Consumer Education Message

Christmas 2012 086Hi, this is Doug Dimick. Thank you very much for visiting our website. I am grateful for the opportunity to provide you with information about carpet cleaning and help you choose a carpet cleaning company.

I am the owner of New Life Carpet & Furniture Cleaning. Professional specialty services that we offer are carpet cleaning, carpet repair and installation, water restoration and clean-up and odor control. Over the past 12 years, I’ve learned that hiring a professional carpet cleaner is the subject of much confusion. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about carpet cleaning that I decided to offer this consumer education message so that when you select a carpet cleaning company, you can make an informed, intelligent decision. Please no matter what it takes “ Avoid Uneducated, Uninformed and Sometimes Downright Unscrupulous Carpet Cleaning Companies”

In just a moment, I’ll share with you six costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning. Plus, I’ll offer four recommendations. And I’ll give you seven questions you should always ask any carpet cleaning company before you invite them into your home.

If you want to speak with one of my highly skilled and trained customer service consultants, call 605-717-3022.

Now, here are the six most common misconceptions about Carpet Cleaning.

Misconception # 1

You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.
No. Dirt is abrasive – just like sandpaper. Every time you walk on your carpet, you grind dirt into the carpet fibers. This cuts into the carpeting, just as if you used a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean one. And, while vacuuming helps in itself, it’s simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do and the faster it will wear out.

Misconception # 2

The only reason to clean carpeting is to get out the dirt.
No. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust……and hundreds of other chemicals. When you and your family members come into your home, you carry in those pollens, bacteria and chemicals on your hair, your skin, on your clothing and on your shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals, pollen and bacteria wind up – – you guessed it, in your carpet.

If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema or other breathing problems, one major source of those problems could be the pollens, fungus and chemicals in your carpet.

In addition – as you may know, tobacco smoke contains over 4000 different chemical compounds, 43 of which are cancerous. And even if you don’t smoke, those chemicals get on your shoes and you track them into your home and leave them in your carpet.

If you are sensitive to cigarette smoke, you might find that you’ll breathe easier after you’ve had your carpet cleaned by a professional company who can remove those harmful chemicals from your carpet.

So, in addition to getting rid of dirt, another important reason to clean your carpet regularly is to get rid of pollens, fungus, bacteria, chemicals and tars and residue from tobacco smoke.

Misconception # 3

One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another
No. You can choose two primary methods: Dry cleaning or Hot Water Extraction.

First, I’ll explain dry cleaning. Many people believe that dry cleaning your carpet is like dry cleaning your clothing. However, this is not true. All carpet cleaning methods use water in one form or another and there are three methods of dry cleaning carpet:

When a carpet cleaner uses dry foam, he applies carpet shampoo, allows it to dry and then vacuums it. Can you imagine applying shampoo to your dry hair, allowing It dry and then removing it from your hair with a vacuum? This method can leave a residue in your carpet, which is one of the reasons dry foam is not very effective.

The dry-chemical method is similar to dry foam. The major difference is that the company places a large cotton ‘bonnet’ on your carpet, and then using a machine, the bonnet spins from side to side, absorbing the dirt that’s in the carpet. Once the bonnet is saturated with dirt, another cotton bonnet is applied. Bonnet cleaning is somewhat like trying to use a large towel to rub the dirt out of your carpet and, like dry foam, it is not very effective.

The dry-compound method spreads an absorbent mixture that looks like wet sawdust all over your carpeting. A machine then brushes the mixture into the carpeting which, in theory causes the dirt to absorb into the mixture. Once the mixture has dried, a vacuum cleaner sucks the material out of the carpeting. Because the carpet is not rinsed in any way, this method not very effective.

The second carpet cleaning method is called Hot Water Extraction. This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet and then sucked out of the carpet. This method is also referred to as ‘steam cleaning’ even though steam is not used.

Shaw Industries and Mohawk Flooring, the world’s two largest carpet manufacturers, recommend hot water extraction and you can choose from two different types: Portable extraction, which is done with a small machine. Or truck-mount extraction, which means the large cleaning machine is mounted in a truck or van.

Not surprisingly, the truck mount extraction cleans much better because it heats the water to a higher temperature – – and shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at higher pressure – – which breaks up the dirt, bacteria and pollens. Then the machine uses high suction to draw the dirt out of the carpet. This is the method our company uses.

No question, the most effective way to clean carpeting is with a hot-water unit mounted in a truck. It’s the most powerful cleaning machine on the market and the only machine that thoroughly cleans and rinses your carpet of dirt, harmful bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens and tobacco residue.

Some people believe that hot water damages your carpet, but this isn’t true. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, we clean your carpet completely – – in the same way that the person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner that the person who takes a sponge bath.

Misconception # 4

Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets thoroughly
Not true. Many companies own hot water cleaning machines – – but a large number of employees do not know how to use them. You probably know someone who bought the newest computer on the market – – but didn’t learn how to use it for a year or more. The same is true with carpet cleaning machines. The company may own good equipment, but the employees may not know how to use it correctly. This is why it’s important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully.

The best carpet cleaning companies are those that have been certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, known as the IICRC. A carpet cleaning company cannot buy this certification – – it must be earned through study, experience and successful completion of formal, written examinations. Cleaners who are certified by the IICRC have, in effect, earned a degree in carpet cleaning.

The IICRC provides written credentials to the companies it certifies. So, before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company’s IICRC certification.

Misconception # 5

The Company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire
Maybe – – but not always. Here are two important points to consider:

Point #1: The price you see offered my not be for the services you want performed. Before you select a company, decide what you want to accomplish. If you want the carpet cleaner to remove only some of the dirt, you can choose from hundreds of companies that use small shampooers or other cleaning methods. Or, you can even rent a machine at the grocery store and do the job yourself.

