Recent Cleaning Posts

Carpet Care and Maintenance

1/26/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Carpet Care and Maintenance Carpet cleaning and carpet care.

Carpet Care and Maintenance

Proper regular care can add years of life to your carpet and help retain the original appearance. The most important thing you can do is vacuum thoroughly and frequently, particularly in high traffic areas.

Vacuuming helps remove dirt particles, which can damage the carpet and dull the appearance. Use a vacuum cleaner with beater bars and good suction for best results. Keep bags, filters and recovery tanks clean.

Professional Cleaning

Soiling is a buildup of soil particles and oily materials that cling to the carpet fibers and dull the beauty of the carpet. Time causes foot traffic to drive the soil particles deep into the carpet. When this condition cannot be corrected with vacuuming, it is time to have your carpet cleaned by SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County.

How often you will need professional cleaning depends on soil buildup, traffic, type and color of carpeting. A good rule of thumb would be to professionally clean your carpet every twelve months.

Most professionals use hot water extraction cleaning (also known as steam cleaning). Hot water extraction cleaning is the method recommended by DuPont, Monsanto and Allied Fibers. Other common cleaning methods include absorbent pad or bonnet cleaning and rotary shampoo (often referred to as Showcase Cleaning).

A Word About Do-It-Yourself Cleaning

Professional cleaning is recommended for any carpet, especially stain-resistant carpet. However, if you decide to do it yourself, carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions and use the correct products for the job.

Common Carpet Characteristics

Pilling

After carpeting has been subjected to foot traffic, moving of furniture, vacuuming and other forms of mechanical agitation, fuzzing or the working out of loose fiber ends in the pile can be observed. When an entire fiber is removed, it is called shedding or fluffing. In some cases, only one end of the fiber is worked out; in others, it is tightly twisted or entangled in the tuft. When this situation occurs in local areas, the long fibers become entangled and form a pill.

Pilling is common and is not a problem when the pills break or are pulled out by the vacuum as they form. However, a strong elastic fiber such as nylon will resist this breaking. This results in small spider-like pills over the entire surface of the carpet, perhaps more concentrated in the areas of greatest traffic.

These pills can generally be removed by lifting the main ball portion with the thumb and forefinger, and using scissors to cut the fiber which holds the pill onto the carpet. Take care not to pull any excess fibers from the carpet which may damage the pile when cutting.

Ripples

Carpeting is made under tension. Tension is necessary so that the loom or machine will function properly, producing fabric uniform from one portion to the next. Carpeting differs from many textiles. The back of the carpet may be composed of several layers which are not generally pre-shrunk. When backing yarns absorb moisture, the fibers swell, resulting in the relaxation of the yarns previously held under tension.
Moisture, which produces swelling, may result from humidity, spills or improper cleaning methods.

If two adjacent areas are not manufactured under the same identical tension, unevenness or rippling will develop. Rippling will also happen if the tension of the second back is not uniform with the primary rug backing.

Ripples can be caused by dragging heavy furniture across the carpeting or by the sliding and pulling of carpeting in traffic areas caused by walking. Each case is different. Ripples may extend across the entire width of the rug, from the edge to the middle, in the middle only, along the edges or in one small section. This situation can sometimes be corrected by wetting backing yarns and tacking the rug out in a stretched position. However, the ripples may reoccur when moisture is again present.

Shading

Shading is an apparent color difference between areas of the same carpet. This results from random differences in pile lay direction caused by normal wear.

Shading is a characteristic of all cut-pile carpet. Shading is not a manufacturing defect. The physical cause is the difference between cut end luster and side luster of fibers. The sides of fibers reflect more light and appear brighter and lighter in color than the ends which absorb more light and appear to be duller and darker in color.

Little can be done to prevent or correct shading. Shading is an inherent characteristic of certain types of carpet. Shading can be slowed down by vacuuming or brushing the pile in one direction during daily or weekly maintenance.

Static

Do you experience light shocks after walking across your carpet? This is static formed by the friction of your shoes against fibers in the carpet. Usually there is enough moisture or humidity in the air to carry off the static charge as it is formed, but when the weather turns dry and the humidity is low, watch out!

The tendency to generate a static charge at low humidity varies from carpet to carpet. Some of the new carpets have anti-static agents built into the fibers. Other carpets use very fine metal wires or even conductive latex within the carpet to carry off the static. Anti-static protection of this type usually lasts for the life of the carpet.

If your carpet has none of these innovations and acquires static in dry weather, it may still be possible to obtain some relief through increasing the humidity or by the use of an anti-static agent sprayed on the face of the carpet. Many home products of this type are available from your local store. These, however, are not permanent and generally become less effective after a period of time.

