Tuesday, May 24, 2011

For those of you asking about carpeting and allergies...........

Childhood Asthma Study Published in The New England Journal of Medicine Concludes: No Difference in Allergen Levels in Carpeted vs. Uncarpeted Homes
Contact: CRI Communications Department, 706.428.2103

Dalton, GA. (April 15, 2011) - A major study of inner city children with asthma concludes that positive environmental interventions in the children's homes, such as improved cleaning and the elimination of tobacco smoke, will result in a lessening of the children's asthma-related symptoms and an increase in their symptom-free days. Further, the Inner-City Asthma Study found no difference in the improvement experienced by children who lived in homes with carpet versus children from homes with other types of flooring. In addition, no difference was found in the levels of allergens measured in carpeted homes compared to homes with hard surface floors.

An article describing the study, titled, "Results of a Home-Based Environmental Intervention among Urban Children with Asthma," is published on the website of The New England Journal of Medicine. Based on years of research and independent testing, the carpet industry has long maintained that carpet does not contribute to allergy symptoms or poor indoor air quality. However, this is the first peer-reviewed study confirming the industry's position from a prestigious medical journal.

The study followed 937 children from seven major U.S. cities over the course of a year. Of the participants, more than 50% of the children, aged 5-11 years, had positive skin tests to three or more allergen groups. Other common elements of the group were that they were from families whose incomes were at or close to the poverty level, as well as these factors: Cockroaches were reported in 58% of homes, wall-to-wall carpeting in the child's bedroom in 55%, a smoker in 48%, mice or rats in 40%, and furry pets in 28%.
At the outset of the study, researchers sought to remove carpet from the children's bedrooms, but factors such as rental agreements kept them from it. Still, family members were instructed to remove the carpet from their children's bedrooms wherever possible.

Family members were given HEPA-filter vacuum cleaners and cleaning products and educated about various allergens and how to remove them from the home. Children's beds were encased in dust-mite-blocking covers, and professional pest exterminators were called in where needed.

The study found that children in the intervention group missed fewer days of school, slept through the night more, and made fewer trips to the emergency room. Contrary to researchers' expectations, children with carpet in their bedrooms improved as much and did just as well as children who had hard surface floors.
The interventions also produced marked declines in the measured levels of allergens in the home. Again, in contrast to predictions, no difference in allergen reduction was found between homes with carpets and those without carpeting.

The Inner City Asthma Study was sponsored in part by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health. According to published disclosure statements, none of the researchers or institutions were affiliated with or sponsored by any representative of the carpet industry.

The findings of the Inner City Asthma Study refute the widely-held notion that patients with asthma and/or allergies must remove their carpet, and according to Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun, the study confirms the carpet industry's assertion that clean, dry carpet is a healthy flooring choice for everyone, including children and adults with asthma and allergies. "CRI's position is based on a body of sponsored as well as independent research, but the Inner City study is significant in that it comes from the medical community," Braun said.

Since we get asked about it a lot and people are trying to save $$$....DRY CLEANING AT HOME

Many people opt to dry clean at home because they cannot afford to pay others to dry clean their delicate clothes, or because they do not trust others to do it properly. But when you opt to do it at home, you need to understand the process so as to get the best results.

The first step is to always look for the label on the article of clothing to be cleaned, and look for the care instructions emblazoned on the label. You need to find the words "Dry Clean Only" on this label. This means that the clothes cannot be dumped inside a regular washing machine and washed with detergent and water.

Why is it important to dry clean such clothes? Well, if you don't, you may wind up doing irreparable damage to the fabric. Examples of fabrics that require these methods are silk, rayon, and wool blends. The damage these would suffer when cleaned the wrong way are shrinking, bleeding of colors, and warping of their shape.

The process requires the use of a chemical solvent (known to most people as "dry cleaning fluid".) The most common chemical solvent required is perchlorethylene (otherwise known as "perc".) Experience has shown that this solvent is quite effective at removing grease-based and oil-based stains from clothes. However, you have to be cautious when using the solvent because inhaling its fumes can make you very sick. This is also why it is quite important that all the perc be removed from the clothing after cleaning because some people find even trace amounts of perc to be quite irritating to the throat, nose, and eyes.

If you opt for dry cleaning your own clothes, there are some home kits available to the public. These kits do the same job that commercial shops do, but their ingredients may be different from the solvents used by commercial dry cleaners. Generally, the home dry cleaning kits contain a reusable dryer bag, dryer activated cloth, and the stain remover. Others may also include pads that absorb stains.

