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Spring Carpet Cleaning

Why clean the carpets in the spring?

Spring is knocking on our doors, which means it’s time to get down to some serious cleaning. Although we had a relatively mild winter, the grit that makes it’s way into your home in these colder months is plentiful. In the warmer months people work on the outsides of their homes more often, which usually results in sweeping or blowing off the walkways, patios and decks. This maintenance that is part of the weekly yard work helps remove that soil before it enters the home. However, in the winter, that is not the case and the soil easily finds it’s way to the floors of your home. If not removed in a timely fashion it could cause scratching of the surface.

Why am I getting traffic lanes in my carpet?

It doesn’t take a professional carpet cleaner to tell you that the sand and grit from outside can damage your wood floors or natural stone floors, but what many people don’t know is that these elements are more likely to cause scratching or “shading” to the carpet. The abrasive grit gets stuck deep into the carpet fibers and when walked on continuously it will give the carpet a worn look. By the time you notice the uneven wearing of the carpet, the irreversible damage has already been done.

Preventative carpet care

The best defense against shading and premature wear of the carpet is lots of regular dry vacuuming. Because vacuuming carpet is not the most exciting of tasks, it often gets rushed, leaving behind soil. I know this is true because when I replaced my vacuum cleaner, the newer model had a built in light indicator that would let you know when it stopped picking up soil. Red light, still picking up, green light good to move on. Now here is the amazing part, my wife always vacuumed the house on a regular basis, but when she tried the new vacuum the red light would not go out, I thought it was broken! She continued  to go over the same spot until finally the light went green. There was a lot of soil that was being left by our old vacuum, which was a good named brand. After the good, long initial vacuum it got easier to get the light to turn green.

I can’t end this blog without telling you how important it is to get out the crevice tool and get the corners and edges of your wall to wall carpet. This is the most overlooked part of vacuuming, in time, a black ring called filtration soil will form around the perimeter of the room. Once this sets in it is super difficult to remove this electrostaticly charged, ultra fine soil.

Professional carpet cleaning annually

Even the best vacuums and home steamers can’t compare to the powerful equipment the professionals use. In order to remove odors, pet oils, dander and other contaminants from your carpet it’s advisable to have the carpets cleaned by a professional once a year. Steam cleaning, also known as hot water extraction is the preferred method of cleaning according to Shaw Industries, the leading carpet manufacturer. Powerful vacuum, high heat and professional cleaning agents will get the job done.

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floating grout in Fredericksburg Va

How to regrout a shower

After years of being bombarded with water, cleaning agents, and scrubbing, your grout may have had all it can take. Grouting a shower or bathtub surround is actually quite a bit of work. All the old grout and caulk must be removed before the new grout and caulk can be replaced. We often come across jobs that were not prepared correctly and the new grout just fails. New grout cannot be floated or skimmed over old grout, it will just flake off in no time. However, we see this all the time, especially in today’s real estate market. Skim coating is common in properties for sale. It’s real hard to sell a house that has an ugly black shower, a quick skim and a bead of caulk to cover up all that black stuff might just be enough to pass it off to an unsuspecting buyer.

How to regrout a shower properly

Preparing the surface

This picture shows a properly prepared surface for the new grout. We used various grout saws, utility knives and lots of elbow grease to remove all the old grout and caulk. Many contractors or even homeowners use electric dremel type tools to do this, we prefer hand tools to reduce any risk of chipping a tile. It’s always best practice to wear safety goggles during this procedure. After all the grout and caulk is removed give the shower a good vacuum and wipe down with a damp grout sponge. If the tile had any build up of calcium or soap scum that would be cleaned real good before the grout removal, so excess water would not get between the tiles. The preparation of the shower is the most tedious and time consuming of the job, this next part goes much quicker but does require some skill level.

 

properly removed grout

all old grout removed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Installing the new grout

floating grout in Fredericksburg Va

Regrouting showers is something we also do.

Floating grout can be a bit tricky for the newbie. Newly mixed grout is just a little thicker than pancake batter, but starts getting thicker and harder to spread as it starts to set up. That can be a problem for someone that does not have the speed of a pro. It’s important to never add water to the grout after it’s initial mixing, that will ruin it.

After working the grout into all the joints, It’s important to get as much of the excess grout off the tile by placing the float on an angle and wiping across the tile diagonally, as shown.

Clean up

After the grout has been floated onto the walls, it is then wiped clean with a grout sponge. Sponging also helps even out all he grout lines for a nice even professional look. Now this is the important part, don’t over work the grout with too much water in the sponge or re wipe areas already wiped. Just wipe it once, and leave it. The tiles will haze over and will buff off easily with a clean white terry cloth towel in about 2 hours. While buffing the tile it’s advisable to wear a respirator, the fine dust produced is not good for you to breath.

