How to Avoid Common Carpet Cleaning Pitfalls

Vacuuming very dirty carpetToday, most homeowners insist on professional services to avoid the problems that result from using the improper procedures. While DIY carpet cleansing does not void your warranty, experts can help you to avoid the common pitfalls and increase the longevity of your carpet. The development of toxic mold and mildew is one of the most common problems that homeowners encounter. The excessive use of detergents, as well as moisture damage, can affect the integrity of your carpet. Take advantage of the following tips if you are looking to get value for your money for decades:

Hot Water Extraction

Hot water extraction is one of the most popular carpet cleaning methods for a wide array of homeowners. While there are plenty of hot water extraction units in the market, homeowners should avoid the temptation to cut corners through the DIY methods. Even with a hot water extraction unit, the results will depend on the detergents you use and the amount of dirt on the carpet. If you have some stubborn stains, or some oily patches that generate grime, you require the assistance of a competent carpet cleaning company. Also, you do not want to remove the bristles and fibers in the process. A carpet cleaning company relies on high-quality detergents that dissolve the dirt quickly. With a pressurized pump, you can remove the stubborn stains while keeping the fibers intact. Avoid leaving the detergent on the carpet for lengthy periods. If the goal is to keep the carpet looking neat and tidy, allow the soap to soak for 6-7 minutes before rinsing. It is critical to clean the carpet in a dirt-free environment to avoid soiling.

Dry Powder Cleaning

Dry powder cleaning is also becoming increasingly prevalent in a vast array of homes. This technique takes advantage of the organic materials and powders. These powders are made of saturated dry solvents and detergents. Avoiding a prolonged duration of wetness is one of the reasons why professionals use this method. Wetness can encourage the development of mildew or toxic molds. Once you apply the powder, be sure to use a vacuum cleaner to agitate the fibers and eliminate the dirt. While using this method, you do not need a lot of water. Once your carpet is clean and tidy, you can use a rug drier to reduce the moisture content and allow your carpet to dry faster.

Avoid Cutting Corners

A dusty rug can expose your family to many respiratory diseases. In addition to the health problems, a dirty carpet can make your living room uncomfortable for your family and guests. However, having a sparkling carpet in your home offers a host of health benefits. By cleaning the carpet properly, you can prolong its lifespan significantly. If you cut corners when deciding on the right carpet cleaning regimen, you will have to replace it sooner than later.

You want your living room to look cozy. A professional carpet cleaning company will not only eliminate the dust with a vacuum cleaner but will also keep the harmful allergens at bay. Bugs, beetles, and other pests thrive in a dirty carpet, and a thorough cleansing exercise will eliminate these pests while keeping your house odor-free.

The History of Rug Making

Persian RugHumans have been using rugs for millennia. The oldest rug known to mankind is the Pazyryk Carpet, which was discovered in Siberia and was dated back to approximately 4500 BC. It had been frozen in ice and thus maintained its pattern, fiber, and rich colors. However, evidence of rug making dates as far back as 6500 BC. Rugs have continued to be a staple in homes everywhere, and interestingly, some rug making methods have been carried over into our modern age.

Ancient History

Ancient writings and archaeological discoveries reference the art of rug making. From the earliest days of history, animal hides were used for clothing, sleeping and sitting surfaces, and floor coverings. Reeds were woven together to make mats and rugs. From archaeological finds in Mesopotamia and Egypt, it’s been established that flat weave rugs (rugs woven on looms) and pile rugs (rugs with piled wool or looped weaves) existed more than 4,000 years ago. Rugs and animal hides were often prized (and valuable) possessions.

Nomadic Era

The nomadic tribes in Asia were primarily sheepherders and appear to be the first people who produced large quantities of rugs. This was likely a result of the plentiful supply of wool, procured as part of their profession. Probably in this way, wool became the primary fiber used for rug making.

Classical Era

It is thought that Persians developed the craft of weaving and rug making into the fine art of Persian rugs. The Spring Carpet of Chosroes, which belonged to the King of Persia and was dated around 550 BC, was an elaborate creation—made up of wool, silk, gold, silver, and precious stones. It measured 400 feet by 100 feet, was said to weigh several tons, and contained elaborate springtime scenes, including flowers, birds, fruits, and green meadows.

