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Wednesday, July 25 2012

Low prices come with the highest RISK:

1). Of the Cleaner pulling a "NO SHOW." If a cleaner gets a better job or upsells the appointment before you he will probably pull a "No Show". You will have wasted a day waiting for around for someone who isn't going to show up;

2). Be late for the cleaning appointment. We have heard of numerous nightmares of the low price cleaning company showing up more than (4) hours late - sometimes at dark. Why? Because he has to over book himself to make any money;

3). Poor quality of work. In order to be the low price leader the cleaning company must leave something out of the cleaning process in order to make any money;

4). Poor service after the sale. Because the deal was so cheap the low price cleaner can not afford to make a service call to "fix" a mistake or make a second attempt to meet your conditions of satisfaction;

5). Possible mold or mildew because it took to long for the carpets to dry. Because the low price cleaner has (7) appointments today he over wets your carpets because he is in a hurry meaning the carpets will now take (3) days to dry;

6). No guarantees can truly be given to the client;

7). Customer satisfaction is NOT the main reason they are there in your home or business. They are they to get done and move on to the next. A low price leader must keep moving or the business will go under.

It goes without saying, "Good things aren't cheap and cheap things aren't good." This statement rings true everyday in the cleaning world.

Michael Hull

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 08:41 pm   |  Permalink   |  2 Comments  |  Email
Monday, July 16 2012

Tile & Grout Cleaning Price Shoppers:

Recently I had the privelege of giving an estimate to a very nice couple in Elk Grove, California. They only lived about (3) miles from my home so I was looking forward to meeting them. Upon arriving I was met by the wife and the husband who happened to be on vacation. They had lived in their home for only about three years and wanted to get the porcelain tile and sanded grout cleaned and sealed. Per my usual routine I measured, inspected, and tested the floor. Since they were not the original owners, the home was built almost (7) years ago, they could not provide me with a detailed history of the floor. My tests revealed that I would be able to return the floor back to its original appearance when it was first installed.

What I did not know was that I was the 3rd company to come in and give them an estimate. I guess they must of liked the way I presented myself because they indicated that I had been more helpful than the other (2) companies. When I showed them my estimate they were surprised by my numbers. The first cleaner had an estimate of around $1.25 per square foot for cleaning and sealing, the second cleaner under bid the first by .25 (twenty-five cents), and I guess they were hoping that I would do the same. I was considerably more than the first cleaner that they had interviewed.

I asked this couple one simple question, a question that we should all ask when getting multiple estimates for any type of service. The question I asked was "What are they leaving out?" In other words what steps where the other cleaners NOT going to do that we were. Upon reviewing the other estimates to get an apple to apple comparison it was discovered that the other two cleaners were carpet cleaners who cleaned porcelain tile on the side. This is not uncommon as I am the only factory trained - factory certified tile & grout cleaner in the Sacramento, San Joaquin, Yolo County Areas. It was also discovered that the other two cleaners were NOT going to tape off the clients baseboards, carpets, etc. to protect these surfaces from the chemicals and dirty water, one of the cleaners was willing to do it but it was going to cost extra and they still would not assume any liability if the baseboards became damaged in the cleaning. Finally, it was discovered that the other cleaners did NOT clean the edges or the corners, because their machine would not be able to reach those areas. I explained to my clients that my equpment does not either that is why I get on my hands and knees and clean the edges and corners the 'old fashioned' way. 

It did not take long for the wife to catch on and know that she was better off hiring Liberty Floor Solutions than the carpet cleaners who occasionally clean tile & grout. Like most men it took the husband a little longer but he agreed that he did NOT want to do the work and so he hired us over the competition. It goes without saying, "Cheap things aren't good and good things aren't cheap." Hope this was helpful to you.

Michael Hull

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 04:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, July 13 2012

Clorox Bleach & Travertine

Because we are considered experts when it comes to the maintenance, cleaning, sealing, and restoration of travertine we get questions weekly from individuals all over the country needing advice about their travertine stone floors. Last week we had a gentleman call us and ask if it was okay to use Clorox Bleach on travertine and my answer to him was an emphatic NO.

