Around here when
our phone rings, we chat with the customer and with any luck book another customer for our environmentally friendly residential or commercial carpet cleaning. Nine times out of ten the client we get needs their carpet cleaned, but occasionally we run across a situation where cleaning the carpet just doesn’t make sense. As professional carpet cleaners we have an obligation to our customers. An obligation to tell them that maybe they shouldn’t get the carpets cleaned. Sounds like a contradiction in terms but sometimes rather than just clean the carpets and walk away with our customer’s money we have to stop and say no.
We have a great number of repeat clients, a fact we take great pride in. With residential clients, given normal day to day activity and life around the house, we recommend that they have their carpets cleaned annually. Rarely do most of our clients need their carpets cleaned more often than once a year, so when a client calls us back in three to four months to clean her carpets again, we wondered, but assumed that she had something going on at the house and wanted the carpets freshened up, even though they looked good when we got there, we cleaned them. When she called again three months later to have us clean her carpets again, well, the red flags naturally went up. When we got to her home and the carpets were clean and in great shape, those red flags went right to the top of the flag pole. I talked to about needing the carpets cleaned and in the course of our conversation found out that she was on disability for a bad back and was bored and had nothing to do all day, because she couldn’t move around much because of here injury. Turns out she would lay of the sofa and look at the carpets and after a few months decided she needed them cleaned again. I told her not to spend the money, that the carpets were fine and left. She has stayed a customer for years, but now we only clean once a year.
We work with a number of real estate investors who purchase, fix up and then sell or rent houses in the Edmonton area. Often the homes are in rough shape and need a fair amount of TLC to get them ready. Dirty windows need a thorough washing and they look great, dirty, dungy walls need a good bright coat of paint and they are just like new. Floors, and carpets in particular ore not like that. The longer a stain stays in a carpet the harder it is to get out. Stairs not only get dirty they get worn down from all the feet that step on the same spot every time someone goes up or down. Liquids like coffee, coke, or pet urine spilled on older carpet usually soaks through to the underlay leaving a smell as well as a stain. Finally wear and tear from constant use and neglect often ruins a carpet. We get called in to see if we can salvage a carpet and get it clean enough to make it livable. We assess the carpet and let the owner know if cleaning the carpet is a waste of time and money. It is a service we provide to all our customers whether they ask for it or not.
We get calls all the time about flood damage, and we end up saying no more often for this type of customer than any other. This is pretty simple, if you have a flood because of rain water or perhaps your hot water tank ruptured, we can clean your carpets. But, if you have been flooded, or the sewer backs up, then there is nothing we can or will do. Whether you have insurance or not, if sewage or flood water soaks your carpet it needs to be replaced. Even if it dries out and looks good, it still needs to be replaced. Your underlay as well as the carpet will be soaked with bacteria, fungus and all kinds of nasty things. Get rid of the carpet and the underlay. No truly professional carpet cleaning service will simply clean your sewage soaked carpet and tell you it’s clean.
These are just a few of the scenarios we come across in our day to day operations where we think it best not to clean your carpets.
Thanks for listening.
EKO Carpet and Upholstery Care can be contacted at 780-486-1022 or visit our website at http://ekocarpetcare.ca/
AT EKO we are proud to call ourselves a green company. Now what does that mean? Is our equipment colored green? No. Are our uniforms green? No. Is our paperwork green? Well yes but it wasn’t by design. What we at EKO Carpet and Upholstery Care are, is a company that understands that being green is not only a good thing for the environment but is most definitely way we are all going to have to be in the future. Being a green, environmentally conscious company was more a business decision than anything else. We understand that people just like us, do not want harsh chemicals or soaps and oils left in their carpets and furniture. Do not want to live with chemicals in their homes or offices. So green seemed like the logical choice, it just so happened that in our case that business decision was aligned with our environmental ideals and sentiments.
When I went into business for myself, one of the first thing I did was to ensure that all our products and equipment were as green as possible. I spent a lot of time and effort on researching the best natural, environmentally friendly products on the market. Research that we continue all the time. When we started we looked at ways to stay as green and environmentally friendly as possible. One way was to find the right equipment. We stayed away from using van mounted equipment so that we don’t run gas or diesel engines out of our vans for two or three hours at a time while cleaning, we use electric equipment and try to be as gentle on the environment as possible.
