Archive for July 2016

MicroSeal Of The Smokies

MicroSeal Of The Smokies

Your home’s carpeting, rugs, furniture and textiles are important investments that say a lot about you and your lifestyle. You want to protect them. And you want them looking as perfect as the day you brought them into your home.  Hansen Steam Way is a full-service textile cleaning and sealing company exclusively licensed in our area to apply MicroSeal – a non-toxic and non-allergenic fabric protection formula for permanent stain and sun fading protection.

Your home’s expensive textiles, fabrics and fibers will all benefit from this unique product. Initially developed by researchers in the United Kingdom to imitate the natural protection scientists found in sheep’s wool, it is, quite simply, the perfect protectant. Hansen Steam Way protects your investments with a non toxic, non allergenic fabric protection formula for permanent stain and sun fade protection.

Still have questions? Give us a call at 865.453.5624 to schedule a job or consultation. You can also visit us online at www.hansensteamway.com.  Thank you for considering Hansen Steam Way to protect all of those things important in your home.

Keeping Your Cool:

Keeping Your Cool: Protecting Yourself from the Dangers of Sunstroke

Warmer weather has arrived. Along with the fun of outdoor activities come some dangers, too. Among those  dangers is sunstroke, also called heatstroke. To protect you and your loved ones from this hazard, keep these tips in mind this summer.

To avoid getting sunstroke, remember to drink plenty of fluids on warm days or when your activity level is up.  Avoid caffeine and alcohol, both of which can dehydrate you. Wear light colored, loose clothing and always wear a hat in direct sunlight. Try to stay in the shade and take breaks as needed. If you do find that you are experiencing any symptoms of heat stroke, get help immediately. Symptoms of sunstroke include dizziness, fatigue, headache,and rapid pulse and breathing. This eventually progresses to an elevated body temperature, lack
of sweating, confusion, and can lead to shock. The sooner you get treatment, the better.

Problem! What Carpet Fiber Should I Choose? Special Report Continued:

Problem! What Carpet Fiber Should I Choose? Special Report Continued:

Polyester has some excellent qualities and the dye method makes it very resistant to bleaching, fading and soil dye reactions. It is very resistant to water-based stains, but it is not resistant to oily stains. In fact, an oily spill or spot left without proper cleanup can oxidize and even chemically bond with, and become part of, the fiber. You need to know that some of these spots just won’t come out.


Polyester is not a resilient fiber.  When crushed it does not regain its original shape easily. Traffic areas tend to lie down, showing “apparent soiling”.  Furniture marks can be permanent reminders to the owner of where his furniture used to be. Even when cleaned properly it will lay flat. It tends to lie in different directions (nap reversal) down a heavily traveled hall or room and is very noticeable. The appearance from the nap reversal then looks like a snake down the hall or a pool of water in the middle of a room.  Definite improvements have been made by heat setting and using finer yarns, but crimp loss can still be a problem. This is a characteristic of polyester, not a defect.

How to Protect Potted Plants from the Heat

How to Protect Potted Plants from the Heat

High temperatures are not only hard on us. They can be tough for our plants as well. Whether you have plants indoors, outdoors, or both, there are some simple things you can do to help your plants weather these hot days.

In general, house plants prefer an environment between 70 and 80 degrees, with nighttime temperatures about 10 degrees cooler. Try to keep your potted plants out of direct sun during the hottest time of the day, especially if they are in a southern facing window. Be aware though that some plants require several hours of direct sunlight each day to thrive.

Water your plants properly. Your potted plants should be watered when the soil begins to feel dry. If you  over water your plants, they are more subject to wilting and disease. Under watering your plants, of course, is also not good for them. You should plan on watering more often as the weather heats up.

If your outdoor potted plants are not thriving, consider moving them to a more protected location. Outdoor plants tend to lose water more easily, as they are heated up more than indoor plants. Try using plastic pots instead of terra cotta or unglazed ceramic pots. These will hold moisture more readily.

Watch for pests also, as warmer weather brings more bugs. Inspect your plants regularly for any signs of insects and consider using an insecticide if you do find any.

Problem! What Carpet Fiber Should I Choose? Special Report Continued:

Problem! What Carpet Fiber Should I Choose? Special Report Continued:

Nylon has definitely been the most widely used fiber in the residential environment, and for good reason. Nylon is very resilient, has good dry soil resistance, and doesn’t present as many cleaning challenges.

Nylon is also very resistant to spillage. Since most residential nylon is not solution dyed but dyed after the carpet is made, it is not impossible to stain; however, if the spot is attended to in a timely manner, one can expect excellent spot removal results. Residential nylon carpets are also treated with a fluorochemical such as 3M Scotchgard™ or DuPont Teflon, which helps tre- mendously with dry soil resistance and stain resistance.

According to a Consumer Reports article in the August 1998 issue, branded nylons performed better than non-branded ones.

Wool is more resistant to foot traffic than any other fiber. This is the reason that you see Oriental rugs that have lasted for so many generations. Wool hides dry soil naturally and is not adversely affected by it for quite some time. Another wonderful aspect of wool is that it is a great insulator. In the winter your home will be warmer inside and in the summer it will be cooler. However, the cheaper wool stains easily and may not be the choice where children and pets are present.


