WARNING: Don’t Hire Any Carpet Cleaner Until You Read This!
Dear Friend, There are many unscrupulous carpet cleaners out there (like Bubba, our fictional character pictured below) that will take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners. They offer you an unbelievably low price (which you generally do NOT receive) and then deliver extremely poor workmanship. If you've ever hired one of these companies in the past, you can relate to what I'm talking about. I'm sure it's not an experience you'll soon want to repeat. This site will give you the information needed to find an ethical cleaning company in your area that delivers quality workmanship at a fair price.
Beware of the uneducated, unscrupulome cleaners!
If you don't feel like reading this whole guide watch this Consumer Awareness Video
Consumer’s Information Guide to Northern Virginia Carpet Cleaning
Find out what you need to know to save on carpet cleaning, find a carpet cleaner and avoid unethical cleaners and common rip-offs!
This guide is provided as an educational resource to the Consumer by
Astrobrite Carpet Cleaning
Serving the Northern Virginia: Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Prince William County since 1988
A note from the owners of Astrobrite Carpet Cleaning Company
I know that choosing a carpet cleaning company isn’t an easy thing to do. Perhaps that’s why you may have been putting off getting your carpets professionally cleaned.
What makes choosing a company so difficult? Ill, for one thing, there’s the matter of trust. It’s not as easy as just picking a NAME out of the phone book when it comes to letting a stranger into your home. You want to be sure you choose a reputable company with a history of professionalism and service to its clients. There’s also the chance that you may have seen or heard about some of the less than ethical tactics practiced by unscrupulous cleaners such as offering a too-good-to-be-true low price only to pressure the Consumer with offensive sales tactics once they’ve gained entrance to your home. And what about the quality of the work itself? You want to be sure you’re getting a competent, highly trained professional and not some unqualified, under trained, part-time technician who, chances are, can came more harm than good attempting to clean your carpet.
So what can you do to be sure you’re getting the best value for your money when it comes to carpet cleaning? Start by reading this Consumer Information Guide. It was written with you, the carpet cleaning customer, in mind. It provides answers to the most frequently asked questions consumers have along with explaining the options available to consumers today when it comes to carpet cleaning. After reading this information you’ll know what questions to ask a prospective cleaner and be better prepared to make an informed, intelligent decision.
Of course, even this guide may not cover all of your questions. If that’s the case and you have any questions regarding specific areas of concern such as pet odor, upholstery cleaning, spot and stain removal or anything else, don’t hesitate to give me a call at 703-914-2811 for more information regarding these and other topics. While you’re there, why not sign-up for our free monthly newsletter? It’s a great collection of tips and techniques for all areas of your life.
Thank you for taking the time to read this Information Guide. I hope it helps you became more comfortable with choosing the right carpet cleaning company for your needs.
Four common misconceptions and myths about carpet cleaning...
#1: It doesn’t matter which method of cleaning is used.
Wrong. The method of cleaning used on your carpet has a great deal to do with how clean your carpet gets (how much dirt and residue is pulled out), how healthy for your family your carpet is and how long your carpet ultimately lasts.
There are basically two methods used to clean carpet. One is the dry cleaning method which consists of the use of dry powders or foams. This method’s biggest benefit (your carpet never gets It so it doesn’t need time to dry) is also its biggest drawback. This method tends to leave quite a lot of dirt and other pollutants behind became your carpet is not rinsed in any way. It would be a lot like washing your dishes with a dry chemical powder and then “rinsing” them by vacuuming them. The best, most effective way of cleaning carpets is method number 2: hot water extraction.
The world’s largest manufacturer of carpeting, Shaw Industries, recommends the hot water extraction method as the preferred method of carpet cleaning. In this method high pressure is used to force a hot water cleaning solution into your carpet. Then this solution is sucked back out effectively pulling dirt and pollutants from your carpet. The main reason this method works better is that the water is heated to a high temperature that easily breaks up the dirt, pollens, pollutants and bacteria in your carpet. The next step involves using high powered suction to draw or extract this grime from every part of your carpet. Hot water extraction performed by trained technicians with a powerful extractor is like a deep cleaning and massage for your carpet.