Sunlight Damage

Almost every carpet will lighten in color or fade over a period of time. The extent of damage depends on the location, exposure, color, intensity and type of dye and method of dyeing of the carpet.

A solution-dyed carpet (dyed during the synthetic fiber producing process) is least susceptible to sun fading. The pigments are added to the polymer before the fibers are formed, locking in the color. Most polypropylene (olefin), many acrylics and some polyester carpets are dyed by this method. Lighter shades will usually fade more quickly than darker shades because they contain less dye. Most dyes are composed of two or more colors. If one color is affected more than the other, the fading may appear as a color change rather than a lightening of the color. For example, a green carpet yarn is made from blue and yellow dyes. If the yellow dye is affected and the blue is not affected, the green carpet may seem to be turning bluer. In other cases, the colors may fade uniformly, appearing as a lighter shade of the original color. In severe cases, the color may be
completely removed and can appear to be bleached white. The fiber itself can also deteriorate.

You may be able to prevent carpets from fading in sunny locations by keeping the windows covered by draperies or by treating the windows with a protective coating which filters the ultra-violet rays. If you live in an area where sunlight fading is a problem, shop carefully for your next carpet purchase.

The Forgotten Spill

Sometimes stains are hidden by soil and revealed after cleaning. These stains, which did not immediately cause discoloration, are usually from spilled liquids containing colorless sugar which remains on the fibers. After long exposure to the air, hidden stains change to insoluble brown stains, but are not noticed because of dirt covering them.

Other kinds of stains can be caused by water soaking through and absorbing sizing, browning or fugitive dyes from the backs of the material. Because the fibers act as wicks, moisture will rise to the surface and evaporate, and discoloration will be left. Carpet owners who try to remove stains by using the wrong cleaning compounds and procedures may make the stained areas more noticeable.

To lessen the possibility of stain damage, immediate action should be taken. Thoroughly absorb all moisture and, when possible, put a ½ inch thickness of clean, white absorbent material over the area, weighing it down. Then call SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County to learn how to remove the spot safely before it becomes a permanent stain.

Animal Stains

Cats may be considered one of the cleanest animals and dogs may be man’s best friend, but neither is necessarily a carpet’s best friend. Neglected animal stains have always been a problem.

Two types of reaction can take place between the chemicals in the urine and those in the fiber dye. Some dyes change color as soon as urine comes in contact with them. Often original color can be restored by immediate addition of a weak solution of ammonia and white vinegar. Pick an inconspicuous area of the carpet and test small amounts of solution to determine its effect on the fiber and dye.

The other change develops slowly over a period of several months and results in permanent change of fiber dye. Along with the dye change, some fibers become weakened or destroyed. After cleaning, these areas are more obvious because the soil, which hid the true color, has been removed.

The next time you are confronted with an animal accident, immediately absorb as much liquid as possible and wash the area with a solution of one teaspoon of neutral detergent (which contains no bleach) to one cup of lukewarm water. Absorb into white tissues or toweling. Add a white vinegar solution (one part white vinegar to two parts water). Absorb as dry as possible. Place a ½ inch layer of white absorbent material over the area and weight down. Allow to dry for about six hours.

If immediate action is taken to remove the stain in this manner, no change in color should occur, and that forgotten accident will not become apparent after your carpet has been professionally cleaned.

The Right Stain Removal Techniques

Stains can make a carpet appear more soiled than it really is, so no carpet cleaning method is complete unless all removable stains have disappeared.

A basic knowledge of different stains and chemicals for spot cleaning and removal is vital, since improper or indiscriminate use of spotting chemicals can worsen a problem.

Helpful Tips on Spotting

  • Always blot or scrape up as much material as possible before it soaks into the carpet. 
  • For blotting liquids, use white paper towels or tissues. You might use a cloth, but it is less desirable. If used too long, the matter soaked into the cloth will re-deposit into the fibers and spread the stain.
  • For scraping solid matter, use a table knife. Never use a sharp instrument.
  • Never use soap. This frequently leaves a sticky residue that causes rapid re-soiling.
  • Do not allow solvent-based products to penetrate to the backing. They might damage and soften the latex compound used to strengthen the carpet backing.

Stain-Resistant Carpeting

Since late 1986, the carpet industry has undergone a drastic change in carpet fibers. With the introduction of Stain- Resistant carpeting by DuPont, Allied Fibers and Monsanto, it is wise to take a different approach to cleaning and spot removal in order to maintain the carpet warranty. The first thing to consider is the help that each one of these companies can offer you.