As a member of the Canadian military I was stationed in Europe for several years back in the eighties, yes I am old, and even then the Europeans were recycling and practicing good environmental habits. We started to recycle and learned a bit about helping the environment and have always maintained those ideals back in Canada.
On our street most of our neighbours have one or maybe two blue bags out for pick up on garbage day, in fact some only put out a small cardboard box if any at all. We will usually have three or more blue bags for pick up. It’s not that we have more stuff or create more garbage; (although sometimes I wonder…) it is because we try to be diligent in separating and collecting our recyclable products.
Often when doing a residential cleaning project or visiting neighbours and friends I see all kinds of recyclables tossed into the garbage. This is especially true for commercial carpet cleaning jobs, it isn’t unusual to see cardboard, paper, cans, bottles, etc. tossed into the garbage beside a desk, just because it’s easier than getting up and walking over to the recycle bin. People mean well and they try to recycle whenever they think about it, but they often miss the mark.
We are the green option for those people who need the work done, want a good job with great service and want to use an environmentally friendly professional carpet cleaner. More and more you hear people talk about the environment, about Global warming, about the need or desire to go green. Well at least for carpet cleaning we provide that option.
So when you hear me say we are a “green Company” you have an idea of just why we call ourselves that.
Thanks for listening.
These days there is a lot of doom and gloom out there about the economy. With the oil patch hit hard a lot of people have had to cut back or slow down their spending. Just because oil prices are down doesn’t mean other prices are down. It seems like everything from gas to food to movie tickets cost more every week. The cost of houses in Edmonton hasn’t gone down either, and with people being more cautious with their money, some houses are staying on the market for a long time. With so many homes up for sales these days in Edmonton the competition is tough, and it’s hard to not only make the sale but get the price you want or need to get.
When people are searching for a new home they want to buy a place they can picture themselves living in. If they walk through the door and can’t see themselves living there they won’t buy. Just ask my wife if you don’t believe me! Sellers need to make the house look and feel comfortable to as many people as possible.
One of the best ways to do this and keep the value of the house up is to stage it.
Staging can be done in a variety of ways, some a little more expensive and time consuming than others. For older, lived in family homes, not everything in the house needs to be changed. The house may need more than just a touch up here and there to make it saleable, it may requires some paint, maybe a new door, a cabinet or perhaps a new countertop to make look a little better, but sometimes it’s as simple as de-cluttering a room or two or placing a few silk plants around the house to green things up.
Once the house looks good, sellers tend to think they’ve done enough, but usually they haven’t. Here are a few things left to consider when staging or getting ready to sell.
One thing everyone will notice as soon as they walk through the door is the cleanliness of the place. One of the great assets of a newly built home is that it always looks neat and clean. The pristine kitchens, the waxed and shining floor, the blindingly white carpets all catch the buyer’s eye. Not all occupied, older homes look like a show home. They are lived in and they tend to look like it. Having a clean fresh smelling home will sell itself. Some homes have a distinctive smell to them. A smell that the homeowner may not even be aware of. Pets, cigarettes, air fresheners, perfume, food and a myriad of other things all lend a distinctive odor to a home. Even though the homeowner doesn’t notice it, buyers walking through the front door certainly will. Cleaning the home from top to bottom will help remove any lingering odors and make it look and feel clean.
– start with dusting. Once you have de-cluttered, painted etc., start dusting. Dust everything, picture frames, lamps, books, shelves; fridge tops, every surface you can think of. Once you’ve dusted everything you want to keep the dust to a minimum. To do this change your furnace filter and install filters in your floor vents. Most home renovation stores carry filters for your vents, or if you want put a couple of dryer sheets in them to help trap the dust.
