Archive for April 2016

Golf Preparedness

Golf Preparedness

With spring just around the corner, many of us are gearing up for the golfing season. Before you head back out on the course, take time to review some basic preparation steps to ensure that you have a day free of injuries or strains.

Remember to warm up before teeing off. Walk for several minutes, swinging your arms to warm up those muscles. After your muscles are beginning to warm up, do some stretches, concentrating on the muscles that you will use most during your game. Stretch your arms and back, as well as your shoulders and legs. To protect your feet from injury and fatigue, make sure that your golf shoes are properly fitted and are comfortable at all times during your walk on

Your Carpet Represents a Significant Investment

Your carpet represents a significant investment. Just like any investment, maintenance is required to get the best return on it. Think about your automobile. You change the oil in your vehicle so the engine will last longer, to avoid costly repairs, and to get top performance from it. The same is true for your carpet, or any floor covering for that matter. By properly maintaining your carpet it will look better, last longer, and contribute to a healthier indoor environment.

Soil is corrosive by nature. It breaks down the fibers of your textiles. Soil that cannot be removed by vacuuming bonds to the carpet; it can then only be removed by professional cleaning. Even though your floors and fabrics may look clean, that doesn’t mean they are clean. Especially if you have pets and children. Soils, pollens, bacteria, asphalt, insecticides, and all sorts of invisible enemies are transferred to your furnishings daily. Not to mention the unmentionable: urine or fecal matter. (I know that’s yucky!)

Every day “environmental oils” attract abrasive soils: Carpeted traffic areas coming out of the kitchen collect cooking oils. Sofa arms collect body oils, and hard surface floors collect film from cleaning agents. The grit then eats away at the surface like sand paper.

The solution is to have your carpets, upholstery, draperies, and hard surface floors cleaned at least every 12 months; more often in high traffic areas.

You have probably heard that cleaning your carpets and floors too often is harmful. This is simply not true IF your floors and fabrics are cleaned according to proper standards. This myth came from uneducated, uninformed, and sometimes downright unscrupulous cleaners leaving a sticky residue behind, which made the attraction to harmful soils worse instead of better.


“How Do I Best Care for My Carpet?”

An effective carpet cleaning company will give its customers the best advice it knows to keep their carpets refreshed and attractive for months (years?) on end.  So don’t be shy to ask your prospective cleaning service this: “How Do I Best Care for My Carpet?”

 There is much discussion in our industry about how often carpeting should be cleaned. Surely you have heard “wait as long as you can before you clean your carpet” or “once you’ve cleaned your carpet, it’s never the same.”

These widely used comments have stemmed from unfortunate encounters with uninformed cleaners who have left the carpet with an overload of detergent residue. The unfortunate consumer has assumed this will happen with all carpet cleaning and resolved to wait until the carpet is in dire straits before cleaning it.

The good news is that a properly-cleaned carpet will not re-soil quickly and will actually last longer. Why? Because damaging soils are removed with effective carpet cleaning. Soil that is not removed by vacuuming, even though it can rarely be seen by the naked eye, cuts and slices the carpet fibers as the carpet is walked on, breaking down the carpet yarns in the traffic areas. The result is that even with restorative cleaning at that point, it will not correct the damage that has been done to the fiber. Not to mention that a carpet that is not cleaned on a regular basis is an unhealthy carpet. Carpet is like a sink. It collects pollens, insecticides, exhaust, and other undesirable substances that get tracked in or blown in from the polluted outdoors. Carpet manufacturers state that a residential carpet should be professionally cleaned at least every 18 to 24 months for best performance. More often if pets and/or children are present and perhaps more often if you are a smoker. The EPA published a guide that suggested regular cleaning frequencies based on number of occupants and other factors.

In short, a carpet that is maintained on a regular basis will not only last longer but will also provide a healthier indoor environment.