On the other hand, if you want your carpet thoroughly cleaned – – if you want to remove the harmful dirt, bacteria, pollens, chemicals and tobacco residues – – then you need to hire a company that uses hot water extraction mounted in a truck. This is the only way to assure that your carpet remains healthy and free from dirt, disease-causing bacteria, and harmful chemicals. So, remember that the price you see offered may not be for the services you want or need performed.

Point # 2: The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many homeowners have learned that the low price they saw advertised was not the amount they were charged. And, if you’ve ever hired a carpet cleaner, you too may have been the victim of false or misleading advertising. You probably learned the hard way that some carpet cleaners offer a cheap price – usually between $3.95 and $9.95 per room – – and then pressure you into paying a lot more once they get inside your home. Some of them may even break the law by using illegal “bait & switch” tactics.

As in all businesses and professions, the carpet cleaning industry has its share of bad apples. I take no pleasure in telling you this, but some are unethical – – and sadly, a few are dishonest. By their misleading advertising and false promises, they cast a dark shadow on our entire industry. Then, you’ll find other carpet cleaners – – professionals like me who work hard to earn your trust and respect.

As a way of improving our profession, I’ve dedicated my business to educating the public. The only way you can make an intelligent decision is to have all the facts you need. This is why I’ve written this message. You may not choose Akrosteam to help you in your cleaning services today or in the future, I want you to have a better understanding of our industry so you can make the best decision for your family and household.

Misconception # 6

Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price over the phone
I wish this were true, but it isn’t. Consumers often think that if they want to clean four rooms and the price is $6 per room, then the price will be $24. But this isn’t always true.

First, honest and reputable carpet cleaning companies usually price carpet cleaning by the square foot. So, if you’d like me to tell you the exact cost of cleaning your carpet, I need to know the exact number of square feet that you want cleaned. Our company believes every customer deserves a Free Carpet Audit, a in home evaluation of your carpet needs. This process usually takes about 15 minutes or as much time as you need to have all of your questions answered.

You’ll be glad to know that the carpet area to be cleaned is not nearly as large as most people think. For example, if you want your entire home cleaned and you home is 2000 square feet, the amount of carpeting to be cleaned might only be 1200 square feet. This is because most home measurements are outdoor measurements. Plus, I deduct the area taken up by walls, room dividers and the like. The result is that the actual area to be cleaned is usually about 60% of the square footage of the home.

So, even though I can’t give you an exact quote over the telephone, here are things I consider when quoting a price:

First is the type of carpet. Certain types of carpet are harder to clean than others. So, before I can give you a quote, I need to know the type of carpet you want cleaned.

Second is the amount of soiling. Carpet that hasn’t been cleaned for ten years will take longer to clean than carpet that was cleaned within the last six months.

Third is the amount of furniture that has to be moved. If we have to move your furniture, the quote must include cost for that labor. But if you move your furniture yourself, you’ll save money.

To recap, I consider the type of carpet, the amount of soiling, and the amount of furniture that has to be moved. So, as you can now imagine, every quotation is different.

If you are thinking about having your carpets cleaned, I offer these four recommendations:

  1. Make a commitment to yourself to get your carpets cleaned.  The longer they remain dirty the sooner they’ll wear out.  Plus, the longer you have to breathe in all the pollens, fungus, chemicals and dust mites that live in your carpet.
  2. List your objectives.  Do you want only the dirt removed?  Something you could do with a rented machine?  Or do you want the bacteria, fungus and chemicals removed, which will require a hot water truck mounted cleaner, like I use?  Do you want to work with an honest, reputable company?  Or are you willing to risk working with the company that offers you the lowest price – – knowing that company may not be in business tomorrow?
  3. Ask questions.  The way you learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers.  Here are the questions I suggest you ask:
  1. What method of carpet cleaning do you recommend?
  2. What type of equipment do you use to clean carpet?
  3. What does your equipment remove from my carpet?
  4. How often should I get my carpets cleaned?
  5. What training has your company had in cleaning carpets?
  6. Are you a member of any trade associations?  If so, which ones?
  7. Are you certified by the IICRC?  Will you show your certificate?
  8. Once you’re satisfied that you’re working with an honest, competent professional, invite him


4.  into your home and ask for a specific quotation in writing.  A written quotation gives you the assurance that you know exactly what your job will cost – – no surprises. I know we are all very busy, but by taking a little more time in your selection process you will find yourself making the best decision for your carpet investment with no suprises.

By following these four recommendations, you’ll gain all the information you need to make an informed, intelligent decision.  If you want a quick, cheap carpet cleaning job, many companies in the phone book can help you.  Or you can rent a shampooer and do the job yourself.

But, if you want your carpet to be completely and thoroughly cleaned – – removing the bacteria, fungus, chemicals, pollens, and tobacco products – – then I invite you to call me.

I’ll be happy to answer your questions – – provide you a cost estimate over the telephone – – or come into your home and give you a free written quotation – – without obligation of any kind.  To reach me or my staff, call 330-773-8882.

Here’s one last point:  I know that many consumers are skeptical about carpet cleaning companies.  Before I got into the business, I was skeptical too.  So, in addition to dedicating my business to education, I do one more thing as well – – I guarantee my work.  That’s right!  I fully guarantee every carpet cleaning job we do.  If you aren’t happy with our work, we’ll reclean the area for free.  And if you still aren’t pleased, you pay nothing.  Not one cent. I’ll refund 100% of your cleaning costs, No hassels!   What could be more fair?

As a matter of fact, add this question to the list.  Question # 8 is “Do you guarantee your work?”  Not all companies do – – and it’s important that you have this information before you make your decision.

I hope you found this consumer message helpful.  If you have questions or comments – – or if you’d like to schedule a free, in-home quotation please call us at 605-717-3022.