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Saturday, July 20 2013

Cleaning Concrete 2013

This week I had the pleasure of meeting David & Lynne in Acampo, California. I received a telephone call from Lynne asking me for a quote on concrete cleaning. She went on to explain that the concrete was located in a garage and it was a rental property that they owned. When asked 'why' they wanted the garage floor to be cleaned she said the previous tenant owned (7) dogs and they had urinated all over the garage floor. As is my custom I suggested that we meet so that I could measure, test, and inspect the floor. She too thought this was a good idea and mentioned that out of all the professional cleaners she had called I was the only one who offered a FREE in home estimate.

After arriving at the rental I met with her husband David and he promptly escorted me to the garage. The garage was approximately 600 square feet and had definite smell of dog urine. It also had what appeared to be a large glue spill that was about 2 feet in diameter. There were obvious oil stains, and paint spills. Needless to say the garage floor needed some serious help. According to David when he first walked into the garage it wreaked of Clorox Bleach. The smell of bleach was gone but the smell of dog pee had returned. The bleach did not erase the smell because bleach can not kill odor causing bacteria. It merely bleaches the bacteria white making the difficult to see.

After a careful inspection of the floor and asking the client about the floor I was then prepared to properly diagnose how to best solve the client's problems with this garage floor. I gave them a step by step plan and told him it was going to take me about (4) hours to complete. Because of the severity of the pet urine no 'over the counter' process was going to work, and if he tried to use his power washer it would most likely damage the concrete. We were the best option even though we were the most expensive option. Most of DIY information that they had gleaned from google searches and I was able to explain to them why and it made sense to them.  This rental property needed a lot of work in order to make it rentable again and even though we were more expensive than the DIY advice we were the only game in town that could not only fix the urine smell but remove the glue, oil, paint, etc. restoring the garage floor to like new condition. As I have said many times before "Good things aren't cheap and cheap things aren't good." 

 

Michael Hull - Owner

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 07:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, July 16 2013

Hiring A Professional Tile & Grout Cleaner 2013:

It is the middle of July and it is hot and dry here in Sacramento, California. At this time of the year we get a lot of calls and emails wanting estimates for tile and grout cleaning. Recently I had a gentleman from Elk Grove call me and say that he had tile & grout in (3) bathrooms, his hallway, and his kitchen. According to him he had been on his hands and knees (3) times trying to clean his kitchen floor and was exhausted from trying to get the 'yuk' out of his grout lines. He went on to explain to me that he had used 'some' grout cleaning product from Lowes that did not work, then he tried acid which did not work, and finally he got down on his hands and knees and scrubbed the grout lines using bleach and that 'sort of' worked. I was exhausted just listening to him explain to me all he had done.

The ONLY question David, the name of the homeowner, asked of me was "How much do you charge?" This is a fair question, but if it is the only deciding factor then he will be greatly disappointed. When calling a person like me from Craig's List, Yelp, Angie's List, Merchant Circle, Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. how can you tell if you are selecting someone who is competent and trustworthy? If I have the lowest price in town and I do a terrible job then where does that leave David? He will have to pay me because I at least gave some effort but will not be able to hire someone who would have done it right the first time. So, how does David choose the right person for the job?

The first thing David could do was ask his family, friends, neighbours, and co-workers for a referral. Let's be honest there is no better way to hire a service professional, and that includes us tile and grout cleaners, than by referral. If they did a good job for your sister they will probably do a good job for you.

The second thing David should do was to inquire about their education. Many of my competitors are carpet cleaners that occasionally clean and tile grout. In fact many of them do not own the equipment and must rent it from a local vendor. Does that sound like someone who is serious about his business? Would you hire a painter or carpenter who had to rent the tools every time he got a job? I didn't think so.

The third thing David should inquire about is the cleaning process. Here at Liberty Floor Solutions we use a Seven Step Cleaning Process that has been perfected over the years cleaning 100's of thousand of square feet of tile and grout. A big question is what about the corner's and edges? How are they going to clean them? Most of my competitors will not address this issue because they know, that unless they get down on their hands and knees and clean the corners and edges by hand they will not come clean, there is NO MACHINE CAPABLE OF CLEANING THE EDGES AND CORNERS. Another question that should be asked is concerning furniture moving - who is going to move off the furniture?  If one company says it will take them (4) hours and another company says it will take (2) then something is probably being left out.

Finally, I recommend that you meet with your tile and grout cleaner before hiring them and ask them to give you a FREE in home/business estimate. I always Inspect, Test, and Measure the floor before talking about price. I have cleaned (700) square feet that took me only three hours to complete and then I have cleaned (700) square feet that took me nine hours to complete. When it comes to natural stone it can take even longer. This first hand inspection allows to properly assess where your floor is at and it allows for me to better understand your "conditions of satisfaction," in other words, what are your expectations when I have completed the task.

As I have said many times "Cheap things are not good and good things are not cheap." I hope this information has been helpful to you. Please email me at paddle@frontiernet.net if you have questions.

 

Michael Hull - Owner

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 11:12 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, July 03 2013

Tile & Grout Cleaning Estimate 2013:

Today I had the privelege of meeting a very nice couple who want to have their tile & grout professionally cleaned. They have approximately 900 square feet of ceramic tile and non-sanded grout. The grout lines are black with grease from the previous owner. The grout line color should  be a light sandy brown not black. The gentleman is currently in a wheel chair due to back surgery and the wife had surgey on her shoulder so they are in no position to preform this task on their own.

A couple of days earlier that had met with one of my competitors for an estimate. His estimate was for $900.00 for the cleaning and the sealing. He suggested that in order to save money that they should seal the grout lines themselves (keep in mind the husband is in a wheel chair and the wife recently had shoulder surgery). He stated he would lower the price to $600.00 if they moved ALL of the furniture. I asked to see his estimate and it was written on a Invoice Sheet that you buy at Staples or Office Depot. Neither his name or his number was on the "invoice". They had found this guy on Craig's List offering the "guaranteed lowest price". He also said that he would clean around any furniture left on the floor. According to the clients nothing about this guy said "professional". As a business owner I have come to realize that I can offer my clients Quality, Service, & Price, but I can not offer ALL three. As a business owner you can offer two but never three and stay in business. My competitor was offering only one - Price. 

Because this home was a rental and the couple were only planning to live there another year or two at the most I suggested that they not even bother with sealing the grout lines. The tile & grout lines installation was a home made job and had many issues that would have made it very difficult if not impossible to seal properly. The land lord had used non-sanded grout with very thin grout lines that did not line up. There was also lippage through out the entire floor. I explained to them how we go about cleaning ceramic tile and grout lines and even preformed a test on the floor. They were very impressed that we would do all the furniture moving, tape off baseboards, clean the edges and corner by hand, and they were equally impressed with the test clean. My price was much higher than my competitor but I still got the job. These people not only wanted Quality of Work and Service but they needed it as well. If you are considereing hiring a professional to clean your tile & grout please remember what you have read here and NEVER make your decision based on price alone. If you have questions please email me at paddle@frontiernet.net. 

 

Michael Hull

Posted by: Michael Hull AT 05:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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We put the 'WOW' back in to your floors

 

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