4 Reasons It’s Okay to Hire a Jacksonville Maid Service and Not Feel Guilty About It

Housecleaning - Jacksonville, CA - A&C Carpet CleaningIt has probably crossed your mind once or twice after looking around at your messy home that it would be nice to have someone else take care of the housecleaning for once, but then you talk yourself out of it and begrudgingly get to work. The truth is that many people feel like they can’t afford a Jacksonville maid service or that’s it’s a waste of money when they are capable of doing the tasks themselves. However, there are valid reasons for hiring some help, whether it’s regularly scheduled or just occasional. Here is some great logic you can use the next time you struggle with the decision of taking a much-needed break.

You Want to Actually Enjoy Your Nights and Weekends

If you work a full-time 9-5 and/or have your hands deep in daily family life and activities, it can be very difficult to clear time out of your busy schedule to vacuum, mop floors, pick up after the kids, etc. In fact, it’s probably the very last thing you want to do, and it’s understandable that you would rather spend your free hours on doing things that make you happy and enjoy life.

Let’s Be Honest…Cleaning Just Isn’t Your Thing

Some people are good at cleaning and others just don’t have the same skills or have absolutely no interest in getting their hands dirty. This is fine, but your house still has to get clean somehow to maintain a germ-free living space. Allowing a maid service to step in will relieve you of your duties and ensure that the cleaning not only gets done, but is done thoroughly.

The Holidays – and Houseguests – Are Coming

There may be no better reason to invest in a housecleaning service than because the holidays are coming and your home needs to be prepped for a house full of guests. Don’t add to the holiday stress that hits every year by trying to get all the cleaning taken care of along with everything else that needs to be done before your friends and family arrive.

Moving Out / Moving In

We all know that if you want to have any hope of getting your security deposit back when moving out of a rental, you must complete a cleaning checklist. But, between searching for a new place to live, packing, loading a moving truck and everything else involved in a move, it’s not easy to get all the cleaning done as well. On the other hand, if you’re moving into a newly purchased home, it’s not a bad idea to ensure you aren’t moving your things into someone else’s leftover mess by having it cleaned before your move-in date.

The next time you wish you had some help with the housecleaning, don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call your Jacksonville maid service – and don’t feel guilty about it.

All You Need To Know About Tile and Grout in Your Jacksonville Bathroom

4812790943_d0736071a5_oTile has become a popular choice for homeowners. It adds class to decor and resists wear and scratches in a way that linoleum can’t. Historically, tile was only available to the wealthy, but with modern advances, the number of adherents has expanded. Many people install it in bathrooms, one of the most heavily used rooms in the house. If you’re one of the many who love the beauty of tiling for your bathroom shower or floor, here are some advantages and tips for the tile and grout in your Jacksonville bathroom.

Advantages of Tile

Many of us breathed a sigh of relief when carpeted bathrooms went out of vogue. While rugs can create a luxurious feel for your feet, an unwashable, carpeted floor in the bathroom is…mostly gross. As an alternative to carpeted bathrooms, linoleum held the day for most of the 20th century.

However, I’m sure you’ve seen unsightly stains underneath linoleum too. This is where tile comes in. Tile is considered the most water-resistant kind of bathroom flooring. Since bathrooms are the most moisture-heavy rooms in the house, tile is an easy choice. If it’s glazed and sealed correctly, it will withstand spills, water, and pet accidents. That’s a winner for bathrooms. With tile, you won’t have to deal with bubbling, peeling, or “bottom-up” staining.

In addition to being moisture-resistant, tile is very easy to maintain. On a general basis, a little soap and water will keep it looking good. It’s best to use non-abrasive, non-acidic cleaning products.

In comparison to linoleum, tile is also less likely to fade and more likely to last longer. The durability of tile is one of its most-advertised features.

Grout Considerations

Whether you’re installing new tile or have existing tile, make sure that the grout has a good sealant too. Otherwise, spills can crack the grout and leak into the subflooring, which will cause more costly repairs in the future. Not only that, but dirty or moldy grout gets unsightly. As with tile, grout with a sealant won’t need to be cleaned as often.

