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Upholstery cleaning may seem easy enough to do, but if a homeowner hires a group of amateurs to do it, the results may be disastrous. Deep sanitation and debris removal can’t be done with any vacuum, so any company that shows up to the home should have all of the equipment and expertise to do the job right. The best way for a homeowner to check this is to only take on a business that is certified.
There are dozens of sanitation services in every major metro, and finding the ideal fit can take some time. This can be made easier by checking out a database that keeps track of certified upholstery cleaning organizations. The go to place for this is the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC. The IICRC is the agency that monitors and updates all standards within the industry. They update the guidelines to proper sanitation regularly, and any group that follows them to the letter is doing their job right.
In addition, the IICRC runs many classes every year that are aimed at companies trying to improve their craft and earn the seal of approval. An upholstery cleaning business can benefit greatly from these classes, and they are easy to schedule in, as they only require a few days to complete. For any group that wants to prove their chops, though, they are extremely important, and by completing them, a company can improve their status in the industry.
A year after an organization is certified by the IICRC, it can apply for journeyman textile sanitation status by knocking out three classes, including a mandatory upholstery cleaning course. After an additional two years, the business can reach master status by taking another two courses, one of which is for color repair. This means that a master level group of professionals can do more than just make the fabric immaculate, they can also bring it back to its former glory.
Most organizations that have these advanced marks of achievement will advertise them proudly, so finding them should be an easy task. Also, a client looking for a company can use the IICRC’s website to get some handy advice on what to look for in an organization. The site also contains a database that can locate a member in the client’s area.
Another major reason to only take on a certified business is that they are more likely to have specialists that can handle other tasks common to an upholstery cleaning group. These may include carpet sanitation, fire or water damage repair, textile repair or carpet inspection. Often, a homeowner needs several of these services at the same time, so farming them all out to one operation can reduce the price dramatically and abbreviate the time it takes to get it done.
In short, it is best to stay from companies that look amateurish and lack proper certification. Those that are trained to take care of fabrics will have a cadre of workers that have all attended courses, and are equipped with top of the line machines that are also approved by the IICRC.
The days of a house cleaner with a mop, bucket and vacuum are over. Today a professional is entrusted with the care of a home, its furnishings and the health of its occupants. With the many new materials and surfaces being used in home décor, a professional house cleaner has a much broader range of knowledge than in the past as many of these newer surfaces require specialized care.
In addition to caring for the home and its contents, a professional house cleaning technician helps care for health. This includes hygienic cleaning, effective sanitizing of surfaces, use of appropriate cleaning agents, and procedures to prevent cross contamination. A thorough vacuuming with a high-efficiency filtration vacuum is an important contributor to improved indoor air quality.
An IICRC-certified House Cleaning Technician is trained to properly care for homes and health. A consumer who uses a certified professional can confidently trust the cleaning and relax in a clean and healthy home.
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A survey commissioned by the IICRC indicates that 81 percent of U.S. homeowners agree that the health of their family is directly related to the cleanliness of floors in the home. While a key component to improving air quality is eliminating carpet and rug odors, which in many cases requires regularly cleaning these surfaces, only 15 percent clean their carpet at least once a year.
According to the IICRC, the following four-step process is the best way to successfully remove odor from your carpet:
- Remove the source of the odor, as practical (absorb liquids, scoop solids)
- Thoroughly clean odor-affected surfaces and materials. Cleaning is basic to deodorizing
- Treat the odor source with an appropriate odor counteractant (sanitizer, disinfectant, enzyme)
- Seal restorable surfaces, such as subflooring, if practical
Many sources of odor, including pet urine and tobacco smoke, require specialized procedures and techniques and are best addressed by a certified professional.
Why a Rug Cleaning Professional?
Sometimes vacuuming just is not enough to get the job done, and the assistance of a rug cleaning specialist is necessary. Carpet can muffle sound, prevent slipping and collect the soil and debris that would otherwise get tracked through the house. Maintaining its durability through thorough tidying is a way to ensure long lasting usefulness.
