A Health Concern of Growing Dimensions

Mold - we read about it almost every day! The news media reports the presence of serious amounts of mold being found in our homes, our schools, and our places of employment. It can be anywhere, rich homes, poor homes, warm climates, cold climates, damp climates and dry climates. The problem with mold is that it is linked to nearly all of the chronic sinus infections which affect over 37 million Americans. Some mold can cause serious breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flulike symptoms and even bleeding in the lungs.

Mold growth and the illnesses associated with mold can be prevented by keeping buildings and the air in them clean and dry. Mold needs a damp haven, such as a roof leak or water leak, along with an atmosphere of high indoor humidity in which to thrive and reproduce. The resulting mold spores can be recirculated throughout the building by the HVAC system and become a serious health threat, particularly to sensitive and allergic individuals.

Molds require water to grow. Any cellulose product like wood, ceiling tile, wallpaper and wallboard becomes a food source for mold once it becomes wet. Mold needs this food source to survive. Without it, mold cannot survive. So to prevent mold growth and the illnesses associated with mold, you must locate the source of the dampness and eliminate it.. Keep the area clean and dry. Because mold spores can travel through the air, it is also important to prevent the spread and growth of mold with the use of an air purifier that can reduce airborne mold.


The Key To Cleaner Carpets and a Healthier Home Environment

Believe it or not, the real key to keeping your carpet looking good all the time is to vacuum often, probably at least two to three times a week. Dry vacuuming can remove as much as 80% of the soil in a carpet, especially the soil in the high traffic areas. Thorough vacuuming in the high traffic areas will go a long way toward keeping the traffic lanes from getting matted and worn. These are the areas that can look so ugly once they are worn and it ruins the appearance of the rest of the house. Simple vacuum cleaning can add years of life to your carpet and keep it looking good all the time.

Use should use a quality upright vacuum with a beater-bar revolving brush that will dislodge the soil from the carpet nap. Use of a nap brush or grooming rake prior to vacuuming will loosen up the dry soil between the fibers, making it easier for the vacuum to remove the soil. If you do not own a nap brush, you can usually obtain one from your professional carpet cleaner. Your vacuum should be equipped with the micro-lined anti-bacterial bags so as not to redistribute the small particles and biopollutants that were just vacuumed up. Keep the vacuum cleaner in good condition, changing the disposable bag regularly.

General vacuuming should be performed in all open areas. More detailed vacuuming is necessary in the high traffic areas, utilizing slower strokes and turning the vacuum cleaner at a right angle for an additional pass in an effort to remove as much dry soil as possible. Placing doormats at entrances will help prevent "tracked-in" dirt from accumulating in the carpet.

The soil that remains in the carpet after vacuuming is the oily soil that clings to the fibers. This oily soil is usually removed by professional cleaning or by do-it-yourself cleaning and with the use of certain cleaning agents. Professional cleaners normally know the difference between carpet spills (usually removable) and carpet stains (usually not removable) and they carry various spotting agents that can aid in the removal of spots. Your best time to try to remove a spot or spill by yourself is as soon as possible after it occurs. You chances are best while the spot is still wet. Refer to our Stain Removal Chart for information on spot removal.

Professionally clean your carpet at least once every twelve to eighteen months. Certainly do it before the traffic patterns begin to show wear. It is always best to vacuum your carpet prior to the carpet cleaner arriving, unless the carpet cleaner offers this as part of his service. Many of them do. Just remember that by removing the dry soil from your carpet at least a few times a week, you stand the best chance of preserving the beauty of your carpet for years to come. After cleaning, be sure to ventilate the area with fresh air during the drying period and at least 24 hours after.





How Serious is the Problem?

The air you breathe in your home or office could be making you sick! Some people report dizziness, headaches, burning eyes, aching throats and loss of energy - symptoms often mistaken for the common cold. But do these symptoms go away when you leave the building? If so, this is a good indication that your building may have "sick building" syndrome, otherwise known as indoor air pollution. If left untreated, allergies, depression and chronic illness could result.