Carpet companies all provide a "help" number with the warranty, and this should be consulted before you attempt to remove a spot. (This does not mean that you cannot remove material with a clean white towel and water. Sometimes this may be enough). If the method they recommend does not work, the carpet company can recommend a professional cleaner in your area, like SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County.

Furniture Depressions

Furniture legs may cause depressions in your carpet if allowed to stay too long in one position. If furniture is moved, the carpet will spring up in time, but often can take weeks or even months. For immediate care, cover the furniture depression with a damp cloth, steam with a warm iron and then brush pile briskly with a coin or kitchen butter knife that is not sharp. Correct professional cleaning by SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County will usually remove depressions.

SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County employs only the highest quality standards and workmanship to prevent shrinkage, over-wetting, rapid re-soiling and many other problem areas that come with inexperience.

Contact us at 973-383-2024 if you have a service need or click here to visit our website to learn more about SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County's carpet cleaning services.

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Carpet Cleaning: SERVPRO Carpet Care Options

11/18/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Carpet Cleaning: SERVPRO Carpet Care Options Trust SERVPRO to provide effective and cost efficient carpet cleaning methods for any type of soiling.

We Know Stains

SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County Professionals have been handling stains and soils of all types, from residential homes to commercial facilities.  Using IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards for carpet care as a guide, SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County guide you in the best decisions to care for your carpet.

A SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County will take time to:

  • Explain to you what cleaning option would be best for your carpet’s level of soiling.
  • Give you an estimate of time and cost of the carpet cleaning.
  • Explain the benefits of soil protection.
  • Explain the advantages of a clean carpet for good indoor air quality.
  • Explain how you can help prolong your carpet’s appearance with frequent vacuuming.

SERVPRO® CARPET CARE OPTIONS

Soil Level: LIGHT

Cleaning Method: Bonnet Cleaning

Process

  • Carpet is lightly sprayed with cleaning solution.
  • A rotary extractor with a “bonnet”pad is used to pull dirt from the carpet.

Advantage: Least aggressive maintenance cleaning method especially for short piled carpets.

Benefit: Cleans carpet with quick drying time.

Soil Level: MODERATE

Cleaning Method: Hot Water Extraction

Process

  • Truck mount or portable extraction unit applies cleaning solution with hot water while vacuuming the carpet.

Advantage: Deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.

Benefit: Helps promote longer carpet life.

 

Soil Level: HEAVY

Cleaning Method: Showcase Premier Cleaning

Process

  • Two-step process:
    • Shampooing the carpet.
    • Rinse and extract entire carpet for deep cleaning.

Advantage: Most thorough cleaning method in the industry; cleans when other methods may not work.

Benefit: Restorative method -excellent for helping restore carpet after a fire damage.

Soil Protection - Keep It Clean Longer

Heavy traffic lanes, time, normal wear and cleaning can remove stain and soil protection from carpet. Help increase the life of your carpet, reduce the frequency of future cleanings and save money by treating your freshly cleaned carpet with a stain and soil protectant.

 

For answers about carpet cleaning and care, contact SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County or at 973-383-2024, or visit our website.

What is Lurking in Your Ducts

9/15/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning What is Lurking in Your Ducts Dirty Ducts

Sweeping Away Years of Dust and Dirt - Helping Reduce Potential for Damage and Health Risks

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

A routine part of a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money.

The SERVPRO® Proven Duct Cleaning System is Cost Efficient

Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional uses a Portable Ventilation
& Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

The SERVPRO® Duct Cleaning Process

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

Duct Cleaning May Not Always Be Necessary

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.

In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

The SERVPRO® System is the Difference - We Can Help:

  • Remediate Bacteria, Fungi and Mold.
  • Reduce Potential for Mold Growth.
  • Restore Peak Energy Efficiency.
  • Eliminate Offensive Odors.
  • Provide Free Written Inspections and Estimates.

Click here to learn more or contact our office at 973-383-2024 to schedule your next duct cleaning.

Duct Cleaning - Residential

11/23/2015 (Permalink)

Clean Air in the Home

  • Children in homes with high levels of mold show persistent, cold-like symptoms - 300% more than those in clean environments.
  • Every year about 40 pounds of dust is generated per 1,500 square feet in a home.
  • Roughly 80 percent of the particles you see floating in your home in a ray of sunshine are dead human skin.