Cleaning Needs

Your tile floor or shower should maintain the color it had when it was new. If you notice discoloration or stains, it’s time for a more in-depth cleaning. Unlike linoleum, tile is not supposed to get discolored. Ideally, tile and grout should be cleaned professionally every 12 to 18 months to rid your floor of bacteria, mold, and mildew.

Choosing and maintaining quality tile and grout in your Jacksonville bathroom will provide you with many years of aesthetic success.

Benefits of Hiring a Home Maid Cleaning Service in Jacksonville

6789942482_c9817d7d95Life is busy. Between work, kids, school, extracurricular activities, vacations and everything else you have going on from one day to the next, it’s easy to let your housecleaning fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Sometimes, you simply need help to keep up with it all, and that’s okay. You’re not alone in this. That’s why many people find it beneficial to hire a Jacksonville home maid cleaning service to take care of all the household duties that would otherwise continue to go neglected. Here’s what you, too, can gain from bringing in the professionals.

You Don’t Have to Fit Cleaning Into Your Busy Schedule

As mentioned above, housecleaning can be difficult to fit into your schedule. It does take some time and effort to clean a home from top to bottom, and chances are, at the end of a long day or when it’s finally time to enjoy the weekend, the last thing you want to do is get out the vacuum, mop and dusting supplies. Having a home maid cleaning service come in periodically to give your home the attention it needs will relieve you of the task and free you up to spend your energy on something much more pleasant.

A Clean Home is a Healthy Home

Having a clean home is important not only for appearances, but also because it promotes a healthier environment. Allowing dirt and dust to collect results in poor indoor air quality and is especially harsh on people who suffer from respiratory problems, allergies or asthma. An unclean home is also prone to more germ and bacteria buildup, which can make families sick more often. You can hire a maid service to stay on a consistent schedule that works best for you, giving you peace of mind that there aren’t harmful microorganisms accumulating all around you.

Professionals Use Higher Grade Equipment and Products

There are a multitude of cleaning products available to you at just about any store, but it can be overwhelming trying to decide what you actually need and what’s going to work. Hiring a professional service to come in and get the job done usually means you don’t have to go through the hassle of making that choice because they will bring their own equipment and products to work with, and these will generally provide a deeper and more effective clean than anything you’d buy at the store anyway.

Who doesn’t want to come home to a sparkling clean home and not have to worry about scrubbing toilets and wiping down counters? A Jacksonville home maid cleaning service is the perfect solution for those who would rather leave the dirty work to someone else.

How to Make Your Atlantic Beach Carpet Cleaning Last

Stafford_livingroomThere might be nothing worse than spending the time and money to get your carpets spruced up only to have them begin to show signs of dirt again shortly after. While there might not be much you can do about permanent spots and stains, there are definitely ways to help make your professional Atlantic Beach carpet cleaning last longer with the proper aftercare maintenance. Enjoy the look, feel and scent of freshly cleaned floors, as well as extend the life of your carpet, by following the tips below.

Apply Carpet Protector

Carpet protectors act as a barrier between your floors and a lot of common household stains and soil so that liquids and dirt particles aren’t allowed to absorb into the fibers but rather stay on the surface where they can quickly be blotted up. Having a treatment applied after your carpet cleaning can significantly help to reduce evidence of wear and tear.

Avoid Wearing Shoes or Walking Barefoot/Consider Using Walk-Off Mats

Following your carpet cleaning, do yourself a favor and kick off your shoes for a bit. Foot traffic, in general, should be avoided until floors have been given a chance to dry completely to prevent flattened fibers. Moving forward, it’s also a good idea to keep a “no shoe” policy in the house or consider placing walk-off mats in strategic areas so that you don’t have to worry about grime being tracked in from the outside. Also, wear socks as much as possible since bare feet will leave bodily oils behind to seep into carpet fibers.

Rearrange Furniture

All of your furniture will have to be moved out of the way for your carpet cleaning, so it would be just as good a time as any to rearrange it when putting it back. Over time, heavy furniture begins to really wear on the carpet it’s sitting on and crush the pile, so it’s recommended that you find new ways to position it periodically to alleviate the pressure from being placed on the same spot.

Stay Up on Your Vacuuming

Vacuuming is one of the most important things you can do for your carpets on a regular basis. Though it won’t provide you with the same deep clean that a hot water extraction will, vacuuming consistently removes a lot of dirt, dust and allergens from the surface of your floors and prevents them from ever being allowed to settle down in the fibers. This house cleaning task can make a big difference in the quality of your indoor air.