– Along with dust comes pet hair. A great many people are allergic to pet hairs, and too much hair or dander in the house may generate an allergic reaction. People snuffling and sneezing as they tour the house are unlikely to feel comfortable. If you have a cat or a dog you need to remove as much pet hair as possible. Vacuum floors and furniture, and if that doesn’t work, try running a damp rag over the furniture to help pick up hairs. The filters will help keep some of the pet hair and dander out of the air, but you will have to vacuum and clean on a regular basis.
– Remove any area rugs. You are having a lot of people walking through your home. This is a good time to have your Persian carpets and area rugs cleaned. Have them picked up and cleaned off site and if possible have the carpet cleaning company hold on to them until you need them for your new home. If not, leave them stored someplace out of the way.
-Once everything else has been done, you need to have your carpets cleaned professionally, and you want to use an environmentally friendly cleaning company like EKO, to get the work done. You want green not only to have your carpets looking their best but you want to remove any chemicals and odors left in the carpet.
-Along with having the carpets cleaned, you need to have stains removed. Those crayon marks from the grandkids, red wine stains from one of your wild parties, or perhaps wax from your Christmas candles. All of those need to come out. People won’t remember the colors of the walls, but they will remember the red wine stain in the middle of the living room floor.
– If you have pets, invest in a black light. Pet urine fluoresces under black light and you will be able to tell exactly where Fido has had an accident, and you will be able to mark it for your carpet cleaner. Being able to find the exact spot where your pet has peed will help our technician not only eliminate the stain, but the smell as well.
– This is also a good time to get your upholstery cleaned. Again, if you have pets, you will want to have the pet hair removed from the furniture and any odors, nicotine, coffee etc that have impregnated the fabric cleaned up and removed. Once the furniture has been cleaned, spread a blanket or sheet on it if the pet sleeps or sits there, that way you can remove the sheet, and the hair, when there is a showing.
-Last but not least when staging and getting ready for tours of the house, you should consider having your mattresses cleaned. Not only is it a good, healthy idea for your family to have the mattress cleaned but it will help keep the room smelling clean and fresh.
Carpets and upholstery are not the only place you should be using green, environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. As a green company we recommend using natural cleaning solutions whenever possible. You should use a natural cleaner on any surface you clean. Not only is it healthier, but natural cleaners don’t leave harsh chemicals and odors behind. Although you can find green cleaners in most of the big box stores I always tell my customers to head out to Home Depot to get their cleaning products. Every Home Depot store carries a large selection of green cleaners, they are always easy to find and the prices are usually pretty good.
Remember not to take offence if the realtor asks you to de-clutter, repair or replace items, or wants you to clean your carpets and upholstery. The more appealing your home is to others, the quicker it will sell.
Thanks for listening
Each year it seems that the fireworks show gets better and longer. I got to see it with my wife and both of my kids, something I enjoyed immensely. It was while I was sitting there talking with my family about next year’s 150th birthday for this great county that I started to think about the future.
Not my future, or even my kid’s future, but my future grandchildren’s future. Does that make sense? How are things going to be different fifty years from now, a hundred years from now? EKO Carpet and Upholstery Care is a green company, we try, in our own small way to be environmentally friendly and stay green. Personally I recycle and reuse, try to be mindful of the environment and our earth, and do what I can to look after it. Personally I don’t think humans are responsible for climate change, there has been too many changes in the climate through the millions of years that this old earth has been around to be caused just by humans. Having said that, we humans are certainly responsible for some climate change and we are absolutely responsible for a great deal of other damage that has been done to our planet.
We can make a mess of things in a pretty big way. Air pollution, oil spills, contaminated water, there are a million things we do each and every day that makes an impact on this world of ours. Yes pipelines can spill and cause a great deal of environmental problems, but wind turbines kill thousands of birds and can even change migratory routes. No matter how hard we try, and how good we try to be, almost everything we do effects the environment and the world around us.
Back to my theoretical grandchildren, if we don’t keep trying to improve, if we don’t keep trying to make things better, our children’s children will have a very hard time of it. I worry that they won’t have clean drinking water, or breathable air. Sounds drastic I know, but it is something I really do worry about. This is a great country and I want it to be around long after I’m gone. I want this country to celebrate a thousand more birthdays and I want my great, great grandchildren to be around for those celebrations.