At Astrobrite Carpet Cleaning I use Rotary Jet Extraction TM which thoroughly cleans the carpet fiber from all directions to produce superior cleaning results that will amaze our customers. Guaranteed to out-clean all other systems.
#2: You shouldn’t have your carpet cleaned too often.
Wrong. I’m not saying you should have your carpets cleaned every month, but carpet cleaning on a regular basis will serve to make your carpeting last longer and your home to be healthier.
Why? Dirt and grime are destructive to carpets. They are abrasive, and every time you walk on your carpet you grind this “sandpaper dirt” into your carpet’s fibers. This grinding causes carpeting to wear out much faster than it should. Regular maintenance like vacuuming helps, but vacuuming alone isn’t enough to pull the dirt and other pollutants out of your carpet.
How often should you get your carpets cleaned? That depends a great deal on how many people live in the home, their ages, and if you have pets. If you have young children, then you already know how fast things like rugs, carpets and upholstery can get dirty. If you have pets, they too can bring in quite a bit of dirt, dust and other pollutants. While it may seem at first to be too often, I would suggest having your carpets cleaned every six to eight months if you have children and pets. If you don’t have those conditions or if you want to push the envelope, then you should have your carpets cleaned once a year.
There is also your family’s health to consider when deciding how often to have your carpets cleaned. Your carpet is really just a very big filter for all the dust, dirt, allergens, bacteria and grime that find their way into your home. Like any filter, your carpet functions best when it is clean. When a carpet is clean, it traps these unwanted guests in its fibers. As time goes by, those fibers become full and are no longer very effective at trapping those unseen nasty grime. This is why, more so than appearance, I believe in the importance of regular, effective deep cleaning of carpets.
If you or someone you love suffers from allergies, asthma or other breathing problems, one of the first things you should do is to have your carpets professionally cleaned. A dirty, overloaded carpet (or filter) can be a problem source of irritants for allergy and asthma sufferers. A professionally cleaned and maintained carpet (or filter) can be an effective tool in the battle against these irritants and allergens.
There are at least three major benefits to regular cleaning:
1.) Your carpet will look great.
2.) Your carpet will last longer.
And MOST IMPORTANTLY...
3.)You and your family will enjoy a healthier indoor environment.
#3 All carpet cleaning companies are basically the same, so I should just go with the lowest price.
Wrong. Sadly, this just isn’t true. Too-good-to-be-true low prices are often the doorway to a bad experience when it comes to carpet cleaning. Besides being a tactic employed by less than ethical, bait and switch companies, low prices are often the sign of under trained technicians and companies using outdated methods and/or equipment.
The truth of the matter is this: despite what you may have seen in the Yellow Pages or the coupon mailers, no one can do a good job, much less make a living, cleaning your carpets for a low price. What many people who have since become loyal customers of mine have found out is that this low price is often just a way to get in your home. Once these companies have gained entrance to your home, you may find that the price they advertised isn’t for a complete and thorough cleaning or, that worse yet, they begin pressuring you into spending more money for extra services that you really don’t want.
Another downside to low prices is that the cleaner may not really know what he is doing and/or using outdated equipment and methods of cleaning. Sometimes it is the sign of someone new to the business, who may or may not have the knowledge needed to provide you with first quality cleaning and service. Low prices are often used by inexperienced cleaners as a way to get their foot in your door.
If, after reading the above, you’re still looking for the lowest price, I would respectfully ask you to not call my company. If you are looking for a good value (a fair price paid for competent, professional work), then please feel free to call me with any questions you may have.
#4 I can do just as good a job with one of those do-it-yourself rental machines.
Wrong. The problem with the machines that you can rent at the local supermarket or hardware store is that they don’t have the suction power to remove the dirt and grime fully from your carpet. A rental machine costs roughly $300 and a professional machine costs at least $12,000. Which of these systems do you think does a better job? The other question to ask yourself is “How much is my time worth?” Do you really want to try and save a few dollars by going out renting equipment, learning how to use it, doing the actual work, then cleaning up and taking the equipment back? Is it really worth it?
