Spend a little now…save a lot later!

Fall is the perfect time to do some maintenance on your home’s exterior. Warm weather and the higher humidity of summer can cause materials to shift and expand, then as the weather cools and the humidity decreases, the process reverses. Now is the time to act.

As Winter Approaches and the weather gets cooler, materials like paint, caulk, shingles, wood, rubber and vinyl siding tend to shrink and harden. The air is drier, rubber seals around doors and windows become brittle. Caulk separates from siding and trim, allowing outdoor air and damaging mositure to enter.

The wood around doors and windows can rot. High moisture levels encourage insects and termites to make your home their home. Hidden mold growth on porous surfaces can cause expensive structural damage. Moisture is the primary cause. You can take a few easy steps to ensure your home is in good shape as winter approaches.

Easy Fall Checkpoints. Take a slow walk around your house and check the following:

  • Visually check all windows and doors. Look at the wood trim to ensure it is not rotted or pulling away. Check the caulk to ensure it is flexible and well sealed.
  • Check weather stripping to ensure pliability and good seal.
  • Look around windows, doors, soffits and other areas for water intrusion.
  • If you have a basement, check it for leaks by touching the wall, especially where it meets the floor.

If you think that you may have had a water entry, call B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning. We can assess if there has been any damage to your floor.

As the old saying goes…an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It can also save you a ton of money in the long run as well!

 

 

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What do Those Codes on Furniture Tags Really Mean?

If you look under the cushions of a typical piece of upholstered furniture you will probably find a fabric care tag. This tag should include recommended procedures for maintaining and cleaning that particular piece of furniture. However, to find out how to keep your furniture looking its best, you will need to find the “cleaning tag”.

The Cleaning Tag

These tags will list cleaning codes that serve as a guideline to assist you in spot cleaning. The tag also informs the professional cleaner on how to avoid color loss, bleeding, browning or shrinkage during cleaning.

Fabrics are made from a variety of fibers including cotton, polyester, silk, rayon, nylon, polypropylene, acetate, acrylic, wool and blends thereof. Improper selection of cleaning agents or methods can lead to permanent damage to fabrics. An example of this is crushed velvet. If it is treated improperly, it can lose its softness, luster and crimp. Unfortunately, damage like this is irreversible. Many floral or multicolored patterns are printed on the fabric rather than woven into it. Extra care must be taken when cleaning these as colors are only on the surface. The wrong chemical can actually remove the printed dyes, or destabilize them to the point that the colors run into each other. Again, this is irreversible.

Effective and safe cleaning of your upholstered furniture means knowing how to clean it. Part of that requires deciphering the code. For example – W means spot clean with water based upholstery cleaners, avoid over wetting the cleaning area; S means spot clean with a water free dry cleaning solvent, be careful not to oversaturate the cleaning area or use any water; WS or SW means spot clean with mild detergent or mild dry cleaning solvent; X means clean only by vacuuming or light brushing, never use water or solvent based cleaners.

No matter what tag you see remember to: Always clean spills promptly and never rub, but rather blot up liquids to avoid damaging your furniture. Of course if you are in doubt, we recommend that you call B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning!

 

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Is it okay for me to use those miracle stain removers I see on TV?

Whether you watch television during the day or at 2 a.m. when you can’t sleep, you simply can’t avoid them: commercials and infomercials, trying to convince you that some liquid in a bottle will magically remove any spot or stain you have on your carpet, no matter where it originated, how long it’s been there, or what type of carpet you have!

Every carpet fiber is different. Every spill is different. So there is simply no one-stop solution to clean everything. And, unfortunately, using some of these “miracle” stain removers in the wrong place can cause irreversible damage to your carpet.

Miracle Oxygen Cleaners

One popular product that people tend to try, is the “Oxy” cleaners seen on infomercials. If you choose to use these cleaners, do exercise caution! Professional carpet cleaning companies are seeing more and more damage being done to carpets by the oxygen bleaches in these cleaners. Damage can range from minor color loss to large permanent yellow stains caused by the chemical reaction with the carpet fibers.

Theoretically, these products should be safe if used according to the manufacturer’s directions but when the chemical reaction is affected, cleaning results can vary greatly. For instance, the exact nature of the spot matters. Some stains do not react well to oxygen bleaches, and can even become permanent if you use these products. Sunlight can also be a problem. Under sunlight, the oxidizer becomes more chemically active and aggressive, resulting in heightened bleaching action.

Remember, anything that has the ability to remove food coloring has the potential to destabilize the dyes used to give your carpet its color!

