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10 Questions You Should Ask Your Carpet Cleaner And
The Answers You Should Get
- Do you vacuum first? - Yes, a good professional carpet cleaner will always vacuum, with a good high quality vacuum cleaner, before cleaning your carpet. Vacuuming removes the non-soluble dirt and helps stand the fibers up, preparing them for cleaning.
- Do you charge extra for stain removal? - Yes and No. Stain removal is a normal part of the cleaning process. However, there are some types of stains that require additional labor to remove and it is normal to charge extra to remove these stains. Some examples are: Kool-aid, any dye type stain, mustard, furniture stain, and some pet stains. Some companies will use stain removal as a means to raise the price of the cleaning. Check out our Scam Alert page to find out what to watch out for.
- Can you get pet stains out? - The short answer is Yes, but sometimes it depends on how much you are willing to spend. Because of recent advances in chemical technology it is now possible remove almost all pet stains with a spot cleaner that is readily available it is simply sprayed on the stain and left there. As it dries the stain will disappear. However, sometimes they can still be very difficult to get out because when an animal urinates on the carpet the urine is very high in alkaline, that is why it smells like ammonia but as it sits, there is a chemical change and it turns very acidic. That chemical change can distort or destroy the pigment in dye of the carpet. So while it is possible to get out the urine and the stain that it is causing, it may still look like there is a stain there because the carpet has changed color. The good news is that too can be fixed by spot dying the carpet back to the original color. Of course it is normal to charge for the spot dye service. So it just depends on how bad you want the stain out.
- Are you licensed? - The answer to this can tell you a lot about how a company operates. It is a natural thing to want to get some one who is "licensed " to do a certain thing versus someone who is not. In some states in order to be in business you have to have a license that you get by registering with a state agency. However, in the state of Oklahoma there is NO licensed required in order to clean carpet. Yet, some carpet cleaners will say they are licensed in order to lend themselves a little more credibility. If they say they are licensed and try to use that as a reason you should use them, watch out!
- Are you bonded? - Most people know that this is a question they should ask but they don't know what "bonding " actually is. Being "Bonded" means that the owner of the business paid for insurance, that insurance covers the owner of the business against his employees going in to some ones house and stealing something. It does not cover the owner of the business if he were to steal something. So, if the company you use has an employee of the company do the cleaning, then they should be bonded. If it is the owner of the business that does the cleaning there is no need to be bonded, because if the owner was to steal something the bonding company would not pay anything anyway.
- Do you Pre-treat the carpet?- Yes, the traffic areas should almost always be pretreated. Pre-treating the carpet means to put traffic lane cleaner on all of the walk-ways in your home. Traffic Lane Cleaner should be applied and allowed to dwell for 5 to 15 minutes before being cleaned. More dirt will be removed during cleaning, using less water. So your carpet will be cleaner and dry faster. However, this is one of those things that an unscrupulous person will use as a means to scam the consumer. See our Scam Alert page for what to look out for.
- What method of cleaning is most recommended by the carpet manufacturers?- Hot Water Extraction is by far the most recommended method of carpet cleaning. The Carpet and Rug Institute has a web site that list all the major carpet mills and their recommended cleaning methods. If you go to their site you will see that Hot Water Extraction is the most recommended method.
- Are you certified? First, there is no one governing body that oversees certification. Sometimes people are told if they use someone who is not certified by the same organization as the cleaner they are talking to the warrantee on their carpet will be voided (or something similar). This is just not true. There are many different organizations that a professional cleaner can be "certified" through. While it is not possible to know which one is "THE BEST", it is a good idea for a cleaner to be certified by some organization. Most organizations that offer certification will have required training and a test that must be passed in order to get the certification.
- Does using a "certified" company mean I will get a good job done? - No, all certification means is they have received training and passed a test, but that does not mean they are going to do the job right.
- Do I pay for the work in advance? - No reputable company will ever require a client to pay for the work before the job is done.
There are many other questions to ask but these will give you a good idea of what kind of company you are dealing with.