaning.
Dry carpet cleaning methods are actually not dry; they use some moisture. However, they do limit the amount of moisture used and instead depend on agitation to remove soil. Because of the limited “flushing” action of dry cleaning, they have limited soil removal ability. In addition, the mechanical agitation can be harmful to some carpets and can cause something called “tip bloom.”
Hot water extraction uses much more water and depends on this rinsing action to clean your carpet. It can remove more soil and is gentler on the carpet, which is why most carpet manufacturers recommend it. In addition, with today’s modern steam cleaning systems, carpet can still be dry in a matter of hours. This brings us to our next point.
“Make sure the company uses a truck-mounted machine.”
There are two main kinds of steam cleaning machines, portable and truck-mounted.
Portable machines are powered by household current. Because of this limitation, they use less pressure, have weaker vacuums and produce much less heat. They also require the operator to bring the entire machine into your home. The machines are noisy, and the exhaust can introduce extra humidity into your home.
Truck-mounted machines, on the other hand, are powered by their own gasoline engine. This allows them to use higher water pressure and remove more of the moisture because of much higher vacuum levels. It also allows them to run higher water temperatures, in excess of 200 degrees. With a truck-mounted machine, your carpet cleaner will simply bring two hoses into your home—one forhot water and the other for vacuum.
“When possible, hire an owner/operator.”
While there are many big carpet cleaning companies, there are also many “mom and pop” type companies. In general, it is a good idea to go with one of these owner-operated companies.
An owner-operated business has a number of advantages. You get someone who actually cares about the work being done and is not just drawing an hourly wage. Typically, you will get much better service from one of these services. You will also be helping to support a local business and keep more money in your community.
“Make sure everything is included.”
Last, but certainly not least, you need to make sure that everything is included in the price that you pay. The carpet cleaning industry is home to a number of “bait and switch” companies. They quote one price and then drastically increase it once at your location.
A standard carpet cleaning price should include vacuuming, pre-treatment, and basic spot cleaning. These are things that every carpet needs, so they should never be extra. Extra charges for things like red stains, furniture moving, and pet odor are normal, however.
Before hiring a carpet cleaner, be sure that they spell out exactly what is included in the cleaning.
To Wrap Things Up
As you can see, there really is much more to hiring a carpet cleaner than you might think. Take a few extra minutes to do your research, and you can make sure that the job is done right and for a fair price.
We would like to thank the owner of Prodigy Clean for assisting with this article. If you are in the Rockwall, TX area, you can reach them at 972-999-1361.