Who needs professional rug cleaning services when there is an abundance of DIY tips out there? The result will just not be the same! No matter how large the piece is, or how much it cost, having a certified technician clean, repair, and restore it will preserve its condition and prolong its life.
Area rugs can collect dirt, odors, allergens, and discolorations from the ongoing foot traffic it endures day in and day out. While frequent vacuuming and spot treatment is helpful, it is imperative to have a skilled technician do comprehensive maintenance every now and then. The more foot-traffic it is exposed to, the more often it will need a good cleaning.
When an IICRC-certified technician is hired for rug cleaning services they will begin by analyzing the material and determining what repairs and/or cleaning needs to occur. Once transported off-site they will start with a thorough vacuuming, spot removal and other repairs, followed by a good rinse. A pre-tested product is applied and worked in utilizing a gentle agitating brush before being rinsed and dried. The majority of the water held within the fibers is drawn out using a centrifuge or other means and is then hung for final drying to avoid any problems associated with improper drying. Appearance touch-ups such as a final pile brushing and combing the fringe are done prior to its return to the home.
This process is much more involved than any simple do-it-yourself attempt; therefore leaving it to the pros is an ideal option. The IICRC’s website and online referrals are ideal approaches to locating a reputable certified firm. Homeowners can rest assure that those currently certified by the IICRC are aware of the latest techniques and equipment, have the proper skills, and abide by the organization’s strict standards. Instead of an eye sore on the floor, the piece can now be a focal point of the room once again.
Cleaning a rug is not as easy as it sounds, at least if the owner wants to treat it thoroughly. These pieces are soil gathering hotspots and can suck up several pounds of dirt and grime in a short time. If this soil is not removed promptly, it can damage the fibers, making it more difficult to salvage the rug. Regular treatment should be a primary goal, and it should be done with professional assistance.
Before a professional starts cleaning a rug, they have to inspect it for any damage. If there are no apparent problems, the first thing to do is to vacuum up any loose, dry soil from in between the fibers. After that, a technician will apply some water and a gentle agent, and then agitate it with a device that uses soft rotation. After thorough rinsing, the rug is extracted or spun in a centrifuge to extract most of the water. The rest of the drying process is handled on a rack. It will typically take several hours, and technicians will inspect it regularly during the process to look for any missed stains or other spots of damage. If no further issues are found, the rug will be returned to the owner once it dries.
A homeowner shouldn’t hand over their valuable rugs to anyone but a certified rug cleaning service, and for good reason. These precious pieces can be quite valuable, as they are often one of a kind, and can last many years with regular treatment. Without it, though, the fibers will fade and fray, as matted-in soils saw away at the fibers. These rugs are particularly susceptible to gathering dirt and food particles, and effectively soak them up when they come in contact with them. As such, homeowners should consider a deep cleaning treatment at least once a year.
But what rug cleaning service should a homeowner consider? There are plenty of companies out there that advertise this type of service, but only professionals who have been trained through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) should be considered. That’s because these technicians have been through a rigorous training process that addresses the latest treatment methods and technologies in the field. The IICRC’s approved schools also teach professionals the best practices available in terms of theory and application, and prepare them for a variety of treatment settings. When a homeowner chooses an IICRC-certified firm, they know they are getting the best in the business, which is what someone should demand from a company handling such a precious item.
Carpet and rug cleaning is something that homeowners often overlook, but it’s a necessary part of home maintenance if the goal is to minimize replacement costs over the long haul. However, it’s up to the technician to demonstrate why these services are so valuable, and why they should be regularly performed. The best way to go about that is with a measured, educated approach, and one that is built on a solid foundation of proven methods. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) can provide these skills to a technician, primarily through its developed coursework.
The IICRC’s essential carpet and rug cleaning courses include the CCT (carpet cleaning technician) and RCT (rug cleaning technician). Both provide fundamental concepts and practices that a technician can easily adapt for their work, and can get a new professional ready for acquiring on the job experience. Experience and education together produce a talented, respected professional, and such a professional will have the advantage in the marketplace.
In addition to essential theory and practice, students will learn how to identify their work settings to expedite service, and will also be introduced to the most advanced equipment available in the industry. As homeowners are sensitive to the management of their valuable rugs and carpeting, they are highly receptive to a technician that offers cutting-edge treatment options.
What sets the best technicians apart from the rest is applicable knowledge, and the IICRC can help a professional pick it up as quickly as possible.
Area rug cleaning is essential to maintain the appearance and durability of the piece, and homeowners that want to keep their Oriental or Persian rug in good health will need to have it cleaned regularly. It takes a lot of specialized knowledge to handle such delicate and significant pieces, so most respected firms in the industry have been around for many years and have their own process for effective treatment. However, most firms tend to adhere fairly closely to a standard formula for treatment, and the process typically only takes a day or two.
The first part of the area rug cleaning process is an inspection and dry soil removal. Once the technician gives the piece a good look-over to spot any stains or damage, the rug is vibrated by a specialized machine to shake loose any dry soil. After all of the dry soil is removed, the piece is either submerged in a full-immersion bath or gently scrubbed down with a push machine. In either case, slight agitation and mild detergents are used to neutralize deep soils. A centrifuge that spins the rug and pulls water out of it is part of the drying process. This just takes minutes. The rug is then hung from a drying rack to complete the process.
With regular treatment, a homeowner can keep their area rug in excellent condition and looking like it did the day it was purchased.
Great care is necessary when cleaning area rugs, especially if it’s an old or delicate piece. Silk, Oriental, and Persian rugs, in particular, have to be handled gently, or they can sustain permanent damage. For these jobs, it is best to leave it to the professionals, as industry experts have access to special equipment and detergents that will preserve the integrity and colors of the fibers and backing.
