Archive for January 2016

Staying Current in Education

Our industry provides courses in carpet cleaning, repair, fabric cleaning, marble and tile cleaning, area rug cleaning, customer service, marketing, management, and other related subjects.

Many of the organizations offer certification programs that involve testing and ethics requirements. There are trade publications, websites, bulletin boards, and a variety of other opportunities to stay plugged in.

We attend every course we can in order to bring you the very best. Many of these courses require travel across the U.S. and can therefore be quite costly. However, we believe, as fiber technology changes and as floor coverings become more complex, proper education becomes even more important.

The bottom line is that you have a tremendous investment in your textiles and flooring systems and it is our duty to know how to best care for them. Understanding cleaning technology at the highest level helps to reduce cleaning residues and creates a healthier indoor environment by eliminating invisible germs and bacteria. It also empowers the cleaner to remove more soil, thereby creating a longer-lasting fabric or floor.

Dealing with the Flu

Dealing with the Flu

It’s that time of year again–flu season is here. Each year as many as 30 million people contract the flu in the United States, leading  to 20,000 deaths a year. At most risk are the elderly, those with chronic disease like diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, and infants.

The flu is like a cold in many ways. Both are respiratory infections, but the symptoms can vary. A fever, general aches and pains, and fatigue usually accompany the flu. You may also experience a sore throat, coughing or sneezing. If a cold is misdiagnosed as the flu, there is usually no problem. But the flu misdiagnosed as a cold can possibly lead to serious complications like pneumonia being overlooked. If you have any symptoms of the flu, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.

There is no cure for the flu, but there are things you can do to make yourself more comfortable during the duration. The best course  of action in dealing with the flu is to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Fever can be treated with acetaminophen. Be sure to talk to your doctor to get advice about using a decongestant/antihistamine to treat nasal congestion. Antibiotics have no effect on the flu because it is caused by a virus.

And what about chicken soup? Well, it can’t hurt! Although it doesn’t cure anything, it can soothe a sore throat, clear clogged  passageways, and hydrate you. It is good TLC at a difficult time.

If you do find that you are suffering from the flu, consider getting the flu shot next year. These are generally given in the fall and  must be received each year, as the strains of flu vary from year to year. In the meantime, remember that time and rest are the best cures of all for flu sufferers.

Cleaning has historically been viewed as a commodity

Cleaning has historically been viewed as a commodity—a menial task that anyone can do. Long before sophisticated textiles and complexly-built indoor environments were created, cleaning may have been a simple task, but that is no longer the case.

Complex flooring systems, sensitive fabrics, and new-age soiling conditions have created a need for advanced education in the cleaning industry. Unfortunately, many cleaners (and consumers) have not understood this concept. We still see ads for $6.95 per room for carpet cleaning and sofa cleaning for $45.00. The cleaner puts the ads out, never intending to clean for those prices, and the consuming public gets the idea that cleaning should be cheap.

These so-called “cleaning” companies also happen to be the ones that don’t educate themselves or their employees. The result is that carpets and fabrics are being ruined every day by uneducated, uninformed, and sometimes downright unscrupulous carpet cleaners.

They are facing soiling conditions they have never seen or heard of due to a lack of education. Or worse, they create a situation on a carpet or fabric that they have no idea how to fix. One example: they leave sticky residues in the carpet that cause the carpet or fabric to re-soil rapidly or to discolor.

Top-notch education is readily available in our industry. There is no excuse for cleaners to not educate themselves (and provide useful education to their clients). Part of the problem is since they have fallen into the trap of viewing cleaning as a commodity themselves, they can’t afford to educate themselves. Education is expensive, but the result of not getting the necessary knowledge is much more costly.

Our company invests a great deal in education. Not only do we spend thousands of dollars per year on education, we are heavily involved in our industry, making us well connected with our industry leaders.

This way, if a unique situation arises in the field, we have experts that we can call on, thereby bringing the cutting edge of cleaning technology to you.

Six Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Heating Bill

Six Simple Ways to Save Money on Your Heating Bill

1. Keep the heat inside by closing draperies at night. During the day, open them up to let the sun shine through and warm your home. You can also cut heat loss by caulking and weatherstripping doors and windows.

2. Avoid overheating by setting the temperature as low as you can and still be comfortable. For  every degree you lower the setting for an eight-hour period, you’ll save one percenton your energy  bill. Using a programmable thermostat can save you even more money. Set it to lower the   temperature at night and when no one is home.

3. Check the filters in your furnace at least once a month. This will improve the efficiency of your existing furnace.

4. Close the damper on your fireplace when not in use to prevent heat from escaping out the chimney.

5. Use ventilating fans only as needed. Venting fans in bathrooms or above stoves can blow away a house full of warmed air in just one hour. Turn them off as soon as the room is cleared.

6. Up to 20 percent of your heating energy can be lost through a ceiling that is not well insulated. Ensure that your home has proper insulation to keep your home warm in the winter and
cool in the summer.

“What Kind of Training Do You Have?”

Trial and error is a part of the learning process, but when it comes to the care of your carpets, you don’t want a cleaning company to experiment on yours. So be sure to ask your prospective carpet cleaning company this: “What Kind of Training Do You Have?”

