Carpet cleaning is an industry of which the majority of the population probably rarely thinks about and about which they know very little. What really is there to know, right? Your carpet looks gross so you call a guy to come run a fancy vacuum cleaner over it and it looks like new when he’s finished. So in the average property owners mind, this service might not seem like an extremely technical one, or a service that requires serious training, only some special equipment. There is, however, a level of complexity when it comes to carpet cleaning that presents the need for finding a company that is actually competent and certified in the carpet cleaning profession. If one searches a term such as carpet cleaning Amarillo, or whatever city he or she happens to be in, there are two-types of companies that will appear: those who are IICR certified and those who are not.
What is the IICR? IICR stands for The Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration. Formed in 1972 by a man by the name of Ed York, the IICR is an international authority on standards for cleaning services such as carpet cleaning. Why is such an organization necessary? Apart from the advanced technical aspects of cleaning and restoring carpet effectively for aesthetic purposes, there is a health concern. It has been stated by the EPA that unclean carpets can cause or contribute to fairly serious respiratory issues. Soiled carpet can also aid in aggravating allergies. This happens when microscopic dust mites feed on the particulate matter fused with the carpet fibers. The pollutants themselves don’t pose such a health threat, but when the dust mites that feed on such matter die or excrete waste it is that by-product that is released into the air by foot traffic and thus ends up in the lungs of inhabitants. Therefore a dirty carpet can devalue a property as well as lower the quality of life for those living or working around the carpet.
There are several levels of certification offered by the IICR. When it comes to textiles, such as carpet, there is the Journeyman classification and the Master classification. A journeyman, along with taking training to obtain certifications in the different areas of textile cleaning, through the IICR, must have a year of working in the industry under his or her belt. A master of textile cleaning must have three years of on the job experience. This is much like the requirement for professionals in such industries like plumbing. It is not a state requirement, however, for a company to be IICR certified. But from a property owners perspective it should be a necessary determining pre-requisite.
Knowing that a company is certified affords you assurance that they have high standards and that they are not simply amateurs who decided they needed some extra income and thought carpet cleaning was an easy way to make a few bucks. If a company is not certified, then one would be taking a significant risk in hiring them. At best such a company might, emphasis on “might”, follow through on making the carpet look clean, and possibly even obtain a decent level of microscopic cleanliness. At worst, though, they might—albeit unintentionally—use a technique on the carpet that damages the carpet, even if not noticeable at that moment, which would cost the property owner more time and money undoing the damage, possibly even requiring new carpet. And in this case one could not be sure of how effectively the pollutants and things like dust mites have been removed. If there is a company that is certified then there should be no question of choosing that business over one that is not certified.
Other criteria to look for when deciding even amongst certified companies are things like: how long has the company been around; do they have testimonials in the forms of interviews with previous customers and pictures on their website; do they offer a meaningful guarantee (meaning do they do more than just say ‘we stand behind our work’, but offer free service to fix mistakes on jobs for a certain period of time after the initial service)? When a company meets these requirements, then they can evidently be counted on as a reliable hiring investment.
Besides the specific knowledge gained through this dissemination of information, one can see that it pays to do a little homework when it comes to hiring services that might not look complex on the surface, such as carpet cleaning.