Making Sure You Find Only the Best Carpet Cleaning Services

Best Carpet Cleaning Services

So, here we find ourselves again. The dog has lost control of his bowels, the kids have trampled the fresh carpet into a dirty wasteland worthy of a Cormac McCarthy novel’s backdrop and somehow, some way, you’ve managed to spill the soothing red wine you were planning on calming yourself down with all over the entire first floor of the house.

Or maybe it’s not so dramatic, but it’s a bit more than you can handle with the tools at your disposal.

If that’s the case, then you’re going to need to hire a carpet cleaning service to restore that rug back to its former glory and enable you to have friends over again without handing out HAZMAT suits at the door.

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Best overall:

If you’re here, chances are that you’ve already made your decision, and we’ll stick by you while you make it since you’re the homeowner.

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Do You Need a Carpet Cleaning Service?

If you’re here, chances are that you’ve already made your decision, and we’ll stick by you while you make it since you’re the homeowner.

If it’s just a matter of time, then go ahead and skip down to let us help you find the service which will best suit your impeccable needs, but if you do have some time you might want to think over the following before you spend a whole lot of money on something you might be able to handle yourself:

  • Can you rent a deep cleaner in your area? If so, and you’re willing to accept “good enough” instead of “sparkling, new carpet” then it will be a lot cheaper to take care of things yourself. Keep in mind that rental machines are often mishandled on a frequent basis, however, and that can lead to inconsistent results even if you use the same rental place.
  • Can you afford a deep cleaner? If so, you might want to do that. The cost difference between a cheap Bissell model and having a professional handle the entire house is actually pretty negligible but it will take your time instead of someone else’s.
  • Has it been more than 12-18 months since the last cleaning? If so, you might want to let the professionals handle it then make it a regular part of your cleaning process once every six months or so with a deep cleaner that’s been rented.
  • Are things truly unmanageable? Call a professional. You’d be surprised at just how much they can handle.
  • Check the warranty on your carpet. Sometimes, in order to keep those multiple years of “the carpet should last x amount of years” you’ll need to have a professional cleaner come in on a regular basis.

Step 1-Make Your List

Are your workers bonded and insured

If you open the phone book in any sizable city, you’re going to be looking at simply tons of options for your carpet cleaning. The choices can be baffling, and it might be tempting to draw straws or just pick whichever one sounds the cheapest.

That simply won’t do, however, not if you want to ensure that your carpet is truly cleaned well and safely.

Safely?

Definitely. Some of the chemicals used to clean carpets can be quite harsh and misuse of them can lead to a lot of damage. Even in the case of the company being insured properly, you’re still going to have to deal with a mutilated carpet for some time until a new carpet can be laid down.

Online Reviews

Looking at online reviews can give you a quick overview of which companies you might want to inquire with. There’s always the risk that a company has used professional reviewers at some point, but they’re usually pretty easy to spot if you know what to look for.

If you see a ton of glowing reviews and quite a few unhappy customers as well, take a look at the names behind them. Professional reviewers often only have glowing reviews in their records, although savvy ones might be hard to tell from the real deal.

Yelp and Google are great for checking this sort of thing out and they’re both right at your fingertips so give it a shot before you make a decision.

Write down the name of every company that sounds legitimate and good to you.

In Person Referrals

Ask your friends if they’ve used anyone. Chances are that this is the best shot you’ll get at an honest review of a company, write down any of the names that come up alongside a bit of praise. If they’re already on your list, then put a star next to them.

In-person referrals are generally much more accurate than online reviews, but we all have that one friend. The one who’s never happy with any service and will form a long list of reasons why. You probably shouldn’t take their advice if everything else seems to be in order.

Now you should have a list of carpet cleaning companies that sound good to you, so it’s time to start making calls.

Step 2-Asking the Right Questions

Do You Need a Carpet Cleaning Service

If you’re like most people… you probably didn’t even realize that professional carpet cleaning is a complex process which requires certifications and that there’s a pretty wide range of services available.

You’ve got your list made, right?

Good.

Now we’re going to start calling the companies in order to inquire about a few things which are vital to ensuring you end up with only the best.

Call each company and make sure to ask the following questions:

Do you do free estimates, and will it be in writing?

A true professional isn’t going to leave you hanging with a vague promise that it’ll “only cost x.” You need to make sure that the estimate is in writing, so that you don’t get surprised if the invoice ends up being much more than the estimate.

