When looking for a commercial floor care company, you want reliable service, fair pricing, and professional expertise. A company that lacks proper training and experience could damage your carpet or inadvertently void the warranty. Simply hiring a professional doesn’t guarantee good results because not all companies are created equal. Here are five qualities to look for when hiring a professional carpet cleaning company.
1| IICRC certification
To the untrained eye it may seem like carpet is carpet, but the truth is that different fibers have different cleaning requirements. Additionally, each carpet manufacturer has slightly different maintenance specifications which, if not met, can void the product warranty. Some manufacturer warranties, such as Shaw residential, “require that professional service be performed by an IICRC [Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification] certified firm.” Even if not required by your warranty, IICRC certification is the industry standard for expert professional floor care.
Reliable Floor Care is based in Madison, Wisconsin, where only 10* firms are IICRC certified, and half of those firms focus on restoration or include janitorial services. Milwaukee has 25* certified firms, but only 12 firms have floor care as their primary service. (Data as of 8/10/2015; visit www.iicrc.org for list of certified firms.)
2 | Vacuuming and moving furniture as standard procedure
The industry standard and minimum expectation for professional carpet cleaning is to vacuum the carpet before performing low-moisture encapsulation or hot water extraction cleaning. If a company states something like “only if it needs vacuuming” or “…most of the time we vacuum,” they probably don’t provide the consistency of proper cleaning procedure you should expect. Additionally, the vacuuming should be thorough, including moving all furniture and vacuuming even hard-to-reach areas. Before hiring a commercial floor care company, ask for their standard cleaning procedure to ensure it meets your expectations.
3 | Use of hot water extraction
Most major manufacturers, including Mohawk, Shaw, Beaulieu, and Masland, require hot water extraction (HWE) as the method of professional deep cleaning. In HWE, high-pressure equipment injects cleaning solutions and hot water deep into the carpet to loosen embedded soil. Then a powerful vacuum extracts the water, cleaning agents, and soil from the carpet fibers, providing a deep clean. Check that your commercial floor care company will perform HWE with truck-mounted equipment, which is the industry standard as it’s far more powerful than portable cleaning equipment.
4 | Transparent pricing
Before you hire a floor care company, make sure you know what is included in their standard cleaning price and what services incur an extra fee. Professional carpet cleaning should always involve the application of a cleaning solution, agitation, and clear water rinse. Reputable companies will be transparent in their pricing and whether there are additional charges for services like pre-sprays, spot treatments, or moving furniture.
5 | References and good reviews
Finally, a reputable commercial floor care company should have a list of references, and you should absolutely call a few to ask about their service. You can also get a sense of a company by reading through their online reviews. Look for red flags like unexpected fees, unreliable service, or failure to address a customer service issue. No company is perfect, but the best ones strive to promptly address and correct any problems to the customer’s satisfaction.
Professional floor care is likely a significant line item in your facility’s maintenance budget, so it is worth investing the time to research and hire the best company to meet your needs. These five qualities are a great start to finding a reliable pro with the expertise to maintain and preserve your floors. Contact Reliable Floor Care today to find out more about our service agreements or for a free quote. We are IICRC certified, provide excellent service with transparent pricing, and have the references to prove it.