Five things you’ll want to know about your
carpet cleaning company...
#1: Which method of cleaning do they use?
As I discussed earlier, hot water extraction done by a professional machine is recommended by the world’s largest manufacturer of carpeting, Shaw Industries. It’s also the most expensive in terms of investment made by the cleaning company and is a sign (though not a foolproof one) that the company is serious about their business. Hot water extraction when performed by a qualified technician using a high powered system will give your carpet the deepest, healthiest cleaning possible.
#2: Are the technicians certified by the IICRC?
The IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) is an independent body that provides the finest, most complete technical training courses and seminars available to carpet cleaners and restoration (flood, mold and fire damage) in the industry. Your cleaner should be IICRC certified in any type of cleaning or restoration service they are providing you. IICRC Certification and Training is expensive and many companies cut corners when it comes to training their employees in the best and most effective cleaning methods. Before agreeing to have your carpet or upholstery cleaned ask to see written proof of the company’s and the technician’s IICRC certification. Any cleaner who has gone through the exhaustive and intensive training provided by the IICRC will be proud to show you proof of their certification.
#3: Does the company stand behind its work with a strong, unconditional guarantee?
You want to hire a company that believes in both its workmanship and its service. You deserve to feel secure in your choice of a carpet cleaning company. One of the best ways to hire the right company and feel secure that you did is to choose a company that stands behind its work with an unconditional money-back guarantee. Don’t hire any cleaner based only on a verbal guarantee of quality work. Ask to see the company’s guarantee in writing. Look out for companies that have “fine print” or lots of conditions in their guarantees. Those types of guarantees often prove to be useless to the customer. What you want is a straight-forward, no-nonsense guarantee that states clearly what will happen if for any reason you are not satisfied with the service.
#4: Do they have endorsements or references from their past clients?
Anyone or any business can toot its own horn, but the individual or business that has endorsements or references from satisfied customers has a proven history of providing superior service and workmanship. Asking to see customer testimonials or asking for references that you can call is a good step when interviewing your prospective cleaner. Any cleaner who can’t or won’t offer you references or show you customers’ comments should make you wary of using their services.
#5: Can they provide a FREE in-home inspection and estimate?
Hiring a company over the phone, sight unseen, is not the best method. A better way to ensure you hire a first-rate company and to know what work will be done and exactly how much it will cost is to have a representative of the company come to your home. This way you can make a more informed judgment of the company. Was the company on-time for this first visit? Was the company’s representative polite, respectful of your needs and knowledgeable? This is the type of information that you can’t get from a phone call. In-home inspections and written estimates also take the guesswork out of having your carpet cleaned. The company benefits from this arrangement too as they can get an exact picture of things like the size of the rooms, furniture to be moved and problem areas. The Consumer benefits by choosing exactly the level of service he/she wants and knowing ahead of time the exact cost of the services to be performed.
What goes into the price you pay for your
Most reputable firms price their services by the square foot of carpet. There are a few things that go into determining the price you’ll pay for having your carpet cleaned. One of the first things to be considered is the type of carpet you have. Some types are tougher to clean than others and will cost a bit more. Probably the most important factor is how dirty the carpet is to begin with. Carpets that have not been cleaned in a long time are harder and take longer to clean than carpets that have been Ill maintained with regular cleanings. Because of the added time, these carpets will cost slightly more to clean. Another thing that factors into your cost is the amount of furniture that needs to be moved or the amount of stairs that needs to be cleaned.
At Astrobrite Carpet Cleaning I will be more than happy to provide you with a Free carpet cleaning estimate and exact price quote for the services you need. I’ll fully explain all your options so that you understand completely what is going to be done, how it’s going to be done and how much it will cost.
Astrobrite Carpet Cleaning invites you to call me with any questions you may have concerning carpet cleaning and creating healthier home environments for you and your family.