Medieval Ages

Around 1000 BC, trade routes from Persia, Mesopotamia, and Egypt brought the art of rug making to the European continent. Wool was the primary fiber used in medieval Europe, but linen and nettlecloth were used in rugs for the lower classes. Cotton came on the scene in the ninth century and silk came along after it. Silk had been used in Asia and the Middle East for centuries, but silk production and sophisticated silk weaving techniques weren’t adopted in Europe until about the 11th century.

Modern Era

Of course, rug making was transported to America. Until the Industrial Revolution, rugs continued to be manually woven on handlooms. Thread spinning was the first thing to be mechanized, with the introduction of the Spinning Jenny in 1770. Then, in 1784, Edmund Cartwright introduced the concept of a weaving machine, which was finally adopted between 1805 and 1825, and power-weaving began. Synthetic dyes were introduced in the last half of the 19th century.

Today, we have rugs in every size, shape, style, color, and fabric imaginable, and almost every home as at least one rug somewhere. Keeping these rugs clean can still be a challenge, however. If you need professional area rug cleaning services to keep those beauties in stellar shape, just call A&C Carpet Cleaning and Restoration.

The Timeless Beauty of Wood Floors

Exotic decor featuring Mirage Breza Bali Coco hardwood flooringHardwood floors are a timeless classic. In colonial America, wood plank flooring became the norm. Until 1945, wood was readily available and ruled the flooring choices of the average homeowner—and it was only occasionally contested by linoleum and tile. After World War II, carpet became cheap because of the introduction of synthetic fibers and took over for several decades. But in the 1990s, wood flooring made a comeback and has grown in popularity ever since. Now, homeowners frequently remove carpeting to restore the wood floors in older homes or install solid hardwood floors in a new home.

Decorate in Any Style

Hardwood floors adapt well to all types of decorating styles. They are obviously well-suited to antique, rustic, or country decor, but they are not limited to that. They can create a beautiful backdrop for sleek stainless steel appliances, contemporary fixtures, and squarish furniture pieces. You can decorate your home in art deco, Victorian, traditional, industrial, Bohemian, Mediterranean, or really any style in the book—your wood floor can handle it. It’s all about the furniture, window treatments, and accessories you choose.

Add Touches

Hardwood floors are easily dressed up. Because they’re a neutral color, they look stunning when accented with beautiful rugs. Not only can a well-placed rug transform a room, but it can also provide a warmer reception for your feet in front of the couch or beside the bed. Start with the rug, then build the rest of your decor from that.

Also, because wood is a harder surface, consider adding touches of softness in the window dressings, couch throws, and the like. Create contrast by putting white cabinets with dark wood floors or bright-colored furniture with a medium-hued wood floor. At the same time, don’t worry about making sure that all the wood tones in a room match. You can use tans, browns, beiges, and various woods in the same room and get away with it.

Enjoy an Easy Cleaning Routine

Hardwood floors have a massively long lifespan, but that’s not all—they’re really easy to keep clean. Most of the time, they only require a quick sweep or vacuum and an occasional light mopping. As for the area rugs you use to accent the floors, an occasional rug cleaning by a professional will keep them, and your living area, in beautiful condition.

Carpet Some Rooms

Hardwood floors are beautiful, but you may not want to have them in every room of the house. Consider carpeting for bedrooms, entertainment rooms, and upper level rooms. Really, any room that needs some noise insulation or more cozy warmth is a good candidate for carpeting. Create a little variety in your home by putting (or restoring) the hardwood floors in the foyer, kitchen, dining room, and perhaps even the living room, and carpet the rest.

Hardwood floors have come full circle. From their rugged and humble beginnings in colonial America to their finished and polished regalness of today, wood floors are likely here to stay. Every home and every decorating style can benefit from the beauty that wood brings.

Rugs: Why You Need Them

Living Room with Decorative Area RugRugs have long been a favorite for covering floors. They’re used to bring ambience and style to rooms by decorators and interior designers everywhere. Rugs can bring definition to a scattered room, add warmth to an austere space, cover floor blemishes, or bring an exotic look to an otherwise ordinary room. Since tile and hardwood floors are in vogue, rugs are also in vogue.

They cover homely floors.

Does your floor have a tile that’s broken, a square of linoleum that’s peeling, or a section of plush white carpet with an unsightly stain? Is the hardwood floor looking worn? A well-placed rug can cover these problems or at least make them less noticeable. Because everyone will be looking at that fabulous rug.

They come in all shapes and sizes.

