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Do's and Don't's

By Michael Hilton

Do's and Don't's in Hiring A Carpet Cleaner

Most of the professional carpet cleaning companies and carpet cleaners in the United States are ethical businesses. Unfortunately, like in any business, exceptions may occur and it is in response to inquiries relative to those exceptions that this information has been prepared. Fortunately, common sense measures can be taken to guard against unacceptable practices. Prior to selecting a carpet cleaner, the following considerations should be taken into account.

Use caution when scheduling an appointment with someone who contacts you by telephone. In responding to computer generated calling programs, never leave a message with answering machines.

Thoroughly investigate any carpet cleaner canvassing your neighborhood before signing a contract.

Be skeptical of anyone who advertises a carpet cleaning price by the room. Room sizes vary. Any charges should be based on the total area cleaned.

Do not pay for extras such as removals of spots, preconditioning, deep carpet cleaning, triple processes, pile setting, vacuuming, or color brightening. These services are ordinarily included as part of normal carpet cleaning.

The use of brand name carpet cleaning products or chemicals does not necessarily suggest any affiliation with these companies or added credibility for the carpet cleaner.

Do not sign any documents or contracts until you fully understand the contents.

Pay for the services after completion of the work. If you do not feel the work has been performed to your satisfaction or you feel you have been overcharged, consider withholding payment until a solution can be arranged. Never pay by cash or write checks to individuals. Checks should only be written to a company name.

Never allow anyone to take your credit card from your home.

In selecting a carpet cleaner, look for a professional appearance and behavior.

Do not be afraid to ask questions. You may first wish to contact your retail carpet store for information. Make sure that the manufacturer of your carpet approves all of the carpet cleaning methods and chemicals.

Be aware that some extra treatments may be necessary from time to time. Contact your carpet manufacturer before allowing any additional treatments to prevent voiding warranties. Be cautious if you are pressured into accepting any of these treatments.

Do not allow the carpet cleaner to dispose of dirty water on your lawn or into the street.

Contact the Better Business Bureau before contracting with any carpet cleaner. Investigate whether any complaints have gone unreconciled. Request proof of training or certification.

Always require picture identification and/or credentials prior to allowing anyone into your home.

Request a detailed, written invoice for services to be performed. Thoroughly review the itemized list of services to be performed and confirm any standardized services that should be included as routine carpet cleaning.

Ask for references. It would be wise to contact references. A reputable carpet cleaner should have a prepared list of satisfied clients or businesses that utilize their services.

Confirm that the carpet cleaning process is compatible with your carpet warranties.

Inquire about the use of any dangerous chemicals in the carpet cleaning process. Most carpet cleaners do not use chemicals that are considered toxic. If there is a concern about specific chemicals, request a copy of Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) information for the chemicals to be used.

Move your own breakable objects before the carpet cleaner arrives.

Determine beforehand if there is an extra charge for moving furniture or if it is included.

Insist on a scheduled appointment. If this is impossible, request an afternoon or morning promise. Try to be at home during the scheduled carpet cleaning.

Inquire about insurance and bonding retained by the carpet cleaner.

While most carpet cleaners possess integrity and use good business ethics, it is helpful to follow these guidelines when selecting a carpet cleaner. Other considerations should be evaluated in selecting a carpet cleaner. Do not select a carpet cleaner on price alone.

Carpet today has been engineered to withstand stains, hide soils, and provide better performance characteristics than ever before. Various fiber shapes are used to hide soil and alter the reflection of light. Most soil has razor-like edges that scar these fibers causing permanent damage. This scarring alters the reflection of light causing traffic lanes and heavy wear areas to appear soiled. Once this invisible soil scratches the fiber, restoration of these areas becomes impossible.

The key to preventing this damage and extending the life of your carpet is to vacuum traffic areas regularly and clean your carpet every twelve (12) months. Most carpet will be heavily laden with soil before the carpet appears soiled. High soil content, human skin scales, and pet dander provide an excellent food source for dust mites, bacteria, fungi and other types of biological contamination. Cleaning carpet regularly can remove this contamination and create a healthier indoor environment.

Most carpet manufacturers and CRI recommend that carpet be cleaned a minimum of every 12-18 months. Cleaning carpet more often will improve its performance and create a healthier environment.

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

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THIS ARTICLE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITH NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. THE AUTHOR, THE SITE OWNER AND ITS AFFILIATES ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS CONTAINED THEREIN OR FOR ANY USE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT. The article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.