While getting your carpet cleaned after a house fire is one of the first things you should do, that doesn’t mean you should just hire the first company you come across.
Carpet cleaning companies can vary widely in quality and the best way to get an indication of what type of service you can expect from a particular company is to ask the right questions.
Here are 8 questions to ask a prospective carpet cleaner after a house fire
1. What method of carpet cleaning do you recommend?
2. What type of equipment do you use to clean carpet?
3. What will your equipment remove from my carpet?
4. How soon should I get my carpets cleaned after a house fire?
5. What training have you had in cleaning carpets … Also do you have any experiencing cleaning carpets in a house that has suffered a fire?
6. Are you a member of the Carpet and Fabricare Institute?
7. Are you certified by the IICRC and can you show me your certification?
8. Are your cleaning technicians certified by the IICRC and can I see their certification?
Additional carpet cleaning tips for after a house fire
Make a commitment
The longer they remain dirty after a house fire, the sooner they’ll wear out. You could also be exposing yourself and your family to toxic residue from smoke and soot.
Industry testing shows that you can have up to one full pound of dirt in a square foot of carpet before it begins to look dirty.
This dirt is abrasive and wears down the fibers and substantially shortens the life of the carpet. Many warranties require at least an annual cleaning by a professional to be honored (check your own warranty to see your requirements, and if they specify the type of cleaning method to keep your warranty in effect).
As we mentioned, one of the biggest reasons to have your carpet cleaned after a house fire is to remove the contaminants besides the “dirt” that gets trapped in your carpet’s fibers.
The longer you wait to clean, the longer you have to breathe all the toxic chemicals that are in smoke and soot. Not to mention, if you hadn’t cleaned your carpet recently before the fire, it may also be full of pollen, fungus, pet odors, dust mites, and other chemicals, such as those from cleaning products.
List your objectives
Is the health of your indoor environment highest on your list, so that you would want a company that is using the proper equipment and method to address your concerns?
Do you want only the dirt removed — something you could do with a rented shampooer — or are you concerned about removing other contaminants such as those from smoke and soot as well as bacteria, pollen, dust mites, mold spores?
Do you want to work with an honest, reputable company — or are you willing to risk working with the company that offers you the lowest price — knowing that the company might not be in business tomorrow and might not be safe to let into your home?
It’s important that you consider all of this before choosing a carpet cleaning company.
When satisfied that you’re working with an honest, competent carpet cleaning professional, invite him to your home and ask for a specific quote in writing.
A written quote gives you the assurance that you know exactly what your job will cost — no surprises.
The purpose behind these steps is to empower you with the information you need to make a wise decision in choosing a carpet cleaning professional to clean your carpet after a house fire.
Plus, proper care of the carpet in your home (and all coverings in your home for that matter) creates a healthy indoor environment for you and your family. That’s why a carpet cleaning decision should never be taken lightly.
Following the three tips that were previously mentioned can help ensure you locate an ethical and excellent carpet cleaner in your town.
How do you know if you have hired a good company to clean your carpets after a house fire?
Here are some things you should expect the company to offer:
No hidden costs –
Expect itemized costs for services and firm prices before technicians begin each portion of the carpet cleaning project. You should also never feel pressured to accept anything more than the services you have requested.
Customer satisfaction –
Cleaning firms should offer workmanship guarantees in writing.
The cleaner should start by vacuuming high traffic and open areas where soils accumulate as well as the areas most visibly affected by smoke and soot.
Moving furniture –
Unless clearly specified, moving of most furniture to clean carpet underneath should be considered part of the normal cleaning job. Remember, smoke damage can get into a lot of different areas. It is better to be safe than sorry – that means cleaning all areas of your carpet.
Special attention to spots is included in normal job performance. However, time-consuming specialized spotting may incur an additional charge. Customers should be advised of additional charges before extensive spotting procedures are undertaken.
Special treatment with “preconditioning” agents in heavily soiled entry, traffic and general areas should be included in the cost of the cleaning.
Minimal drying time –
The cleaner is responsible for getting the carpet dried and returned to normal use within a reasonable time frame. The amount of time required for drying will vary with different methods. Other factors that affect drying time include degree of soiling and aggressiveness of cleaning. But under no circumstances should drying require more than 24 hours with proper ventilation. Keep in mind, that the consumer’s cooperation in providing continuous air flow and/or ventilation is important for expediting the drying process.
Want to avoid cleaning carpets and repairing a fire damaged house?
We Buy Fire Damaged Houses buys burned homes in “as is” condition. You receive your payment quickly and in cash so you can get on with your life. Fill out the form below to see if your fire-damaged house qualifies for a free quote.