Recent Cleaning Posts

What to Remember About Hoarding & the Cleanup Process | SERVPRO® of West Bradenton/Anna Maria Island

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

You may sometimes hear about hoarding on reality TV, but it’s a serious issue. When a space is used for hoarding, it can eventually lead to a variety of health-related hazards, including an increased risk of mold growth.

But what is hoarding exactly? Hoarding—which impacts as many as 1 in 50 people—is an obsessive-compulsive disorder that causes people to collect and resist discarding possessions. Usually this disorder develops in secret, and over time, those possessions ultimately accumulate in large quantities that can take over a home or commercial space.

Those affected by the condition cling to those items because they believe they will be of value at some point, but in reality, most often the items have little to no value.

As these items add up, they can become fire hazards and can hide pests or mold growth.

If a space you own has been used for hoarding, what should you do? Your best move—call in a team of professionals to make the space usable again.

3 Stages of the Clean-up Process

While you might think that you just need to clear out clutter and clean up, there are a number of special considerations when it comes to a space that’s been used for hoarding.

Professionals will provide a comprehensive clean-up that mitigates any potential safety hazards.

Removal of Items

This is the part of cleaning up that most people think of. This stage involves clearing the space of all clutter and accumulated items.

If other items not related to hoarding have become contaminated, those may also need to be removed and even discarded.

Removal of Dangerous Substances

Hoarding accumulates piles of clutter and other objects, which can conceal health-related hazards, including rodents and pests, along with toxic mold growth.

To ensure you are safely cleaning the space and not putting yourself at risk, partner with a highly-trained team outfitted in safety gear.

Complete Cleaning

Once the clutter and debris are removed and the space is cleared, a professional team will perform a deep-cleaning. This will remove all residue and odors—ensuring the space is ready to use again in the future.

In need of a team to help restore a space where hoarding has been an issue? Contact our team at SERVPRO® of West Bradenton/Anna Maria Island, and we’ll make it like it never even happened.

Clearing the Air About Your Carpets

6/27/2016 (Permalink)

Do you find yourself sneezing a lot? How are your allergies? When was the last time your carpets were cleaned? SERVPRO are experts at carpet cleaning.

Although we might not normally associate carpet with improved indoor air quality, it does have a very positive effect. Gravity causes common household particles, such as dust, pollen, pet and insect dander, to fall to the floor. Carpet fibers trap the particles, removing them from the breathing zone and reducing their circulation in the air. Proper cleaning with hepa filtration vacuums effectively removes dust and allergens from the carpet and helps keep them out of the air we breathe.


Asthma and Allergies


A misconception is that people with asthma and allergies should avoid carpet in the home. Actually, the opposite is true. Studies have shown that properly cleaned carpet helps reduce symptoms and is the best flooring choice for those dealing with asthma and allergies.


Mold and VOC misconceptions:


When carpet is kept clean and dry, mold simply cannot grow on synthetic fibers. Carpet is recognized as one of the lowest emitters of volatile organic compounds (VOC's) among various interior flooring choices. The Carpet and Rug Institute's Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality Standard identifies carpet (http://www.carpet-rug.org/green-label-plus.html ) , adhesive and cushion products that meet or exceed government indoor air quality regulations and are the lowest emitting products on the market.


The U.S. EPA reports that Americans spend nearly 90 percent of their time indoors which means that indoor air quality is of the utmost importance.

Many urban legends state that carpet reduces indoor air quality, but the facts support quite the opposite in that carpet is better for indoor air quality because it acts as a filter by trapping allergens and keeping them out of the breathing zone. In fact, there is no scientific study linking the rise of allergies and asthma to the use of carpet.

If you have carpet in your home, keeping it clean is the best way to eliminate the negative effects of allergens.

Vacuuming is the simplest and most effective way to remove dirt and allergens from carpet. In fact, 90 to 95% of all dry soil by weight can be removed from carpet by following a routine vacuuming schedule. CRI Seal of Approval tests vacuums for effective soil removal and dust containment, which means CRI/SOA-approved vacuums are among the best at raising indoor air quality.

Another imperative in improving indoor air quality is a regular deep cleaning.