Before you can dry clean, you need to pre-treat the clothing fabric with the stain remover. The stain remover is often water-based so any stains that are water-based (such as soup) are easily removed. There may be some detergent and/or petroleum ingredients in this stain remover as well. Though it may seem funny to use a water-based solution for pre-treating clothes, there is only a small amount of water so it won't damage your clothes.

Solvent will be necessary if the stains on your clothes cover quite a large area. But apply only a small amount of solvent on a hidden part of your clothing first - this will show whether the fabric is durable enough to withstand the use of solvent. Then you can go about the dry clean process indicated on the box of your home kit. Bear in mind you may need to own a dryer if you opt to dry clean at home.
What if you just don't have enough money to get your clothes professionally dry cleaned?

I know how hard it can be to come up with the extra money to do it, but luckily there are dry clean at home options out there that will prevent you from having to spend a fortune on dry cleaning.

Don't give up hope on having professional looking clothes, it's NOT impossible. Or if you'd rather not tackle it yourself and would rather have a professional do it, learn more about how to find the best dry cleaners by clicking the link.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6235935

Friday, April 8, 2011

For all you SPRING CLEANERS! Cleaning carpet yourself?

Carpets can add beauty and glamour to the house. However, in the absence of proper care and maintenance this beauty and glamour can turn into a disaster. Carpet needs to be cleaned regularly as they are very sensitive to dust, oils and other forms of dirt. This home furnishing can also absorb moisture from water and other liquid substances. As a result, unpleasant smells can develop. Furthermore, unattended soiled carpets can also make the fibres in it to become more fragile and vulnerable to tear.

To clean carpets thoroughly is not an easy job as one may think. It needs an expert to clean the carpet properly without damaging it. Fortunately, there are carpets cleaning services companies that offer this type of services to homeowners who have problems with their carpets. These carpet cleaning companies have special tools, equipment and cleaning products that are specially designed to clean carpets. Hence, if you think that your carpet problem is too big for you to handle alone, do not hesitate to contact those carpet cleaning services companies to do the work for you.

It will save you a lot of trouble and most probably, it will also save your nice carpet if you hire the expert to do the job. However, hiring expert carpet cleaners does not mean that you don't have to clean your carpet by yourself. Expert carpet cleaners are only hired from time to time to get the big and more complicated jobs done. Each homeowner still has responsibility of maintaining the cleanliness of their carpet regularly. Take care of your carpet by cleaning it regularly, look out for any dust or sharp objects that can wear out your carpet quickly. The easiest way to clean your carpet is to vacuum it regularly, You must ensure that the setting of your vacuum cleaner is right for the type of carpet you have.

Day-to-day superficial cleaning is not the ideal solution to maintain the quality and cleanliness of your carpet at home. Rather, regular cleaning by the carpet cleaning services is a better solution. Regular services mean better carpet maintenance and it saves you doing the heavy job yourself. There is also the possibility that you will be charged more by the cleaning company if you your carpet is very dirty at the time of the service. It can also save your carpet from quality degradation if it is serviced regularly.

One last thing to remember when you hire a carpet cleaning services company is to be consistent with one company. By doing this, you are able to develop a good working relationship, and perhaps in the future, you can ask for some cheaper packages that will save you money. In choosing the right one, make sure that the one you choose also offers other services such as floor or tile cleaning, upholstery and many others. If the company offers services other than carpet cleaning, it can save you from looking for another company to do future work for you.
Alex enjoys researching on interesting topic and publishing articles about them. You can find more information about budget carpet cleaning on the cheap carpet cleaning website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6086399

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Is your vacuum giving you problems?

Your vacuum cleaner usually loses its suction system if there are internal parts malfunctioning. More often than not, the hose, the motor and the belt are the ones malfunctioning. Compared to other appliances, it is far easier to maintain a vacuum machine because of its fairly simple mechanism.
You should know how to troubleshoot the most common vacuum cleaner problems. Also find out how you can maintain your vacuum machine to avoid future problems.

1. Locate the clog or the leak
If the machine is working but it is not working well in picking up dirt, something is probably stuck in the hose. Turn the machine off and locate the clog in the hose. Remove the clog using a small rod that you can insert inside the hose.
Another problem that you might encounter is a leak. This can cause the loss of air inside the machine which will then hamper its suction system. You would want to check the machine for signs of leak and try to fix or replace the leaky areas.