Finding someone reliable to perform a professional cleaning is not difficult when one knows what to look for. When searching for a reputable business to trust, it is important to look for one that has been operating for a number of years. This is not to say that a new business is incapable of providing quality work, but someone with a history in the field is far more likely to have the necessary skills. Obtaining information on a business that has been around for years will be easier, because they’ve had the opportunity to be critiqued by more customers. Online recommendations are helpful when deciding on a rug cleaning service, because they provide proof of excellent customer service and a job that has been satisfactorily done. While not necessary, picking a business that specializes in more than cleaning has its benefits. A company that is well versed in restoration and repair has a clear idea of how the rug should look, as well as how it is made, and all of that knowledge can be applied when inspecting and treating it. A professional business is also more likely to have the machines, soap solutions and techniques that result in a complete laundering.
A professional rug cleaning serves the purpose of removing stains, dirt, odors and allergens. There are a few different methods of achieving this, but the most common is composed of a few steps. First, remove items that are small and fragile from pieces of furniture that will need to be moved. A crew will do all the heavy lifting, but can operate more quickly and efficiently without clutter. A pre-inspection will reveal if there are any permanent stains and allow the employees to determine rug construction and materials. Jute, a natural fiber that used to be employed as a backing is known to shrink when wet, so an inspection is an important part of the process. A thorough vacuuming of the area will then be done to remove debris. Afterwards, a pre-spray and spot treatment will be applied before a machine-mounted hot water extraction is performed. The hot water extraction sprays water that has its heat and pressure carefully regulated to prevent floor coverings from getting sopping wet. This method flushes the carpet with a diluted cleaning agent that removes bonded dirt and grit. The hot water extraction machine sucks up the water immediately after spraying it, and this is performed front to back. Afterwards, there is a post-spot treatment to tend to any trouble spots. Then the floor covering is raked to encourage faster drying and to be more aesthetically pleasing.
A rug cleaning that will restore floor coverings to their former softness and vibrancy is not a do-it-yourself task, but a job for a professional. Only through hiring a professional can the best, most effective and safest rug cleaning solutions and methods be guaranteed.
How To Choose A Rug Cleaning Service
When looking for a rug cleaning service, people should figure out how every company approaches treatment before they settle on one. Precious rugs can be uniquely put together, and many feature a one of a kind design. And though they are tough, they can be worn down and damaged by soil if they are not cleaned promptly. That’s a serious problem for these pieces as they tend to act like dirt sponges in the house. They are capable of soaking up all kind of soil, to the point where the rug may weigh significantly more due to the added burden of dirt and debris.
What should a homeowner look for in a rug cleaning service?
It’s best for a homeowner to know what kind of training and education a technician has before handing such a precious item over. There are many companies that have no formal training or education and are instead relying on techniques that have been passed down by an experienced professional. While there is nothing wrong with passing on practical skills, technicians should also have formal training backing them. This is the only way to eliminate gaps in knowledge, and the only way to ensure a professional is up to date on their skills and techniques.
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is among the industry organizations that offers a course for these professionals. Known as the Rug Cleaning Technician (RCT) course, the IICRC’s class focusing on both theory and application and teaches a variety of methods to remove soils from the piece. Students will also learn the limits of treatment and how to inspect the fibers for more serious damage, so a professional can accurately assess what can be cleaned and what will require more thorough effort.
During an IICRC course, students are also introduced to the latest treatment equipment and methods, so certified technicians have the latest tools at their disposal when taking on a job. That should be reassuring to rug owners, especially because IICRC certified professionals are also expected to uphold a rigorous ethical standard. Negligent or reckless treatment of the rug can result in permanent damage, so a homeowner must be able to trust the company in charge of the job.
Before choosing a rug cleaning service, homeowners will also want to choose a company that has the proper facilities. It takes a surprising amount of space to treat rugs. Of course, space is needed to lay the piece out and inspect it, but there also needs to be room for heavy duty vacuuming and application of cleansing agents, as well as space for an immersion bath, drying centrifuge, and plenty of hanging racks. These are all accepted treatment techniques that professionals use, so a homeowner should visit the business and see what equipment they have on hand, as this will suggest the methods of treatment available.
Still, an IICRC certified professional is the focus, as these technicians will often work the hardest to preserve their reputation in the field and elevate their level of service.