Carpet Care: When Do-It-Yourself is Overstated
After acquiring something new, the excitement and satisfaction surrounding the new item will inevitably decline as time passes by. This is especially true as the cost of the item begins to set in and the novelty of the item wears off. However, in certain circumstances, the initial pleasure can be revisited even years down the road.
Given that our homes are our sanctuaries - a place to escape the stresses and complications of the outside world - it is important to maintain an environment that elicits positive emotions. Everyone knows how much better they feel after picking up the house, cleaning the bathroom, or organizing that infamous kitchen drawer. At times, even more drastic improvements can be made in the form of new appliances, finishing a basement, or tackling the landscaping. On the other hand, if you are looking for something beyond the weekly cleaning, but not as involved as a complete remodel, you should consider having your carpet cleaned. Most people are amazed at how bright the home appears after the grime of daily life is removed and the luster of your carpet is restored. In fact, many homes look years younger, and when paired with a fresh coat of paint, look almost new – except of course for your children's toys strewn all over the place.
Anyhow, this is a renewal that you can do with fairly little effort and at a reasonable price. The end result can be achieved in a handful of ways. The most laborious method is to clean the carpet yourself. If you are so motivated, there is the spot cleaning method of tackling just the problem areas such as the high traffic pathways or by targeting specific stains and spills. However, in reality, this will not be nearly as rewarding as having the carpet cleaned entirely. Even as such, you can still complete the job without having to elicit outside assistance. At this juncture, you have two choices: either purchase a steam cleaner or rent one. Steam cleaners can be found in stores usually alongside traditional vacuums. They run anywhere from under $100 to many hundreds of dollars, and this is one particular instance where you do get what you pay for, or what you don't. For this reason, people selecting to clean their own carpets often just rent a steam cleaner for a specified time. Rental locations can be found by checking your local phone directory or check with your grocery store, as many rent equipment as well.
In reality though, the greatest satisfaction is going to come from having the carpets cleaned by a professional. Besides avoiding the hassle of purchasing or renting a steam cleaner, the quality of the job should be far greater than what you would achieve yourself. However, there are a few precautions that you should take before accepting the first advertisement that appears in your mailbox. First and foremost, before beginning any carpet cleaning project, check your carpet warranty for any specific guidelines or recommendations. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends that your carpets undergo a deep professional cleaning every 12 to 18 months.
After confirming any warranty restrictions, you must now begin the critical task of selecting a reputable company that can complete the job in a timely fashion and for a reasonable price - all the while maintaining a high level of quality and professionalism. You should be aware of a few key indicators that might suggest a company should be avoided. First, as you know by looking around your own home, all rooms are not the same size. Therefore, it is not recommended that you select a company that charges a base rate per room. Your fees should be based off total square footage, which will logically require that an associate come out to your home, in advance, to provide you with a quote. This will also allow you the opportunity to ask some additional questions and highlight any specific problem areas in which you would like extra cleaning care. While doing the latter, you can ask for a realistic expectation of the cleanliness of the carpet post its treatment.
With regards to the types of questions you should ask of the company associate, your goal is to establish some sort of track record or experience. It is completely appropriate to ask for referrals. It is also advised to inquire about tenure, associate training, and the actual cleaning products they will be using. Also, ensure that they will be vacuuming your carpet prior to the cleaning process.
Once you have made your company selection, obtain a quote in writing - do not accept a verbal agreement. Make sure you have covered all the bases in your quote, including everything from who is responsible for moving the furniture and what time of day the installers will be finished. The latter part is important since it is not advisable to walk on the carpet or replace the furniture until the carpet is completely dry.
After all that hard work, this brings us to the last and easiest step – enjoy! Regular carpet maintenance will preserve your initial investment while also improving the feel of your home, starting with its flooring. Never underestimate a little maid time.