How to Choose
How to Choose a Carpet Cleaning Professional in Walla Walla
As in many industries, the multiplicity of cleaning options can be quite intimidating for a homeowner. You know you should clean and maintain you flooring investment, your carpet manufacturer’s requires it after all, but who to call? Perhaps you’ve heard horror stories about soaking wet carpet taking days to dry, or spots returning like a bad dream every time you get them cleaned, or cleaners charging twice as much a they said they would to begin with. Maybe you’ve heard stories of convicts posing as carpet cleaners or other service/maintenance professionals to gain access to your home.
Well, those are very legitimate concerns. Fortunately there actually are a few simple tips that can help you choose a responsible, professional cleaning company here in Walla Walla.
- First of all, try to find a cleaner that has been trained and certified by the Clean Trust. (formerly the IICRC) This certification means that a technician has spent several weeks and hundreds of dollars to learn how to do his job correctly. Companies certified by the Clean Trust also commit to specific ethical code of conduct. This single step weeds out a large percentage of the “fly-by-night” coupon-cleaner, wanna-be-professionals. The Clean Trust awards certificates and laminated ID cards, so ask if you can see the credentials. Unfortunately, many cleaners seem to think its ok to falsely display the Clean Trust (IICRC) logo on their ads and websites. The logo is easily obtained on the internet and does not necessarily mean a company is actually certified. Here you can see the old IICRC logo and the new Clean Trust logo. Go to the Clean Trust website here and search your zip code for genuinely certified firms.
- Ask about a Guarantee. If a cleaning professional cannot or will not stand 100% behind his work, no ifs, ands, or buts, than he probably isn’t the kind of professional you want in your home.
- Ask about their cleaning method. Most major manufacturers (including Shaw and Mohawk) recommend cleaning with the Hot Water Extraction Method (steam cleaning) every 12 to 18 months. Use of other “dry” methods may be alright for interim cleaning, but they do not provide the deep cleaning, rinsing action of properly performed steam cleaning. Read over this article I wrote on the different cleaning methods for a detailed analysis of the various methods. And in case you’re worried about long dry times associated with steam cleaning, keep in mind that any cleaning professional worth his pay can have your carpets dry within a maximum of 8-12 hours, and there’s really no reason they can’t be dry in under 4 hours in good weather. If you’re carpets take longer to dry than this, your carpets have been cleaned by an untrained technician who is just guessing at what he’s doing! Of course, the time it takes water to dry is dependant on a lot of factors such as ambient temperature, humidity, air movement and so forth, but on the average house, twelve hours should be plenty of time to dry.
- Ask about liability insurance and licensing. You wouldn’t think this would be an issue, but you might be surprised at how many people try to cut corners here. It pays to ask, and it is a good indication of how professional a company really is if they’re cutting corners on liability insurance. These types of things cost real money to small business owners, and it means a company is serious about their long term goals when they make these investments.
- Ask if they do free inspections and quotes (they should) and have them come out and provide a quote for you. This provides you with an opportunity to “scope out” you candidates and get a feel for the kind of company they are. Do they give you a written quote that isn’t going to change when they show up? Do they display confidence in their ability to address any stains or spots you have? Are they clean, uniformed, and polite? Do they explain what their cleaning process and answer your questions knowledgeably?
Now, obviously any company who strives to maintain their reputation and expertise as laid out above, is not going to be able to compete with the bottom dollar, coupon cleaner who has cut all the corners he can, is going clean your carpet in half the time should take him, and is perhaps paying a high school dropout minimum wage to do the work! You might have to pay a slight premium to get the kind of professional service you want for your home. That’s fine. There’s an old saying that says “You get what you pay for” and this couldn’t be more true in the cleaning industry! Be prepared for a job ticket anywhere from $150-$350 for the average home, which is a bargain when you consider that a properly maintained carpet can easily last twice as long as a poorly maintained one.
Above all, remember that professional, in-home maintenance companies are not all created equal. Maintenance services are not commodities which are packaged in plastic and are sold at a “suggested retail price”. It is a service experience, and will vary widely depending on the company you choose. Here at Beautiful Carpets and Floors, we strive to offer a far more than a clean floor. Call and schedule a free cleaning inspection and price quote at;