Do you have an odd-shaped area or a collection of mismatched furniture that needs some cohesion? Well, there’s probably a rug that will fit the occasion. Rugs come in all kinds of sizes and shapes—postage stamps, runners, rectangles, squares, circles, and more. Sometimes, animal skins are turned into rugs. Really, a rug can be any shape. Nowadays, you can even get custom-designed rugs made from your own drawings or artwork.

They turn a room into something different.

Rugs have a way of adding flavor to a room. Perhaps your living room somehow ended up with everything in beige—walls, curtains, carpet, and couch. Placing a colorful rug in just the right spot can liven up the room in no time. Perhaps you’d like to bring some exotic flavor from another country into your home. Rugs are an easy—and budget-friendly—way to do that. With rugs, it’s also easy to change up your decor.

They protect your floor.

High-traffic areas wear out sooner than other sections of your floor. You can protect these areas from wear if you use rugs. Entryways, sink areas, mudrooms, and hallways are all places that need to handle extra traffic. For these areas, it’s best to choose rug colors that camouflage dirt.

They cut down on noise.

Perhaps you enthusiastically put a gorgeous hardwood floor throughout your entire house, but realized later that all the sounds in your house are amplified. Here’s where a quick investment in a few large rugs can solve the problem. Not only will rugs dampen sounds, but they will also create a softer, warmer place for your feet to land.

Once you’ve got that lovely rug placed in its spot, fulfilling its intended purpose, it’s important to keep it in tip-top shape. Many rugs require special cleaning techniques. You may need to get a rug cleaning professional to help you out.

7 Tips for Keeping Your Home Looking Pristine Clean

Floor dust mop for keeping your home cleanKeeping the house clean can seem like a never-ending task. With kids, laundry, pets, and dirty soccer clothes, the house can get dirty and cluttered in minutes. Perhaps you’ve gazed longingly at the magazine photos of beautifully decorated and clean homes, but resigned yourself to a perpetually dirty home. There’s no need to resign yourself to that fate—a clean house is possible. Here are some quick tricks you can apply that will get your house looking more pristine.

Cut the clutter.

Junk mail, coupons, flyers, instructions, notes, and other random pieces of paper can quickly pile up and turn into a looming mountain. Deal with these things on a daily basis. Throw away the junk, put time-sensitive coupons with your grocery list, and transfer the random bits of notes to your planner.

Curtail entryway chaos.

The entrance to your home, whether it’s a large foyer or a direct entry to your main living area, can become a collection of dirty boots, coats, backpacks, and sports paraphernalia. If you don’t have a closet, invest in some hooks and shoe shelves to handle the daily onslaught. If it’s too much (or too out of reach) for the little ones, you can set up a toy box for their coats by the door. And train everyone to take their shoes off at the door—it will cut your cleaning time by at least half.

Enlist the kids.

Start the kids on a daily routine of household chores. From a young age, they can help with things like putting toys away, folding laundry, taking out the trash, loading or unloading the dishwasher, and sweeping the floor. (This will pay off when they’re older too!) You can make cleanup time into a game or a race or create a fun prize system. Try ideas until you find one that motivates your kids.

Put it out of sight.

If you must collect junk mail or random glass jars or piles of laundry, reserve a spot for your collection inside a basket, drawer, or box, or behind a closet door. Then, make an appointment with yourself to tackle this project for at least a half hour every day until it’s resolved.

Wipe down one area every day.

In 10 minutes or less, you can wipe down a problem area every day. One day, you could wipe down the kitchen counters and cupboards; another day, you can give a few swipes to the bathroom sink and floor or a quick scrub of the toilet and tub; and on yet another day, you can vacuum the main traffic areas of the house.

Get the carpets cleaned.

Once a carpet has huge stain spots or unsightly discoloration, it’s more difficult to create the impression of a beautifully clean home. A professional carpet cleaning should be done at least once a year. Not only will this extend the life of a carpet, but it will also restore the aesthetic appeal of your home.

Clean bathrooms every week.

Bathrooms can quickly collect all kinds of germs, crud, soap residues, and more. If you clean these suckers every week, you’ll avoid the extra effort (and hours) of removing dried-on layers of grime. Plus, you’ll be proud to let your impromptu guests use the bathroom.

It’s true that it takes a little work to keep a house clean, but a little effort every day will translate to huge time savings and a happier you. Don’t let crud and dust bunnies take up long-term residence; tackle your house, one day at a time.

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.