2. Clean the filter.
If the HEPA filter is dirty, the machine will have a poor suction system. It will not work well in improving the quality of the air you are breathing. Try cleaning the filter by rinsing it in soapy water. Use a soft-bristled brush to remove accumulated debris. Allow it to dry before placing it back in the vacuum.
If your cleaning machine has a post-motor filter, you might want to clean that too. Use the same cleaning methods.

3. Clean the rolling brush.
If something is stuck in the rolling brush, the upright vacuum will have trouble cleaning carpets or the floor. Make sure you get rid of accumulated dust particles or hair in the rolling brush. Wash the brush in soapy water, rinse it well and let it dry.

Changing the bearings of the brush should also be done periodically. If they are starting to turn rusty, change them. They can impair the rolling mechanism of the brush.

4. Empty the dirt receptacle.
You should replace the dirt bag or empty it out if it has already been filled up to 3/4 of its capacity. Do not wait for it to get filled up completely because this might cause the leaking of dirt particles inside the machine.
To make your machine smell cleaner and fresher, try soaking a small piece of parchment paper in one cup of water mixed with two drops of vanilla. Let the parchment paper dry and place it inside the dirt receptacle.
If you have kids at home, you should use commercial HEPA vacuum cleaners to improve the air that they are breathing and to lessen allergens. For more tips, visit http://www.vacuumadvisor.com/.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Five Reasons Not to Home Clean Your Wool and Silk Area Rugs

(Originally published by Keith Andrews EzineArticles.com Expert Author)

If your rugs are an investment, the biggest predictor of their value will be how you clean them: with in house methods, or through a company that performs factory cleaning. While having your wool and silk area rugs cleaned in house versus in factory might seem negligible to their condition, only the latter guarantees a carpet will keep its original look and condition over time. If you need area rug cleaning and you're trying to decide between in house and factory cleaning, below are five reasons to choose the latter over the former.

1. Leaves Dirt in your Rug that Can Damage its Weave
Home cleansing methods, particularly steam cleansing, only clean your rug's surface, leaving dirt and grit embedded in its deepest layers. Over the course of time, that grit is ground against the warp and weft that hold your carpet together, weakening it beyond repair. Even you have vanity rugs that seldom receive footsteps, in house methods leave behind dirt and moisture that creates a perfect sanctuary for mold and dust mites, two pests that no one wants in their home.

2. Causes Mildewing and Dry Rotting
In most cases, the greatest damage done by in home methods is the moisture that they leave behind, moisture that fosters mildew and dry rotting. When your carpet is factory cleaned, it's hung in a dryer that emits a warm down draft that quickly dries your rug's fibers, preventing the discoloration and premature breakdown caused by mildewing and dry rotting.

3. Leaves Behind Soap or Other Residues that Attract Dirt
If your rugs seem to get progressively dirtier after being cleaned in house, there's a reason why: in house methods don't provide thorough rinsing to remove the cleansing agent, causing it to leave behind a residue that attracts dirt, a phenomenon that gets worse over time. If in home cleaning rinsed your rugs as thoroughly as factory cleaning, your home's under floors and basement would flood.

4. Can Shrink Your Rug Over the Course of Time
The last way you should clean fine carpets is by applying intense heat during. But that's exactly what steam cleansing does. They steam your rug, causing its fibers to permanently tighten. On a synthetic rug or secured carpet, intense heat doesn't have the same impact. But on organic materials such as silk and wool, the shrinkage can grow progressively noticeable.

5. Doesn't Clean the Fringes at All
Most fringes become at least as dirty as a rug's body, but home cleansing methods seldom address fringes differently than they do the rest of a carpet, simply guiding the same instrument over the fringes that cleans body. Factory cleaning, on the other hand, includes a cleansing and drying process specially designed for your rugs' fringes.

Apex Carpet Care has the ability to clean your area rugs offsite and eliminate the above problems and potential problems.  Let us help you make your rugs beautiful and longer lasting!  http://www.apexcarpets.com/ or 843-769-7445

Friday, February 4, 2011

Does the groundhog really mean what he says?

As most of us are sitting here on this dreary, rainy Friday.....How many of us wonder if the Groundhog really is a predictor of weather and such?  As most here know, we were supposed to have a mild winter due to La Nina.........that so far has not been the reality!   (Just ask those people who have outrageous electric bills!)   Well, here is some more fodder for you all to read and ponder as we get ready (supposedly) for an early spring (thanks Phil??) but wait til you see what they "predict" for the next FEW winters!   Figured this would give the reader a chance to see if anything needs extra insulating or other repairs before next winter!


For all of you out there, have a great Superbowl weekend!  May your team win and the food agree with you!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

So your grandmother was right, it is good to Have Your Rugs Dusted!