The final icing on the cake is the caulk, I like to caulk around the base of the shower pan and up the corners as well. Most of the unsanded grouts found today have polymers in the grout and don’t need sealing. I do however recommend sealing sanded grout, usually found on floors.

Pristinepete.com

sponging the tile & goout

Wiping and smoothing grout joints

Pet soil

Do you think your tile is clean?

Pristine tile and grout restoration offers free tile & grout cleaning demonstrations in the Fredericksburg Virginia area. Call 540-841-3907

Pristine Tile & Grout Restoration Yellow Pages Ad

 

Missing Grout

A minor shower repair could save thousands.

Small spots of missing grout

Missing Grout

The first picture shows a half inch of  missing grout, more than enough to allow water to seep in and cause big problems.

This next picture shows a small piece of missing grout directly above the soap dish, After a short period of time the soap dish will be history. It is common to see these problems in the lower front corner of the shower, the area that takes the direct water assault every day.

The third photo shows how the caulk has separated from the tub, once this happens water gets trapped behind the caulk causing it to turn black from the inside out. This also creates the problem of the water running along the lip of the tub, behind the caulk and tile, finding its way to the floor outside the shower, ultimately causing floor damage as well. Missing grout in Stafford Virginia shower

Inspect your grout and caulk periodically

It is a great idea to inspect all your tile work from time to time as most of these minor problems can be fixed easily and inexpensively, but putting it off will surely result in thousands of dollars in repairs.

What causes these problems?

There are many reasons grout and caulk fail, the main reason is poor installation. Grout is a cement based product that has no elasticity at all, so if there is any movement in the wall, floor, or tub, the grout will crack for sure. It is common for the grout to crack along the corners and edges after installation, when this happens we usually caulk those areas. Caulk has the elastic properties needed to handle the expansion and contraction that happens in all homes. Just filling a bathtub can be enough weight to compromise the joints between the tile and the tub if the subfloor, floor joists or tub installation does not meet code requirements.

Other common reasons for failure is improper mixing of the grout, over working the grout with too much water,  or not preparing the surfaces for grout and caulk. Caulk will not stick properly to surfaces that have moisture, soap scum, body oils, mold, mildew ect…

These additional reasons still fall under the improper installation category. The only reason that doesn’t fall under that category is faulty products. Bad grout and caulk is not common, but we do come across it from time to time. Just like grocery shopping, always check the dates on the product, I have come across many out of date products in the home centers across the Fredericksburg area. Never use grout or caulk that has been opened or laying around the garage for a long time. These products are inexpensive and it is definitely worth buying fresh sealed product for every job.

The last two photos show the same tub and shower I worked on, in Stafford County Virginia last week. Both were minor repairs that took less than an hour, and will save this rental property from big repairs and even worse…down time.

cracked separated caulk in stafford va

Cracked separated caulk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stafford county shower repair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

caulk job in stafford virginia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carpet Cleaning Results…Using the Big Truckmounted Machine

These are some shots of carpet cleaning jobs in and around the Fredericksburg Virginia area. There are many factors that determine the quality of the carpet cleaning job, such as the machine being used, the cleaning agents, and the experience level of the person doing the cleaning. When choosing a carpet cleaner one must consider what they are getting for their money, choosing the lowest priced cleaner is surely going to lead to disappointment. We all know how much it costs for gas, cleaning agents, insurance, labor ect…  companies advertising ridiculously low prices are either cutting corners or using unethical bait and switch tactics don’t fall victim!

Cleaning Your Carpetfilter

Consider this, most of us wear our clothing once and then place it into the laundry for washing, we wash our bedding frequently, yet our carpets and upholstery go unwashed for as much as 1 to 3 years or more. Can you imagine wearing the same pair of socks for a week? Or sleeping on the same bedding for a year? Let alone 2 to 5 years? Your carpets and upholstery are subjected to far more pollutants on a daily basis, yet most of us do not clean the carpet regularly, or sometimes not at all!!

Also think about the deposits left behind by pets!!! Sometimes we lose the pet battle from time to time. Not only does it smell and make spots and stains, the odor associated with pets and accidents is actually decaying bacteria off-gassing ammonia gas as it decays. With “sick” carpets or floors, the only prescription is a super good cleaning and our sanitizing product that digests and destroys odor, not covering it up like Glade. Odor & bacteria must be extracted and eliminated!!!