Those Doggone Allergies

Those Doggone Allergies

Just like humans, dogs can develop allergies. If your dog often gets fits of coughing or sneezing, skin problems, or seems generally uncomfortable, he may be suffering from an allergic reaction.

Symptoms of allergies in dogs include itchy, red or scabbed skin, increased scratching, runny eyes, sneezing, coughing, snoring, and constant licking. Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to pollen and mold, dust, cigarette smoke, cleaning products, prescription drugs, fabrics, and food.

If food is the suspected allergen, pinning down the culprit can take some work. A food allergy in a dog usually results in itchy skin, ear infections, and gastrointestinal problems. Your vet can work with you to use an elimination diet to identify the specific allergens. If you and your vet cannot figure out what is causing these symptoms, your dog may need further testing using an intradermal skin test similar to the one used on humans.

If you suspect an allergy, the first line of defense is to remove the aggravating substance from your dog’s environment.  Irritated skin can be treated with topical medications. Practice good flea control and keep your home’s environment clean and as free from dust and mold as possible.  Weekly bathing can help remove allergens from your dog’s coat. If food is the problem, then your vet can recommend a diet free from any identified allergens.

If those steps don’t completely eliminate the symptoms, your vet may consider prescribing medication to help. There are allergy injections and some medications that have been shown to be useful. Check with your vet to find out all the options available to you and your dog.

Conquering Cataracts

Conquering Cataracts

By the age of 70, over half of all Americans will develop cataracts.  In fact, the older you are, the more likely it is that you will not escape cataracts. There are effective treatments for cataracts, including surgery. Not only can this type of surgery remove cloudy lenses, it can also improve vision for those who are near- or far-sighted.

A surprising benefit of cataract surgery is a lessened risk of breaking a hip in a fall. A study of Medicare patients showed that patients who had cataract surgery had a significant reduction in the number of hip fractures, with a 16 percent decrease in this type of injury.Vision loss is a major factor in seniors’ risk of falling, and a reduction in visual sharpness and depth perception can lead to a loss of balance, stability, and mobility.

Many people believe that they are “too old” to receive cataract surgery. But researchers have found that you can never be too old. In fact, they found the greatest benefit in terms of reduced hip injury was in patients over 80 years of age.

Cataract correction is more than just improving vision. It should be considered part of a comprehensive approach to better health and overall well-being.

“So what happens if I don’t apply carpet protector?”

“So what happens if I don’t apply carpet protector?” you might ask.  When you apply carpet proctor, you’ll avoid five key carpet problems:

More permanent stains.

A great-looking carpet can be ruined by an ugly spot. Unprotected carpet doesn’t repel spillage as well as protected carpet. Being able to remove spots and spills more effectively, avoids permanent staining.

“Uglied-out” traffic lanes.

Traffic area soil is very abrasive and cuts carpet yarns like a knife. This damaging soil can easily bond to an unprotected carpet. By applying protector, you will increase the life of your carpet dramatically. When you vacuum your protected carpet, the soils will release from the carpet pile much more effectively.

Difficult spot removal.

The easier a spot is to remove, the less cleaner you will have to use, the less agitation you will have to use, and the less time it will take. With a protected carpet, many spots can be removed easily with just water or the free spot remover we provide you with.

Next professional cleaning not as effective.

Because of the first three items in this list, not having protector can reduce the effectiveness of your next cleaning. Having protector applied to your carpet will enhance your next cleaning. More soil will be removed the next time your carpeting is professionally cleaned.

Costly service calls.

Although you want to call us out to handle any spot you cannot remove immediately, carpet protector helps you remove more spots than you could without protector. You may be able to save a minimum charge by removing the spot yourself.

Here’s the answer to the question of whether to have carpet protector applied: You should always get carpet protector on nylon or wool carpet. Olefin carpet can even benefit in the abraded areas. So, make it your goal to always get carpet protector applied when having professional cleaning done.

What Causes Those Mysterious Dark Lines?

What Causes Those Mysterious Dark Lines?

