Mac's Steamer Carpet Cleaner

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Q: Why should carpets be professionally cleaned?

A:  Your carpet warranty requires it. The Stainmaster warranty states very simply: "Have your carpets professionally cleaned every 12 months".

Q: Why should carpets be cleaned annually?

Regular professional cleaning is required to remove soils that everyday vacuuming cannot remove. Over time, small particles of soil, such as sand and quartz, work their way in to the carpet pile and begin scratching and cutting away at the carpet fiber. Traffic patterns soon develop, even significant color loss, where particles have cut away at the fiber. Oil and grease naturally build up on carpet over time, either from the street or even from the bottom of our feet. This further adds to the vacuums inability to remove small particulate soil. Professional cleaning encapsulates and removes the oil, loosens the matted fibers, and removes the particulate soil. Carpet should also be cleaned on a regular basis for health reasons, even if it does not appear soiled. Just as we regularly clean our bed sheets before they physically look dirty, professional cleaning sanitizes the carpet, significantly reducing allergens and improving the air quality in the home. See Cleaning for Health for more information.

Q: Why is a truck-mounted system better than a machine I can rent or buy myself?

A:  Truck mounted systems are the most powerful yet gentle way to clean carpet and upholstery. These machines can produce water temperatures up to 250 degrees F. Temperatures over 180 degrees F. are much more effective in cleaning and dislodging soil and spills from carpet fibers. Also, the hotter the water used, the shorter the drying time as there is more evaporation the higher the temperature of the water. Portable electric machines that can be rented don't have the necessary heat to remove soil efficiently, thus over-wetting can occur, and with the lack of suction power, carpets take too long to dry and leave behind embedded soil and detergent. Another problem caused by using these home or rental machines is once you have cleaned a carpet that contains spills, you have made cleaning the carpet much more difficult later, because these machines do not have the vacuum power to lift spots from liquids spilled into the carpet. These spots can contain sugars, coloring and salt. Once they are pushed into the backing and padding of the carpet instead of being extracted the spot will almost always reemerge on the surface later because of it's depth. Repeated use of these machines will drive the spots even deeper into the padding and some cases into the subflooring making removal of the spot completely, almost impossible.
Q: Why did my carpets get dirty faster after they are cleaned?

A:  There are three main reasons why this happens. The most common reason is that the detergent used during the cleaning process was not rinsed out of the carpet. This sticky residue attracts soil and dust that can be difficult to remove through vacuuming.
A second reason is that many cleaning companies still use older cleaning agents that are not compatible with today's advanced carpet protection systems and are much cheaper and more affordable to the low priced carpet cleaner than the advanced pre-treatments and detergents of today. These cleaners negate the protection on the fiber and allow dirt and dust to cling to the fabric and reduce the fiber stain resistance, leaving an overall dirty appearance even away from traffic areas. The third reason is that a stain repellant treatment was not reapplied after the cleaning. Carpets receive stain repellency protection during the manufacturing process using products such as Scotchguard or Teflon. These treatments can be removed by using high-alkaline cleaning agents, but more often simply wear off through normal foot traffic. For carpet to retain its normal stain resistant properties, Dupont, the manufacturer of Teflon, recommends that a stain repellant treatment be applied after each professional cleaning.
Q: Why do some spots keep on coming back even after professional cleaning?

A:   This occurs when liquids are spilled into a carpet. The liquid passes through the backing and into the carpet pad where it is absorbed and can spread out much larger than the size of the spot on the carpet surface making it difficult to extract the liquid completely the first time. Once the padding has absorbed a liquid it is very difficult to extract and should be replaced to stop the spot from returning. In some cases it may be as far down as the sub-flooring which must be replaced to completely fix the problem. This is especially true in pet accidents. Knowledge of how much liquid is actually in the carpet is important to determine the course of action. In minor cases where the spill is only as deep as the backing, repeated extraction will normally fix this problem.

Q: How long should my carpets take to dry?

A:  Today's modern truck mounted machines, with proper use, will allow the carpet to dry within 8 hours or less. (Atmospheric conditions greatly influence the drying time). We use very powerful truck-mounted equipment which usually dries the carpet in just a few hours. Under ideal conditions, such as hot, dry summer days, and cold winter days with high indoor heat, carpets and upholstery can dry in as little as 1 hour. 

Q: Will professional cleaning of my carpets change the appearance or texture of the carpet?

A:  No, soil is what changes the appearance and texture of carpet fibers. This happens when dirt is scratched through the carpet from foot traffic causing a dull look to the carpet because light is no longer refracting the same way through the fibers. This can even remove a certain amount of color and will damage protection applied by the factory. Proper cleaning technique will not allow any damage to occur or moisture to penetrate the backing of any carpet or area rug. With proper cleaning agents and water softening systems attached to today's high-tech truck-mounted machines, routine cleaning of your carpets is now more beneficial than ever before, thus extending the life of your investment and reducing contaminants in your home environment.

Q: Can carpet really be cleaned for $9.99 a room?

A:  We've all seen those low priced carpet cleaning ads. Before you pick up the phone to schedule, keep in mind the following: With the high cost of equipment, cleaning agents, gasoline and maintenance, all companies have a minimum service charge just to stay in business. Companies that advertise to clean for an extremely low price have no intention of even setting up their equipment for that price. This is an illegal practice known as bait-and-switch advertising. Notice the fine print on the ads: "Heavily soiled areas may require pre-conditioning at additional cost." The "pre-conditioning is the name of the soap or actual cleaner used. Translation: If you actually want the carpets cleaned, you will pay extra, typically in excess of 30 cents a square foot for the cleaning agent alone. Beware of these unscrupulous companies who are only looking for a way to get in the door. 

Q: Do you move furniture during cleaning?

A:  Unless otherwise instructed, the moving of tables, chairs, and sofas is a standard part of the cleaning process. We typically do not move entertainment systems, beds, cabinets, etc., but can do so if requested. We use furniture moving pads to move furniture within a room. After moving the item back to its original place, we put down Styrofoam blocks or plastic tabs to avoid rust or wood stains on the carpet. 
Q: What do we need to do before a cleaning appointment?

A:  Fragile items that could tip over on tables to be moved should be put in a safe place. Pick up clothes, toys, papers, shoes, etc. off the floor. It would also be a good idea to vacuum any areas with loose soil or debris.

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Mac's Steamer Carpet Cleaner, Inc.   499 Hammond St.   Bangor    ME    04401 Phone: (207) 942-1141 Fax: (866) 728-4828

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