(WHNT) — If you have water damage to your floors or just a pet accident, you might be looking for a carpet cleaner. Regular carpet cleaning can extend the life of your carpet as well as get rid of tough stains. Most carpet manufacturers recommend having carpet professionally cleaned every 12-18 months, depending on how much foot traffic your home gets. A professional carpet cleaning company can help you get the deepest clean possible and avoid the hassle of renting a machine. If you are considering hiring a pro, Better Business Bureau recommends the following tips to ensure you receive top-notch service at a fair price.
How to hire a professional carpet cleaning company
- Set your budget. Decide how much you can spend and keep that figure in mind as you call different companies for pricing. Setting a budget can help you decide what rooms you want to be cleaned and which add-ons you can comfortably splurge on.
- Get a free estimate. Reputable companies should be willing to offer you a free estimate over the phone. As you call around, provide accurate descriptions and measurements to get an exact estimate. If you are having trouble with this, ask if the company offers free in-person estimates – some do. Once you have an estimated price, get it in writing if possible. Ensure the price the company quotes you includes the complete service from start to finish. Ask if there are any additional services you may need that cost extra.
- Find a reputable company. Read reviews and get recommendations from friends and family to find a reliable carpet cleaning company. Over wetting carpet and using improperly mixed chemical or brushing techniques can cause irreparable damage to your carpet, so it’s important you find someone who knows what they are doing. Inquire how long technicians have been practicing their trade and find out if the company is licensed and bonded.
- Find out if there’s a guarantee. Many carpet cleaning services offer a guarantee, but the terms of each one can vary quite a bit. Ask what the guarantee includes and get the details in writing when you settle on a specific company.
- Ask about cleaning techniques. Hot-water extraction, sometimes called “steam cleaning,” is the most common technique professional carpet cleaners use and the method recommended by many carpet manufacturers. It involves spraying hot water onto the carpet, usually with a cleaning solution, then sucking it back into a machine along with any dirt and grime hidden in carpet fibers. Cleaners may use a portable machine, ideal for multi-story apartment buildings, or a truck-mounted system. The truck-mounted units are the most powerful and your best option when available.
- Find out what kind of rug cleaning services are available. Remember that rug cleaning services are generally performed outside your home, so it’s extra important to inquire how your rug will be cleaned. Look for companies that perform hand-washing using an immersion method and find out if the company will clean your rug personally or send it out to a specialized, third-party cleaner. Try to hire a company that will handle the work in-house.
- Be upfront about problem areas. An honest carpet cleaning company will admit that some types of stains are difficult, if not impossible, to remove once they’ve set. When you call to get an estimate and again when the technician shows up to start the cleaning, describe and point out stained or soiled areas and let the technician know how and when it got there. This will improve your chances of having the stain entirely removed.
- Compare companies before you hire. Never hire the first company you talk to. Get estimates from multiple companies and compare their services, prices, and customer service before you choose one.
- Prepare your home. Professional carpet cleaners will do the heavy lifting for you and move furniture out of the way when they clean your carpets. That said, you likely still need to prepare your home. Store any clutter that could get in the way and, if you have prized or antique decorations or furnishings in areas that will be cleaned, move them yourself to avoid potential damage.
- Check the work before you pay. Never pay a company before the work is complete. Make sure you are satisfied with the job, and if you notice any problem areas, ask the company to address them before you make a final payment. If you notice a problem after the fact, call the company immediately. The quicker you get in touch, the more likely a company will help resolve it. Follow BBB’s advice for hiring a contractor.
- Allow the carpet to dry before you walk on it. Professional cleaning companies will let you know how long the carpet needs to dry and if you can do anything to speed up the process. Work the drying time into your schedule if you can. For best results, avoid letting anyone, including pets, walk across your newly cleaned carpets until completely dry.
Consumers should choose a BBB Accredited carpet cleaner for the assurance of quality, integrity, and professionalism that comes with Accreditation. BBB Accredited carpet cleaners have demonstrated a commitment to ethical business practices, transparent transactions, and a track record of customer satisfaction. This ensures a reliable and satisfactory carpet cleaning experience, backed by the Better Business Bureau’s Seal of Trust.
For more information
Find a carpet cleaning company near you. For more tips, see BBB’s article on hiring a professional cleaning service. To check the reliability of a company, visit BBB.org. To report a scam, visit BBB.org/ScamTracker.