It’s been a long winter. Of course, it is always a long winter. During the cold months our windows are closed, houses are tightened up to be energy efficient, and we spend a lot of time indoors. Did your family suffer a flu outbreak? Maybe you spent a few nights on the sofa because of not being able to sleep. Did you binge watch some Netflix shows? If so, you spent a lot of time in one room then didn’t you? Let’s face it – we are either in hibernation mode or fighting hibernation mode in the winter months. The result? Carpets and upholstery that need to be cleaned!
As the weather warms and the ground thaws it makes the air smell better. As the sun gets higher in the sky we want to open our homes up and air them out. It is also an excellent idea to have your fabrics cleaned, whether carpets or upholstery. Think about this: If you were sick and spent some time in sweat pants and sweat shirts, what did you do with them when you felt better? You got them in the wash! We want to get rid of any remnant of sickness as soon as possible. But what about the sofa or chair you slept in? What about the carpet in the bedroom you were sick in? Time to clean it!
Make us a part of your spring cleaning routine. You will feel better about your home and it will actually be better. Call today!
Has this happened to you? You decide that your room needs some changes; furniture needs to be moved around. You begin by pulling out the recliner and it pops out at you like a red blinking light. A worn spot in front of the chair. You begrudgingly slide the chair back, grumbling as you do, realizing that rearranging the furniture will have to wait till…never. Why do wear spots appear? The answer may seem obvious but understanding the reason can help preserve your investment.
First we need to get technical. Do carpets really “wear?” Not really. Wear is what happens to the brake pads on your car. The material is literally worn away and is gone. This process is not generally the source of the dark spots on your carpets that are in your hallway or by your chairs. What is really happening is the carpet is a process referred to as abrasion. This is the damaging of the fibers not the loss of them.
Look at the picture. Do you see all the little fibers? Each one is a smooth piece of nylon. What happens when soil is introduced and not removed? What happens when feet walk over the area grinding the soil in? The fibers become damaged. They are no longer smooth but have abrasions on them – cuts, scrapes, etc. The result is twofold and both are negative.
The most obvious consequence is that the fibers no longer reflect light as they did when they were new. Imagine taking a fine sandpaper over the paint on your car. The paint would no longer shine, not because it was dirty, but because the light is not being reflected but rather is being diffused. This is a prime reason that heavily used areas on your carpets begin to darken.
The second consequence is that your carpets soil more quickly. Why? Think of your nonstick pans in your kitchen. When they are new, nothing sticks to them…NOTHING! It’s amazing. But what happens months or years later after countless uses? The finish begins to wear and things start to stick. The same process happens with the abrasion on your carpets. Those nice smooth fibers that nothing seems to stick to when new get cuts, nicks, and scratches that begin to hold soil. This process accelerates with poor maintenance; a vicious cycle.
What can we take away from this? First, you need to live in your house. Abrasion and wear are part of life. Second, there is no set time for the process. In other words, how fast this takes place is entirely up to you! Vacuum your carpets regularly! There are no shortcuts here! Also, have your carpets professionally cleaned with hot water extraction, the type we use here at Reliable Maintenance. No other method will clean your carpets more thoroughly. Your carpet is a big investment. Take care of it!
Look at your windows. What do you see? Do you see the outside world pouring through? Unfiltered sunlight and color and joy? Or do you see reminders of past rains? Insect leftovers? Fingerprints and smudges? Nose and paw prints from pets? Sadness?
Fall is here and fall cleaning projects abound. Do not underestimate the effect that clean windows can have on the look and feel inside your home. Windows become dirty gradually and you may not even realize how much they need to be cleaned. They can dim the light in the home substantially and make things look dull. So, have you considered having your windows professionally cleaned? You might think, ‘Why pay? I can do them myself.’ You are correct. But consider a few reasons to have them done by us.
Time – There are only so many nice days each Fall. How do you want to spend them? Enjoying time with the family or cleaning windows? It can be a big job, especially if you are not used to doing it and don’t have the equipment, and can take many hours or a couple of days depending on how hard your windows are to access. How valuable is your time?
Quality – Most of the time we think of window cleaning with a squirt bottle and rag. This does clean the window, but do you get streaks? We have experimented with many types of cleaners from name brands to professional brands to home recipes. There really is a difference, but even the best of them still can leave streaks as you cannot completely remove all the cleaner. When we clean we wet the window with a window mop, scour it to get bug remains and other things off, and then strip the window with a squeegee. This leaves nothing on the window; you are left with a crystal clear piece of glass. It will stay looking good longer as well.
Safety – Cleaning windows inevitably involves ladders or step stools to reach the higher ones. How comfortable are you ladders? Some of us are, and some are not. If you are unsure on your feet or have a fear of heights, ladders are not for you. Even worse is when we don’t have access to the proper ladder or stool and we improvise! Standing on buckets, chairs, tables, etc. is dangerous. Having fallen off a bucket and broken my patella (kneecap) I can attest to this! Don’t risk it. We have the equipment and training to do the job the right way.
This fall, why not let us clean your windows? We can come out and do a free estimate. It will make your house shine and let the radiance of Fall and the fall colors flood your home.
The last article dealt with the importance of keeping an clean office. The hard part is now how to do it. Saying and doing are two different things! Granted, every office is different due to what type of work goes on, and every office environment is different due to the people in it. But here is an underlying principle: MAINTENANCE IS WORTH THE MONEY IT COSTS! Everything wears out eventually, but properly maintaining it will add many years to the life and it will look better during that time With that in mind, here are just a few general tips to consider that can apply across a wide array of circumstances.
1. Who is cleaning your office?
There are basically two options: hire a cleaning service or do it ‘In House.’ Each has advantages and draw backs. A cleaning service will cost you money and a good one will cost you more. But the benefit is that is will be done regularly and systematically. A good cleaning service is worth the expense!
Having your employees clean for you can save you money and they may be in a better position to clean as they know what needs it most. The down side is that often ‘In house’ lacks the quality and thoroughness needed. So if you are going to do it, first, make sure that your employees have the right equipment (e.g. well-maintained vacuum cleaners, quality cleaners and supplies, etc,) and instructions. Then, make sure you show your appreciation for the extra work it takes.
2. Preventive steps can mean less maintenance!
There are certain spots in the office that are always going to ‘take it on the chin’ so to speak. You can help your own cause with preventive steps. For instance:
Seriously consider a mat service. Entry mats will prevent a tremendous amount of soil from coming in from outside or from the shop… if they are clean! A mat service will make sure your mats are doing their job.
Make sure the coffee area is over an easily cleanable area, like tile. If that is not practical, put something under it to allow easy cleanup of spills, like an entry mat or chair mat.
Monitor plants carefully to make sure they are not over-watered. We clean a lot of stains from this and they are not easy to get out.
Use chair mats large enough to cover the work area. Chair mats that are too small will leave a ‘footprint’ around the edge, a place where feet and chairs go, that will not come out. (We will cover the pros and cons of mats in general in a future article.)
Have a cleaning station that is well stocked and easily accessible. Most people will at least attempt to clean up a mess you make the tools available. Make sure that you have the cleaners, towels, brushes, etc. in a convenient spot.
3. Have your carpets cleaned regularly.
We are not just putting this in because we do this (okay, maybe it is). As we have mentioned is previous articles, carpets have a subtle but noticeable effect on the space. When they are clean they reduce dust and other allergens and make the office feel brighter and happier. Having your carpets cleaned will often kickstart a new feeling of responsibility on everyone’s part in keeping the office clean.