1) The person cleaning your carpet is a subcontractor – Make sure the person cleaning your carpet is an employee of the company you’ve hired. By law a subcontractor cannot be given a company vehicle or uniform and usually a schedule which should answer a lot of those unspoken questions. Why do they look like they just got out of jail? Why do I have a window instead of an appointment? Why are they cleaning my carpet out of a Honda Civic?
2) The technician is paid commission only – This can lead to some awkward moments between you and the tech. When a tech is paid commission only they have to get the ticket price up otherwise they don’t make the money they want and need. This often results in bait and switch advertising where you are seduced by an incredibly low price and once they get in your door the price triples or even quadruples.
3) Carpets get dirtier faster after they leave – Many companies aren’t aware or trained in how to rinse the carpet clean after the clean. As a result there is a residue of chemical left once they leave that acts like a dirt magnet. If you’ve ever had your floors cleaned and 4 weeks later it looks like it had never been cleaned, or worse then you remember the feeling. Just make sure the company you use, either rinses with a textile rinse or uses a neutral pH cleaning agent.
4) Prices are too low – With fuel prices surging like they are you have to ask yourself a couple of honest questions. How can a company advertising an entire house of carpet cleaning for $89 or $99 stay in business and do a great job cleaning my home? As a consumer you have to understand that there are very real costs associated with running a small business whether it’s an owner operated business or a multi-million dollar franchise the costs are relatively the same. We all buy similar cleaning products. We all use similar amounts of fuel. Experience and expertise are subjective. You have to ask “Do I want some one cleaning my home for that price that MUST deal in volume to stay in business?” Or “Do I prefer a company that charges more, sometimes a lot more, but they offer a much better service because they are able to take their time and pay attention to detail?” The old adage you get what you pay for rings very true in today’s service industry.
5) Experience – It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to clean carpet. However, there is a lot of basic chemistry that goes into the cleaning. An example might be of pH. Your carpet is normally at a pH of around 6.9 cleaning usually takes that up to between 8-10. If not properly rinsed the pH can remain too high and cause rapid soiling (it wants to get back to 6.9 so it attracts dirt because dirt is acidic). A good question to ask is “What type of training program does the company offer its technicians?” Another is “What type of certifications are they required to get?” How long they have actually been cleaning carpets is not as important as what type of training they have received. Many people cleaning for 15 years do more damage because they still use improper techniques and bad practices.
6) Economy packaging &always – The most difficult aspect for a technician is suddenly switching gears from a high end home to a low end home. There are companies out there, such as ours that only perform a high end cleaning regardless of the home. We have one level of service and it’s great. Whichever company you choose make sure they have either one level of service, or the technician that is sent performs only that one level of service. It is too easy to slip into the economy mindset when you do several of each job in the same day. Without ensuring that, you as the consumer lose.
7) They do something other than steam cleaning – Unlike some companies out there doing a really good job of demonizing steam cleaning, it is still the only manufacturers recommended way to keep your carpet warranty in tact. One of the big myths about steam cleaning is that it will soak the pad and cause mold growth. This couldn’t be further from the truth. To soak through the carpet into the pad take minutes of holding the wand in the same position and letting the water have free intercourse with the carpet. When a cleaning company correctly performs the work the wand is always moving and is in a stat of dynamic flux where the water is on for a few seconds and off for the same. A technician many times has to deliberately soak the carpet to mess up as bad as the other companies advertise. In fact some of those “dry” cleaners use steam cleaning. They have just renamed it.