Once you’ve had your carpets cleaned, you’ll want them to stay nice and spotless for as long as possible. Keep these suggestions in mind, and you’ll be successful in making the freshness from your Atlantic Beach carpet cleaning last.

Answers to Common Tile and Grout Cleaning Questions From Jacksonville Residents

leather-sofa-cleaners-aberdeencommercial-aberdeen-tile-cleaning-aberdeen-md---helps-to-improve-hpas8ge4The installment of tile can make a great decorative addition to any home, whether it’s used as flooring, in the shower or as a kitchen backsplash, but continual maintenance is needed to ensure it remains appealing. There tends to be a lot of confusion about what is required when it comes to properly caring for tile and grout, which leads to many questions. Below are some of the most common questions we’ve heard from Jacksonville residents regarding tile and grout cleaning, followed by our expert recommendation.

How Does Grout Become Dirty and Stained?

Grout is a very porous, sponge-like material, and there are many reasons it can start to take on a dirty and stained appearance, which is a big eyesore. This can happen from too much moisture or colored liquids seeping in, the incorrect use of cleaning solutions and/or tools, the absorption of dirt from shoes and oils from bare feet, etc. Though tile is fairly easy to clean, grout lines need extra special attention, and it makes a significant difference whether or not the grout has been sealed.

Do I Need a Sealer if My Tile is Newly Installed?

Every tile installment should have the grout sealed regardless of how new it is. Sealer is applied as a preventative measure to protect tile and grout from all the things that can soak in or become embedded below the surface and lead to discoloration, mold and mildew, cracking tiles, etc. Grout sealer repels liquids and dirt particles, keeping them at surface level, thus helping to reduce the efforts needed to put into cleaning.

How Often is a Professional Cleaning Necessary?

It isn’t generally suggested that homeowners try cleaning dingy tile and grout without the help of a professional. Inexperience can often do more harm than good in these kinds of situations, which makes it best to leave a task like this up to someone who’s been trained and has the equipment necessary to restore tile floors and walls back to their original appeal. It’s suggested that a full tile and grout cleaning be completed once a year to avoid damage that is beyond repair.

How Does the Appearance of My Tile and Grout Affect My Home’s Sale?

When a home is placed on the market, tile can be a major attraction to buyers and a valuable selling point for sellers. However, this only applies when it has been cared for and kept in near immaculate condition. So, just as a home’s sale price can increase from this element, it can just as easily decrease if found to be in an unkempt state. It’s worth it to spend the time and money on a cleaning before putting the “for sale” sign in the yard.

If you’re going to invest in such an aesthetically-appealing feature as tile, stay up on regularly scheduled Jacksonville professional tile and grout cleanings so you don’t end up ruining the beauty.

Carpet Cleaning and Maintenance Myths That You Shouldn’t Buy Into

Vacuuming carpetCarpeting is one of the biggest purchases made for a home, but yet, many homeowners fail to learn how to properly care for it. There is quite a bit of information floating around about carpet cleaning and maintenance, and it’s often easier to believe whatever you hear rather than do your own research to find out the actual truth. This is what has allowed numerous misconceptions on the subject to continue to build and get passed around from person to person, misguiding carpet owners on the right way to achieve long-lasting, fresh floors. Below are some of the most common myths that need to be put to rest.

Myth #1: New Carpeting Doesn’t Need to be Cleaned For a Few Years

When people have new carpeting installed, a normal assumption is that it won’t have to be cleaned for a few years, but this couldn’t be more wrong. From day one your carpet fibers will start to attract and trap soil, dust and whatever else is tracked in or floating in the air. If you wait until your carpets are visibly dirty, chances are, deterioration has already begun. The standard manufacturer recommendation is to have carpets professionally cleaned every 12-18 months, no matter how spotless they appear or how new they might be.

Myth #2: A Rental Machine Will Be More Efficient and Affordable

The majority of homeowners want to pinch pennies wherever they can, so they come up with DIY methods for many household tasks, but when it comes to carpet cleaning, this is not the time to skimp. Renting a machine is not the efficient, affordable solution people think it is. They don’t have the same power as the equipment used by professional technicians or the ability to reach down deep into the fibers where all the dirt, dust and allergen particles have settled. There is also the likelihood that inexperience will lead to mishaps with too much water or cleaning solution, which can seriously damage carpet.