So if we all do our part. If we all try to be just a little bit more environmentally conscious, if we all recycle, and reuse then everything we have now will be there for our children.
Remember, you don’t have to change the world. You just have to change yourself.
Thanks for listening.
Just this last week I have had several customers ask me questions about carpet beetles. This is only the second or third time in my career that the subject has come up, but in the course of talking to one customer one of the questions they asked was about the difference between carpet beetles and bed bugs. To say that I am not a biologist and have very little knowledge of carpet beetles is an understatement. I am not a biologist and I do not know very much about carpet beetles. So I looked on the internet and found out a few things about carpet beetles.
1- They don’t bite. If you are getting bites at night when you sleep then it probably isn’t carpet beetles. Carpet beetle larvae, cause damage to human clothing, furnishings, and other products. These larvae feed on natural fibers, while adults feed primarily on plant nectar and pollen. Although some people can have an allergic reaction to the larvae’s hair-like feelers, carpet beetles don’t munch on humans. If you are getting bit while in bed, you may want to start thinking about bed bugs.
2- Carpet beetles can multiply and create an infestation. They are shy and generally the larvae prefer dark and quiet or secluded places. They often burrow into bird nests or other organic materials outside. Air ducts, collected lint, dry dog food, wool, and stored grains or spices often serve as both food sources and shelters while larvae grow indoors. The black and common carpet beetles do not like higher temperatures and are often found in the Northern United States, and Canada. Adult carpet beetles prefer sunlight and populate gardens or other plant-heavy locations.
3 – One of the first and most obvious signs of an infestation to look for is adult beetles on windowsills. The larvae can be detected by irregular holes found in carpets and fabric. Carpet beetles generally cause the most damage during the larval stage. Unlike moths who create small irregular holes all over the fabric, carpet beetle larvae tend to eat a single large area. As well carpet beetle larvae leave their skin behind while molting. These can cause allergic reactions in some people.
4 – Preventing and eliminating the risk of infestation. The adult carpet beetles can be carried into the home via plants and flowers, so regularly checking gardens and plants around the house may help eliminate the risk of an infestation. Cleaning out any long standing collections of lint, hair, dead insects by vacuuming will help to remove the food source for larvae and may also kill any larvae or beetles nesting in the carpet. Frequent cleaning of rugs draperies furniture and stored fabrics is recommended. Have a professional carpet cleaner clean the carpets and upholstery at least once a year. If an infestation occurs don’t call a professional carpet cleaner or try to remove them yourself, we highly recommend that you call a qualified professional pest control service to deal with the problem.
For more information google carpet beetles or go to the following websites.
Thanks for listening
As a professional carpet cleaner, we run into a myriad of misconceptions about our profession. I thought that this week I would clear up some of the ones we hear all the time.
#1. Number one on Google is number one!
When you type in Edmonton carpet cleaners, or carpet cleaners Edmonton in the computer you are relying on the computer to give you the names of the best cleaners on the market. After all, if they are on the first page of Google, then the must be the best. Unfortunately that just isn’t true. I just recently signed a contract to have an IT company help us move up to the number one spot on google searches. That isn’t to say we’ll get there, but I am relying on someone who knows computers to get my name to the top. Don’t rely on the fact that just because you found us on the first page of Google, we are the best there is. Even though I believe we are the best in Edmonton, you need to check and ensure we are the right guys for you. Ask questions. What products do we use? Do we guarantee our work? Do we have liability insurance, and WCB? There are a number of questions you should ask any Carpet Cleaner you hire. Don’t rely on Google to make the decision for you.
#2. Just like new.
Some people own carpets for years before having them cleaned. Some people have their carpets cleaned twice a year every year from the time they were installed. Either way, people often assume that once the carpet is professionally cleaned it will look exactly like it did the day it was installed. Unfortunately, no matter how well you’ve looked after your carpet, when your carpet cleaners are finished, the carpet will not look like it did the day it was installed. It is a simple fact that fabric wears through use, and the more use it gets the faster it wears. Those dark traffic lanes you see in front of the sofa or in the doorway are there because that is where you walk the most. Carpeted stairs always wear faster because everyone steps in the same spot when using stairs. Those areas will be more worn than the other areas and will not come back looking new when cleaned. While you should expect nothing less than clean carpets, expecting them to look just like new is a little unrealistic.
