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Institute of INSPECTION, CLEANING, and RESTORATION CERTIFICATION LOGO
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 What is the I.I.C.R.C.?

 

The I.I.C.R.C. (Institute of Inspection and Cleaning Restoration Certification) is a non-profit certifying and standard-setting organization dedicated to raising industry standards through technical proficiency. By administering a strict process of certification, the I.I.C.R.C. provides a means by which consumers can receive the highest quality of service from trained, knowledgeable, professional technicians. 

 

 Why should I choose a cleaning company that is I.I.C.R.C. certified?

 
 

This tells the customer that the particular cleaning company has taken the time to train their employees on proper procedures to ensure quality results. Each certified company agrees to a Code of Ethics laid out by the I.I.C.R.C. to maintain the highest quality and image. For more information on the I.I.C.R.C. please visit iicrc.org.

 

 Why should I get my carpets cleaned by a professional?

 
 

A true professional cleaner will have stronger and more effective cleaning agents and machinery than any home owner can rent or buy. 

 

 Aren't all professional carpet cleaners the same?

 
 

No, there are many types of cleaning procedures that professionals use. Many are effective, but most manufacturers of carpeting require that hot water extraction along with Ionic or Nonionic cleaning agents be used. With today's high tech carpet construction and protection levels, some carpets can be purchased with a warranty of up to 20 years. Some of these carpets require cleaning by an I.I.C.R.C. trained technician so as not to void manufacturers extended warranties.  

 

Why did my carpets get dirty faster after the last professional cleaner cleaned them?

 
 

There are three main reasons why this happens. The most common reason is that the professional's equipment was not strong enough to thoroughly extract all water and detergent from the carpet, leaving a residue that attracts soil and dust. This commonly occurs with electric portable units.

A second reason is, many cleaning companies still use older cleaning agents that are not compatible with today's advanced carpet protection systems and are much cheaper and more affordable to the low priced carpet cleaner than the advanced pre-treaters and detergents of today. These cleaners are known as Cationic cleaning agents which have a positive (+) charge to them, which is opposite the negative (-) charge that your protected carpet and upholstery already has. Using this type of cleaning agent negates the protection on the fiber and allows dirt and dust, which has a negative charge, to cling to the fabric and reduces the fabric stain resistance, leaving an overall dirty appearance even away from traffic areas. This also makes the application of protectors ineffective because the protector is not attaching itself to the fabric but to the residue of the cleaning agent.

The third reason is very simple, the technician is simply cleaning too fast. This does not give the equipment, no matter how strong, time to fully extract even the best pre-treaters and detergents and even light soil from a carpet.

 

Why do some spots keep on coming back even after professional cleaning?

 
 

This occurs when liquids are spilled into a carpet. The liquid passes through the backing and into the carpet pad where it is absorbed and can spread out much larger than the size of the spot on the carpet surface making it difficult to extract the liquid completely the first time. Once the padding has absorbed a liquid it is very difficult to extract and should be replaced to stop the spot from returning. In some cases it may be as far down as the sub-flooring which must be replaced to completely fix the problem. This is especially true in pet accidents.

Knowledge of how much liquid is actually in the carpet is important to determine the course of action. In minor cases where the spill is only as deep as the backing, repeated extraction will normally fix this problem.

Another reason is that there may be detergent left behind by the customer or previous cleaners from spot cleaning which hasn't been completely rinsed out. This will attract new soil to that spot and show up darker than the rest of the carpet. This however can be fixed with enough rinsing and cleaning.

Also the carpet may be on a concrete floor and the floor was not properly cleaned and sealed before the carpet was laid down, this creates a kind of bottomless pit of soil because there is no barrier between the carpet backing and the porous dusty concrete, plus their could be a wide variety of foreign objects under the carpet like mud, staples, nails, etc....

 

How long should my carpets take to dry?