Causes of Indoor Air Pollution

  • Asbestos building products when dislodged (no longer intact)
  • Biological contaminants such as mold, dust mites, viruses and pet dander
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Formaldehyde found in pressure treated wood
  • Lead (pre-1978 house paint)
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Particulates found in dust, pollen, cleaning sprays and poorly ventilated areas
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Volatile organic compounds including household cleaning products, pesticides and aerosol propellants

Cleaner Air Means a Healthier Home

Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminants like mold and irritating dustt hroughout the home. SERVPRO of Northern Sussex County uses a proven Portable Ventilation and Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

Benefits of Cleaning Ducts & HVAC:

  • Lowers indoor air pollution
  • Reduces pet dander
  • Eliminates offensive odors
  • Restores peak operating condition
  • Prolongs the life of your system

Lead Paint Clean-up

11/20/2015 (Permalink)

The Facts About Lead

  • Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes until it was banned for residential use in 1978.
  • Lead can affect children’s brains and developing nervous systems, causing reduced IQ, learning disabilities and behavioral problems.
  • Even children who seem healthy can have high levels of lead in their bodies.
  • Lead is also harmful to adults and the elderly.
  • Lead in dust is the most common way people are exposed to lead. People can also get lead in their bodies from lead in soil or paint chips. Lead dust is often invisible.
  • Projects that disturb lead-based paint can create dust and endanger you and your family.
  • In most cases, lead-based paint that is in good condition is not a hazard.
  • It's The Law!

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by the EPA. These firms also must use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices.

    According to EPA requirements (40 CFR Part 745) contractors must use lead-safe work practices and follow these three simple procedures:

  • Contain the work area.  
  • Minimize dust.  
  • Clean up thoroughly.
  • SERVPRO's Compliance With Lead Paint Laws

    SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County is are aware of the guidelines involving lead paint and will take the necessary precautions according to current laws. SERVPRO® of Northern Sussex County professional have been trained and certified to follow lead-safe work practices while performing renovation and repair projects in your area.

    Does Your Property Contain Lead?

    Older homes, older child care facilities, schools and other buildings are more likely to contain lead-based paint. Homes may be private, government-assisted or public housing. Schools are preschools and kindergarten classrooms. They may be urban, suburban or rural.

    Percentage of homes likely to contain lead:

  • Built between 1960-1978 = 24%  
  • Built between 1940-1960 = 69%  
  • Built before 1940 = 87%
  • What You Can Do To Protect Your Family From Lead in Pre-1978 Homes

  • If you rent, notify your landlord of peeling or chipping paint.
  • Clean up paint chips immediately.
  • Regularly clean floors, window sills, and other surfaces. Use a mop, sponge, or paper towel with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner or a cleaner made specifically for lead.
  • Thoroughly rinse sponges and mop heads after cleaning dirty or dusty areas.
  • Wash children’s hands, bottles, pacifiers and toys often.
  • Keep children from chewing window sills or other painted surfaces.
  • Make sure children eat a healthy, nutritious diet consistent with the USDA’s dietary guidelines, which helps protect children from the effects of lead.
  • Clean or remove shoes before entering your home to avoid tracking in lead from soil.
  • Dry Ice Blasting

    11/20/2015 (Permalink)

    What Is Dry Ice Blasting

    Dry ice blasting is a revolutionary blasting method that uses dry ice pellets (CO2 in solid form) as the blasting material. The process is very environmentally friendly and provides a fast and effective alternative to traditional methods of cleaning industrial production equipment.

    Dry Ice Blasting Is A Three-Step Process

    Kinetic: When dry ice pellets are accelerated in a jet of compressed air and strike a surface at the speed of sound, they crack and loosen the coating of the surface being treated.

    Thermal: The low temperature of dry ice pellets (-79oC/-110oF) makes the coating brittle, cracks it and loosens it. This allows dry ice to permeate the coating.

    Sublimation: Dry ice penetrates the coating and immediately sublimes (passes directly from solid to vapor state). This results in a 700-fold increase in volume, an explosive effect that lifts the coating off the surface.

    The Benefits Of Dry Ice Blasting

    A Dry Cleaning Process: Dry ice blasting is a completely dry process because dry ice pellets consist of CO2 and vaporize immediately on contact with the surface to be cleaned.

    No Waste Disposal: The system produces no waste products. Only the coating that has been removed remains to be disposed of, and this can usually be swept or vacuumed from the floor.

    Environmentally Friendly: Dry ice blasting is completely non-toxic and no hazardous chemicals are used. Costs connected with the disposal of blasting materials and solvents are saved.

    No Abrasion: Dry ice blasting is non-abrasive and therefore surfaces are treated very gently. Wear and tear resulting from the use of steel brushes, scrapers and other blasting materials is avoided.

    Improved Production Quality: Dry ice blasting often allows for your production equipment to be cleaned while in operation without a need for dismantling or costly downtime.