Why do people hire professional carpet cleaning services when do-it-yourself machines are available to rent? There is a significant difference between what professionals can do and what homeowners can accomplish. Here are what consumers need to know about maintenance, time, and cleaning costs.
What Professional Carpet Cleaners Do
There are two advantages to having carpets cleaned by professionals. They have far more advanced equipment and more expertise than the homeowner. Professionals can handle special situations such as fibers that need tender care, tough stains, and water damage.
They have access to tools not included with rental equipment. The equipment consists of UV lights used to spot pet stains. Professionals have expensive equipment needed to perform hot-water extraction, better known as steam cleaning.
The hot-water soil extraction done by professionals is far more thorough than consumer-grade equipment. Extremely hot water is pumped through powerful hoses that flush out dirt at the deepest level of the carpet.
The technician pre-conditions the carpet with a solution that loosens dirt and stains. The carpet may be agitated with a brush for increased effectiveness. The tech then sprays the carpet with water that can be 200° F or higher from a high-pressure hose, to rinse away residue and ground-in dirt.
The mixture of solution and water is immediately vacuumed into a holding tank. Clean, damp carpet that dries in a few hours is left behind. Carpets take two to 24 hours to dry. Humidity and airflow are factors that affect dry time — most dry within six to 12 hours.
There are things to remember about the drying process. Minimum walking is permitted on the carpet as it dries. Shoe coverings or clean socks should be worn. The cleaning solutions that are used are not dangerous, but it is best to keep pets and children off the carpet until it dries completely.
Opening windows and turning on ceiling fans increase airflow and significantly reduce drying time. Turning up the heat will not be of much help. Carpets dry best when the temperatures are in the 60 to 70-degree range.
Cost of Carpet Cleaning
Carpet cleaners typically charge per square foot. Services that may cost extra include:
- Moving furniture
- Severe odor removal
- Stair cleaning
- Upholstery and area rug cleaning
Carpets should be cleaned regularly. Twelve to 18-month intervals are recommended. Regular cleaning keeps carpets looking their best and prolongs their life. To maintain a warranty, some manufacturers require a frequency of cleanings. It takes a technician approximately 20 minutes to clean a room.
The best way to maintain carpets is getting them professionally, deep-cleaned regularly between cleanings.
- Clean spills immediately
- Vacuum frequently
- Use doormats
Spills should be diluted with water. Vacuum remnants before set in occurs. Use a spot cleaner if necessary. Test it on an area that is inconspicuous. Vacuuming should be done several times each week if possible. It keeps dirt from sinking into carpets. Doormats at each entrance and wiping feet before entering also help prevent dirt accumulation.