Why do carpets wear?

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!

Call today to schedule your spring cleaning!


Time to get your windows cleaned!

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.

  1. 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?

  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Keeping a clean office matters!

If I were to ask you what the most soiled, least maintained carpets that we clean are, where do you think they would be located? Offices! Surprised? To be clear, I am not talking about a filthiness factor, just general soil and spots.

Many of you work in or manage an office. Look around at the carpet; are you pleased with what you see? We often hear complaints from frustrated people who work in offices that things are not as clean as they would like. Does it matter? Consider a few reasons why it should matter…

Keep your offices clean
Your image is communicated immediately!

Your Image!                                                                                                 

Your customers/clients/patients/etc. want a clean office! What do they see when they walk in and more importantly, what are they thinking? As humans, we are constantly picking up on nonverbal cues to understand the world around us. When we walk into a building we are immediately aware of, even if only subconsciously, the brightness or lack of light in the room, the colors on the walls and furniture, the decorating, the modernness or outdatedness of equipment, etc. We are also aware of how clean things are. The carpets and upholstery in your office or clinic may speak volumes about you before you even say a word. A clean office may ‘tell us’ that those in the building are more likely to be organized, reliable, and care. Dirty things ‘tell us’ that those in the facility may be less organized, not as dependable, and may not care for our concerns as well.

Keep your office clean
Your employees are worth keeping happy!

Your employees!

Your employees want a clean office! Do your employees show care and concern for the facility and it’s contents? Now, granted there is always going to be a variety of people with a variety of ideas in this regard, but, if things are not clean and maintained is there sufficient motivation to improve? Consider this: If you know that someone has just cleaned a floor are you more or less likely to be careful about keeping it clean? We may go out of our way not to leave footprints. Conversely, if the floor is clearly dirty, are you more or less likely to be careful on it? We may leave wet or dirty footprints and not even think about it. Although not an absolute, clean things are more likely to be maintained.

What about the environment that the staff is working in? Is it conducive to productive work or is it a distraction due to clutter and dirt? Does it lend itself to efficiency or to frustration? Is it healthy both mentally and physically? If your employees sense you care about them, they are more likely to care about what they do for you.

Whether we like it or not, clean spaces for work DO matter. Consider having your carpets and upholstery in your office cleaned and see what a difference it can make! Next time, we will share some tips on keeping things clean.