TCM Restoration & Cleaning Blog

Misconceptions of Hot Water Extraction Cleaning

Here’s a few misconceptions to Hot Water Extraction Cleaning.

  1. It causes mold & mildew.  Our system is so efficient at removing water that most carpet typically dries within a few hours especially if fans are applied as we are cleaning the house.  Circulating air & turning up the heat decreases the dry time too.
  2. It shortens the life of the carpet.  Doesn’t make sense since most carpet manufacturers require hot water extraction cleaning method to maintain their 15 year warranties.

By washing & then rinsing your carpet with hot water-we clean your carpet completely.  Just like a person taking a shower with hot water, washing with soap & rinsing will be much cleaner than the person who takes a sponge bath.  Hot water not only cleans better, faster & with less cleaning agents it also dries much quicker & sanitizes your carpet.  This makes your carpet at home free of dust mites & other harmful microorganisms for a safer, healthier environment.

If you are in Anchorage or the Mat Su Valley give us a call and we’d be happy to clean your carpets for you!

October 26, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning vs Dry Carpet Cleaning

Is one method better than an another?  Depends.  There are several types of dry cleaning with varying degrees of effectiveness.  At TCM we use hot water extraction because  we feel it is the most thorough cleaning we can give our clients.

Many people think dry cleaning your carpet is like dry cleaning your clothes.  This is not true.  Clothes are dry cleaned with waterlesss liquid that is an intense solvent cleaner.  They are not used in carpet because the solvents would dissolve the latex glues that bind the carpet fibers to the backing.

The truth is all carpet cleaning methods use water.  Some more than others.

Some companies use low moisture cleaning because the carpet dries fast, technicians can work very fast and the price is cheaper than hot water extraction.

3 Methods of “Dry” or Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning

Dry Foam Method  This is when the carpet cleaner uses dry foam.  He applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry then vacuums it up.

Can you imagine washing your hair with shampoo, letting it dry and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum??  This method can leave a residue in your carpet which is one reason why dry foam is not very effective.

Dry Chemical Process  The dry-chem method is similar to dry foam.  The difference when dry chem is used the carpet cleaner sets a large cotton pad (technical term bonnet) on your carpet.   A rotary machine is used, the bonnet spins from side to side absorbing the dirt that’s in the carpet.   After the bonnet is saturated with dirt another cotton bonnet is applied. This can be effective for lightly soiled areas.  However for a carpet that is very soiled it is like using a large towel to rub the dirt out of your carpet.

Dry Compound Cleaning  This is similar to dry foam.  The cleaning solution mechanically lifts the dirt to the surface of a light foam.  When the carpet is dry an acrylic polymer additive in the cleaning solution crystallizes.   It then cracks off the fiber when the vacuum runs over the carpeting.   This method is fairly new and seems to work well on commercial made carpeting.

Now About What We Use….

Hot Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning

Also referred as “steam cleaning” even though actual steam is not used.  It’s a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure forced into the carpet fibers & extracted with a powerful vacuum system.  We use state of the art truck mounted extractors in our vans.

Research says rinsing is best!  The main benefit to hot water extraction carpet cleaning is the flushing action of the water moving through the fibers.   SHAW industries (one of the world’s biggest carpet manufacturers)  has done testing on professional cleaning systems and determined the amount of soil removed from carpet is in result of how much water is being used to rinse the carpet after cleaning solutions were applied.

 A very powerful vacuum system must be used to remove the soiled water.

There are 2 types of extraction systems.

Portable Extraction which is usually a 5-12 gallon machine.  Portable systems can deliver great results if the technician is experienced & knowledgeable.   These units don’t produce as much heat but they can do a good job cleaning.  They come in handy in upper level floors of buildings when hoses from a van couldn’t possibly reach.

Truck Mount Extraction  This is a large machine mounted in a van or a truck.  These systems work well and makes cleaning fast & efficient.  The truck generates 190-260 degree heat which aids tremendously in soil removal.  The cleaning solutions are automatically fed into the machine at a precise rate & the truck contains water tanks for fresh and waste water.

Hot water extraction cleans MUCH better than the other processes because it shoots the cleaning solution into the carpet at a higher pressure which breaks down dirt, bacteria & pollens.  Then the machine uses high velocity suction to draw the dirt out of the carpet.

The most effective way to clean carpet is with a high volume extraction unit.  At TCM Restoration & Cleaning we use truck mounted extractors in all of our vans.    We know it is the only way to thoroughly clean carpet of all the nasty dirt, bacteria, fungus, dust mites, chemicals, pollens & tobacco residue.

October 21, 2015 Posted by | carpet cleaning, carpet cleaning methods | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tips to prevent Water Damage in your home

Here’s some tips to prevent a big water damage in your home.  It can save you $$$ and a big inconvenience of having drying equipment and crews in your home for days.

Replace old water heaters. Water heaters do damage when they get too old and the tank rusts and bursts, allowing water to pour into adjacent rooms. On average, water heaters last 10 to 12 years. Don’t wait for them to fail; replace your tank once a decade. Today’s energy-efficient systems will also be cheaper to operate.

Switch to stainless steel hoses: Consider replacing standard rubber or plastic hoses with stainless steel-braided or mesh hoses. Worn out hoses with kinks, cracks or bulges need to be replaced immediately.

