Flooring Product Care and Maintenance.
We at Brandi Carpet, unlike many other Phoenix Carpet and Tile firms feel that our obligation to the client does not end when the Flooring Installation is complete, it also goes beyond like product care. As a result, we have taken the time to include this “Product Care” page on our Website to assist you in keeping your Flooring looking as new as possible. The material herein is “general” in nature and, as a result, if you have any questions or concerns you should feel free to contact us at anytime. Also, you can pursue your Warranty Brochure for instructions (posted below). As any Phoenix Carpet Service company will tell you, you also need to review the Terms and Conditions on the Manufacturer’s Website to verify that you fully understand their warranties.
CARPET PRODUCT CARE
The Value of Frequent Vacuuming
To ensure that you are going to maintain your carpet’s long-term beauty, it is imperative that you vacuum your carpet frequently and thoroughly. This is especially true in those areas that experience high-traffic. When soiled carpet is walked on, soil particles have the propensity to work their way below the surface of the pile, making them much more difficult to remove, and creating a situation where the carpet fibers can even be damaged. Removing these particles via frequent vacuuming removes the problem before it can occur. Thoughts to remember in regard to this include:
• Vacuum the traffic lanes in rooms with light traffic twice weekly, and the entire room once weekly.
• Utilize “Multiple Passes” – three to four for “light” soiling and five to seven for more heavily soiled areas.
• To reduce matting and keep the “pile” upright, occasionally change the vacuuming direction.
Protecting Carpet Color
While vacuuming is invaluable, so is carpet cleaning. This process removes the sticky, oily soil vacuums most often leave behind. Cooking vapors, air pollution, and tracked in dirt are targeted by cleaning systems. If not removed, the oily soil particles will result in significant color dulling. Rather than being “lost,” the color is “hidden” under the oily film.
Establish a Cleaning Schedule
Depending on who you ask, your “schedule” can range from every six months to every three years! As one of the more prominent Phoenix Carpeting Services, BRANDI CARPET would suggest you consider having your carpets cleaned every twelve to eighteen months. The more individuals walking on the carpet, and the amount of activity directed its way, will determine which end of this spectrum you should be on. As well as frequency, the cleaning system you choose is also vitally important. This is so much so that, as of 2008 a number of manufacturers mandate that you have an IICRC certified company clean your carpet every twelve to eighteen months. These manufacturers include, but are not limited to:
• DREAM WEAVER
A major misconception in regard to this is the fact that an IICRE certified firm will be more expensive. In reality, all it means is they take their responsibility extremely seriously, and proceed as true professionals! Reasons the manufacturers have become so stringent about this is because they have discovered that “carpet failure” is oft times the result of:
• Improper Cleaning Techniques
• Use of Damaging Chemicals
• Carpet “over-soaking”
Totally Stain Proof – Not Hardly!
As a Phoenix Carpet and Tile Company, we know that frequently people hear what they want to hear! A good example of this deals with the concept of “Stain Proof Carpets.” While many carpets are treated with a Stain Resistant substance, all that actually accomplishes is the reduction of the rate of soiling and the ability to clean the stains once they occur. As a result, all carpets should receive regular maintenance and care.
Soil and Stains
Interestingly enough, much of what is classified as “stains” are, in reality, soil related. This is especially true when a “sugar-based” spill (soft drinks, coffee) occurs. Though cleaned, these spills tend to leave a “sticky” residue. As this residue “collects” shoe traffic soil, what appears to be a stain occurs while, in reality, it is discoloring created by the accumulation of the collected soil. Even a detergent cleaning solution, if not rinsed sufficiently with plain water, can create a sticky residue. For specific care requirements where spills are concerned, consult the Warranty provided by the Carpet Manufacturer.
The Value of Mats
The acquisition and placement of mats at all entrances will do wonders in helping to keep your Carpets in tip-top shape! Placed outside the entrance, they will help “absorb” soil and moisture. To ensure that they stay part of the solution and don’t become part of the problem, be sure to clean/replace the mats on a regular basis!
Wrinkle Free Carpets
If you do, or have, lived in the Valley of the Sun for any length of time you will know that they summers become more than a little bit hot! In an attempt to escape this relentless heat, many people “escape” to the mountains or shore. When they take these well looked forward to vacations they usually conserve energy by raising their thermostats, making the interior of their homes to what would be an unbearable temperature in their absence. While this is both economically and energy conservation wisdom, it might not be so good for your carpets!