Myth #3: The Dampness Left By Steam Cleaning is Bad For Carpets

Steam cleaning is generally the preferred method of carpet cleaning by technicians and manufacturers, but over time, people seemed to get it stuck in their minds that it’s harmful to their carpets because of the water it uses. However, this is just simply false thinking. Also known as hot water extraction, this technique provides a very thorough cleaning when handled by an experienced professional who also knows the proper protocol for drying, making concerns of shrinking and mildewing unwarranted. Not to mention, dry cleaning still utilizes water so it isn’t really “dry” after all.

Myth #4: Deodorizers and Vacuuming Are Good Enough to Keep My Carpets Fresh

There are still some homeowners out there who believe that it’s enough just to vacuum weekly and keep some deodorizer sprinkled over the carpet, but this, too, would be inaccurate. Vacuuming is a big part of the effort to keep carpets fresh and clean, but it only touches the surface and can’t eliminate all that has accumulated within the fibers. So, to really be effective and improve the indoor air quality, a deep cleaning must take place periodically. Deodorizers can cause more harm than good as they are difficult to fully vacuum up and may result in staining after a carpet cleaning.

An investment as large as carpeting deserves to be taken care of in a way that maximizes its performance and longevity. Getting down to the truth about carpet cleaning and maintenance is sure to make you happier with your investment in the long run.

Vacuuming Does NOT Count As Carpet Cleaning… Seriously.

We like to think we can keep our carpets clean on our own, thank you very much. We just need to vacuum every month or so and blot when there’s a stain… right?

Wrong. What you’re likely forgetting (or, if you’re like us, what you never knew) is that almost all carpet companies require you to professionally steam clean your carpetevery 12 to 24 months, to keep your warranty valid.

In other words, vacuuming is not enough. Neither is steaming carpets yourself. Professional steaming is, like it or not, legally the only way to protect your carpet in most cases. And it’s also a way to protect your health.

“Indoor air quality can be eight to ten times worse than outdoor air quality, if you don’t clean your flooring, clean your drapes and let air inside regularly,” says interior designer Robin Wilson, who specializes in allergy-free housekeeping. When millions of Americans suffer from indoor allergies, air quality is a huge issue.

Wilson — and the other experts we spoke with — says that to keep the air in your home clean, it’s important to follow a few carpet-cleaning rules. Namely:

Call professionals to steam your carpet, more often than you think you should.

Many carpet companies won’t honor your warranty unless you hire professional cleaners every 12 to 18 months, says Carolyn Forte, a director at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. In some cases the requirement may be 24 months — check your carpet’s warranty for specifics.

Wilson, meanwhile, recommends even more frequent steamings in the interest of a dust-free home: she says to call in professional steamers every six months, and every four to six WEEKS if you have a pet. (Keep in mind this applies to carpets, not area rugs).

Regardless of how often you choose to use them, our experts agree that professional steam cleaners are hands-down necessary — you shouldn’t attempt to steam carpets yourself. Only steam can effectively lift dust from deep within your carpet, Wilson says — if left there, it will wear down and rip the carpet’s fibers. But only professional machines can truly zap all the steam’s moisture from the carpet when you’re done cleaning. The results of trying to do it yourself can be sickening.

“I’ve been on job sites where you pull up the carpet and see a mold patch,” Wilson says. When you steam clean yourself, “you turn your house into an incubator for mold growth,” Wilson adds.

Between steams, vacuum at least weekly (or much more often with pets).

Of course, vacuuming remains the easiest way to keep carpets and area rugs clean between steams — our experts recommend vacuuming once per week, to keep those abrasive dust particles out of carpet fibers. Ramp up the frequency in high-traffic areas or if you have pets — these spots might need daily vacuuming depending on how much debris you notice, according to Merry Maids Training Manager Debra Johnson.

And take area rugs out for spring and fall cleaning sessions.

Area rugs vary in their care instructions, so check yours for its ideal cleaning schedule. Generally, Wilson says, you should vacuum rugs with the same frequency as carpets, then deep-clean them every six months with a good old-fashioned broom-beating. Take rugs outside, shake them out, beat them with an actual broom (ideally while wearing a mask to protect your face), and let them air outside for a day.

