Recent Cleaning Posts

How to lose 8# in one day (without diet, exercise, or pills) (Part 3 of 3)

4/26/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning How to lose 8# in one day (without diet, exercise, or pills) (Part 3 of 3) -8# in one day (without diet, exercise, or pills)

Did you know that your living room carpet carries around over EIGHT POUNDS OF DIRT & GRAVEL CHUNKS?  This is unnecessary weight that your carpet can afford to lose...and it can happen in just one day!

One answer?    SERVPRO's ROTARY JET extraction cleaning head with the amazing VORTEX system!   The rotary jet's twin spinning heads produce 20-30 cleaning passes over every fiber, bathing your carpet in 250 degree chemical-free hot water (steam), which makes the fibers surrender grease, oil, food stains, spills, and most importantly the grit and gravel trapped between the fibers.

Next you get the "Vortex's" super-powerful vacuum system which removes more soil-laden moisture from your carpet than all other systems, leaving your carpets just slightly damp and with zero residue.  Your carpets will stay cleaner...longer.    You will be amazed at how clean your carpets will look and smell, and you'll feel better knowing that you just lost 8 lbs. without diet, exercise or pills!    Seriously, if you have carpets at your home or office, it's time to have them professionally cleaned.   Protect your investment in carpets and rugs.  

Email now to request information on pricing and availability.

  • Fire & Water Cleanup & Restoration
  • Real Estate Prep, interior and exterior
  • Rug Washing
  • Carpet Cleaning, deodorization, fiber protection
  • Commercial, Residential

How to Satisfy Your Carpet Warranty Requirements (Part 2 of 3)

4/19/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning How to Satisfy Your Carpet Warranty Requirements (Part 2 of 3) Like it never even happened.

Your Vacuum Cleaner Makes or Breaks Your Carpet

Make certain your vacuum is of substantial quality to provide enough airflow and agitation to remove dry soils embedded in your carpet.  If your vacuum is not performing properly, your carpets will wear much faster.  

Not sure if your vacuum is up to snuff?  Bring it in to our office and we will do a free vacuum inspection to make sure it is working OK.  Most vacuums suffer from a lack of maintenance.  

It's simple, if your vacuum can't "breathe" it won't pick up dust and particles.   Need help with a new vacuum?  If you want a professional quality vacuum like the ones we use, you may contact us for a recommendation.   Which vacuum you need depends on what you will be using it for.  Canister models work best for detail and hard surface cleaning, and uprights are generally best for carpets.  

Warranties and Professional Cleaning

As a general rule, professional cleaning by an IICRC certified firm such as SERVPRO of The Twin Ports should take place at least once per year. For extremely heavy traffic areas, cleaning is required more often. Proper professional cleaning will not leave a sticky residue behind and can be done as often as needed.   MOST STAIN RESIST AND TEXTURE RETENTION WARRANTIES REQUIRE PROFESSIONAL CLEANING EVERY 12-24 MONTHS.

Professional cleaning removes the damaging soil from the traffic areas that vacuuming has not been able to remove. WARNING: UNINFORMED CARPET CLEANERS MAY USE CLEANING PRODUCTS THAT MAY VOID THE WARRANTY. BE VERY SELECTIVE WITH WHICH COMPANY YOU HIRE.

How to Retain Your Carpet Warranty (Part 1 of 3)

4/18/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning How to Retain Your Carpet Warranty (Part 1 of 3) 24 hr. Emergency Service

Five Quick Things You Should Know about Carpet Warranties.