To best understand this, you need to know that many modern carpets use latex as one of the main building materials. Typically, the latex is used to hold the carpet backing together. When latex is heated and expands, it will cause your carpet to wrinkle. This situation usually rectifies itself once the room temperature is returned to seventy-eight degrees or lower, but the “correction” can take days or even weeks to be accomplished. If the carpet does not return to normal on its own, you may have to contact a Flooring Pro to re-stretch it. As “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” the best solution is to leave your thermostat at seventy-eight or cooler in your absence!
Manufacturer warranty guides for your review:
TILE PRODUCT CARE
One of the best ways to attend to your Tile Floors, as any Phoenix Discount Tile Company will tell you is a weekly regimen of Damp Mopping. This can be accomplished with the Flooring Cleaner recommended by your Tile Manufacturer. If you prefer, you can simply use two gallons of clean tap water mixed with a cup of white vinegar. It is vitally important that you neglect using soap or detergent, as they can promote the growth of mildew and/or dull the surface.
WARNING! Wait at least 72 hours after your Tile is installed to ensure that the grout is dry BEFORE you damp mop!!!
As with Carpet, good quality entry mats will help decrease “premature wear” with your Tile Flooring. The will help protect the Tile from grit, dirt, sand, asphalt, oil and other foreign substances that can do damage to your floor. Other areas to consider, the utilization of Protective Mats in front of your stove, refrigerator, and/or sinks.
Protective Furniture Pads
By affixing felt or similar pads to the “feet” of any plastic, metal, wood, or iron furniture that will be placed on the floor will go a long way to protect your Tile Flooring from scratching. If you have “outside” tile and, therefore, Patio Furniture, you will want to conscious, and cautious, of any metal furniture which may have a propensity for rusting and thus staining your Patio Tile.
NATURAL STONE PRODUCT CARE
Natural Stone Flooring has its own enemies, specifically grit, sand, and dirt. As can be imagined, they are a problem because of their abrasiveness, which causes damage to Natural Stone Flooring. The best “plan of attack” here is to utilize a clean, non-treated dust mop on the floor frequently. Using a vacuum is not a bad choice, but make sure it is in good condition and does not have a “beater bar,” as that can be damaging in its own right. The use of Protective Mats on this type of flooring is also a good idea, as they minimize “loose dirt” damage. The best “product” here is those mats which has an underside with a “non-slip” underside.
Done regularly, this will help keep your Natural Stone Flooring attractive for life! Any Flooring Installation Company in Phoenix will be able to tell you what to mop with, as will the manufacturer. We have found that a soap such as Liquid Ivory, which has a neutral pH, and warm water can be used for “spills” or periodic cleaning. (As with most floors, all spills should be cleaned up by “blotting” as soon as possible on your Natural Store Flooring.)
Once you have completed your Damp Mopping, you need to thoroughly rinse the floor and then dry with a soft, clean cloth. During the process, change the rinse water frequently.
WARNING! Products that contain acids, such as vinegar or lemon juice should never be used on TRAVERTINE, MARBLE, or LIMESTONE. Too, be sure to avoid abrasive cleansers or any cleaners that are ammonia-based on ANY type of stone as they will “dull” the natural luster!!!
And a few more things!
• Remember to maintain the “caulking” for your Natural Stone Flooring in areas where there is heavy water use.
• Be careful to avoid chipping and scratching when moving heavy objects across the floor – even if you have to enlist they help of a small army!!!
• Some Stone Floors are more susceptible to staining than others, due to the variance in porosity. As a result, and depending on your lifestyle, you may want to consider “sealing” your Stone Flooring. If you do opt for this suggestion, we highly recommend that you employ the services of a reliable professional!!!
HARDWOOD FLOORING PRODUCT CARE
If Convenience, Ease, and Minimal Time Investment for Floor Maintenance is of a major concern to you, Hardwood Flooring should be a major consideration for you. To ensure that you are protecting your Hardwood Flooring properly, you need to adhere to the “Dos” and “Don’ts” of Proper Floor Care, which include but are not limited to:
• Employ the use of Protective Mats. Be sure to avoid rubber or foam-backed plastic mats, as they are apt to discolor your Hardwood Flooring.
