Yesterday I had the opportunity to provide a neighbor with a FREE in home estimate for their travertine floor. This travertine floor was about 10 years old, very dirty and had some restoration issues. My neighbor had lived in the home for about 5 years and did not know the complete history of the floor, but you could tell that someone had performed some ill advised work on the floor. This travertine floor was 727 square feet and was located in the dining, kitchen, entry, hallway, laundry room and bathroom. It was surrounded by hardwood and carpet. According to the client the Groupon Carpet Cleaner had moved the sofa off the carpet, which was connected to the travertine, and when the couch was moved back the stone was scratched. The floor had some large holes that definitely needed to be filled. They were large enough that if a woman wearing heals were to step into the hole she could easily roll her ankle and causing some real pain.
I asked my neighbor if they had receive any other recommendations concerning their travertine floor. She told me that the Groupon Carpet Cleaner had given her estimate of $450.00 to clean and seal the entire floor. This translates to about .61(sixty-one cents) per square foot. I explained to her that my estimate would be substantially higher than that and that the job would require two days to complete. It would have taken us (a two man crew) over 2 hours to simply prep the floor for cleaning. By prep the floor I mean moving off the furniture, taping off the baseboards, hardwoods, etc., covering her stainless steel appliances in a protective plastic (Our chemicals our certified green and they will NOT etch stainless steel but they could stain the appliance this is why we cover the appliance in plastic). Because we needed to patch a number of large holes that the patch would need to dry for at least 24 hours before we could apply the sealer. I also explained to her that because we use a specialized travertine sealing agent the cost alone for the sealer would be over $100.00. When the Groupon Carpet Cleaner gave his estimate he DID NOT test or measure the floor which I thought to be strange because how would he know if there was any remnant sealer on the floor under all that grease and dirt (the floor was quite dirty and the grout lines were very dark with oil, grime, grease, etc.). Remnant sealer can cause additional problems but I won't go into details here. Without testing the floor how could this carpet cleaner possibly know IF he could meet or exceed the clients' "conditions for satisfaction."
I inspected, tested, and measured the floor before I came to what I believe a fair estimate for both of us. She also has a play-by-play description of what and how we will clean, restore, and seal her floor. She also has a test pattern she can now show her husband and the can both see first hand just how clean I can get the floor. Because I offer FREE in home estimate and I attempt to educate my clients before asking them to buy they can make better, more informed decisions, and can be confident of their decision. If you are calling cleaners for estimates PLEASE ask for FREE in home estimates and take the time to ask questions about how they do their work, how long will it take, how long have they been in business, how people will be working on your floor, etc. The more you educate yourself the better choice you can make.
Do It Yourself Tile & Grout Cleaning Solutions 2013:
With Spring finally here people are in the mood to do some serious spring cleaning. Cleaning carpets, drapes, the garage, and of course tile & grout. Yesterday I received a homemade cleaning recipe from someone on Facebook. The solution was White Distilled Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Baking Soda, and Water. Does this stuff actually work?
Vinegar and Lemon Juice are both considered acids. Vinegar is 2.4-3.4 on the pH scale making it a strong acid, lemon juice is not quite as acidic but none the less it is still an acid. Baking Soda is 9.0 on the pH scale making it a base (alkaline). What most people do not know is that baking soda is NOT a cleaning solution but a "water softner." For those of you who have a water softner in your home you know that you still need to use soap when you clean the dishes, laundry, etc., but it requires less soap because of the soft water. Since vinegar and lemon juice are both acids you should never use them to clean your tile and grout lines. The acid will break down the color of the grout and will literally eat the grout over time. It is important to note that Vinegar and Lemon Juice will ETCH natural stone. NEVER use acids on your natural stone.
When you combine the above ingredients you get Sodium Acetate or what is commonly known as a "buffer." It is neither acid or base (alkaline). What you wind up with is a NUETERD Cleaning Product. I have done a little research on line to find out what people have to say when they try this homemade soup and they always mention how hard it is. The ones creating videos never mention how long it takes them to clean the floor, my guess would be days.
When cleaning tile and grout you want to use a high alkaline cleaning solution something that is in 10.0pH range or higher range (This does NOT include NATURAL STONE). You need a cleaning solution that also has a de-greaser in it, something that can break down the oils that are lodged in the grout lines. When you cook on the stove, use the oven, or use the microwave oils from the food are released into the atmosphere and land on the floor. As the lines grow darker the bacteria is also growing. You will also need a surfactant, something to loosen the surface tension between the dirt and the tile so that it can be removed from the tile and grout.
Before starting a daunting project like cleaning your tile and grout get some real advice and ask your local professional for advice. Just because it is on the internet doe not make it truth. I hope this information has been helpful to you. If you have questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yesterday I received an email from Thumbtack.com stating that I had a review from Greg M. Thumbtack.com is a free referral service where clients can search for all types of service professionals. If you have ever used Service Magic to find a plumber, gardner, etc. it is similar in how they operate. Thumbtack will send your request to all of their vendors and if the vendor wants to they can put in a bid for your tile and grout cleaning for a small fee of around $4.00. The review we receive was quite negative and here is what Greg M. said:
"Steam eats your grout! That's how they clean grout. Clean your grout 3-4 times with steam and see what happens...Signed Greg M."
The first thing I did was to look into my data base and I discovered that I DID NOT have Greg M. for a client or referral source. We have NEVER done business with a Greg M.
Secondly, we DO NOT use steam to clean grout we use hot water under pressure. Stanley Steemer does not use steam to clean carpets they also use hot water under pressure. If you place a pot of water on the stove it will convert to steam at 212 degrees farenhiet. If you place water under pressure it will convert to steam at 252 degrees. Our typical water temperature is about 220 degrees. Grout is nothing more than colored concrete, and if you do some research you will discover that concrete remains unaffected by temperature until it reaches 572 degrees. The measurable change deals more with color than it does with structural integrity. Ask any fireman and they will tell you that it is common for a residential fire to exceed 1,000 degrees farenhiet. If you have ever looked at the aftermath of a fire you will notice that the only thing still in tact is the concrete. If Greg M's claim was true then the manufactures of the Steam Shark would be facing mega lawsuits and the product would have been pulled off the shelf. One way you can tell if Greg M. is telling the truth about steam cleaning grout is to take your steam iron and blast away at your grout 3-4 times on high power and see what happens - NOTHING.
Thirdly, concrete has a psi rating of 4,000 (PSI stands for pounds per square inch) and we typically clean grout and tile at a psi rating of 1,400 to 1,800. Concrete has been around since the Romans and some of their structures are still standing 2,000 years later.
I personally believe that Greg M. is one of those "uneducated," "unscrupulous," "uniformed" service companies that we have warned you about. I hope this information has been helpful to you.
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