#3. DIY is cheaper and just as good.
Many people refuse to get their carpets professionally cleaned because they think that they can do a better job. Just rent a machine, grab some cleaner and get it done. This is more often than not wrong. Sure it might be cheaper, although depending on what you need cleaned, it often cost as much to do it yourself as to call for a professional. Professionals know how to clean, they know what products to use on the different problem areas. They also know how much water and cleaning solution to put into the carpets, what type of cleaning solution to use, how to rinse the carpet properly and how to ensure that the carpet doesn’t bleach out, discolour, stain or otherwise become damaged.
These are just three of the myths we as professional carpet cleaners in Edmonton confront on a daily basis.
Thanks for listening.
This time of year people start to clean, fix-up, re-new, and generally start to get the house, yard or business cleaned and fixed up for the summer.
Every day on TV, we are subjected to a dozen commercials telling us about this type of paint that’s easy to use, that great tool you need to buy to finish you project or some other amazing product you can use to complete you own project. You just buy whatever it is they are selling and start doing whatever it is you want to do. Right?
Unfortunately it’s not that easy or simple. Remember the old adage “the right tool for the right job.” Well as trite and cliché as that sounds, it is true. Ever used a Nail Gun? They are a great way to complete a job in a fast and easy manner, if you do it right. You can also put a 2” nail over the top of your neighbours house, (I know this first hand), or if you are not careful one of those nails can go into your hand. If you get the wrong nail gun for the wrong job you may end up redoing the job or getting someone else to do it.
A power washer is a useful tool if used properly. It’s great for cleaning the driveway, or your ATV, but use it the wrong way and you could actually peel the paint off the fence or you wife’s car rather than just the dirt. I won’t get into the chain saw or power shovel, but I think you get the idea.
When it comes to cleaning carpets and upholstery, the same thing is true. Using the wrong tool or using the right tool the wrong way, can very quickly become an expensive headache.
You not only need the right tool, but you need to know how to use it before you start the job. You can rent a Rug Doctor or other carpet cleaning machine, read the instructions and still not do it right.
The some carpet cleaning solutions can leave a myriad of chemicals in your carpet, something your family will walk on or breathe in for weeks or months to come. If you use the wrong cleaner for the fibers you could bleach them or discolour the carpet permanently.
Too much water on the floor will leave the carpet wet for days. In this warm weather if a carpet is wet for days it can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, two things you definitely do not need in your home. Too much water can also damage your subfloor and your baseboards.
These are just a couple of the ways using a rug cleaning machine yourself can go wrong. We recommend that rather than doing it yourself you call a professional carpet cleaner and have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned at least once a year. Professionals know the right tools for the job, and they know how to use those tools the right way to get your carpets looking and smelling fresh and clean.
Thanks for listening.
Many of the new homes built these days have hard surface floors in the main living areas. Tile, hardwood, and laminate have become the flooring choice of most developers and builders. They do look good; they wear well and clean up easily in most cases. Even though hard surfaces have become a staple in most new homes, many new home buyers still like the idea of have soft warm carpeted areas in the family living areas. To this end many home owners cover some of the hard surface floor with area and oriental rugs, helping add warmth and colour to a room. Usually they are in high traffic areas or underneath tables and chairs, places like the dining room table. Life happens and dirt, stains, and traffic areas show up in stark contrast to the rich colours and vibrant patterns that adorn many area rugs.
Here are 4 tips to help keep your area and oriental rugs clean and fresh and help you enjoy them in the house for a long time.
#1, Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum. I can’t stress this enough. Like any carpeted area in you home, your area rug should be vacuumed at least once a week. No matter how thick the pile, ensure you use the “beater bar” attachment (the spinning power head) and go over your rug weekly.