Potentially Dangerous Indoor Pollutants

Our homes and buildings are sealed tighter today than in the past, thanks largely to the energy crises of the 70's. All this has altered our indoor environments. We've introduced thousands of coatings, glues, fabrics, insecticides, disinfectants, personal care products, soaps, perfumes, refrigerants, lubricants, dry cleaning chemicals, cooking odors and pet odors into our indoor air. Thanks to the greater insulation and tighter homes, there is not enough fresh air introduced into our homes and offices to help rid the air of these pollutants. Offices are even worse because most of them have windows that do not even open. All these pollutants float through the air unseen, yet get into our lungs when we breathe. Can this be good? Not according to the EPA and the House of Representatives. They both rate Indoor Air Pollution as the number one environmental health concern of Americans today.

Can Indoor Air Pollution Cause Medical Problems?

Dust mites are associated with over 80% of the respiratory problems caused by "bad air" in your home or office. Only 10% of the colds are caught outdoors, 90% indoors. Many otherwise unexplained physical ailments like allergic reactions or flu-like symptoms that persist long after a normal cold should have run its course may be traced to airborne pollutants in the home or office.

What We Can Do About It!

You must reduce dust and dust mites and other allergens floating in the air by any means possible. Here are a few tips that have been known to help the problem:

* Replace furnace filters regularly

* Vacuum frequently - using micro-filter dust free bags

* Wash bedding frequently - in 130 degree or hotter temperature

* Use impermeable covers over mattress and pillows

* Clean carpets and upholstery regularly

* Keep your home in the 25-35% humidity range. When a home is kept too dry, allergens are far more apt to float.

* Purchase an air purifier that will reduce the airborne allergens and oxidize the odors. Thanks to today's technology, there is a unique air purification system on the market today that has no filters and requires little maintenance, yet helps rid the air of odors and airborne allergens. For more information on this product call your local carpet cleaner.


Which Type of Carpet Cleaning System is Best For My Carpet

There are several types of carpet cleaning procedures that you might consider for your carpet. The most popular is the steam or hot water extraction system, but you may prefer one of the other systems that leave the carpet relatively dry after cleaning. These would include the absorbent powder extraction system, the bonnet/spin pad system, the dry foam shampoo system or the rotary shampoo system.

With the ABSORBENT POWDER EXTRACTION SYSTEM, a cleaning compound is distributed on the surface of the carpet, agitated with counter rotating brushes, allowed to dry, and then vacuumed up. The compound actually absorbs the soil and the dirty compound is vacuumed away. Generally used to improve appearance, it is used as daily cleaning of high traffic areas in airports, restaurants and airports. This system is very well suited for those who do not desire wet cleaning, yet want some extraction. Drying time is immediate and carpets can be used right away. 

The BONNET/SPIN PAD SYSTEM is a minimum moisture system where a liquid cleaning agent is applied to the carpet and to the spin pad. Using a low RPM rotary cleaning machine, the carpet surface is then buffed with the spin pad. Soil is absorbed into the pad and when it become sufficiently soiled, the pad is changed. This system is considered an "appearance" cleaning method and is ideally suited for maintaining large areas of commercial carpet. Drying time is one to three hours.

With the DRY FOAM METHOD, a high foaming detergent is aerated and applied to the carpet nap with a dry foam machine, brushed into the carpet and extracted. The cylindrical brush cleans down to the base of the carpet. The soil is suspended and the oily soils are emulsified. Powerful suction lifts out dirt laden foam in seconds. This cleaning method is especially effective in cleaning huge amounts of carpet very quickly, as is shopping malls, casinos, offices, airports, etc. It also is used in residential cleaning when consumers desire immediate drying time, which is usually one hour or less. Some residential customers prefer the convenience and the drying time of the dry foam method, because problems such as overwetting, shrinkage or browning are virtually eliminated with this method.

