FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions 2016-12-27T15:53:33+00:00

FAQ

If you have a question for the experts at United Carpet Cleaning, please send an email to asktheexpert@unitedcarpetclean.com. We may share your question and the answer here at our FAQ-Frequently Asked Questions.
What do you recommend for day-to-day for cleaning granite countertops? 2016-12-27T15:53:36+00:00

how to clean granite countertops

Day-to-Day Care for Granite Countertops

Granite countertops have many advantages for looks, strength and durability, but they are not impervious to staining.  It’s important that you know the basics of how to clean granite countertops; and how NOT to clean granite countertops. It’s critical that foods and liquids be cleaned off on a daily basis with a soft cloth and warm water, using a mild soap if desired.  Click here for a regular daily cleaner formulated especially for this task.

DO NOT expose your granite countertops to abrasive or strong alkaline or acid or free radicals or oxidizers or the like (whether high, neutral or low pH) cleaners.  Various chemicals are corrosive and/or erosive in their ability to attack any structure.   DO NOT use such products including, but not limited to bleach, oven cleaners, Comet®, Soft Scrub®, SOS®, products with pumice, batteries, paint removers, furniture strippers, tarnish or silver cleaners, or the like. DO NOT use abrasive or harsh scrub pads.

It’s important to realize that your countertops are not impervious to heat damage, chemicals or fractures.  It’s important to protect them using heat pads or trivets whenever placing a pot of pan from the stove.   Granite countertops are most susceptible to chips near the edges of sinks and dishwashers.  A dull, table knife will likely not scratch the surface, but they are not impermeable.  Be aware that surface markings are more visible on monotone designs than multi-colored surfaces.

It’s also a good practice to use coasters under all glasses, cups and mugs.  While not an absolute necessity like with marble, it can help protect granite that hasn’t been properly sealed.

You can do everyday cleanup according to the manufacturer’s instructions, but it’s a good idea to have them professionally cleaned and sealed at least yearly to maintain the beauty of the stone itself.

Can you clean carpet with any cleaning product? I mean how hard can it be? 2016-12-27T15:53:36+00:00

clean carpetNo, you really can’t clean carpet with any product. Cleaning a carpet isn’t difficult in itself. However, knowledge about the proper cleaning technique is a must. For instance, you need to know what you are trying to clean before you can determine how to clean it. There are many products designed to clean different types of stains.  You may have experienced this yourself after buying two or three different products from your local discount store.  These products are limited by design because manufacturers don’t want to expose themselves to liability when their products are being used by inexperienced people to clean carpets.

Most cleaning products should be rinsed out of carpets. Many cleaning products leave sticky residues that will just attract dirt and can be hard to rinse out and not achieve the goal of having a clean carpet.  Professional carpet cleaners also have access to commercial-grade products that aren’t typically available to consumers in retail stores.  Manufacturers limit access, because of the training issues involved.  They want to make sure their products are used correctly, and working with certified experts is the best way to do that.

Know the tools you are working with and how to use them. Just because you have a carpet cleaning machine does not automatically make you an expert. There is really only one way to clean carpets properly with a carpet cleaning machine; and many ways to do it wrong. Remember the objective is to clean carpets, not just get them wet and go through the motions.   Again, carpet cleaning machines available to the general public for rent or purchase will generally not be as effective as professional carpet cleaning equipment to clean carpet.  Our technicians receive many hours of training to get their certifications, and this ensures that the your carpets are being cleaned thoroughly, by people who know how to get maximum benefit from their equipment.

After heavy rain storms, my home will smell for days. Does this mean rain water is getting in my home causing water damage and how do I know? 2016-12-27T15:53:36+00:00

Home smellsThere are some things you can check on your own if you wish when your home smells of water. Look for water stains on your ceiling or check for standing water or signs thereof outside against the foundation of your home. These are key signs water is entering your home.

A lot of times there are no visible signs of water damage and a true assessment of why your home smells of water must be made by professionals.  Such professionals will be able to determine if there is damage; and to what extent the damage is to your home or building.

Sometimes when your home smells, it may even have a foul order, or more like a “sewer” smell.  While this smell often dissipates after a day or two, it does point to a problem that’s not always easy to diagnose.  There could be a problem in a septic system, or the septic field itself, or it might be that a sewer pipe has cracked and rain is getting into the cracks and forcing some of the sewer water out into the soil.  In either case, an expert review can help to isolate such a problem, and can use camera systems to evaluate pipes to see what’s going on and where problems may exist.