The number one reason for poor carpet cleaning is technician error. Would you be surprised to learn that most carpet cleaning companies have no formal training? That they are not required to be licensed? That there is no requirement to have any certification whatsoever? Is training and certification important? After all, isn’t carpet cleaning a “menial” task that anyone can perform?

Actually, a carpet cleaning professional is working with one of your most valuable assets. Should it be trusted with just anyone? Unfortunately, our industry is full of “rogues” who only care about how much money they can get from you, and who care nothing about the life of your carpeting. They do not care about the industry in which they work.

Have you ever noticed that in many states, air-conditioning companies, plumbers, and pest-control companies are required to be licensed? Not so for carpet cleaners. Fortunately for you, and for me, there are many fine people in the carpet cleaning industry who realize the standard must be raised. Those of us in that process help to police our own industry. In order to do this, associations and certification organizations were created.

One such organization is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This organization provides certification courses and exams for the carpet cleaning industry. By attending these courses, carpet cleaners are taught about fiber identification, carpet construction, cleaning chemistry, cleaning methods, and professionalism.

In this training, technicians learn the technical aspects of cleaning that assist them in using the proper methods for cleaning specific types of soil from specific types of carpet. A certified firm knows the right way to apply cleaning procedures and chemistry. A certified firm is working together with other certified firms to raise the standard of carpet cleaning in general, therefore providing you with a higher-quality product.

Special Note: Never use a carpet cleaner that is not certified by the IICRC.

The IICRC is just one entity that provides training. There are many opportunities for advanced training and learning. Be sure to ask questions about the specific training the company has.

Our company is certified by the IICRC and is heavily engaged in training in our industry. We are thoroughly trained in each area of service. Be sure to ask us about our designations and certifications.

Food Trends Reveal Consumers Quest for Improved Health

Food Trends Reveal Consumers Quest for Improved Health

The SupermarketGuru National Grocers Association Consumer Survey reveals that food shoppers are more concerned with diet, health, and nutrition than ever before. About 50 percent of the people surveyed said that their diet could be healthier.

Experts predict that the demand for new kinds of protein will continue to increase, with consumers turning to protein products made from  algae, nuts, vegetables, and yeast. Other products will continue the trend of reducing the number of ingredients and artificial  ingredients.

About 36 percent of shoppers say they are worried about chemicals in their foods. Food manufacturers are increasingly eliminating concerning additives like growth hormones, GMOs, and other artificial ingredients. Even stalwart brands like Kraft and General Mills have announced that
their macaroni and cheese and breakfast cereals are eliminating artificial flavors, preservatives, and synthetic colors. As these trends continue, consumers can expect to have a greater variety of choice and healthier options on their supermarket shelves.

What prompted you to have cleaning done at this time?

Your professional cleaners need to understand and be experienced in the reason you are cleaning. There are actually six reasons people clean, and many times the cleaning is for more than one reason:

What prompted you to have cleaning done at this time?

Reason 1: Events
Experience proves that events drive more carpet cleaning than any other reason. Whether it is getting ready for Thanksgiving or mother-in-law is coming, events create a sense of urgency that doesn’t exist otherwise. Although entertaining guests or family on clean carpet is a fantastic idea, don’t let this be the only reason you clean.

Reason 2: Visible Soil
The second most common reason for cleaning is some type of visible soiling. Whether it is a spot or a traffic area, it just becomes unsightly. Many times, waiting until your carpet is visibly soiled is waiting too long. Traffic area damage may have occurred, and spots may have become permanent.

Reason 3: Maintenance
This is one of the best reasons to order cleaning. By properly caring for your carpet, you will dramatically increase the useful life of your carpet and it will look better all the time—even when mother-in-law springs a surprise visit!

Reason 4: Health
This is also a great reason to clean. As your carpet does its job as a “sink” or a “filter” it eventually becomes “full.” It is catching pollens, bacteria, insecticides, asphalt, and many other contaminants that need to be cleaned out.

Reason 5: Problem Solving
Occasionally something happens to a textile that appears to be a defect but can actually be corrected through professional cleaning. Usually, before they send out a representative, carpet manufacturers will require your carpet to be serviced by a certified professional cleaning firm.

Reason 6: Odor Problems
Pet odors, cooking odors, and others make their way into carpets, rugs, fabrics, and floors. There are a variety of new techniques and products available today to treat odor problems. Get a complete evaluation from one of our consultants.

Regardless of what your reason is for cleaning, our company is at your service. We are available for the most routine or complex questions you have.

Pumping Iron at Every Age

Pumping Iron at Every Age

Weight training and other weight bearing exercises have long been known for their health benefits.  Many studies have shown these types of  exercises are good for adults of any age. But a recent recommendation by the American College of Sports Medicine reveals that weight training is more beneficial for seniors than previously thought.

For those over the age of 50, weight training helps prevent osteoporosis and can increase bone density.  Recent studies also show that weight lifting can improve cognitive functioning as well.

Seniors should take special care to use weight training equipment correctly to avoid injury or strain.  Lifting too much weight can cause problems as   can improper technique. If a person is new to weight training, it is best to have some sessions with a professional trainer to learn the correct forms and techniques, not only to lift safely but to maximize the benefits of this activity.