  1. When it comes to maintaining your carpet, one of the most critical areas of focus is the traffic areas. If ground-in soil is not removed on a regular basis, the traffic areas will wear excessively.  Carpet warranties have exclusions for replacement due to normal wear and tear and they ALSO exclude carpets that have not been properly cleaned, showing premature wear patterns!
  2.  Another carpet warranty area of focus is spot removal.   You must react to “danger” spots immediately. Red wine, colored beverages, urine, blood, etc. can cause a permanent stain if not treated immediately. Listed below are steps you can take to properly maintain your carpeting.  Copies of specific warranties on your carpet purchase are available from your carpet retailer. Stain resist warranties can vary from 5 to 20 years.
  3. Here's an excerpt from the Dupont Stainmaster Warranty.   CARE AND CLEANING OBLIGATIONS:   To maintain your warranty coverage you must do the following:  Clean stains or soiled areas promptly.  To qualify for coverage under all limited warranties outlined in this warranty brochure, you must have had hot water extraction cleaning performed by a trained, qualified carpet care professional, at least as frequently as every 18 months since the date of your carpet purchase. Failing to do so will void your warranty coverage.   SERVPRO of the Twin Ports has the most awesome carpet cleaning system ever built - called the VORTEX.  It has 3x the vacuum power of other truck mounted systems, so we are able to dry your carpets in 1/3 the time, it generates 250 degree + temperatures, allowing us to drop the amount of cleaning products used by 10x, we rinse with clear water - so there's no soil-attracting residues left behind.  Of course you would expect this level of technology to cost a little more...and it does, but the value lies in cleaner carpets that stay cleaner longer!  You save money in the long run and your carpets look fantastic.
  4. Frequent Vacuuming is A Key To Your Carpet’s Longevity.  Vacuum your carpet often. Vacuuming removes the sharp soil that can cut and slice the fiber causing premature wear. Much of this soil is not visible to the eye. Ground in dirt particles provide an extremely abrasive grinding action against  your carpet’s fibers as you walk back and forth on the carpet.  This action removes chunks of carpet fiber and rapidly degrades the new-looking appearance.  If you don't have a good vacuum, stay tuned for our vacuum recommendations.  
  5. Vacuum before the carpet "looks" soiled.  Remove any loose particles such as loose food, leaves, pieces of crayon, bugs, etc. as these items can cause a spot on the carpet. Adjust the brush to penetrate 1/8” to ¼” into the carpet pile. Change filter bags when they reach 2/3 full.   After that, they plug up and simply do not pick up any more dirt!

More to come...Stay tuned.

Published by SERVPRO of the Twin Ports (218) 727-2575

Duluth Spring Break Home Safety Tips

3/31/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Duluth Spring Break Home Safety Tips Enjoy your Spring Break vacation stress free!

With Duluth schools starting their Spring Break, most of us are also starting our vacations. Going on vacation should be relaxing and worry-free which is why it is important to make sure your home is secure before you leave for your trip. Here at SERVPRO of the Twin Ports, we want you to be ready so you don’t come back to damages in your home.

Make Arrangements with an Emergency Contact

  • Entrust a close friend or family member with your trip itinerary and contact information so they can contact you if anything happens at your home.
  • Set various house lights on a timer to give the impression that someone is home.
  • Leave written directions for alarm codes, doors, or other information needed to properly care for your home.
  • Have a friend or family member collect your mail and paper for you daily. Full mailboxes and porches can tip potential burglars off.
  • Contact the US Post Office and your local newspaper and ask to have your mail held and services suspended if someone cannot collect them for you.

Take Plumbing and Electric Precautions

  • Prevent leaks and floods from damaging your home by shutting off gas and water at the meter, supply tank or appliances. Your local Duluth water company can help with this.
  • Turn off the water valves to washing machines, sinks, and the dishwasher.
  • Unplug electronics to cut down on any possible shortages which could potentially cause a disastrous fire.
  • Double check your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly.
  • Adjust your thermostat for the season in the winter to 55-60 and in the summer to 75-80 to help control usage.

The Day of Departure

  • Let your security company know that you are leaving town, and leave them the name of an alternate contact in case of an emergency.
  • Take out all trash in the home and clear the fridge of anything that will perish while you are away.
  • Go on one last walk-through of your home to secure windows, blinds, fences, doors, and plugs. This will ensure all entries are safe from hazardous obstructions.

If you come back from vacation and do find damage within your home, call SERVPRO of the Twin Ports (218) 727-2575. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

What You Don't Know About Holiday Stains Can Hurt You.

12/29/2015 (Permalink)

Cleaning What You Don't Know About Holiday Stains Can Hurt You. Staining material need a proper, professional cleaning. Or it can make it worse.

What They Didn't Tell You...  

Why is it that nobody TELLS you when a plate heaped with meatballs and red sauce splashes all over the carpet, walls, and furniture at the family Christmas party?   LOL.  Well, we're not sure.

Tip:  It is better to not "touch" the staining material unless you know how to clean it properly.  Stains are set in carpets and rugs by people using cleaning products that are not designed to remove stains.  

Before you grab the "Resolve" and start whacking away at any carpet stains, consider having your carpets cleaned "right".   SERVPRO has the professional products and equipment to remove stains. 

We stand ready to help you get your fresh meatball stains...and all your coffee, wine, or pet spills or any other messes out that are distributed across your previously clean carpets and furniture.  

If you are looking for courteous and fast help - Call 218-727-2575 today to get your home back to "clean" in a flash!  

Forget about the rug doctor and all that work and wasted time.   Why try doing it yourself when SERVPRO is here to help in emergencies of all kinds?  We handle it all - from large commercial fire and water damage jobs to basic cleaning at your home.

Call SERVPRO for assistance today.  You'll be so glad you did.  Call 218-727-2575

Summer Cleaning Specials. Carpets/Rugs/Furniture

6/6/2015 (Permalink)

Cleaning Summer Cleaning Specials.  Carpets/Rugs/Furniture Summer Specials

Get the best cleaning in the region from SERVPRO of the Twin Ports.  SUMMER Specials are ever so hot.  Carpet cleaning - we make it like "It never even happened".