 
 

Today's modern truck mounted machines, with proper use, will allow the carpet to dry within 6 hours or less. (Atmospheric conditions greatly influence the drying time). Under ideal conditions, such as hot, dry summer days, and cold winter days with high indoor heat, carpets and upholstery can dry in as little as 1 hour. It is very important to dry carpets as quickly as possible, not only to reduce inconvenience to the customer, but more importantly to prevent the start-up of the mold and mildew growth process, which begins in as little as 36 hours. However, heavily soiled carpet may take longer than 8 hours to dry due to the extra time and water spent on one area, but even in the worst cases the carpet will dry within 12 to 15 hours, after all getting the carpet clean is still the primary goal.

 

Why is a truck mounted system better than a machine I can rent or buy myself?

 
 

Truck mounted systems are the most powerful yet gentle way to clean carpet and upholstery. These machines can produce water temperatures up to 250 degrees F. Temperatures over 180 degrees F. are much more effective in cleaning and dislodging soil and spills from carpet fibers. Also, the hotter the water used, the shorter the drying time as there is more evaporation the higher the temperature of the water. Some of the most modern truck mounted systems use a water softening unit to reduce the amount of minerals left behind after cleaning, thus leaving a softer feel to the carpet and ensuring the proper application of carpet protectors.

Portable electric machines that can be rented don't have the necessary heat to remove soil efficiently, thus over-wetting can occur, and with the lack of suction power, carpets take too long to dry and leave behind embedded soil and detergent.

Another problem caused by using these home or rental machines is once you have cleaned a carpet that contains spills, you have made cleaning the carpet much more difficult later, because these machines do not have the vacuum power to lift spots from liquids spilled into the carpet. These spots can contain sugars, coloring and salt. Once they are pushed into the backing and padding of the carpet instead of being extracted the spot will almost always reemerge on the surface later because of it's depth. Repeated use of these machines will drive the spots even deeper into the padding and some cases into the sub-flooring making removal of the spot completely, almost impossible.

Newer machines that can be purchased now use rotating brushes to increase effectiveness but they can damage carpet fibers by fraying and destroying the factory heat setted twist to the yarn and prematurely remove loose yarns that cut pile carpets have to increase density, thus increasing fiber loss and shortening the life of the carpet.

 

Will professional cleaning of my carpets change the appearance or texture of the carpet fiber?

 
 

No, soil is what changes the appearance and texture of carpet fibers. This happens when dirt is scratched through the carpet from foot traffic causing a dull look to the carpet because light is no longer refracting the same way through the fibers. This can even remove a certain amount of color and will damage protection applied by the factory.

The Professional technique of a properly trained carpet cleaning technician will not allow any damage to occur or moisture to penetrate the backing of any carpet or area rug. With proper cleaning agents and water softening systems attached to today's high tech truck mounted machines, routine cleaning of your carpets is now more beneficial than ever before, thus extending the life of your investment and reducing contaminants in your home environment.

So go ahead and have those carpets cleaned as often as you like, the less dirt in your carpets the longer they will last, and the better they will perform if a stain should occur.

 

Aren't over the counter spot and stain cleaners just as good as a professional's cleaners?

 
 

No, these cleaning agents are marketed as a fix-all for spot and stain problems, but in reality there is no miracle cure-all to every stain. Many of these products have bleaching and or reducing agents that hide stains and damage dyes. They also can remove color and cause permanent damage to carpet fibers and protection due to their high pH levels and additives.

 

How often should I have my carpets and upholstery cleaned?

 
 

The best time to have your carpets and upholstery cleaned is when soil can no longer be removed by vacuuming. Soil left in your carpet over time can prematurely wear the carpet fibers and cause permanent damage resulting in a shaded or dirty look to the traffic patterns. Also, colored spills or spots can become permanent over time, so prompt clean-up is imperative to prevent permanent staining after which professional extraction should be used to return the carpet to it's pre-soiled state. See the E.P.A.'s frequency chart on our Tips page for more information.