Many area rugs can also be steam cleaned — if yours allows, you might steam it once per year, Wilson advises.

Another secret? Vacuum slowly.

“One of the most common errors people make when vacuuming is that they do it too fast,” Johnson says. “Vacuuming slowly allows a vacuum cleaner to do its best work by vibrating carpet fibers and containing dust in the vacuum.”

Blot carpet spills immediately — do NOT wait.

Rubbing a stain will spread goo around and can distort the carpet’s pile, or fluffy shape. And waiting to clean a stain lets moisture seep deeper — Forte recommends cleaning spills the instant they happen.

Spray carpet cleaner on a cloth and dab the stain, working from the outside to its center. Rinse with a clean cloth the same way, and then blot dry. To absorb leftover moisture, pile on a stack of paper towels and place a heavy pot or vase on top. Leaving it there overnight will ensure all wetness is fully zapped.

Pick a carpet that’s not a dust magnet in the first place.

To prevent dust buildup in the first place, choose a low pile, Wilson says. This means picking a carpet or area rug with short fibers — high layers of fluff or shag will trap more dust (not to mention mite carcasses… ew). Wilson recommends natural, durable materials like wool instead of synthetic ones like nylon. Carpet tiles are a stellar alternative to wall-to-wall carpets, she says — when there’s a spill, you can pull up the tile and clean it on its own, and you can remove them completely when you’re ready for a scene change back to hardwood floors.

…and if you keep it clean, you can keep it forever! (Well, almost.)

“You can keep a rug for a lifetime, if you keep it clean,” Wilson says. Carpet lifespans, however, range with quality — some well-made varieties are made to last up to 15 years if kept dust-free, she adds.

…It’s just a little more motivation to summon the steam machine.

3 Jacksonville Carpet Cleaning Mistakes You’re Unknowingly Making

A girl using a laptop on the carpet while her father looks onSome homeowners are vigilant housekeepers and make carpet maintenance part of their daily cleaning ritual, while others fall on the opposite end of the cleaning spectrum and only occasionally get around to pulling out the vacuum. Although carpet care is one of the most important household chores to tend to since it affects a home’s indoor air quality as well as its appearance, many people are unaware of proper carpet cleaning practices.

Even if you are dedicated to some type of carpet cleaning routine for your Jacksonville home, you could still be making a few big mistakes that will counteract all the effort you’re putting into preserving your floor. Without using suitable techniques and equipment, you could be hurting your carpet more than you’re helping it. Find out below if you’ve been unknowingly causing damage that could be prevented.

Not Dusting Correctly

Dusting may seem like a pretty simple task to grasp, but if done incorrectly, you could actually be adding to the amount of dust that settles within your carpet fibers. Using a microfiber cloth will help to catch and hold the dust particles you’re trying to eliminate, unlike other dusters, which just push the dust around and eventually allows most of it to fall and come to rest on the floor below. Dust buildup directly affects not only the look of your carpet, but its structural integrity as well, causing the fibers to deteriorate faster. It’s also best to avoid dry dusting, and don’t forget to regularly replace your vacuum’s filters so that clogging doesn’t become a problem.

Not Using the Right Vacuum

Not all vacuums and carpets are created equally. The type of vacuum cleaner you should be using will depend on the fibers that your carpet is made up of. People frequently purchase the most expensive vacuum or most well-known brand thinking they’re getting the best equipment on the market without realizing that it may not be the best choice for their particular flooring. You already know that consistent vacuuming will have a great impact on how long your carpet thrives, but it’s important that you don’t waste your time and risk irreversible damage by using a vacuum cleaner that isn’t appropriate for your carpet’s construction.

Not Hiring a Professional Carpet Cleaner

The last thing to keep in mind is that though you might believe you’re getting your carpets nice and fresh by renting a steam cleaner every few months, you aren’t really doing your carpet any favors. Most homeowners don’t know how to correctly use a rented machine to begin with and end up creating a bigger mess for themselves with too much shampoo and water. Not only that, but you just won’t get the same results as you would with a professional carpet cleaning, which gets down deep into carpet fibers where most of the dirt, dust mites and other allergens have accumulated. There’s no doubt that depending on a rented steam cleaner as your only source of carpet cleaning will leave you extremely dissatisfied.