Before cleaning area rugs, professionals will first remove loose dust from the piece, usually with a gentle vacuum or carpet sweeper. After extracting all the loose dust and dirt, the professional will test the fibers to determine which detergents can be used safely on the piece. The best solution for the job will be worked into the fibers with a soft bristle agitator, and the process may be repeated a couple times until the water rinses clear.
After all of the soil has been extracted the piece has been thoroughly cleaned, it will go in a special centrifuge that spins the rug until all remaining water has been removed. At this point, the rug is hung on a rack to dry for several hours and groomed to align the fibers. By the time the rug arrives back at your home, it will look and feel like it did the day you got it.
Interested in cleaning oriental rugs? It’s a smart thought. After all, imported woolen floor coverings continue to enjoy increasing popularity in the United States, so there’s certainly a market for professionals who can service this type of textile.
Before you solicit business, however, make sure you know you’re up to speed on your education. Otherwise, you may cause more harm than good, and the consequences could hurt your client’s exquisite heirloom—and your reputation as a service professional.
The cleaning of oriental rugs requires specialized knowledge of techniques and methods designed specifically for textiles made of predominantly natural materials. Certain products and procedures easily tolerated by synthetics could spell disaster for a fine floor covering made of hand-knotted sheep wool and stained with natural dyes.
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) can help you start your new venture with proper training. Arm yourself with knowledge by registering for classes and workshops that teach the ins and outs of rug cleaning in general, and oriental rugs in particular.
Two Rug Cleaning Technician (RCT) courses remain this year, in Texas and North Carolina, in October and November, respectively. This class is a great introductory course that teaches you about the identification of different types of textile floor coverings and the appropriate treatment techniques for each. You can find detailed information about this course on the IICRC’s website.
Once you’re familiar with the basics, it’s time to delve deeper into the specialization of your choice. Sign up for one of the IICRC’s approved continuing education courses held around the country.
Rugs and carpets receive a lot of abuse in any home, and because of this, many choose professionals when it comes to rug repair. When looking for a trusted and thorough technician to perform the repair, one would want to go with a professional that has certification through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, or IICRC.
Carpeting can sustain burns, missing tufts, unraveled seams, buckles, discolorations and tears installation. With this wide variety of issues, it may be difficult for one to know the difference between what is manageable and what is beyond repair, causing individuals to be tempted by home “Do it yourself” kits or inexperienced companies. However, IICRC-certified companies and professionals can be trusted due to their extensive education. A consultation with one of these professionals can help discern what is restorable and what is not. Since IICRC certified experts are tested and equipped with the most up to date techniques, they can quickly determine the best course of action and begin improving the look and function of one’s carpet or rug.
These professionals can accomplish their goal of rug repair in a number of ways depending on the problem at hand and the severity. For example, if the carpet has bulging or ripples, a technique called stretching may be the solution. This is where just the right amount of tension is placed on the piece in order to tighten the surface. If a burn or particularly tough stain is the issue, they may recommend installing a bonded insert that matches the original piece.
When a rug is in need of repair, an IICRC-approved technician can determine if the carpet is salvageable or not, and if so, how to effectively restore it. When one hires someone trained by IICRC, they are receiving a highly trained professional that will have the right equipment and knowledge to perform the task at hand.
After years of punishing wear, professionals who specialize in rug repair may need to fix a homeowner’s precious flooring. When looking for a professional, homeowners have a choice between restoring the piece completely, or simply having it patched. Usually, patching up the piece is the least expensive option, because it creates a near identical look without the need for reweaving. During a restoration, a skilled weaver will reweave the fabric. While this makes the piece like new, it is more expensive and takes longer to complete.
Experts that provide rug repair are normally associated with specialist businesses. Most rug repair professionals can fix tears, holes or remove pests from the rug. If it’s caught early, mold colonies can be killed before they do any damage. With enough time, though, mold will cause the fabric to discolor, which is normally permanent damage. Pests, like moths or mites, and sediment can be removed with a proper solutions and procedures. Unlike cotton, wool fibers can withstand most cleaning chemicals without fading.
If a hole or tear is present, the expert will begin the repair by taking note of the pattern near the damage. The professional will then remove a patch from another piece of flooring that closely resembles the pattern. The expert will attach a base to the patch and glue it to the worn area. Once it is dry, the professional will blend the patch in by using special fabric markers to match surrounding fibers.
After it is patched and blended it will be nearly impossible to see the difference unless someone is looking for it. This will also prevent wear from causing additional damage to the area.
What are the steps typically taken by a professional to clean rugs? What is the difference in today’s techniques and those of yesteryear? Is there a way to stay environmentally friendly or green?
Dusting is the important first step to achieving a fresh looking and smelling carpet. The dust and dirt particles must be removed prior to adding any water or chemicals. Dusting is typically done with a vacuum used on both sides, some sort of beater, or forced air. All of these techniques are environmentally friendly, and forced air is less likely to damage the surface or delicate fibers.
Washing is the next step, and unfortunately, not everyone understands what it takes to do this step safely. A normal steam cleaner used by many homeowners will be at best marginally effective and at worst could cause irreparable damage to the rug. It is also important to avoid harsh chemicals in this process.
Rinsing and extraction is important because it guarantees that the fibers don’t have lingering chemicals that will attract dirt. However, just because the water runs clear does not mean it’s good to go. A professional trained to properly clean rugs knows that loose particles, undusted dirt, and soap residue can still remain and that they must be diligent in this process.
Drying is the final step to guaranteeing the best results. Proper drying is necessary to prevent the growth of mold and harmful bacteria that thrives in moist conditions. Each company will have a preferred method for this step.