Picking a Pro
If youíre finding that no matter how much you vacuum, your carpet still does
not look like it used to, it may be time for a deep cleaning. While there are
do-it-yourself cleaning methods on the market, hiring a professional may be the
safest, fastest and easiest option. Becketts can give you some advice on
selecting the right professional to take on the task. People donít always
realize the value of a sound, knowledgeable carpet-cleaning professional. Itís
very important to ask the right questions and do the research to save yourself
from future headaches.
Perhaps the best way to select a carpet-cleaning professional is through
references from friends and family. A glowing endorsement can provide great
peace of mind. But, if you donít know anyone with recommendations, request
references from the company. A reputable cleaning professional should have
available a list of satisfied clients or businesses that use their services.
Also, the local Better Business Bureau can act as a reliable source of
information on the cleaning companyís history.
Be cautious of any company contacting you over the phone or one that is
canvassing your neighborhood. Also, be wary of any company that advertises a
cleaning price by the room, as room sizes vary and charges should be based on
the total area cleaned. Some companies advertise the use of brand name cleaning
products or chemicals; however, it should be noted that this does not
necessarily suggest an affiliation with those companies or added credibility
for the cleaning service.
In order to determine the amount and type of cleaning services needed, have the
carpet cleaning representative come to your home for a visual inspection. Do
not accept quotes over the phone. He or she can check the carpet for
problem stains or excessively soiled areas that require additional attention.
Obtain a written agreement for all work to be performed. Under normal
circumstances, there should be no extra charge for moving furniture,
preconditioning, and routine spot and stain removal.
Beware of pricing that is "too good to be true." Professionals should
charge only for services that are authorized in writing before cleaning begins.
Most cleaning is based on the total number of square feet to be cleaned. Many
firms have cleaning specials; however, pricing by the room or low prices quoted
over the phone may have hidden restrictions or additional cost add-ons. A
reliable firm will tell you the steps needed to clean your carpet and provide a
written agreement before work begins. Contact the carpet manufacturer before
allowing treatments to prevent voiding warranties.
Once you have identified one or two companies, Beckett's suggests conducting an
informal interview to make sure you are dealing with a qualified, professional
cleaner. Here are some questions you can ask:
How long has the company been in business or a part of its current community?
The answer can speak volumes about its reputation and experience.
What formal training is required for the companyís management and cleaning
technicians? A reputable company should require that employees receive training
certification from recognized national companies or organizations and
participate in continuing education programs.
What are the basic services offered and what constitutes an extra charge? What
are the prices for each?
What type of cleaning method should be used? Discuss with the professional the
best cleaning method for your carpet, as there are a variety of methods to suit
different carpet types and installations.
Who will move the furniture, and is there an extra charge for doing so?
Remember, before hiring carpet cleaning professionals, have a representative
come to your home and determine the type of cleaning method that is most
suitable, as well as inspect your carpet for problem spots or extremely soiled
areas. Discuss in detail the exact services that are needed. To prevent voiding
warranties, contact the carpet manufacturer before allowing additional
treatments, such as re-applying stain treatments or anti-static treatments.
Signing the Contract
After youíve finally made your decision, but before work begins, Beckett's
recommends that you secure a written contract or invoice that confirms the
total price, as well as statements of guarantees that the cleaning company
offers. Carefully scrutinize the laundry list of services to be performed. Make
sure that you are not charged for any "extras," such as removal of spots,
preconditioning, deep cleaning, triple processes, pile setting, vacuuming prior
to cleaning, or color brightening, as these services are usually included as
part of normal cleaning.
While there are more than 35,000 reputable, ethical and good carpet cleaning
professionals in the United States, it is helpful to arm yourself with these
tips to ensure a quality job. Although it may be tempting to base your decision
on price alone, it is not advisable. Consider all aspects of the company to get
the full picture.