When a family first purchases a home, they are making an investment for their future. Proper care of the home, including cleaning hard surfaces like hardwood, ceramic or concrete correctly is absolutely essential to maintaining the value of the home and extending the life of flooring and countertops. While daily, weekly and monthly cleaning and maintenance are important, having a trained and certified technician perform a yearly cleaning (at minimum) is necessary to maximize the lifespan of flooring and countertops.
Whether the surfaces need basic maintenance or full restoration, the technician having the proper methods and experience needed for the job will surely make the difference. Each type of flooring is different. Cleaning hard surfaces such as stone requires knowledge of the porousness of the stone in order to choose the right solution, while surfaces such as hardwood require the application of effective sealants to keep the wood from soaking up bacteria and liquids that can eventually cause the floor to rot. Factor in the age of the surface, any potential damage from improper cleaning in the years prior, and a possible lack of appropriate maintenance of the surface, and the need for a trained professional becomes alarmingly clear. Certified technicians are the best way to keep your investment’s value.
When it comes time for hard surface inspections, it is best to go with an IICRC-certified firm or inspector. The IICRC, or Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a world-renowned organization that offers training and certification in the industries of cleaning, inspecting, and restoration. A customer knows that when they have an IICRC-certified professional, the job will be done right the first time.
Why is it important to have certified professionals tackle hard surface inspections?
The training that the IICRC-certified inspector receives is the best in the field. To maintain good standing with the IICRC, the professional must demonstrate ethical practices and adhere to the strictest of guidelines. A customer can be confident that the assessment will be done properly with a certified professional.
What are some reasons someone would need their hard surfaces inspected?
Particularly in earthquake areas, flooring can be jolted, and cracks can occur. When filing an insurance claim for the repair, the flooring needs to be examined by a professional that can assess the situation without bias.
Sometimes after installation of flooring, something cracks or loosens, or dislodges completely, and the manufacturer is at fault. However, in most cases, for the manufacturer to pay for any repairs, they will require a third-party assessment. Several of those are now requiring that the examination is done by an IICRC-certified firm or technician.
In a home, accidents happen and are often on the floor. Someone spills something and doesn’t clean it properly. Or a child rides its trike across the floor with rocks embedded in the tires and scratches seem to decimate the surface. In any of those instances, there is likely a solution. But beware, if the solution falls outside of the guidelines in the warranty, it will void the warranty. With that being said, several flooring manufacturers require an IICRC-certified professional to do the hard surface inspections and repairs.
Is there an organization that instructs on hard surface cleaning?
Yes. The IICRC or Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification is a non-profit organization known throughout the globe. They partner with other trade associations to establish and promote industry standards and certifications in installation, inspection, cleaning and restoration. They do this through IICRC-approved schools and instructors who have shown the ability to meet and uphold industry standards.
What class does the IICRC offer regarding hard surface cleaning?
The IICRC offers the Floor Care Technician (FCT) course. In this two-day course, the student will learn various hard flooring types, industry principals and procedures, safety, liability and health issues, floor care regarding hard surfaces, and the proper tools, equipment and chemicals that are appropriate for the job, as well as other industry resources. They will also learn how to inspect the floor for trouble spots and come up with a solution. This is an introductory-level course, and no pre-requisites are needed to take the class.
Is there a need for a firm and their technicians to receive FCT certification?
A growing number of customers would answer yes. As homes age, so does their flooring. Many older homes have unique flooring types, and even with age, some homeowners choose to keep it. This is where hiring a knowledgeable certified technician can make a difference.
Is it easy to find a local FCT course?
The IICRC’s website gives a listing of its approved schools and instructors. It also lists its course and certification tracks. The website will also list when and where the next course will be available. This makes it easy to plan a technicians training time in advance.
Hard surface cleaning is an integral aspect of the floor maintenance industry. With an increasing number of consumers installing such flooring in both residential and commercial locations there is a growing need for trained technicians to assist in its care. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has taken action by offering relevant coursework and training for those who provide such services.
While carpet and vinyl have been standard flooring options for quite some time, home and business owners are discovering the advantages of other types such as stone, wood, ceramic tile, and laminate. Aside from their decorative features they are easily spiffed up daily by the usual vacuuming, mopping, and sweeping. Over time, however, a build-up of dirt and oils can occur requiring a more specialized treatment. An IICRC certified technician trained in proper techniques, equipment, and chemicals for each type of surface is the ideal person to maximize the lifespan and look of the flooring.
As a non-profit organization the IICRC focuses on the creation of international industry standards and the certification of cleaning, inspection, and restoration technicians and firms. They currently provide education and support to more than 54,000 technicians and 6,500 companies in countries such as Japan, Canada, Australia, and the United States.
The hard surface cleaning programs offered through the IICRC guarantee those certified will leave with a thorough knowledge of current trends, treatment methods, standards, and safety guidelines. They provide certification in areas such as stone, masonry, ceramic tile, wood laminate, and resilient flooring. IICRC certified technicians can be located by looking for the CleanTrust™ service logo on their web pages. This seal of approval is a pledge to customers that superior and systematic treatment will be provided.