My carpet doesn’t have a filter, does it? well, not really , but it does function like one. Our carpets mechanical design as a filtering device is very beneficial. It keeps the indoor air cleaner! Have you ever thought about what is really being collected, tracked through and spilled into your carpet?

The most common household pollutants are; dirt, dust, pollen, proteins, hair, pet dander, asphalt,sand, smoke residues, hydrocarbons,dead skin,live and dead dust mites & fleas that feed on dead skin cells, tar, bacteria, food soil,drinks,fungus, and sometimes even viruses not to mention body soils and fluids. Many of those common, everyday pollutants are in your carpets and upholstery this very minute. Not a pleasant thought, is it?ou might say…not my carpets, they look clean! Perhaps, but carpets are designed to hide soil from your eyes, keeping it trapped below the surface, where it does most harm by cutting and scratching the fibers. Not Sure? Place a new bag inside your vacuum cleaner, thoroughly vacuum all of your carpets. When done remove the bag and cut it open and take a look what was inside your visually clean carpet!!!

Now, all of your soils and allergens are in your carpet, and more is being brought in everyday, eventually the carpet will become full. As soil loads increase it may trigger histamine production in the body and elevate allergy symptoms like dry cough, itchy skin or even rash, sneezing and runny nose or throat irritation and sometimes sleeplessness. As you walk across your full carpet you re-distribute the dust and pollutants back into the air that you and your family breathe. As a result of being full, your carpets will also begin to appear visibly dirty. This visual soil may take upwards of 1 to 2 years before it finally shows itself, but by then you may have done considerable damage to your carpet, and surely have contributed greatly to having poor indoor air quality (IAQ).

What can be done?

For starters you really should clean your carpets more often. Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer , recommends that you have your carpet professionally extracted every 6 to 12 months, just to maintain the warranty. Comprehensive scientific studies have proven that by simply cleaning your carpets, you will drastically improve the indoor air quality of your home, making it  a healthier place to be for you and your familiy!

View your carpets for what they are, a soft, warm, cozy, comfortable pollution filter that requires regular maintenance and cleaning, In addition to frequent vacuuming and spot cleaning, carpets should be professionally cleaned at least every 12 months!

Pristinepete.com

 

Expert Tile & Grout Cleaning

cleaning tile & grout floors

How we do it:

There are actually 4 components working together in harmony that allow us to achieve these superior cleaning results.

Emulsifier – We use a non toxic, environment friendly spray that is applied to the tile & grout floor to quickly loosen up the soil.

High Pressure – Our advanced patented equipment produces water pressure that can be adjusted between 200 and 1500 psi to penetrate even the toughest areas!

Heat – Our powerful truck mounted steam cleaner is capable of maintaining temperatures over 230 degrees throughout the cleaning process.

Vacuum – Our Vacuum process surgically lifts the soil and dirty water off your floor.

Other amazing videos at real job sites

 

Cleaning a Travertine kitchen floor in king george va

Cleaning, Before & After Photos

Awesome Results

This was a great week at Pristine! Even after years of cleaning with our powerful truck mounted equipment I am still amazed myself at the results we achieve. Thanks to today’s technology I am able to snap some quick photos with my smart phone and share them with the world. In this particular post I am sharing photos from a concrete cleaning job, a tile & grout cleaning job, and a carpet cleaning job.

Concrete Driveway Cleaning

Concrete Cleaning

Driveway cleaning

This photo is of a concrete driveway at a residence out in King George, Virginia. The owner stated that he has never had it cleaned in the 14 years he’s been there. Our concrete cleaning system is far superior to ordinary power-washing in many ways. It is a contained cleaning system with powerful vacuum, so there is no over spray or run off. This was especially important on this job because the homeowner had the driveway surrounded with some very nice plantings. If you’ve ever power washed, you know what happens when you hit that flowerbed with the wand, dirt everywhere!

Using powerful truck mounts also enables us to clean at temperatures well over 200 degrees, everyone knows heat is critical for achieving outstanding cleaning results. You can view great concrete cleaning video on our website.

Tile Floor Cleaning

Tile and Grout Cleaning

This second picture is actually from the same home in King George, Virginia. It is obvious from the photo that the grout had turned completely black over the years. It is extremely difficult for a home owner to achieve these results from scrubbing alone. There are 4 components that work in harmony that give us this type of clean. They are heat, vacuum, pressure, and emulsifiers.

