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What are Dust Mites?

House dust mites are microscopic bugs that primarily live on dead skin cells regularly shed from humans and their animal pets. Dust mites are harmless to most people. They don't carry diseases, but they can cause allergic reactions in asthmatics and others who are allergic to their feces.
Skin cells and scales, commonly called dander, are often concentrated in lounging areas, mattresses, frequently used furniture and associated carpeted areas, often harbor large numbers of these microscopic mites. Since the average human sloughs off 1/3 ounce (10 grams) of dead skin a week. That gives dust mites a lot to eat. Cats and dogs create far more dander for dust mites to eat.

A typical mattress can contain tens of thousands of dust mites. Nearly 100,000 mites can live in one square yard of carpet. A single dust mite produces about 20 waste droppings each day, each containing a protein to which many people are allergic. The proteins in that combination of feces and shed skin are what cause allergic reactions in humans. Depending on the person and exposure, reactions can range from itchy eyes to asthma attacks (18% to 30% of Americans are allergic to dust mites' waste products, and almost 50% of American homes have allergen levels that are high enough to cause sensitivity in people who were not previously allergic to dustmites). And finally, unlike other types of mites, house dust mites are not parasites, since they only eat dead tissue. Gross, but true.

That's why having your carpets and upholstery cleaned professionally is a very responsible thing to do for the health and well being of your family and visitors.

What is the best method for cleaning carpets and why?

"External Extraction"

This method is often called "Warm Water Extraction", "Hot Water Extraction" or "Steam Cleaning" and is the cleaning method nearly all carpet manufacturers and carpet fiber producers recommend.

This is the only cleaning method classified as "deep cleaning". All the others are considered "light surface cleaning" because they are incapable of removing soil deep in the pile. Also, all other methods leave large amounts of cleaning agents in the carpet after cleaning.

The maintenance brochure published by the world's largest carpet manufacturer, Shaw Industries, recommends this method, because its own research indicates that it provides the best capability for cleaning.

This method is frequently called "steam" cleaning due to the fine spray of water used to force dirt out of the carpet which is sucked up by the vacuum slot immediately in front of the spray. Seldom is real live steam used, however. This process consists of spraying a solution of water and detergent into the carpet pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum into a holding tank. This can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and floor tool brought inside, or by a portable system brought into the home or office.

From a health standpoint, the truck mounted system is preferred because the dirty air and humidity are exhausted outside rather than recirculated around the house. additionally, truck-mounted systems usually are more powerful than portable units and do a much better cleaning job and get the carpet dry more quickly.

How often should I have my carpets cleaned?

The simple answer to this question is at least once a year for frequently used carpet and perhaps a little longer for infrequently used carpet. However, the IICRC's S100 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Carpet Cleaning, points out that several factors should be taken into consideration when determining your carpet cleaning schedule. Among these are things like; traffic, soil level, frequency of vacuuming, indoor pets, homes of respiratory-sensitive or allergic persons...and so on. The following is an excerpt from the S100 Guide for residential clients:

Residential Carpet Cleaning Frequency Guide

If you have:

Light Soil 
- Vacuuming: 1x per week  
- Spot Cleaning: Daily or as soon as spots are noticed   
- Heavy-Use Area Cleaning (Professional Carpet Cleaner/Restorer): Traffic areas every 
  12  to 18 months   
- Restorative Cleaning (Professional Carpet Cleaner/Restorer): Every 2 years or per 
  manufacturer warranty

Normal Soil (families with children, elderly)
- Vacuuming: 1 to 2 x per week  
- Spot Cleaning: Daily or as soon as spots are noticed   
- Heavy-Use Area Cleaning (Professional Carpet Cleaner/Restorer): Traffic areas every 
  6 to 12 months   
- Restorative Cleaning (Professional Carpet Cleaner/Restorer): Annually

Heavy Soil (families with pets, smoking)
- Vacuuming: 2 to 4 x per week  
- Spot Cleaning: Daily or as soon as spots are noticed   
- Heavy-Use Area Cleaning (Professional Carpet Cleaner/Restorer): Traffic areas every 
  3 to 6 months   
- Restorative Cleaning (Professional Carpet Cleaner/Restorer): Semi-annually (2x 

Extreme Conditions (large families, multiple pets)
- Vacuuming: Daily  
- Spot Cleaning: Daily or as soon as spots are noticed     
- Heavy-Use Area Cleaning (Professional Carpet Cleaner/Restorer): Traffic lanes every 
  2 to 3 months   
- Restorative Cleaning (Professional Carpet Cleaner/Restorer): Quarterly (4x annually)

Remember, it is important to follow the carpet manufacturer's recommended cleaning schedule to maintain your warranty.

How long does it take for carpets and upholstery to dry?

Dry times for carpets and upholstery may vary depending on the type of material, degree of soiling, ventilation and whether or not a protector is applied.

Typically carpets should be dry in 6 - 8 hours (no more than 24hrs with a protector applied), and upholstery takes 4 - 8hrs to dry (also no more than 24hrs with a protector applied).

What are stubborn stains and why could it cost more to have them treated?

A stain can be defined as a clearly visible soiled or discolored appearance on the surface or material on which it is found.

Stains can be classified in several different ways;

Protein stains       (e.g. blood, dairy products, mud, vomit, urine); 
Tannin stains        (e.g. alcohol, coffee, fruit juice, berries, tomato juice); 
Oil-based stains    (e.g. oils, butter, mayonnaise, cosmetic creams)
Dye stains            (e.g. inks & paints, grass, colored children’s drinks, mustard). 

Many stains are combination stains with an oily/waxy portion and a dye portion.

And while most stains respond favorably to regular carpet or upholstery cleaning with some minor spot treatments, it is very common to find some that require a more intensive approach. These are referred to as stubborn or permanent stains.

A stubborn or permanent stain can result from any of the above mentioned types if;

1) It is left on the material too long.

2) A household cleaning agent was used, inadvertently causing it to set.

3) There was no protector present on the material.

Stubborn stains usually require more time and (especially if the source is unknown) a variety of stain removal techniques before a reaction can be obtained. It is because of this time-consuming aspect and the use of costly stain removing agents, that a client may incur additional costs to have such stains removed.

Please note that sometimes (despite our best efforts) the chemical bond between what caused the stain and the material affected, is simply unbreakable. Therefore, it should be clearly understood that some permanent stains are untreatable.

What is an IICRC Certified Technician?

The IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) was formed in 1972 to serve as an independent, non-profit certification body, to set and promote high standards and ethics; and to advance communication and technical proficiency within the inspection, cleaning and restoration service industry.

Consumers know that when they hire IICRC Certified Technicians or firms, they have hired experts who will ensure that services will be completed in accordance with the Industry's highest standards.

Why do I need to secure my pet/s before the arrival of the Cleaning Technicians?

We love your pets. Without them a large part of our business simply would not exist. However, we do expect that you would secure your pet/s in an area not scheduled for cleaning prior to our arrival. The following are some of the reasons why this is absolutely necessary:

a)   For their safety (around our cleaning agents and equipment), and to prevent them 
      from getting out and bolting down the street.

b)   Time and again we've heard pet owners claim that their pet "has never bitten anyone 
      before". However, on a few of those occasions, that statement has been abruptly 
      followed by "I don't know what got into him". Let's be on the safe side and avoid the 
      risk altogether. Remember, YOU will be liable for any pet related injuries sustained 
      by our technicians.

c)   Animals are very territorial creatures and can become very aggressive if they detect 
      the scent of other animals on our uniforms. As a result, we always try to avoid 
      picking up scents as we move from job to job. 

d)   We are usually on a very fixed schedule and may not always have the time to 
      interact with your pet.

e)   We have several appointments scheduled for the day and many of our clients 
      appreciate our clean and professional appearance. As such, we try to avoid getting 
      covered in pet hair or getting dirt on our uniforms (from muddy paws) as far possible.


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