This isn’t a deal breaker, but you can use it as a tie breaker. Be particularly cautious if the negative reviews of the service include estimates being way off. That’s usually a sign that something shady is going on.

Do you have a guarantee? Is it written?

You want a guarantee. Trust us on this one, it’s pretty much a necessary part of the whole process and it’s one thing you’ll never regret. Without a signed guarantee you’re stuck with an oral contract situation… which is basically going to be “he said, she said” if you have to take action.

A contract for the guarantee also means that the company is definitely on the up-and-up and has faith in their own service.

Is your system truck mounted?

If you’re going to be paying for a professional service, you want them using the kind of tools that you won’t be able to buy yourself. Truck mounted systems use a hose that leads to the truck with a tank to take care of the debris and other assorted nasties which have been left in the carpet.

There’s really no point in paying professional prices for consumer-grade tools, if you’re crunched on time and content with that you may want to consider just paying a friend or relative to take care of it for you.

Are your employees certified by the IICRC?

The IIRC is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification.

It’s basically the gold standard certification for those who clean carpets for a living and it really does make all of the difference. It’s a definite deal breaker if you find out that they’re not. Those who do have the training will have a ton of experience and you can be sure that you’re dealing with a professional service provider on all levels.

If they’re not certified… then you have no way of knowing if they have any experience or training behind them.

Are your workers bonded and insured?

This is a slippery one, but it’s absolutely essential. Non-insured workers can get hurt on your propery and leave you liable for the mishap.

A moment’s thought can see how this could lead to a sticky situation.

This will also cover any potential mishaps that may happen. While ideally nothing will be happening to your precious floor covering, even technicians who are absolute wizards of rug restoration are going to make an occasional mistake and it’s best for everyone involved if they’re covered.

Once you’ve asked your questions, make note of which of the companies have answered to pass your strenuous vetting and make arrangements for estimates. If a company doesn’t offer a free estimate, you may want to give them a pass unless you know for absolute certain that you’re going to want to go with them.

What carpet cleaning techniques do you use?

Hopefully you know what kind of carpet you have installed, since different makes can require different processes.

Most companies are going to employ steam cleaning, which isn’t actually cleaning with steam but instead involves detergent which will dissolve the oils and dirt in your carpet, then steam is pushed through and vacuumed away in order to ensure that the solvent and nasties are gone.

Other techniques include dry cleaning, dry foams, and absorbent pads. In most cases these types of cleaning are only utilized for maintenance. If you’re already living in a wasteland then only steam cleaning is really going to cut it.

Other questions to ask may include the following:

  • How long have you been in the business?
  • Will you move the furniture as you clean?
  • What range of services do you offer?

Step 3-The Final Decision

At the end of the day, you’re going to have to make a decision. Most of us will make this based on the price charged, of course.

Try for an in-person estimate with at least two or three companies if you can. You may not want to make a decision based solely on price either.

We recommend an in-person estimate because it will also give you a bit of time to kind of feel out the people that the company hires. After all, this person is going to be in your home for some time, and that means that you want to be able to trust that they’re sending over someone reputable.

You may also want to look into some of the other services offered by the company. Full restorations can be done by certified companies, in order to bring back the color, for instance. There’s quite a bit that can be done, but be wary of unnecessary upsells.

It shouldn’t take too long to come to a final decision, but you’re not quite done once you have picked someone.

Step 4-Final Touches

When the technician arrives, you’ll probably want to point out any particularly problematic areas. These include pet stains, or particularly high traffic spots that may have just accumulated a ton of debris in the carpet fibers which are causing the stains.

Be sure to inquire how long it will be until the carpet is completely dry as well. While plastic booties are often available for humans, your pets may need to spend a night in the backyard. Once the cleaning is done you can use fans and open windows in order to speed up the drying process as much as possible.

 

Conclusion

If you spend a little bit of time doing your research, then you’ll be able to come away from the experience with a carpet that looks brand-spanking-new instead of merely like someone did a good job vacuuming.

After all, the goal of bringing in the professionals is to ensure that they do a better job than you possibly could by yourself.

If you’re tired of murky, stained carpets then it’s probably time to upgrade to a professional service and get going. The experience can be quite pleasant and gratifying once it’s over, but make sure that you use only the best if you want the best results.

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