• Use the “Hard Floor” attachment and not the “Beater Bar” when vacuuming.
• To remove candle wax, chewing gum and other difficult spots, “harden” the spot with ice and use a plastic scraper to clean up the area. Take your time and do not scratch the floor. Finish up by using a damp cloth to wipe the area clean.
• Regularly dust, vacuum, and/or sweep the floor.
• Keep Mineral Spirits on hand to deal with “spots” caused by tar, paint, lipstick, markers, ink and oil. This should be applied with a clean, white cloth. After applying the Mineral Spirits use another clean, dry white cloth to wipe it up.
• Always use a soft, white cloth to blot spots as soon as they occur.
• Make buffing a “Do it Yourself” project! Rather, hire a Professional Refinishing Company to accomplish this for you.
• Use soap, water, detergent of other liquid cleaners that are not recommended for Hardwood Flooring when you Wet Mop.
• Use Scouring Powder or Steel Wool.
• Allow Spilled Liquids to “stand” on the floor for any extended period of time.
While Proper Maintenance is necessary for all forms of Flooring Preservation, there are a few additional things you need to be cognizant of when it comes to Hardwood Flooring. Things that you will pay strict attention to include, but are not limited to:
• Hardwood Floors should NEVER have heavy objects slid or rolled across them. Rather, use a “layer” of quarter-inch plywood or Masonite and then employ a “dolly” to do the moving!
• Constant Relative Humidity in your home is a must! Ideally this should be 30% – 45%.
• Regular pedicures for your pets are another must! Unattended, their nails can wreak havoc on Hardwood Flooring.
• Don’t allow your footwear to be unkind to your Hardwood Flooring, which was not made to be “accosted” by stiletto-style heels, spiked golf shoes and cleats!
LAMINATE FLOORING PRODUCT CARE
If you choose Laminate Flooring as your Flooring Choice your choice was, in fact, a wise one. Hard and tough, it also is most easy to care for. Still, you will want to get the most out of your investment and, as a result, will want to conduct routine cleaning.
You should sweep, vacuum, and dry mop regularly. It is important, however, that you avoid wet mopping. Too, you should not use abrasive cleaners or soap. Cleaning agents have been specially formulated for Laminate Flooring, and should be utilized during the cleaning process. Typically, these are not applied directly to the floor, but, rather, to a soft cloth and then to the Laminate Surface. These can be acquired either from a Flooring Installation Company or, in some instances, even from a supermarket. To ensure that using a “generic” type of cleaner will not void your warranty, be sure to check in advance of using such a product.
While the “tough coating” that Laminate Flooring has applied to it goes a long way to protect it, it is possible for it to be damaged. As with most other forms of Flooring, dirt is a culprit to be avoided as it can be ‘ground into” the floor causing scratches. A “No Shoes Policy” goes a long ways to protecting your Laminate Flooring.
Another “danger” to Laminate Flooring may be your furniture. As we have mentioned before, “protector pads” on the bottom of furniture legs will protect against this type of damage.
As with so many other flooring types, dragging furniture across your Laminate Flooring is a real no-no, as this can actually create gouges in the floor. As a result, you will want to lift your furniture when moving it. If the heft of the furniture present an insurmountable challenge to do this, pick up each end and place a blanket or other pad under it, and then slide the furniture on this.
An important aspect of protecting Laminate Flooring is the use of area rugs. This protects against “lanes” from appearing in heavily trafficked areas. WORD OF CAUTION: Be sure to choose a rug that will not cause discoloration. Area rugs in areas where water might be “splashed” on the floor (kitchens, bathrooms) will also help protect your Laminate Flooring. In the event that spills do occur, clean them up immediately. If this should seep into your Laminate Flooring joints they could be damaged – or at the very least weakened. Worst case scenario here is that “de-lamination” can actually occur.
Damage to your Laminate Flooring can run the gamut from necessitating minor repairs to the actual replacement of one or more “planks.” If the damage is in this category, you would be wise to seek the assistance, or at least, of a Flooring Professional.
As is apparent, investment in New Flooring involves much more than just your money. To ensure that it looks as good as the day it was purchased, you are going to have to invest a little time as well!!!
Remember there are no “dumb” questions when it comes to maintaining your new flooring, use any and all resources available to ensure your flooring remains like new for years to come.
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