A deep cleaning every 12-18 months by an IICRC trained SERVPRO employee will renew the look of carpet by removing the deepest dirt. SERVPRO of Bradenton utilizes the best technology and world-renowned certified equipment that effectively removes soil to get carpet looking like new.

If you’re committed to improving indoor air quality in your home, choosing SERVPRO of Bradenton to clean it is the best way to accomplish this.


Call SERVPRO of Bradenton for all of your carpet and upholstery cleaning needs. We have been serving the Manatee County Community since 1989. We make your dirty floors look "Like it never even happened."

Best Practices in Carpet Cleaning for Longboat Key.

4/25/2016 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Bradeton, we care about carpet care and making sure all of our customers have the best information available.

SERVPRO of Bradenton has been in the carpet cleaning business for 27 years. We have learned over the years that carpet cleaning is the subject of much confusion. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about carpet cleaning that we offer this consumer education message so when you select a carpet cleaning company, you can make an informed, intelligent decision.


Misconception #1: You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.


NO! Dirt is an abrasive - like sandpaper. Every time you step on the carpet, you grind dirt into your carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps, by itself  it is simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out.


 Misconception #2: The only reason to clean carpets is to get out the dirt.


NO! As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution, cigarette smoke, car exhaust -- and hundreds of other chemicals. When you and your family members come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair, on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals, pollens and bacteria wind up -- you guessed it -- in your carpet.


If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems -- one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, and chemicals in your carpet.


If you're sensitive to cigarette smoke, you might find that you'll breathe easier after you hire a professional to get those harmful chemicals out of your carpet.


So in addition to getting rid of dirt, another important reason to clean your carpet is to get rid of pollens, fungus, bacteria, chemicals and the tars and residue from tobacco smoke.


Misconceptions #3: One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.


NO! Unfortunately this is not true.  You can choose from two primary methods: Dry cleaning or hot water extraction. 


DRY CLEANING METHODS


Many people believe that dry cleaning your carpet is like dry cleaning your clothing. This is not true. All carpet cleaning methods use water to clean.  Some methods use more water than others.   “Dry Cleaning” for carpets should really be called “Low Moisture Cleaning”.  Here are three methods of dry cleaning carpet.


Dry Foam


When a carpet cleaner uses dry foam, they applie shampoo to your carpet, allow it to dry, and then sucks the dried shampoo chunks into a vacuum. Can you imagine applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum? This method can leave a residue in your carpet, which is one reason dry foam is not very effective, however a new spin on dry foam called ENCAPSULATION cleaning is quite effective.  It utilizes a crystallizing detergent to suspend and capture soil particles in an acrylic polymer which actually CAN be vacuumed out.  It is a cost effective maintenance method for commercial carpets.


Bonnet Cleaning


The Bonnet Cleaning method is similar to dry foam. The major difference is that when bonnet method is used, the company sets a large cotton bonnet on your carpet. Using a machine, the bonnet spins from side to side, absorbing the dirt that's in the carpet. After the bonnet is saturated with dirt, another cotton bonnet is applied. Bonnet cleaning is like trying to use a large towel to rub the dirt out of your carpet. It can,  however be effective on glue down or commercial carpets.


 Dry Compound


The dry-compound method spreads an absorbent mixture made of recycled corn stalks.  It looks like wet sawdust all over your carpeting. Then the machine brushes the mixture into the carpet, which in theory causes dirt to absorb into the mixture. Once the mixture has dried, a vacuum cleaner sucks the residue out of the carpeting. However, vacuuming does not remove all the residue, which accumulates over time between the carpet and pad.  Because the carpet is not rinsed in any way, this method is not very effective.


HOT WATER EXTRACTION


The second carpet cleaning method is called “hot water extraction”. This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet and then sucked out of the carpet. This method is also referred to as steam cleaning even though steam is not used.


 Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction and you can choose from two different types: Portable extraction, which is done with a small machine. Or truck mount extraction which means the large cleaning machine is mounted in a truck or van. 


Misconception #4: Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.


NOT TRUE. Many companies own hot-water cleaners -- but many company employees don't know how to use them. You probably know someone who bought the newest computer on the market -- but didn't learn how to use it for a year or more. The same is true with carpet cleaning machines. The company you are considering may own good equipment, but the employees may not know how to use it correctly. This is why it's important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully.