Other Product Promises

There are other products that use high ph detergents in conjunction with the oxygen bleach to help break down greasy spots and spills. While these products can be quite effective in removing the offending spots, they can also leave behind a residue that destroys the stain resistant properties of your carpet.

Also, these highly alkaline residues are often quite sticky attracting dirt. So even though the spot goes away, the area keeps getting dirtier and dirtier. So you apply more cleaner, which leaves more residue and the frustrating cycle repeats.

If you had the ability to thoroughly extract the chemicals, it wouldn’t be so bad but that can be difficult! So what can you do?

Your safest bet when you have a difficult stain is to call B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning before attempting to remove it yourself. As an experienced carpet cleaning company, we can give you options as to the best way to handle the situation while avoiding damage to your carpet. We’ll also share with you tips for removing small spots in the future!

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Be Healthy, Wealthy and Wise with Carpet!

Carpet is a great way to decorate your residence or place of business because of the textures, colors and patterns available. Not only does carpet look good, but it provides many benefits. Carpet’s insulation can provide increased energy savings. Carpet absorbs sound, making a house quieter and more relaxing and it’s safer, reducing the occurrence of slips and falls.

Did you know that carpet is economical requiring little maintenance and it’s good for your health too!

Little Maintenance Required

Carpet requires less maintenance than hard surface floors such as hardwood, vinyl and tile. Typically your carpet only requires routine vacuuming and prompt attention to spills in between professional cleanings. By contrast, hard surface floors require sealers, waxes and polishes to keep clean, not to mention the time it takes to sweep and mop.While it is true that hard surface floors are easier to clean in the event of a liquid spill, properly maintained modern carpeting has protectors such as 3M Scotchgard and DuPont Teflon which helps them clean-up well.

Carpet is Good for Your Health Too!

Carpet that is properly maintained actually improves indoor air quality. How? Carpet acts as a filter, trapping pollutants such as dust, pollen, dander, smoke, and dust mite contamination as air passes through it. Carpet acts as a “sink” trapping pollutants, instead of allowing them to be distributed up into the breathing zone. The result? Homes and buildings with properly maintained carpets have better air quality in the “breathing zone” than those with other flooring types. So, as these contaminants build-up in the carpet, they simply must be removed by professional cleaning. This creates a cycle of cleanliness.

So to reap the financial and health benefits of your carpet, give B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning a call for proper maintenance and periodic, professional cleaning.

 

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Is it Too Soon to Clean My New Carpet?

 

If you purchased new carpet within the last year or two, you may be wondering when you should start to have it professionally cleaned. Often times, the carpet store salesperson will tell you to wait as long as possible before having your new carpet professionally cleaned; that cleaning your carpet will just make it get dirty faster requiring more frequent cleaning. Is that true?

Old Attitudes for Old Technology

The belief that once you clean your carpets the first time you will then need to clean them all the time goes back to the early days of professional carpet cleaning. Back then lots of chemicals and water were used in an attempt to get the carpet clean. These carpet cleaning chemicals worked great at attracting soil away and suspending those soils in the cleaning solution to be wet vacuumed away.

Early carpet cleaning equipment was not able to extract or rinse out all the chemicals applied. So the chemicals remained on the carpet as a sticky, soil-attracting residue. It was true that once you cleaned your carpet back “in the day” your carpets needed to be cleaned more often.

How Poor Quality Carpet Cleaning can Cause Damage

“Discount” carpet cleaners who charge low, low prices can cause irreversible damage because they use cheap chemicals, inferior equipment and untrained workers.

The poor guys who work for them are often subcontractors or are paid on commission. The technician often has to rush through the job just to make a decent living. Often times cheap, sticky chemicals are left in the carpet because they were not properly rinsed out. Sure the carpet looks okay when he leaves, but the carpets will re-soil quickly, often over the course of a few days or weeks.

The True Benefits of High Quality Carpet Cleaning

The carpet cleaning industry has changed dramatically over the past few years. The cleaning agents, though more expensive, are designed to rinse freely from the carpet and leave little or no residue. Quality equipment does cost more, but it has the power to thoroughly clean your carpet and rinse away soils and cleaning agents. Finally, the application of a quality protector makes your carpet stay cleaner longer.

A reputable cleaning company will pre-treat, agitate and rinse with extremely hot water and a power vacuum system. This leaves carpets clean, fluffy and residue-free. Indoor air quality is improved so your family can breathe easier!

Finally, most major carpet manufacturers require professional carpet cleaning once every 12-24 months in order to maintain your carpet warranty. If you want your carpets to stay cleaner, last longer and look beautiful call B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to set up your personalized carpet care program.