#2. At least once a month flip your area rug over and vacuum the underside. You will only do this if the rug has no backing on it. Remember to sweep the hard surface floor underneath the area rug before you put it back in place, because if there is no backing on the rug dirt, sand and other grit will fall through the weave onto the floor. Walking on the rug will grind those hard particles into the floor. I have seen the hardwood floors underneath area carpets scratched so badly that the floor had to be resurfaced.
#3. At least once a year take your area rug outside, hang if off the fence and beat it to get out the dirt and debris that your vacuum cannot remove. This is especially important if the rug has a backing on it as the dirt and grit can accumulate and harm the fibres and the backing if they are not removed. Most area rugs these days are made from very durable fibres and can take a good shaking or beating. Oriental rugs are a little more fragile than area rugs but they will still survive an annual shaking or beating.
#4. Have your area rugs cleaned professionally at least once a year. You should ask the cleaning service you choose how they clean the rugs. They should be vacuuming and then cleaning both sides of the rug. While weekly vacuuming will keep the rug dirt free, professional cleaning will help reduce allergens, remove dirt and debris, remove most stains, both pet and man made, and help maintain the life of the carpet. It will also help bring back those vibrant colours and patterns.
If you follow these four simple steps you oriental and area rugs will continue to look and feel clean and fresh all year round.
Thanks for listening
In keeping with the beautiful weather out there, its supposed to go to 17 Celsius today, I think we should keep talking about spring cleaning. This time however I don’t want to talk about the house or the yard, I want to talk about that other love in every man’s life; his vehicle.
Even though we usually take the car through the carwash a couple of times each winter, rarely do we clean up the interior in any meaningful way. Summer is on the way and rolling down the windows to get rid of the smell of your hockey equipment that has been sitting in the backseat all winter is not the way to go.
I have always recommended that every household own a spot machine. it can be used to clean up spills on carpet, upholstery and mattresses inside the house, but it is especially good at cleaning up the interior of your vehicle, be it car, truck, or RV.
For your car or truck it’s pretty basic. Remove the floor mats, spray them with a hose to clean most of the sand and debris out of them and then use the spot machine to clean up the stains and heavily soiled spots. Vacuum everything fabric in the car, including the roof if needed and then use the spot machine to go over all the fabric, seats, door panels etc. Break the cleaning up into sections, and as you finish each section, wipe it down with a white towel. This will not only help dry the interior faster, but will remove any dirty solution that you may have missed with the spot machine. Of course when using the spot machine ensure you are using an all-natural cleaner, Home Depot, Canadian Tire or other stores carry natural cleaners. Once it’s finished leave the car in the garage and open the doors to let it dry. If you don’t have a garage, don’t leave the doors open, crack the windows about half way and leave it sitting in the sun. If you leave the doors open you risk having dust and dirt blown into the car and wrecking your cleaning job.
For your RV or Trailer we recommend that you have it professionally cleaned at the end of the season, that way come spring time you only have to freshen it up. The spot machine is just a little bit too small for cleaning everything in the RV, especially one of the bigger motorhomes, for small trailers it should be fine. When you head out on your road trip make sure you take the spot machine with you. It might not be able to get all the s’mores out of your seat cushion, but it will help with that early morning coffee or late night beer stain.
Remember that having a professional cleaner detail your car or truck or clean the carpets, mattresses and seats in your trailer or motorhome is a good thing to have done at least once a year. After that, with a spot machine you can help keep it clean and smelling good for the rest of the year.
Thanks for listening.
Sounds good doesn’t it? 6 “keys” to identifying a quality carpet cleaner. Really, all I’m talking about here is common sense. The headline sounds good, but really these tips are things that you should be thinking about every time you look for any service company not just a carpet cleaner.
1.What type of cleaner do you use? A professional carpet cleaning company should not only be able to tell you what products they use, but why. We like this one because, this one is better than that one because. If they don’t know what product they use or they don’t know why they use it, maybe you should take the time to call someone else.
These are some of the questions you should ask your carpet cleaner or any service company you are thinking of paying your hard earned money to work for you. It’s your house or office, and it’s your money make sure you are getting what you paid for.
Thanks for listening.