If you recognize that you’ve been making some or all of these common mistakes, put an end to it now and begin a new carpet cleaning regimen that will serve your Jacksonville home in a much more rewarding manner.

How to Choose a Pressure Washing Company in Jacksonville

Power-WashingWhether you’re a home or business owner, there are so many things to take care of around your property that pressure washing might not be too high on your list of priorities. However, this is an important maintenance task and failing to recognize it as one can cause a decrease in your real estate’s value, lead to costly rot and mold damages and have a negative impact on energy consumption. Even knowing all this may not inspire you to go out and purchase your own pressure washing equipment and learn how to operate it, but that’s why professional pressure washing services in Jacksonville really come in handy. Before you just pick the first name you see out of the phone book, consider the following criteria when choosing a company.

Check Out Referrals

With any kind of company you hire, you want to make sure they are reputable and provide a service that previous clients would actually recommend. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals and contact them to get a first-hand account of their pressure washing experience. Conducting an internet search for reviews can also give you a good idea of how others feel about a company in particular and whether or not they are spoken highly of.

Verify Certification and Tools Used

Pressure washing is a job that requires training, knowledge and experience in order to work skillfully in the trade. Just because a company claims to be proficient doesn’t mean you should take their word for it. The only way to know for sure if someone is qualified is to verify their certification, otherwise, you could end up with expensive repairs due to the improper use of equipment. Though anyone can go out and purchase a pressure washer, you want to make certain that the company you select is using higher grade tools and the latest technology in the industry to get the job done as efficiently as possible.

Get Estimates

It’s understandable that price will be a factor in your decision as well, but choosing what seems to be the best deal doesn’t always turn out to be so. Get a few different estimates and a detailed explanation of what the services include before committing to a company. This will help you avoid becoming the victim of misleading advertising or succumbing to pushy salespeople.

Don’t get cheated out of the quality service you deserve because you neglected to do your research and keep all these elements in mind. Use the steps above as a guideline for finding a pressure washing company in Jacksonville that you will be completely satisfied with.

4 Reasons to Think About Pressure Washing Your Property

Pressure Washing Jacksonville FLThere are many homeowners out there who pride themselves on keeping things orderly and immaculate when it comes to the interior of their living environment but neglect to really consider what the outside looks like. Aside from trying to preserve your home’s attractiveness, there are many reasons to put more focus on maintaining its exterior. One of the easiest ways to spruce up the outside of your property is with a pressure washing service in Jacksonville, and here are some of the benefits.

Home Value

Being that a home is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make, you definitely don’t want to see its value decrease, especially if you ever plan to sell. Before putting your property on the market, you want to make sure you’ve done everything you can to get the best offer possible, which includes removing surface stains and other unappealing factors. Curb appeal is critical in making a positive first impression on potential buyers and can make a big difference in the price you’re able to negotiate, so pressure washing can go a long way in giving your home a visual boost.

Insulation and Energy Use

We all know how important proper insulation is and how much it impacts a home’s energy consumption. It may be news to you, though, that all the elements that stick to the side of your home, roof, walkways, etc. can directly affect how well your insulation is working. Periodically pressure washing those areas of your property will help your insulation to do its job more effectively and cut down on energy use.

Deterrent From Damages

Pressure washing should actually be seen as a regular preventative maintenance task for your home. Without it, many homes are vulnerable to damages from rot, mold and mildew growth and other environmental conditions that can lead to costly repairs. The lifetime of your deck, siding, roof, driveway and any other outside surface can significantly be reduced if not taken care of and allowed to build up with contaminants.

Health and Safety

Whether you realize it or not, you and your family are more than likely breathing in any toxins that have accumulated on the exterior of your home, which can have serious repercussions on your health. There is also the chance of mold spores and other bacteria being tracked inside, causing additional health risks. Furthermore, when footpaths containing oil, algae, dirt and mildew residue get wet, they become slippery and unsafe to walk on.

If you want an environmentally friendly, affordable and quick solution to cleaning up the outside of your property and protecting its appearance as well as your health, a pressure washing service in Jacksonville is the way to go.