The best carpet cleaning companies are those that have been certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, known as the IICRC.   A carpet cleaning company cannot buy this certification. The carpet cleaner must earn the certification through study, experience and the successful completion of formal, written examinations.


Cleaners who are certified by the IICRC have, in effect, earned a degree in carpet cleaning.  In addition to IICRC training all SERVPRO carpet techs are required to complete a proprietary SERVPRO course training in production and safety. 


The IICRC provides written credentials to the companies it certifies. So before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company's IICRC certification.  All certified technicians are required to carry an IICRC certification card with them. 


Misconception #5: The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.


MAYBE -- but not always. Here are two important points to consider.


 Point #1:


The price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed. Before


you select a company, decide what you want to accomplish. If you want the carpet cleaner to remove only some of the dirt, you can choose from hundreds of companies that use small shampooers or other cleaning methods. Or, you can even rent a machine at the grocery store and do the job yourself.


On the other hand, if you want your carpet thoroughly cleaned -- if you want to remove the harmful dirt, bacteria, pollens, chemicals and tobacco residues -- then you need to hire a company that uses a hot water extraction unit mounted in a truck. This is the only way to assure that your carpet remains healthy and free from dirt, disease-causing bacteria, and hurtful chemicals.  If you want the best, most powerful cleaning available. SERVPRO has powerful portable extraction units that we use for high rises and other places our truck mounted machines cannot be used.  We offer the same quality assurance, however it just takes us more time. 


So remember that the price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed.  


Point #2:


The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many homeowners have learned that the low price they saw advertised was not the amount they were charged.


And if you've ever hired a carpet cleaner, you too may have been the victim of false or misleading advertising. You probably learned the hard way that some carpet cleaners offer a cheap price -- usually between $3.95 and $9.95 per room -- and then pressure you into paying a lot more once they get inside your home. Some of them may even break the law by using unethical bait and switch tactics.


As in all businesses and professions, the carpet cleaning industry has its share of bad apples. I take no pleasure in telling you this, but some are unethical -- and, sadly, a few are dishonest. By their misleading advertising and false promises, they cast a dark shadow on our entire industry.


 Then you'll find other carpet cleaners -- professionals like us who work hard to earn your trust and respect.


As a way of improving our profession, we take a lot of time in educating the public in our industry’s best practices. The only way you can make an intelligent decision is to have all the facts you need. This is why we are engaged in writing this article and many others for your home or business.  


Misconception #6: Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone.


I wish this were true, but it isn't. Consumers often think that if they want to clean four rooms and the price is $6 per room, then the price will be $24. But most often if it seems too good to be true it is.   


First, honest, most reputable carpet cleaning companies usually price carpet cleaning by the square foot. So if you'd like us to tell you the exact cost of cleaning your carpet, we need to know the exact number of square feet that you want cleaned. You'll be glad to know that the carpet area to be cleaned is not nearly as great as most people think. For example, if you want your entire home cleaned and your home is 2000 square feet,


the amount of carpeting to be cleaned might be only 1200 square feet. This is because most home measurements are outdoor measurements. Plus we deduct the area taken up by walls, room dividers and the like. The result is that the actual area to be cleaned is usually only about 60% of the square footage of the home. 


So even though we can't always give you an exact quote over the telephone, here are things we consider when quoting a price. 


First, the type of carpet: Certain types of carpet are harder to clean than others. So before we can give you a quote, we need to know the type of carpet you want cleaned. 


Second, the amount of soiling: Carpet that hasn't been cleaned for ten years will take longer to clean than carpet that was cleaned within the last six months. 


Third, the amount of furniture that has to be moved: If we have to move your furniture, the bid must include that labor.


To recap, we consider the type of carpet, the amount of soiling, and the amount of furniture that has to be moved. So, as you can now imagine, every quotation is different. 


If you're thinking about having your carpets cleaned, I offer these four recommendations: 


Recommendation #1: Make a commitment to yourself to get your carpets cleaned. The longer they remain dirty, the sooner they'll wear out. Plus the longer you have to breathe all the pollens, fungus, chemicals and dust mites that live in your carpet.