Don’t leave dishwashers and washing machines running if you leave the house. If something breaks while a home owner is away, what could have been a small mop-up job often turns into a thousand-gallon mess best left to professionals.

Consider water alarms: Home owners can install water alarms for a quick alert when an appliance isn’t working right. Hooking up the system to an appliance is usually as simple as hooking up a hose to an outdoor faucet.

February 3, 2015 Posted by | water damage | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Important to have an Emergency List if you leave for the Holidays

If you go out of state for the holidays and either have a house sitter or someone checking in on your home you should have a list of emergency numbers for if that emergency happens.  We all know about dialing 911 for break ins and suspicious activity,   But who do they call when there has been a flood in your house?  Is it a plumber, your insurance agent, a restoration company?  Actually it can be all 3…but your best bet is leaving the number of a restoration company which will make the timely connections with the plumber &  agent and be able to take care of everything even if you are out of state.   A restoration company will most likely stop the source of water as soon as possible and start extracting the water immediately,  The faster water is removed the less damage.  If you are going away for Holidays and are in Anchorage (562-7410) or Mat Su Valley  (373-7410) make sure you add our numbers to your emergency call list.  We’re here to help 24 hours a day.

December 12, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anchorage Water Damage Testimonial

Video on a water damaged home in Anchorage, Alaska that we dried out.

February 16, 2009 Posted by | Alaska, Anchorage, testimonials, water damage | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kids and Carpet

When you have children, it can be hard to keep the house clean, but one part of the house that takes a direct hit is the carpet.

Kids are notorious for tracking in a variety of messes and the carpet – no matter its color or previous condition – suffers because of it. But there are some things you can do to help kids and clean carpets live in harmony.

First, have a no-shoes policy. It’s become more and more common for people to take their shoes off as soon as they enter someone’s house, or even before. Don’t worry about what people will think. Be firm about this rule, and apply it evenly to adults and children so you don’t discriminate.

By making sure shoes aren’t worn in the house, you are also ensuring that the carpets get spared from whatever might be on someone’s shoes, like oil, dirt or grass. If you feel uncomfortable asking guests to remove shoes, you can offer them a pair of slippers from a basket near your door.

Second, don’t assume that if the kids are running around the house in socks, that’s fine for the carpets. Some kids will run outside in their socks, and then come back in house. Their socks are now as dirty as a shoe might be. Check the bottoms of the kid’s socks periodically and if they are dirty, make them change their socks.

Limit eating & drinking to the kitchen and dining room table.  Young kids tend to be messy and spills just naturally happen.  Having a rule to keep food and drinks away from your carpet will keep it cleaner and looking much nicer longer.  Having this rule also will protect your furniture and upholstery in your home too.

Vacuum often.   Contrary to some people’s beliefs, vacuuming does not wear down the carpet, but actually benefits the carpet.  The more people and pets you have in your household the more you should vacuum.  Do it often to keep the dirt from soaking into the fibers (making it very hard to get clean). If there are stains on the carpet, you’re more likely to see them when vacuuming the carpet (when you’re looking directly at it) than when you’re walking all over it. Then you can deal with the stains as you see them and before they become harder to get out.

Finally, get your carpets cleaned regularly. Many people wait until they see dirt and stains to clean their carpets, but cleaning them before you see the dirt is a better idea. Your carpet, which is a big investment, will last longer. Experts recommend getting carpets cleaned about every 6 months, when you do your regular heavy cleaning.

If you follow these steps, you can have light colored carpet, pets and children and all can live peacefully together.

October 8, 2008 Posted by | Anchorage Carpet Cleaning, carpet cleaning, residential carpet cleaning, Wasilla Carpet Cleaning | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Insulate Pipes Now To Prevent Water Damage

Now is the time of year when Alaskans start preparing for winter.  Snowmachines, studded tires and winter gear are usually the top items on that list.  But your home should also be top priority too!  Those who do not have the foresight to prepare their home for the coming cold months, often end up regretting that they did not. It can be twice as bad to deal with plumbing problems in the winter because pipes in or under the home have frozen and busted.  Not to mention the water damage that can quickly happen inside the home.

During warm weather it is so much more comfortable to do maintenance on the home. People get so busy in the spring and summer with gardening and lawn mowing that they probably do not give much thought to the inconvenience that frozen and busted plumbing causes in the cold months. It is a good idea to schedule your plumbing inspections during the warm months. Going underneath your home into the crawl space, if you have one, is essential to be able to inspect your outside pipes for leaks and deterioration.

If the pipes in your crawl space are not insulated,  you can do this simple job yourself by wrapping them with pipe insulation or heat tape made specifically for that purpose. It can be terrible to have to get under there and make pipe repairs when there is a foot of snow on the ground and it is only 10 degrees (or many times MUCH colder) outside. Why not do it now when the weather is nicer?

Outside water faucets are also prone to more damage in the winter months. If you are using your spigots right now and notice that they have leaks anywhere, do the repairs now and save trouble later. These spigots can also be insulated for the wintertime. When you have spigot leaks, it can cause you to lose a lot of water over time. This is not good for the planet to wastewater and it will not be good for your home either if you get  water damage inside your home because of it.

Your local hardware or department store should have the supplies that you need to insulate your outside and inside water sources and pipes to help you get your home winterized.

September 10, 2008 Posted by | Anchorage, Wasilla, water damage | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment