This past week I received an email from a real estate agent whom I have cleaned a lot of houses for over the past (6) years. This lady is a great realtor and she is a great person as well. She was closing escrow on a house and wanted an estimate from me. To save time, the house is located on the other side of town, she gave me a detailed description of the home and the future occupants' expectations. I gave her an estimate of $195.00. This is a small single story home that would take me approximately 2 1/2 hours to properly clean using my 12 Step Cleaning Method.
She came back to me after a few minutes and presented me with a Groupon offer of $59.00 for a whole house carpet cleaning. She ended the message with an LOL (laugh out loud). The carpet cleaner offering this $59.00 whole house carpet cleaning sold 610 Groupons. Since he has run several other Groupon offers over the past (4) months I estimated that he has (6) appointments per day - six days per week. Of the $59.00 offer the carpet cleaner will get half of that amount ($29.50) and Groupon will get the other half. The carpet cleaner will get $9.50 up front and the remainder will be spread out over (6) months. If you have ever hired a professional carpet cleaner you know that the first (20) minutes of the appointment is spent on inspecting the carpet, discussing stains, plan of action for cleaning, and possibly additional questions about certain stains, additional cleaning (These are called add-ons. Where the client adds on additional rooms, upholstery, rugs, etc.), and of course signing off on the work order. Not to mention the driving time to the appointment and the driving time from the appointment. Can you see the pattern?
In order for a carpet cleaning company to be able to clean (6) homes per day they are going to half to eliminate steps from their cleaning process. Even with a two man crew you will need to "Splash & Dash" every home in order to get them all done in one day. Can you imagine the pressure that the cleaning crew is under to meet these unrealistic expectations. In order to make a profit the carpet cleaning crew will have to use some high pressure sales tactics in order to get the client to buy more. The problem is the more the client buys the longer it will take to complete the work, the further behind the crew will get. As a side note this particular carpet cleaning company has an arrival window time of (5) hours. In other words they tell their customers that they will arrive somewhere between 12noon and 5pm. I suggested to the client that before they buy the "deal of the day" that they should contact the carpet cleaning company and ask how many steps there is in their cleaning process. The answer was (2). I got the job.
It goes without saying "Cheap things aren't good and good things aren't good."
Last Friday I receive in my email 'inbox' a message from Groupon offering me great deal on tile & grout cleaning. Since November of 2012 Groupon has run (5) tile & grout cleaning deals, three of these deals were run by the same company. I noticed on the time and date stamp that the email was published at 3:16am and that 130 people had already bought a groupon. I thought this was strange because I was looking at this deal at about 7:00am in the morning, so I decided to follow this Groupon deal. At around 8:30am the deal had been sold to 140 people, but what was strange was the deal went back down to 130 around 12 noon and remained there until Monday morning where it was back up to 140. After a careful inspection I also noticed that all 8 questions & answers were from February 2013. This deal had been on for 72 hours and no one had a question?
As I mentioned above this deal was run by the same company who had also ran the same deal on December 17, 2012, where it is reported that he sold 130 deals and again on February 18, 2013, where he sold 590 deals, making for a total of 730 deals in about (2) months. The deal was to clean 125' of tile & grout (this includes sealing) a value of $156.00, or a savings of 83%. It also included carpet cleaning prices for single story homes and two story homes. 730 homes to clean is a lot of homes. Keep in mind that the groupon expires in (6) months and most of these people will want their homes cleaned around the same time because of Easter, Spring Break, graduation, etc. This equates to about (5) homes per day, every day Monday thru Saturday for (6) months. This does not include existing customers calling for repeat service, referrals, internet searches, retail/commercial accounts, etc. If they really did sell 140 groupons this time it would make the daily total more than (6) homes per day. When I clean and seal tile & grout it typically takes about 1-2 hours, after cleaning, before the floor (grout lines) are dry enough to seal. We also NEVER schedule another appointment on the same day of a tile & grout cleaning job where the surface is greater than 500 square feet because it typically takes us 5-7 hours to complete our work.
When I look at this persons' groupon and I look at how many homes per day he is probably averaging (6) I must ask myself what is he leaving out? What is the old saying "If it looks to good to be true - it probably is." I hope this article gives you something to think about.
Two days ago I received a telephone call from a tile contractor, named "Smokie", asking me to come out and take a look at a travertine tile shower. Smokie and I have worked together before and he is a true craftsman when it comes to setting tile & grout. Over the phone Smokie told me that the travertine shower, which was quite large, located in the master bedroom shower, was in pretty bad shape, and asked if I would take a look at it and give him my expert opinion.
This was an older home, over 5,000 square feet, in Wilton, California that had gone into foreclosure. It was a beautiful home, but it needed a lot of work. When I arrived I met Smokie upstairs along with the homeowner. Just as Smokie had stated the shower was in rough shape. This was a large shower with multiple shower heads and a bench, it could easily fit three people. The previous homeowner had attempted to seal the travertine themselves and had done a terrible job. They sealed both the interior shower walls and the outer walls. The sealer that they had chosen did not soak in properly and you could see bubbles and run marks all over (Not all sealers are the same). The travertine, which has a matte finish, was sealed with a "wet look" sealer which made it worse. After a quick inspection I began running some tests on the tile to determine what if anything could be done to save the shower and save the homeowner money.
After about (30) minutes of stripping & polishing I was able to get (1) tile to an almost like new condition. I brought over the homeowner and Smokie and they were impressed with my results. One of the things I pointed out to them was that the grout inside the shower had a very large crack that needed to be repaired. The homeowner asked Smokie to peel back the tile and we found a generous amount of mold growing behind the tile. Because of the mold the shower would have to be replaced. What I failed to mention was during my (30) minutes of stripping and polishing I gave the shower a more thorough inspection.
When it comes to sealing natural stone it is best to seal it in the garage BEFORE you install it. You should seal it about (3) days before you begin the project. Had the previous homeowner done this they could have tested a tile to make sure that the sealer was going to work before doing it to the entire shower. It is much easier trying to fix one tile than one shower. In addition the sealer acts as a barrier preventing 'grout haze' build up. The tile installer can work at a more efficient pace knowing that the clean up will go faster and easier. Let this be a lesson to us all - If you aren't sure please ask an expert.
We get a lot of interesting questions here at Liberty Floor Solutions and we get a lot of interesting inquires about our service, but the one that we get the most is a question about "smelly tiles." People want to know how to remove the awful smell from their dirty tile and grout lines. Often times they will ask if our cleaning process will remove the smell before they ever ask about the appearance.
The smell coming from their tile and grout lines is usually odor causing bacteria. When food crumbs, oils, etc. begin to darken your tile and grout lines it becomes a perfect haven for odor causing bacteria. The bacteria feed off the oils and food crumbs then poop and die in the same location. The decaying bacteria and their poop generally is what causes the smell. The dirtier the floor the more odor you will have, and the dirtier it gets the more difficult it is to remove.
All bacteria will die when the temperature reaches or exceeds 140 degrees fahrenheit. If you could wash your floor with this temperature and successfully extract it off the floor you could remove the smell and what causes the smell. Another reason for sealing your grout lines and your natural stone is the sealer creates a barrier between the pores/crevices and the bacteria making it much easier to remove when mopping. I would caution you about using chemicals as certain chemicals, while the will kill bacteria, but could damage the grout lines and surface of the tile. If you are successful in killing the bacteria and can not extract the waste off the floor it is a matter of time before you will have the smell back.
Here at Liberty Floor Solutions we use chemicals that are not only safe for the environment but successfully kill odor causing bacteria. Also our cleaning water is heated to over 220 degrees and is extracted off the floor in seconds of rinsing. Not only are the floors clean but the are sanitized. Keeping your floor clean and safe is not rocket science but it is science. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have questions please email me at email@example.com.
Last Saturday I was called to a home to inspect, test, and measure a travertine floor. The floor was approximately (5) years old and was approximately 400 square feet. The floor had 24" tiles with 1/2" sanded grout lines. According to my client the floor was sealed about (5) years ago when it was installed. One of the questions I always like to ask is how do they take care of the floor and she explained to me that she uses Pine-Sol as the cleaning solution.
Pine-Sol which is manufactured by the Clorox Company is a great cleaning product and most people will tell you that they love the smell, and I do as well. Pine-Sol which is comprised of Pine Oil, Alcohol, and Salt has a pH level of 3-4 which makes it an acid. You could tell that the stone was becoming dull and the travertine failed my acid test which meant that the sealer was almost completely gone. Pine-Sol should NEVER be used on natural stone. The acidic compound of Pine-Sol will eventually dull and etch the stone. If used often enough and long enough it could permanently damage the travertine stone not to mention the sanded grout.
Travertine is best cleaned with a pH neutral cleaning solution or a pH level of 7.0. Often times you can pick up more grime by gently scrubbing the travertine stone using a neutral cleaning solution and a tampico brush. A stiff nylon brush can also scratch the stone so you want to becareful with the type of brush that you are using. Using two buckets, one to wash with and one to rinse with can also be a big help in keeping the floor clean. I hope this information has been helpful to you. If you have questions please contact me using the link below.
Believe it or not the Number 1 keyword search for people who visit my website in 2013, so far, is "renting a tile and grout cleaning machine,' or something to that effect. In fact I have receive two emails from people this week alone, one guy was located in Atlanta, Georgia, wanting me to educate them on how they can clean their tile and grout lines themselves. They wanted to know what type of cleaning solutions to use, what type of sealers to use, and where they could rent the equipment.
As a certified tile and grout cleaner I am constantly educating myself on the latest technology, newest chemicals, etc. for my profession. Just as there are advances in your field of expertise so is there in mine. Even with all the technology cleaning tile and grout does still involve a certain amount of 'elbow grease,' or manual labor, and sometimes that manual labor can be quite hard.
Unlike carpet cleaning where you have the Rug Doctor and the Bissell machines that you can rent from just about any grocery store or hardware store you CAN NOT rent a tile and grout cleaning machine. Tile and grout cleaning equipment requires the use of a truckmounted engine. Tile and grout cleaning usually requires chemicals that are over 1,000 times the pH level of carpet cleaning solutions and require a water pressure that is at least 20 times that of the Rug Doctor or the Bissell. When we clean tile and grout the water temperature is typically 220 degrees fahrenheit, and is under pressure at about 1500 psi (pounds per square inch). Can you see why no one wants to rent you a machine. What if you bubbled your hardwood or your baseboards? What if you burned yourself with that kind of heat, etc.?
If you are determined to clean your tile and grout yourself you will need some nylon grout brushes, gloves, a bucket, a mop, soap, and a wet vac. You get down on your hands and knees scrubbing the grout lines with the soapy water and vacuum with your wet vac. You should also plan on scrubbing the tile as well. Most folks tell me that it usually takes them, with 2 people doing the work, about one hour per 100 square feet. This is the cleaning portion only and does not include drying or sealing. Nor does it include the 'set-up' or 'break-down' time. I wish you all the luck.
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.
Hours: Monday thru Saturday 8:00AM till 8:00PM - Sitemap