A study by Eureka claimed that an oriental rug could hold up to 87lbs of dirt.

So when was the last time you cleaned your oriental rugs?

I would recommend an annual cleaning for all your fine rugs, more often for rugs in active rooms. Rugs should be cleaned at a cleaners location rather than in the home. Oriental rugs require a certain amount of care that is better accomplished in the cleaners facility rather than in the home.

The steps needed to complete the cleaning are easily completed in the professional facility.

Proper area/oriental rug cleaning involves the thorough removal of dry soil first. Rug dusters are one of the best ways to facilitate dry soil removal. A rug is laid face down on top of a metal grate. Then the backing is gently agitated so the dry soil can drop down onto the floor below the metal grate, away from the rug. Then a thorough vacuuming of both sides of the rug should occur.  Apex Carpet Care, LLC has just the machine made for dry dusting the rugs.  Very few "area rug cleaners" actually have invested in the proper tool for this.

All area/oriental rugs cannot be cleaned the same way.

The rugs need to be evaluated individually for many things including color fastness. Some rugs can bleed if over wet. Tests can be run on rugs before the cleaning. These tests can help determine the color fastness of the rug.

Fringes need to be worked on by hand. Fringes may require additional care after the cleaning has been completed and the rug has dried. An area with controlled drying with proper dehumidification is preferable.

Proper cleaning includes rinsing.  You have spent the last year walking on your rug, maybe two, could it be 3 years, or more? You need a cleaning with a healthy rinse. Wool can be rinsed. Remember sheep are allowed to be outside in the rain.

The post inspection of the rug after cleaning is critical. A finishing procedure to soften the rug can make all the difference in how a rug feels to the hand.

Before you hire someone to clean your fine, expensive oriental rugs, ask a few questions. How long the company has been in business. How often do they clean oriental rugs, every once in a while or on a weekly basis.

Hire an experienced company to clean your area/oriental rugs.

Apex Carpet Care, LLC has the experience and education to clean your area/oriental rugs.  Our company also cleans wall-to-wall carpeting, furniture, tile and grout, and offers "in plant" cleaning of oriental rugs. We Service the Tri-County area around Charleston, SC. (and sometimes beyond).  We also offer various restoration services (fire/smoke/water) and can repair just about any carpet issue you may have.

Facebook: Apex Carpet Care
Twitter: ApexCarpetCare

Adapted from an article published by Thomas_Dunne_Jr, who is a cleaner out of the Chicago area and has 42 years experience in the industry.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Some common "myths" we have run into!

At times, we like to share with you the things we run into while taking orders, answering questions or even while doing the jobs.

Here are a few "myths" we have heard over the years and some facts to help dispell them and help our consumers make an educated decision.

 "All cleaning methods have the same result"

There are two primary methods, dry cleaning or hot water extraction.

Dry cleaning (this is not like dry cleaning clothing because all carpet cleaning methods use water in one form or another, whether dry-foam, dry-chemical or dry compound methods are employed).
With dry foam, your carpet is shampooed and allowed to dry, followed by a vacuuming to remove the foam and any adhered dirt. This old-fashioned method is least effective and can leave a soil-attracting residue in the carpet.

The dry chemical method is similar to dry foam but a rotary machine is fitted with a cloth to rub the carpet and absorb the dirt. It is the equivalent of someone using a spot cleaner and towel but on a larger scale. This method also fails to achieve a deep clean and can also damage carpet fibers.

The dry compound method spreads an absorbent compound over the carpet, which is then brushed into the carpet fibers by machine to absorb dirt into the mixture. When dry, a vacuum is used to remove the compound, much like the dry foam method but far more effective at removing dirt and residues. This is known as the HOST Dry Carpet Cleaner System which is recommended by over 70 carpet mills and is the most popular carpet dry-cleaning method in Europe.

Hot water extraction (or 'steam cleaning' although this description is inaccurate).
A hot water cleaning solution is high-pressured into then extracted from the carpet fibers by a powerful machine. Its deep cleaning action fully penetrates every fiber, extracting almost all the moisture pumped into the carpet, together with soil and residues, for the most effective clean.
The world's largest carpet manufacturer recommends hot water extraction. Hot water will not damage the carpet - that's another myth! Washing and rinsing carpets with hot water is the most effective way of cleaning - as with bathing, laundry or washing the dishes.