 Recommendation #2: Consider your objectives. Do you want only the dirt removed, something you could do with a rented machine. Or do you want the bacteria, fungus and chemicals removed, which will require a hot water truck mount cleaner, like I use.


Do you want to work with an honest, reputable company -- or are you willing to risk working with the company that offers you the lowest price -- knowing that company might not be in business tomorrow.


Recommendation #3: Ask questions. The way you learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are the questions I suggest you ask: 


1. What method of carpet cleaning do you recommend?


2. What type of equipment do you use to clean carpet?


3. What does your equipment remove from my carpet?


4. How often should I get my carpets cleaned?


5. What training have you had in cleaning carpets?


6. Are you a member of any trade associations and, if so, which ones?


7. Are you certified by the IICRC and will you show me your certificate?


Recommendation #4: Once you're satisfied that you're working with an honest, competent professional, invite him into your home and ask for a specific quotation in writing. A written quotation gives you the assurance that you know exactly what your job will cost -- no surprises.


By following these four recommendations, you'll gain all the information you need to make an informed, intelligent decision. If you want a quick, cheap carpet cleaning job, many companies in the phone book can help you. Or you can rent a shampooer and do the job yourself. 


But if you want your carpeting to be completely and thoroughly cleaned, then I invite you to call SERVPRO of Bradenton.  In addition to 24/7 emergency services like water damage, fire damage restoration, mold mediation, and bio hazard cleanup, we are your local experts in carpet and floor care.


Give us a call, we are here to help. 941-792-7715.

3 Reasons to Regularly Clean Your Carpets

2/29/2016 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO of Bradenton team are professionals when is comes to cleaning your home or office in Bradenton, Longboat Key, and Anna Maria Island.

Carpet cleaning can improve the appearance of your home and extend the life of your carpet, but perhaps the most valuable benefit from the process is improving you and your family’s health. According to the American Lung Association, if members of your household suffer from conditions that can affect their breathing, such as snoring or asthma, it’s especially crucial that you vacuum your carpets at least three times a week. Beyond vacuuming regularly, you may also benefit from having your carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year. If you’re not fully convinced of the benefits of professional carpet cleaning, consider the following top three ways the process leads to a healthier home:

1. Carpet cleaning eliminates trapped pollutants.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a dirty carpet can retain several sources of indoor air pollutants, including pet dander, cockroach allergens, lead, particle pollution, and everyday dirt and dust. Toxic airborne gases can adhere to these particles and also get trapped within the carpet. These toxic gases can be released through everyday activities such as vacuuming and walking across the carpet, which can cause them to contaminate the air in your home. SERVPRO of Bradenton cleaning services kills these bacteria through specialized shampooing formulas and can remove deeply trapped pollutants with high-powered vacuums.

2. Carpet cleaning can clear out dust mite infestations.

Many homes have dust mite infestations, yet most homeowners aren’t aware of the infestation, because the creatures are microscopic. Dust mites themselves aren’t allergens, but they often leave behind feces and body fragments which are. Because of the microscopic size of these particles, they can easily be inhaled when the area is disturbed, which can exacerbate allergies. SERVPRO of Bradenton utilizes steam cleaning techniques to deep-clean when performing carpet maintenance work, which exposes your carpet to high temperatures that dust mites can’t survive.

3. Carpet cleaning can help prevent mold growth.

Especially in areas with high humidity levels, dirty carpets are at a high risk of developing mold growth when exposed to moisture. In precipitous weather, moisture frequently gets tracked into the home and can sink deep in the carpet fibers if not dried and vacuumed immediately. Having your carpet cleaned regularly can prevent mold and mildew growth, because SERVPRO of Bradenton has the high-powered drying equipment that annihilates moisture. By eliminating moisture, you can prevent mold growth that can be harmful to your health if ignored for too long.

We suggest regular cleaning and maintenance of all your carpeting. Vacuum at least three times per week and establish a regular carpet cleaning schedule with our office. For any questions or concerns about your carpets, including area rugs, give us a call at 941-792-7715.

SERVPRO of Bradenton – Water Damage, Fire Damage Restoration, Mold Mitigation, and Carpet Cleaning. We serve Bradenton, Palmetto, Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key.