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How Does Stain-Resistant Carpet Work?

Consumers today have become quite demanding. We expect that the things we buy and use will last a long time, work properly and out live the warranty. Our high expectations extend straight down to our carpets. We expect them to resist staining and look new for many years. Fortunately, with modern stain-resistant applications, we can get years and years of life out of our carpets with proper care.

Understanding Stain – Resistant Fibers

True stain resistant carpet is referred to as “5th generation nylon”. Although these fibers are stain resistant, they are not stain-proof. In order to properly care for our carpets and make them stain resistant, we must understand what a stain is.  

A stain is something that has added color to the carpet fibers and cannot be removed with regular cleaning. Some stains are fairly simple to remove. Others are difficult or even impossible to remove completely. One type of stain that gives carpet owners nightmares is the red food coloring typically found in soft drinks. These products dye the carpet in the same way that carpet is dyed at the factory.

5th generation nylon carpet fibers are factory-dyed using an acid based dye system. Nylon fibers have microscopic areas on the surface called dye sites. These dye sites are negatively charged. Acid based dyes and staining agents like food coloring are positively charged. Opposites attract, and the molecules of dye attach themselves to dye sites on nylon fibers giving you the color you want. However, staining agents can do the same thing!

The Magic of “Invisible Dye”

When a carpet is dyed, not all of the dye sites are filled. This creates an open space for stain molecules to attach themselves. To help prevent staining, fiber producers created a process wherein open dye sites are filled with “colorless dye”. Theses “colorless dyes” called acid dye resistors (ADRs) make it very difficult for stains to permanently enter the dye sites, buying the consumer precious time to blot and remove a spill before the spot becomes a permanent stain. If it weren’t for ADRs, most food spills would instantly stain a carpet for good!

Protecting Your Carpet’s Warranty!

There are things that can damage the factory-applied ADRs. Untrained, uneducated carpet cleaners using the wrong type of cleaning agents can void your carpet’s stain-resist warranty. That’s why B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning is always your safest choice when it comes to having your carpets professionally cleaned. The result is that your carpets look beautiful, resist stains and last longer, maintaining your valuable warranty.

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Why Do We Clean In Spring?

Have you ever wondered why we are annually seized by a sudden urge to air out the house, banish dust, organize closets, clean out cabinets, scrub floors, wash windows and organize our garages, attics and basements?  It turns out there are biological, social and psychological reasons for the spring cleaning ritual… and that’s a good thing.

Biological Reasons

During winter, days are shorter and melatonin production (the hormone that produces drowsiness and enables us to fall asleep) is increased, making us want to relax and sleep more.  Our mood tends to be more subdued and energy levels are lower.  Housekeeping habits may slip.  We spend more time indoors, added indoor activities, coupled with the fact that we tend to keep doors and windows closed results in soil and contaminant build-up.

Park In Spring Desktop Background

Then, the first day of spring comes in late March.  When it arrives most of us are ready for the renewed energy and freshness that spring brings.  Days get progressively longer and nights are shorter.  The additional daylight suppresses production of melatonin.

The more daylight we are exposed to, the less melatonin we produce and the more alert, energetic and active we feel.

Emotional Reasons

Once the winter doldrums pass, we become more aware of the less than ideal condition of our surroundings.  The energy and optimism of spring prompts us to improve our environment.  It’s easier to be enthusiastic about cleaning and organizing in the springtime.  You feel a sense of accomplishment upon completing a task.  Your self-esteem increases.  Endorphins are released into your body increasing your sense of well being.

In addition, you feel pride of ownership when your home is clean and organized, further improving your mood.  Few things make you feel more positive than living in a home that is clean, fresh and neatly organized.

Logical Reasons

Spring has always been a time of change.  Americans tend to have two distinct wardrobes: one for warm weather and one for cool weather.  Since closet space is limited, we often clean and organize closets this time of year.

The types of work and play activities change, so we put away winter toys and tools and get out the ones for warmer weather.  Now we need to clean out and organize our garages, basements and attics.  An organized home is more efficient, resulting in less wasted time and frustration.

Health Reasons

A clean home is a healthy home.  Cleaning is the process of removing soils and contaminants from an environment or material.  This results in better indoor air quality, a reduction of microbial growth and the added benefit that your carpet and other furnishings will last longer.