The dark grayish or black discolorations that occur in carpet around the perimeter of rooms and in the doorways of some houses can be a source of embarrassment and frustration. Our customers rely on us not only to clean their carpets, but also to educate them about how to maintain their carpet. Before we explain what these mysterious dark lines are, we’ll talk about what they are not.

Contrary to what you may think, it has absolutely nothing to do with accumulated dust from poor housekeeping. It is not a defect in carpet. And although some believe it to be mold, it is not. Even pest control companies have been wrongly accused of causing these unsightly lines with their treatments. So what IS it? It’s filtration soiling.

Although it can happen in any home, filtration soiling is most common in homes that have forced air HVAC (heating,  ventilation and air conditioning) systems. At certain locations in the carpet, air is being forced through the fibers by pressure and temperature differentials. The carpet fibers act as a filter, trapping pollutants that are in the air.

Some of these pollutants are the product of combustion and contain carbon. Common sources are automobile exhaust, industrial air pollution, tobacco smoke, and even natural gas or oil furnaces. This carbon, combined with oily residues from cooking and other sources, adheres to the carpet with very powerful electrostatic and chemical bonds.

The particles themselves are extremely small and very difficult to remove. The best course of action is prevention. Here are a few tips to prevent gray edges appearing on your carpet:

• Make sure that any means of combustion in your home including gas or oil heating systems, cooking appliances and water heaters are operating properly. Incomplete combustion caused by improperly functioning appliances contains higher levels of carbon. This can cause rapid soiling.
• Have heat exchangers, flues and chimneys checked by an HVAC professional for leaks or improper function.
• If you like to burn candles, limit how often you use the heavily scented ones. The oils used in these candles do notburn completely adding to the pollutants in the air, accelerating filtration soiling.
• Install high quality air filters in your heating and air system. This may require modifications to the system. Check with a qualified HVAC contractor.
• Consider using air purifiers, especially if smokers are present in the home. Tobacco smoke produces among the most difficult residues to remove.
• When using a fireplace or wood stove, ensure that there is adequate fresh air entry so as to create enough of an updraft for the fireplace. Otherwise some of the smoke may get into the air and contribute to soil filtration. You may need to open a window a little. Don’t turn on ceiling fans in areas where you have a fireplace burning. Air currents may pull smoke into the living space.

Hansen Steam Way uses specialized cleaning agents and techniques to treat soil filtration lines. Although complete  removal of the discoloration may not be possible, we can usually improve the appearance. Of course, prevention is always your best line of defense.

Two Primary Ways That Factory Protector is Removed from a Carpet

Carpet Protectant Continued… so you can make an informed decision about caring for your home and office carpets!

Two Primary Ways That Factory Protector is Removed from a Carpet

  1. Regular foot traffic.

Over a period of six months to two years, depending on the traffic, a significant amount of protector can be removed from your traffic areas and needs to be reapplied.

  1. High-alkaline cleaner.

Many cleaners use harsh chemicals on the carpet; those chemicals will strip your carpet’s factory protection. If you have had your carpet cleaned in the past, there is a good chance the cleaner removed a significant amount of protector. It needs to be reapplied.

If You Had Carpet Protector Applied in the Past and It “Didn’t Work,” Here’s Why

Four Mistakes Other Cleaners Make In Applying Protector…

  1. Not using high-quality protector. Discount protectors are not as effective and sometimes void the warranty of the carpet. Use only the highest quality, recommended protectors.
  1. Not using a dedicated container. Using the same container for carpet protector and for cleaners can contaminate the carpet protector, making it gummy and ineffective. Our vans have a dedicated container reserved ONLY for carpet protector.
  1. Not applying the product properly. Some cleaners either under-apply or over-apply the protector.
  1. Not grooming the carpet. For the best performance, the product should be groomed into the carpet for maximum penetration. This ensures contact with all surfaces of the carpet yarn and proper distribution and drying. Our company thoroughly grooms the protector into the carpet pile.