After this floor was cleaned we applied a sealer to the grout. In this case only the grout will benefit from a sealer, ceramic and porcelain tiles are non-porous and will not accept sealers. Sealing the grout protects it from permanent staining as well as makes it a little easier to clean. Our tile & grout cleaning footage on our site is quite Impressive.

Carpet Cleaning in a Preschool

Pre School

This rug belongs to one of our great customers, it is a local preschool here in Stafford, Virginia. It is important for daycares and schools to have their carpets cleaned on a regular basis to avoid the spread of germs. Again, this is where the heat comes in. When you clean with steam you are enhilating the germs and bacteria that lurk deep down in the carpet fibers. Regular carpet cleaning is key for any carpet to keep it looking great for years.

After the carpet has been cleaned we do recommend Scotchguard protection to help the carpets resist permanent damage from spills and soil. We also offer deodorizers and odor treatments for folks that may have pets.

According to Shaw Industries you should have your carpets cleaned every 12-18 months, this will help keep the carpets looking new for many years and is actually part of the warranty requirements for the Stainmaster line.

This last shot is of a berber carpet in a rental property down in Lake Land Or.  Another fantastic customer that counts on us to restore their carpets in their many rental properties as the tenants come and go. We were successful in removing several stains and spots as well as greatly improving the appearance of a noticeable traffic lane.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to visit us at Pristinepete.com to find out we can help you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More shots of our work

 

carpet cleaners stafford

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affordable Carpet Cleaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning a Travertine kitchen floor in king george va

Tile floor cleaning in Stafford virgina

This travertine kitchen floor in King George Virginia was heavily soiled from dogs and years of foot traffic. As you can see there was no problem getting this floor to look new again.

 

 

Kitchen floor tile with white grout in Stafford Virginia, no problem for our advanced cleaning techniques.

 

 

 

 

 

Bait and Switch Carpet Cleaners

Unbelievable…. and that’s all I have to say about that.

Just Remember, If it’s too good to be true ….it probably is.

Pristinepete.com

How to choose a carpet cleaning company

How do you know who to hire?

There are many carpet cleaning companies in your area, but not all are created equal. So how do you know which one to hire? Many people just look for the lowest price, which often leads to unsatisfactory results. Others think that because the price is high the company does a good job. Both of these examples are not good methods in which to choose. With a few tips, and knowing the right questions to ask, the process can be a little easier. Here are a few things to consider when making a choice:

  • Ratings/Reviews – There are many places on the web that offer reviews. Google, Yelp, Yahoo, BBB just to name a few. Know who your hiring , if a company has poor reviews or no reviews at all, stay away!
  • Coupons and fine print – Those low price offers usually have many restrictions, and rarely turn out to be a bargain. Unfortunately bait and switch tactics are common in this trade, don’t fall victim. You can ask if the job includes pre-spray, spot removers, pre-vacuuming, fiber rinse? What is their limit for room size? Some items are legitimate add-on’s such as carpet protection, deodorizer, red stain removal and pet treatments. It is always a good idea to get the cost of the job, and what is included, upfront and in writing.
  • Who is doing the cleaning? –  There is a high rate of tech turnover in the larger carpet cleaning companies. Lets face it, carpet cleaning is not the most desirable thing to do. Ask…is the cleaner experienced? properly trained? does the company do back round checks on there employees? You just don’t know if  you are getting a great cleaner or the guy that just started yesterday. Even if you do ask these questions, it’s unlikely that you would be given an honest answer all the time.  A great choice may be a small owner/operated company. This way you can always be sure your carpets are cleaned by the same experienced carpet cleaner, usually for less than the big guys.
  • How will the carpet be cleaned? –  hot water extraction? dry cleaning? foam? these are just a few types. There has been ongoing arguments to which is the best. Shaw industries, which is the leading manufacturer of carpet, endorses the hot water extraction method. Will your carpet cleaner be using truck mounted equipment? or portable? Truck mounts offer more heat and vacuum, leading to cleaner, faster drying carpets.

Why do carpet cleaning rates vary so greatly?

There are many reasons why rates vary. The most obvious is the company structure. The young kid out high school trying to make a few bucks with a rug doctor rental is going to be less expensive than the national franchise with lots of trucks, employees and an advertising budget as big as the national debt. Many companies fall in between these two extremes, and they all have different goals and clientele. Some want to charge less, and run through your house at 100 mph so they can get to the next 10 jobs they have booked. Some want top dollar so they can focus on the quality of the work and not the quantity. I have seen some of my customers quotes from other companies that where so high it would seem that replacing would be a better option. The best carpet cleaner in my opinion is the one that takes the time to do great work for a fair price. Guess what? I know one!

pristinepete.com