If you’ve been holding holiday events all December, the unsung MVP of your home may be your carpets! They’ve endured large amounts of traffic, not to mention the salt or melted snow visitors may be tracking into your house. Now is an excellent time to take stock of your carpet and consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner.
BENEFITS OF CARPET CLEANING
Cleaning your carpet carries more than just aesthetic benefits. The American Lung Association says that dust accumulation in carpets and rugs can impact allergies. And according to the Environmental Protection agency, carpets retain numerous sources of indoor air pollutants, including pet dander, insect allergens, particle pollution and everyday dirt and dust. Microscopic dust mites or mold can also take up residence in your carpets without being visible.
All of these can be stirred up and released by walking across the carpet or using a standard vacuum. But a professional carpet cleaning service can use steam cleanings, special shampoo formulas, and high-powered vacuums that remove these deeply trapped pollutants safely.
HIRING A CARPET CLEANER
The frequency of carpet cleanings depends on the amount of traffic your carpet receives, as well as the household environment. Low-traffic carpets may only need to be cleaned yearly. Households with pets, smokers, children or large amounts of foot traffic should be professionally cleaned two to four times per year.
Carpeting is one of your home’s most valuable and visible assets, so you want to select your cleaner carefully. When you hire a carpet cleaning service, ask exactly what is included in the quoted price. Will they move furniture for you? Will they clean high-traffic areas? Does it cost extra to clean stairs? You also want to be sure they screen their employees and conduct criminal background checks. Ask what certifications they hold from reputable cleaning organizations, such as the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
Homeowners have several options when it comes to choosing the type of carpet cleaning method. Some cleaning services use a wet cleaning method, or steam cleaning, that has a significant drying time, while others are considered “dry” treatments, which you can walk on as soon as the cleaning is finished.
Some treatments use powerful cleaning chemicals, while others rely on the power of steam or environmentally friendly cleaning products. You want to choose a company that offers the treatment method that works best for your home and family.
Take care when listening to promotional carpet cleaning rates. Insist on an in-home estimate to get the best estimate possible. Be very skeptical of carpet cleaners who keep piling on extra services and costs after they’ve given an initial price. Some companies offer a low price simply to get a foot in the door, then identify many other issues to upsell costly services.
Double-check your carpet manufacturer’s documentation for cleaning details. Some methods will void a carpet’s warranty.