You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet! Dirt is an abrasive like sandpaper. Every time you step on your carpet, you grind dirt into the carpet fibres. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife. A dirty carpet will not last as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps by itself, it’s simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out. Most carpet warranties have frequency suggestions depending on usage, anywhere from every 6 months to as long as 18-24 months.
The only reason to clean carpets is to remove the dirt. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust and hundreds of other chemicals. When you come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair and on your skin, clothing and especially on the bottom of your shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals and toxins wind up in your carpet. If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems one major source of your problem could b e the pollens, fungus, smoke and chemicals in your carpet. The big advantage with carpet is that all these pollutants get trapped and your carpet acts like a filter, unlike hard floors where your more likely to breath them in as they blow around. Children and pets are closer to the floor so are more likely to take them into their bodies.
One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another. The dry cleaning methods which are dry foam, dry chemicals and dry compounds do not rinse your carpet in any way. Instead, they leave a dirty residue. You might say they clean your carpet only halfway. The most effective cleaning method is hot water extraction. Hot water extraction means a hot water cleaning solution, under high pressure, is forced into your carpet and then power vacuumed out of your carpet. Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, not only recommends hot water extraction as the primary method of cleaning carpets, it has made it a requirement as to maintain the warranty on their carpet products. Carpet cleaners use one of two types of hot water extraction. If they use a large unit that operates from a van or truck outside your facility, it’s called truck mounted extraction. If they use a small unit that can be brought inside, it’s called portable extraction. Also a small misconception is that the van mounted cleans better because of it power, not true. that power is so it can deliver hot water and recover dirty water at long distances.
Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly. Not true. Many companies own hot-water cleaners but very few companies teach their employees how to use them properly. This is why it’s important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully. The best cleaning companies are those that have been certified by the National Carpet Cleaner association, known as the NCCA. Or like myself Certified In Cleaning Science By City & Guilds. Before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see proof of the company’s certifications. If they don’t have them, don’t use them.
The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire. I’ve seen so many problems arise from lowest bid companies that I suggest you NEVER hire the company that quotes the cheapest price. The two most common problems are:
(1) The price you’re quoted may not be for the services you want performed. The company may be equipped to only remove the surface dirt from your carpet. But you may want bacteria, fungus, pollens, dust mites and tobacco residues, that reside deeper in your carpet removed as well.
(2) The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many home owners have learned that the low price they saw advertised only lasted until the carpet cleaner got into their home. Then they were pressured into paying a lot more for a variety of add ons. (Some carpet cleaners even break the law by using illegal bait-and-switch tactics.)
Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone, and then follow up in writing. I wish this were true, but it is not always the case. Honest, reputable carpet cleaning companies usually will price their jobs in one of two ways. Either they price their service by the room or area (usually it will cover from 150 – 200 square feet). Or they will price it based by the square foot. There really is no right or wrong way. It primarily comes down to a question of efficiency and valuing a client’s time. We have chosen to price our service by the area and therefore can give you a cost estimate based on the number of areas you’re looking to have cleaned. Where pricing by phone does become challenging is when there are special circumstances such as persistent pet odour or staining issues. In those cases we can give you a “guestimate” by phone and have our service technician evaluate the situation on-site and quote you an exact price.