This is not the first time someone has asked about using Clorox Bleach to clean their tile & grout lines. Usually when someone is asking about using Clorox Bleach it is because the floor is extremely dirty and grimey. Even though this chemical is stable under normal use and storage conditions it will react with other household chemicals such as toilet bowl cleaners, rust removers, vinegar, acids or ammonia containing products to produce hazardous gases such as chlorine. Clorox Bleach is used as a bleaching agent on natural fibers. It is important to note that the Clorox Company DOES NOT endorse the use of Clorox Bleach on travertine stone and for good reason.

When you purchase a gallon jug of Clorox Bleach here is what you are getting according the Material Safety Data Sheet:

1). Sodium Hypochlorite 5-10% (this is the bleaching agent);

2). Sodium Hydroxide 1% (this is used to delay the breakdown of the sodium hypochlorite);

3). Water 90-95% (yes this is correct)

The pH level of Clorox Bleach is 11.9. When cleaning travertine stone you want to use a pH neutral cleaning solution that is 7.0. Using a high pH like Clorox Bleach will remove all of the sealer, if the stone has been sealed, and will definitely remove any shine that the stone may have. You could damage the stone's natural beauty and lustre requiring major restoration work. If the stone did not come clean with a pH neutral cleaner it is time to bring in an expert and have them take a look. Getting travertine stone back to its original beauty and lustre requires a certain amount skill, experience, and knowledge. A good professional can show you how to keep it looking good for years to come.

Until next time,

Michael Hull


Posted by: Michael Hull AT 01:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Sunday, July 01 2012

Carpet Shampooing vs Steam Cleaning:

Just about every week we get calls for carpet cleaning, and at least one person will ask us if we "shampoo the carpet"? I always chuckle because carpet shampooing was invented in the 1970s when I was still in junior high school. Wet Shampoos, or carpet shampooing, were once formulated with coconut oils. The carpet was wetted with this shampoo and it was scrubbed with a rotary machine, followed by wet vacuuming. It took hours if not days to completely dry, and it was a very labor intensive process. Today synthetic detergents based shampoos are used instead. The shampoo is still scrubbed with a rotary machine but the shampoo is dried to a powder. The client vacuums up the shampoo and hopefully the dirt the NEXT DAY.

Steam cleaning on the other hand is completely different and it is also the only carpet cleaning method recommended by the manufactures of carpet. Not only do they recommend steam cleaning but you will VOID your carpet's warranty IF you use any other methods. Depending on who you talk to most agree that residential carpets should be cleaned every 6-12 months.

Steam cleaning, or more accurately "Hot Water Extraction', uses hot water under pressure to thoroughly clean your carpets. First the carpets should be thoroughly vacuumed and the carpet raked to untangle matted fibers. Imagine if your hair was matted and dirty, you would first comb it out so that it can be properly cleaned. Second you want to treat spots and stains with special chemicals to release them from the fibers. Third a carpet pre-spray should be applied over all carpet surfaces that need to be cleaned. Here at Liberty Floor Solutions we include sodium borate into our cleaning solution because it is an all natural disinfectant. It will knock out any and all bacteria, athlete's foot, etc. Next the carpets should be flushed with hot steamy water, and the water and dirt is extracted at the same time. About 90% of the water is removed when done properly. In the hot water rinse we include a chelation agent, a deodorizer, and a conditioner. The chelation agent removes hard water deposits, the deodorizer makes the carpet smell nice, and the conditioner returns the carpet to a pH neutral state - the carpet will be soft and fluffy when it is dried. Finally you always want to re-set the carpet knap, apply carpet protectant and a final application of deodorizer.

As you can see there are some major differences in the two cleaning processes, maybe that is why the results are dramatically different too.

Michael Hull


Posted by: Michael Hull AT 06:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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We provide professional tile, grout, carpet cleaning services for home and businesses in the following California cities: Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove, Wilton, Galt, Lodi, Stockton, Laguna West, Rancho Murieta, Mather, Rancho Cordova, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Rescue, Cool, Carmichael, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Antelope, Roseville, Lincoln, Loomis, Rocklin, Natomas, Citrus Heights, and Slough House. We will travel to other areas.


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Providing tile, grout, travertine, carpet cleaning professional services to Sacramento and Elk Grove California : carpet cleaning - grout tile cleaning - travertine tile cleaning - carpet steam cleaning services