Nashville, TN – In a recent national market research study completed in December 2012, consumers rated spring as the most popular season of the year to have their carpets professionally cleaned. As spring approaches, the ‘to-do’ list begins to build for ways to rejuvenate your home. These tasks typically include organizing closets, switching out winter clothes for spring clothes, cleaning the gutters and washing windows. However, when doing a “spring refresh,” it is important to focus not merely on making your home look cleaner, but actually making your home a cleaner, safer, healthier place to live.
“At Chem-Dry, we understand the joy and relief people feel when they know their home is truly clean and healthy,” said Dan Tarantin, CEO of Chem-Dry. “Our unique cleaning system uses a natural, green-certified solution that’s safe and non-toxic for kids and pets. And Chem-Dry uses 80 percent less water than typical steam cleaning, so your carpets dry in hours instead of days and isn’t prone to the mold and mildew growth that can occur when excessive water is used. At the end of the day, our top concern is helping customers maintain a clean, safe and healthy home for them and their families.”
Throughout the winter months, there is often a significant amount of dirt and germs that accumulate in carpets and upholstery over time, which can result in illness and generally impacts the healthiness of the home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, placing an even greater importance on the need to maintain a healthy home. Indoor air quality is shaped by various elements in the home, and should be considered a priority among spring cleaning obligations.
“Starting from the ground up is the best way to begin the process of cleaning and renewing your home and ensuring a healthy spring for your family,” said Tarantin.
The Chem-Dry team offers the following tips for maintaining a healthy home this spring, starting with your carpets.
1. Wood vs. Carpet – A common misconception is that hard surfaces, including wood floors, are healthier than carpets for those with asthma and allergies; however, carpets are actually considered by experts to be healthier because they act as a filter in absorbing the dirt, dust and allergens in the air. With hard surfaces, those dirt particles bounce off the ground and back up into the air of the home, which can cause or aggravate nasal and throat related issues. Because of this, homeowners with wooden floors are encouraged to put area rugs in high traffic spaces to improve air quality and to protect your floor from unnecessary staining and wear. For homes that are mainly carpeted, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that carpets be cleaned every three months.
2. Mold – With all of the snow and rain tracked into your home during the winter, homeowners should thoroughly check carpets for mold and mildew that may have resulted from this moisture. While mold removal is not a simple task because it can live deep in carpet fibers and is typically invisible to the naked eye, it is important to detect and eliminate it before it causes any health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, indoor mold can produce a wide range of side effects, from mild (nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, skin irritation) to severe (upper respiratory illness, asthma attacks, allergic reactions, fever). When simple tactics like shoe removal at the door are not sufficient to prevent it, a professional cleaning becomes essential.
3. Upholstery – After a long day filled with activities such as commuting to work, shaking hands with colleagues and eating in public places, the first thing most people do when they get home from work is relax on their comfortable furniture. Unfortunately, the moment we rest on our couches, all of the germs and dirt that have gathered on our clothing throughout the day are immediately transferred and left to linger and sink into the upholstery of our favorite furniture. To eliminate these unwanted invisible germs, first vacuum the surface of your couches and other furniture to remove loose dirt and hair. Then, make sure to use the best cleaning solution for your furniture; this depends on (1) the type of fabric, (2) the color, and (3) the age. Make sure your cleaning formula is suitable for the other components and is also non-toxic; some solutions contain carcinogens like nitrilotriacetic acid, so watch out for those. While cleaning, be very careful not to use too much water, as an overabundance can leave water stains and cause the fabric to shrink. If you do not want to risk damaging or staining your upholstery, if the upholstery is on the older side or if you simply want to ensure the most thorough cleaning, it is best to leave it to the professionals.
4. Windows – To ensure safety in your home, make sure to either purchase a non-toxic product or create your own. To create a homemade non-toxic solution, simply combine equal parts water with white distilled vinegar. Once you have your environmentally friendly formula, it’s best to choose a cloudy day to begin cleaning as direct sunlight will dry the solution before you’re able to polish the glass properly. Begin by washing one side of a window with horizontal strokes and the other side with vertical strokes so you can pinpoint which side of the window has a streak. Use a squeegee on a long handle or a sponge/squeegee combination to prevent streaks on large windows. To eliminate tiny scratches on glass, polish the affected areas with toothpaste. For corners, use a soft toothbrush or cotton swab. To give an extra shine, polish it with a well-washed cotton T-shirt, an old cloth diaper, or a clean blackboard eraser. Another option is to polish your windows with crumpled newspaper, which leaves a film that's resistant to dirt. Throughout the process, make sure to wash from top to bottom to prevent drips.
5. Air Ducts – According to the Environmental Protection Agency, ducts only need to be cleaned if (1) there is substantial visible mold growth inside hard surface ducts or on other components of your heating and cooling system, (2) ducts are infested with vermin, or (3) ducts are clogged with excessive amounts of dust and debris. If any of these hold true, air duct cleaning services can help kill bacteria and fungi, as well as prevent future biological growth. If a heating or cooling system is not properly installed, maintained, and/or operated, there is an increased potential for mold which can develop into spores that are then released into the home. Some of these contaminants may cause allergic reactions or other symptoms in people who are exposed to them. If you decide to have your heating and cooling system cleaned, it is important to make sure the service provider agrees to clean all components of the system and is qualified to do so. Failure to clean a component of a contaminated system can result in re-contamination of the entire system, thus negating any potential benefits.
Founded in 1977, Chem-Dry is the world’s leading carpet and upholstery cleaning service, with a network of over 3,500 units in 35 countries serving over 10,000 homes a day worldwide. Its green-certified solution and proprietary hot carbonating extraction cleaning process provide a deeper clean, allow surfaces to dry faster, and leave homes healthier. Chem-Dry has been ranked the number one carpet cleaning franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 25 consecutive years and has been selected by Franchise Direct as one of the top 100 global franchises. For more information, visit www.chemdry.com or visit www.chemdryfranchise.com for franchise opportunities. Chem-Dry is owned by Harris Research, Inc., which is also the founder and owner of the fast-growing N-Hance Wood Renewal franchise.