Summer Safety

Summer Safety

Every year, the end of school means fun in the sun for children, but it can also bring its share of hidden hazards. To be sure that your child stays safe this summer, don’t forget these simple reminders.

1. Children should never be left unattended near water. A small child can drown in even an inch or two of water.

2. Your child should always wear a helmet when biking, riding a scooter, rollerblading, or skateboarding. Teach your child the basic rules of the road and caution him or her to always be aware of traffic on roads and in parking lots.

3. Excess sun exposure is always a concern in the summer months. Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher every time your child goes outdoors. Limit time in the sun during the hours of 10:00a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

4. Remind your child of playground safety. Children should not climb on the outside of play equipment and should never walk in front of or behind moving swings.

5. When grilling, be aware of people around you. Curious children especially need to be supervised and taught not to run or play around a barbeque grill. They should never touch a grill. Have water available when grilling in case of accidental fire.

With a little common sense and some simple precautions, you and your family can make this a safe and fun  summer.

So What’s the Big Deal About… Pet Urine?

So What’s the Big Deal About… Pet Urine?

Our pets don’t understand why we make such a big deal of a little urine on the carpet. To animals, urine is an important social tool that is used as a calling card, mate attractant or a territorial warning. Urine lets other members of the species know important information regarding their gender, age and health.

Animal urine is a rather benign substance. When it leaves a healthy animal it is sterile. In small amounts and low concentration, the odor and appearance may be undetectable. Still, any urine deposit on carpet should be treated appropriately.

If you are lucky enough to catch the animal in the act, you can pour salt liberally onto the urine while it is still wet. Use enough salt to completely cover the spot. The salt will absorb and neutralize the urine. Let  it dry for 8-12 hours and vacuum it away.

But most of the time, the urine is already dry by the time we find it. Applying a neutral carpet cleaning agent, gentle agitation and a thorough rinse may be enough to treat light urine deposits. Finish the job by placing a folded white towel on the area. Set a weight, such as an unwanted book on the towel and leave overnight. The remaining moisture and residue will wick into the towel.

Once urine contamination has reached the point that it has penetrated the carpet and the underlying  pad, removal of the odor becomes more difficult.  Heavy urine deposits are much more challenging to treat and you will need the help of Hansen Steam Way. Why? Because urine undergoes a dramatic chemical change as it ages. The water in the urine evaporates and leaves behind organic compounds that become more and more concentrated.

Bacteria begin to consume the urine and break down the proteins, sugars and other organics. During this process the bacteria secrete ammonia and a strong, pungent odor becomes apparent. The urine turns from a mild acid to a strong alkali. This strong alkaline deposit attacks the dyes in some carpets. Over time, the dyes can be weakened or removed, causing permanent color-loss.

The adhesives used in the carpet backing can be dissolved, and the carpet can literally fall apart.  Permanent damage to wood sub-floors will also result from deep penetration of concentrated urine deposits, requiring additional expensive repairs. The most critical action to prevent permanent damage is to act quickly when you notice a urine spot.

Hansen Steam Way has several techniques available to clean and deodorize pet contamination.  In addition, there are different cleaning and deodorizing agents in our arsenal. The decision of which methods and agents to use will depend on several factors; the amount of contamination present, the depth of penetration, the construction of the carpet, the fiber content, the installation method, the  sub-floor type and the size of the affected area must all be considered.

There are times when the damage is too severe and the best option is to replace the carpet. In such  situations, we can assist by decontaminating and sealing the sub-floor and adjacent materials with a specialized odor counteracting sealer so that the new carpet does not inherit the old odor problem.

If you have a pet odor problem, the best action is to call Hansen Steam Way for a professional assessment of the situation. We are experts at handling difficult odor problems and can help you choose the solution that is right for you.

Problem! What Carpet Fiber Should I Choose? Special Report Continued:

Problem! What Carpet Fiber Should I Choose? Special Report Continued:

The second challenge with olefin is a characteristic that is often overlooked: Olefin fibers are less resilient than others. What that means in plain and simple terms is that when a fiber is crushed, it doesn’t “bounce back” as well as other fibers. It also “scratches” very easily. A very common occurrence with olefin installations is the traffic areas begin to look dingy or worn. In fact what has happened is the fibers have been scratched from foot traffic. Imagine a plastic toy that has a scratch on it: there is nothing you can do to remove that scratch. It’s permanent. The same is true of an olefin fiber—once it is scratched, nothing can be done to correct it. In a high traffic area, the carpet may appear completely different than the edges against the wall.

The third interesting characteristic of olefin is that it is an “oil-loving” fiber. In other words, in the same way that it repels water-based soils, it absorbs and accepts oil-based soils, making it difficult to remove common oil-based soils in a household, such as lamp oil, lotion, body oils, and cooking oils. This can be especially important to keep in mind when choosing covering for floors just outside a kitchen area. Some of the higher-quality carpet mills “scour” the olefin to attempt to reduce the oil-attracting properties. Our company uses special cleaning agents manufactured for effectively cleaning olefin carpets.