If you notice more of a mold or mildew smell, and it’s difficult to identify the source, then it’s definitely time to bring in a professional.  We have special testing equipment that can confirm the presence of mold spores.  Once identified we able to find the source and mitigate the problem.  Mold and mildew spores can cause or exacerbate a variety of illnesses in humans and pets.  Eliminating these types of spores from your home will help you to breathe easier and live healthier. Please call us if you have any questions about how we deal with mold mitigation.

How does the whole drying process work? 2013-07-01T09:26:43+00:00

I used to say it’s not rocket science but it is science and it is called psychrometry. Psychrometry is the science of measuring the water vapor content of the air, and understanding key principles of this science is essential in structure drying.

First you need to calculate how much moisture is in the air of a wet structure. This is done by using a Hydrometer. This device measures temperature and relative humidity. Then you calculate the two by using a psychrometric calculator. From that calculation you get the grains of moisture per pound of air or GPP.

The main principle to understand is wet always wants to go to dry. A dry air environment must be created to dry wet structure and being in control of the temperature as well as containing the area is a must for creating a dry environment.

Now that you have a dry air environment or equipment for pulling the moisture out of the air that is measureable (with the hydrometer), air movers are placed for creating high pressure in or behind wet material.

Why not just replace wet structure with new materials? Drying structure is so expensive. Would it not be cheaper? 2013-07-01T09:25:24+00:00

No. Most of the time, it is way more cost effective to dry wet materials. Now sometimes materials will have to be replaced, like things that have been wet over and over, or when the water that has been soaked up in the materials is contaminated.

When you look at the cost of replacing, you will still have to get whatever water is standing extracted out of the structure. And you will also have to know what all material is wet to remove.

Then you will need to know when the materials left behind are dry, like studs, 2×4’s etc. You do not want to put dry materials over wet structure. You are defeating the purpose.

Now contractors must be coordinated and many times will involve a general contractor depending on the damage.

The time it takes to coordinate painters, sheet rockers, cabinet makers, floor installers, city inspectors etc., can take weeks if not months.

So getting people back to normal in an average of 3 days, with minimal repairs and painting is normally more cost effective, especially if your business has flooded and you need to just get back to work.

How can you dry cabinets, walls, etc. and then know it’s dry? 2013-07-01T09:31:02+00:00

Almost anything can be dried out back to pre-loss conditions. The main thing is knowing the conditions needed for the process, being able to contain a drying chamber without outside interference and being in control of the temperature. Also you want to make sure nothing binds that water like certain paints or coverings. Drying wet walls, cabinets, structure, etc. is not that difficult, but it is scientific. Control of the conditions and having the right equipment and knowing what that equipment can handle is the key to water damage remediation. And we know when it is dry when our equipment can no longer detect moisture.

My house flooded from a sink line that blew out. I pulled all the wet carpet out of the house. There is no water on the floor at all. It’s been two days and my whole house stinks like crazy. Why? 2013-07-01T09:20:48+00:00

A foul or wet smelling odor is a key sign your house is still wet. Just because you cannot see or feel water does not mean it’s not there. Cabinets, wood, sheetrock as well as other structure could be completely saturated and you cannot tell without the proper techniques and equipment. In this situation pulling out carpet is a complete waste of time, money and materials. Drying the carpet is the easiest to do. Ninety-five percent of the time I can dry carpet and pad in place within 24 hours or less. The drying of the structure on the other hand is more difficult to do.

A water hose broke under my kitchen sink and flooded my whole house! Do I need to replace my carpet and everything else that got wet? 2013-07-01T09:31:50+00:00

No, odds are you will not have to replace anything that got wet. Any fresh water leak whether it comes from a water heater break, washer hose, dishwasher or other fresh water source can be dried within a reasonable amount of time. Now if you are wet for more than 3 days or so you may want to look at replacement option. Normally anything water gets into, water can come out of. There are some exceptions like certain paint that can keep water from coming out easily. Vinyl coverings over walls, floors and other surfaces can also impede the drying process. In general most freshwater leaks whether commercial or residential can be dried within 3 to 4 days with little or no damage.