The SHAMPOO CLEANING method is considered a wet cleaning method. A high foaming detergent/shampoo is applied to the carpet nap using the low RPM rotary cleaning with a carpet brush. The brush spins the shampoo into the carpet, suspends the soil and emulsifies oils. The carpet can then be vacuumed with a wet vac. Many cleaners simply brush the carpet with a pile or nap broom and do not extract. The carpet can be vacuumed when dry. This is considered an "appearance" cleaning. Some carpet cleaners, however, use the shampoo method as the first step in the "two-step" process of cleaning. The second step is extraction with a steam cleaner. 

The STEAM (Hot Water Extraction) method involves applying a soil-releasing agent or pre-conditioner to the carpet along with steam (hot water) and almost simultaneously extracting. This method is well adapted to deep, thorough removal of soils from a carpeted surface. Properly performed, this method will result in clean, fresh carpets with a minimum or resoiling due to residue left in the carpet. With the current move toward "cleaning for your health first, and appearance second, steam cleaning, with its superior soil removal capabilities seems to be the method of choice for the foreseeable future. 

No matter which method you prefer, the key to success lies with the individual technician. Each method can offer cleaner carpets if the cleaner is trained, skilled and motivated to do the job properly

Clean Carpeting ... A Key To Improving Indoor Air Quality


Indoor air quality has become quite an issue over the past twenty years. While most of us spend over 90% of our time indoors through either work or home, we tend to take the quality of our indoor environments for granted. Yet, the fact is that the air inside your home or office can be 10 times more polluted than the outside air we read so much about. 

We never give a second thought to all the cleaning sprays and cooking odors that are floating in the air inside our homes and inside office buildings that never seem to have enough ventilation. How about inside school buildings? Did you ever notice the very distinct odor there is inside school buildings? Most everything and anything that is airborne will eventually fall out of the air and onto the furniture or floor. 

Carpets are meant to hide dirt and dust. In fact, carpets are like sinks because they soak up an amazing amount of dirt, most of which we never see because it nestles down in the carpet pile. The fact that dirt is hidden from the eye doesn't mean it isn't there. Without frequent and proper vacuuming and periodic steam cleanings to extract the dirt, many of these pollutants that cause allergies, red and itching eyes and sore throats are left to build up in the carpet. This can be a very unhealthy situation for the more than 40 million Americans who suffer from allergies. It's a fact that many people feel much better when they leave their homes or offices and go outside. This is a sure indication that the air inside the building is contaminated. 

According to the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), the professional trade association of carpet manufacturers and cleaners, as many as 85% of carpet owners never deep clean their carpets. Regular vacuuming (two or three times a week) can go a long way toward keeping the dust from accumulating. Periodic deep cleanings by a professional cleaner will make your home or office more livable. Controlling at least one of the sources of indoor pollution is essential in the battle to improve indoor air quality. 


Caring For Your Upholstery

People sometimes overlook the importance of regular cleaning maintenance when it comes to their upholstered furniture. While upholstery doesn't attract the same amount of soil as carpeting, it does need to be vacuumed regularly with the proper attachments. Besides keeping the furniture clean, vacuuming will also extend the useful life of your furniture.

Since we don't walk on our furniture, the oily abrasive soils that affect carpets are not predominant on our favorite couch or chair. However, since we do spend a great deal of time there, soil from our clothing and oil from our skin can find their way to the same areas time after time. This leads to harmful build-up of deposits that, by the time they become apparent, may have already caused irreversible staining or deterioration. To avoid this deterioration, it's best to schedule professional cleaning on a regular basis.

Obviously, upholstery does not need to be professionally cleaned as often as carpet, but when that time comes, it should be cleaned by a knowledgeable professional. With over 4000 different types of fabrics being used on upholstered furniture, using the improper cleaning approach may result in color bleeding, fading or shrinkage.

Don't take unnecessary chances with your upholstery if you plan on keeping it for a while. You take care of the day-to-day vacuuming and spot removal. Trust the cleaning to the expertise and experience of a professional cleaner. You'll be glad you did!