 

 

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Your Carpet Can “Look” New Again

Many people get their carpets cleaned and suddenly they see their carpet through new eyes, saying, “My carpets look like new!”  It’s true, cleaning your carpets can make them look so much better that it almost feels like you have new carpet all over again.  But, like everything else, carpet ages.

carpet19Color is usually the most important factor in how a carpet looks.  As long as the color looks vibrant and there are no major spots or stains, most of us are quite happy with the look of our carpet.  But why does the color start to look tired after a few years even after our best efforts at cleaning?  Why can’t we make it look new again?  Isn’t that dull lifeless appearance in the traffic areas just dirt?  No doubt, dirt is a contributing factor, but there are three other factors that cause carpet to look old:  abrasion, crushing and pile distortion.

carpet45ABRASION – Dirt is loose particulate soil tracked in from outside, including mud, pollution, pollen and gritty minerals that scratch and dull the surface of carpet fibers.  This abrasion changes the way light reflects off of the scratched fibers so colors are muted.  We call this permanent condition loss of luster.  This is the primary reason that colors lose vibrancy.  No amount of cleaning can bring back the luster.

PILE CRUSH – Areas that are subject to a lot of foot traffic will crush down and lose some pile height.  The carpet loses its soft, fluffy appearance and feel.  How severely depends on the fiber type and yarn density, pile depth and quality of carpet pad.

PILE DISTORTION – When pile yarns lose their twist or the yarns are aligned in different directions, high traffic areas can appear dull and dingy.  Once the carpet pile has become distorted it cannot be corrected.  Some carpets are more prone to this type of appearance change than others.

 

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BREATHE BETTER AIR AT HOME!

When you get home at the end of a busy day, it feels good to take a nice deep breath in anticipation of a quiet evening indoors. That is what home is supposed to be; a refuge from the hectic world outside. But when you take that nice deep breath, do you ever stop to consider the quality of the air in your home?carpet56

Humidity Plays an Important Role in Indoor Air Quality The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends maintaining indoor relative humidity levels between 30% and 50% for human health and comfort.

Exclude – Keep contaminants out. Keeping contaminants out of the home can be challenging because most airborne particles are tiny and can be everywhere. Pollen, carbon, mold spores, organic matter, insect matter, pollution, and plain old dirt enter the home, transported on air currents, clothing and shoes. By keeping doors and windows closed, removing shoes when entering and immediately changing your clothing after dusty activities like yard work, you can reduce the entry of pollutants.

Capture – filter and contain that which enters. When airborne particles enter your home, they remain suspended for a period of time. Those that are larger or denser drop out of the air and settle on surfaces. Smaller, lighter particles remain suspended longer, and are best removed by air filtration devices and the filter on your home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system. Use high quality pleated filters designed for your HVAC. Clean – remove pollutants from surfaces. Eventually, particles settle on surfaces such as floors, furniture, counters, window sills, shelves and  walls. Vacuuming and dusting remove most of the particles, but make sure that your vacuum cleaner has good filtration also.

Hard surfaces can be cleaned with electrostatic dusters or dust cloths that attract and hold particles, or by wiping hard surfaces with a damp cloth and wet mopping floors. Other surfaces such as carpet, area rugs and upholstery will require periodic professional cleaning to remove accumulated soils and pollutants.

 

 

 

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So What’s the Big Deal About Pet Urine?

Our pets don’t understand why we make such a big deal of a little urine on the carpet.  To animals, urine is an important social tool that is used as a calling card, mate attractant or a territorial warning.  Urine lets other members of the species know important information regarding their gender, age and health.

pets

Animal urine is a rather benign substance.  When it leaves a healthy animal it is sterile.  In small amounts and low concentration, the odor and appearance may be undetectable.  Still, any urine deposit on carpet should be treated appropriately.

If you are lucky enough to catch the animal in the act, you can pour salt liberally onto the urine while it is still wet.  Use enough salt to completely cover the spot.  The salt will absorb and neutralize the urine.  Let it dry for 8-12 hours and vacuum it away.

Most of the time, the urine is already dry by the time we find it.  Applying a neutral carpet cleaning agent, gentle agitation and a thorough rinse may be enough to treat light urine deposits.  Finish the job by placing a folded white towel on the area.  Set a weight, such as an unwanted book on the towel and leave overnight.  The remaining moisture and residue will wick into the towel.

B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning has several techniques available to clean and deodorize pet contamination.  In addition, there are different cleaning and deodorizing agents in our arsenal.  The decision of which methods and agents to use will depend on several factors; the amount of contamination present, the depth of penetration, the construction of the carpet, the fiber content, the installation method, the sub-floor type and the size of the affected area must all be considered.

If you have a pet odor problem the best action is to call us for a professional assessment of the situation.  We are experts at handling difficult odor problems and can help you choose the solution that is right for you.

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