"Anyone with the right equipment can do the job"

Of course this is not the case. Training and experience are also important. Many cleaning companies own hot-water cleaners but some employees have little or no training and even some owner-operators don't know how to use them properly. For this reason, it is important to choose a carpet cleaning service wisely.
Check that the company and on-site operators have been fully trained and certified by the

http://www.iicrc.org/.   Each certified member will have a card they will be able to present and show individual certifications and when they expire.  Be sure to check the date as MANY have old cards.

"The lowest price must be the best value"

There are two important points to consider: that the quotes are for the exact same service and that an advertised price is the actual price you will be charged.
(a) comparative quotes are for identical services.
As you are reading this, you are clearly doing your research. Before you invite a company to quote, decide what you do and don't need to achieve.
For example, if you want a quick surface clean, there are many companies that offer shampoos or similar cleaning methods - or you can hire a machine to do the job yourself.
However, if you want your carpet thoroughly deep-cleaned to remove dirt, bacteria, pollen, chemicals and other residues, the cleaning company should, ideally, provide a quotation for using a professional hot water extraction system - the best way to keep your carpet free from dirt and abrasive chemicals.

(b) ensure that the price you see advertised is for the services you want.

Home-owners have sometimes found themselves the victims of misleading advertising, that the amount they are charged is higher than the price in the advertisement. Some carpet cleaners offer a low price, perhaps 15.00 per room, to give them an opportunity to pressure a potential customer into paying more once they are in your home.

As you can see, there are a lot of myths out there about our industry.  There are also many people who are out to take advantage of the consumer.  We adhere to being honest and dependable.  Our technicians are all IICRC certified, we have 2 Master Textile Cleaners on staff.   You can rest assure that your carpets, flooring or any other job we will do for you are in capable and caring hands!

Call us at 843-769-7445 24/7 to book, get a quote or clarify any questions you may have!

Friday, January 7, 2011

New year.......Get ORGANIZED!!!!

People now own much more stuff than people did fifty years ago, and with the advent of increased possessions, we have to constantly declutter or we may become overwhelmed. If you have too much stuff, give away or sell whatever you do not use. A general rule of thumb is that if you have not used it for a year or more, you do not need it. With everything that remains, you need to start organizing.
You do not need to have numerous closets or dressers to organize your stuff. In fact, large storage areas can actually be fairly useless. In order to achieve the highest level or order, you need to use containers or boxes that are as close as possible to the size of the items that you need to store.
To illustrate this point, if you have a lot of materials for scrap booking, a large closet will only offer you space to put these items in a big pile on the floor, but if you have a dresser or a series of small bags or boxes, you can categorize and organize these items better. If you do not have any extra closets or dressers, you can organize your stuff and decorate your home simultaneously by using decorative storage boxes. Needing to organize your possessions is a common problem lately, and there are many options that will help you. Whether you choose to buy a second hand dresser, subdivide all your stuff into plastic bags, or use decorative storage boxes, the important thing is that you create order in your life.

Bradley P. White has been a practicing pharmacist in Ohio for 14 years. He focuses his practice on healthy living and wellness. He educates people on how to correct nutritional deficiencies to avoid illness and disease.

You can read more articles from Bradley here: decorative storage boxes
Copyright BPW Solutions LLC 2010
Bradley White - EzineArticles Expert Author

Monday, January 3, 2011

How often should you have carpets cleaned professionally?

Most people vacuum their carpet at least once per week. This helps prolong the life of carpet and keeps dust and pollen to a minimum in the home which creates a healthier environment. But running a vacuum cleaner over your carpet once a week won't clean the carpet deeply. Only a professional can perform a deep cleaning.

The professional's at APEX CARPET CARE use steam and special chemicals which remove a lot more dirt, dust, pollen, and pet hair than your vacuum cleaner can.This is why it's important to have your carpets cleaned by APEX CARPET CARE periodically.

The maximum recommended time between commercial cleaning is once per year. This is if you don't have a house-full of kids or animals living in your home. If it's just you or you and your spouse, and you're both gone most of the time, then once per year should be often enough.

A more realistic schedule for the average family would be twice a year or once every six months. A family with two adults and two kids and a pet produces much more dirt and grime than a single person or a couple.
If your home has kids, pets, and smokers, you might want to consider using APEX CARPET CARE every three months. This will ensure that your home stays fresh and odor-free between cleanings.

When are the best times to have your carpets cleaned? A lot of homeowners have this done just before major holidays or before large parties with many guests. Another good time is spring or early summer after residents have been couped up in the house for several months.

So have your carpet cleaned regularly by APEX CARPET CARE and it will last much longer, look newer, and your family will be much healthier because of it.