Consumer's Guide to Carpet Cleaning

5/23/2014 (Permalink)

7 Common Misconceptions about Carpet Cleaning

Read this guide and you’ll discover:

*How to avoid four carpet cleaning rip-offs!

*Six costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning.

*Crawlin’ critters and crud:  a guide to the slime, grime, and livestock that’s seeping, creeping, and galloping through your carpet.

*Which method cleans best.

*Seven mistakes to avoid when choosing a carpet cleaner.

*The importance of value and price.

*Why you want a clean, healthy carpet.

*200% NO-RISK Guarantee.

*Four steps to fresh, clean healthy carpet.



Hi! This Kevin Buck owner of SERVPRO of the Twin Ports.  We're your locally owned and operated SERVPRO franchise serving the Duluth and Superior (Twin Ports) market.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to provide you with information about carpet cleaning and help you choose a carpet cleaning company.

I've been in the carpet cleaning business for over 30 years and in that time, I've learned that carpet cleaning is the subject of much confusion. In fact, people have so many misconceptions about carpet cleaning that I decided to offer this consumer education message so when you select a carpet cleaning company, you can make an informed intelligent decision.

In just a moment, I'll share with you six costly misconceptions about carpet cleaning. Plus I'll

offer you four recommendations. And I'll give you seven questions you should ask a carpet cleaner before you invited him into your home.

Now, here's 

Misconception #1: You should wait as long as possible before cleaning your carpet.

No. Dirt is an abrasive - like sandpaper. Every time you step on the carpet, you grind dirt into your carpet fibers. This cuts your carpet, just as if you had used a knife, causing it to wear out faster. A dirty carpet will not last nearly as long as a clean carpet. And while vacuuming helps - - by itself, its simply not enough. Then longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do to your carpet and the faster it wears out.

Misconception #2: The only reason to clean carpets is to get out the dirt.

No. As you probably know, outdoor air contains pollens, fungus, bacteria, air pollution cigarette smoke, car exhaust -- and hundreds of other chemicals. When you and your family members come into your home, you carry those pollens, bacteria and chemicals in your hair on your skin, clothing and shoes. Not surprisingly, all those chemicals, pollens and bacteria wind up -- you guessed it -- in your carpet.

If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema, or other breathing problems -- one major source of your problem could be the pollens, fungus, and chemicals in your carpet.

In addition, tobacco smoke contains over 4000 different chemical compounds, 43 of which cause cancer. And even if you don't smoke, those chemicals get on your shoes, you track them in to our home and you leave them in your carpet.

If you're sensitive to cigarette smoke, you might find that you'll breathe easier after you hire a professional to get those harmful chemicals out of your carpet.

So in addition to getting rid of dirt, another important reason to clean your carpet is to get rid of pollens, fungus, bacteria, chemicals and the tars and residue from tobacco smoke.

Misconceptions #3: One method of carpet cleaning is as good as another.

No, unfortunately this is not true.  You can choose from two primary methods: Dry cleaning or hot water extraction. 


First, I'll explain dry cleaning. Many people believe that dry cleaning your carpet is like dry cleaning your clothing. This is not true. All carpet cleaning methods use water to clean.  Some methods use more water than others.   “Dry Cleaning” for carpets should really be called “Low Moisture Cleaning”.  Here are three methods of dry cleaning carpet.

Dry Foam

When a carpet cleaner uses dry foam, he applies shampoo to your carpet, allow it to dry, and

then sucks the dried shampoo chunks into a vacuum. Can you imagine applying shampoo to your hair, allowing it to dry and then removing the shampoo from your head with a vacuum? This method can leave a residue in your carpet, which is one reason dry foam is not very effective, however a new spin on dry foam called ENCAPSULATION cleaning is quite effective.  It utilizes a crystallizing detergent to suspend and capture soil particles in an acrylic polymer which actually CAN be vacuumed out.  It is a cost effective maintenance method for commercial carpets.

Bonnet Cleaning

The Bonnet Cleaning method is similar to dry foam. The major difference is that when bonnet method is used, the company sets a large cotton bonnet on your carpet. Using a machine, the bonnet spins from side to side, absorbing the dirt that's in the carpet. After the bonnet is saturated with dirt, another cotton bonnet is applied. Bonnet cleaning is like trying to use a large towel to rub the dirt out of your carpet. It can,  however be effective on glue down or commercial carpets.

Dry Compound

The dry-compound method spreads an absorbent mixture made of recycled corn stalks.  It looks like wet sawdust all over your carpeting. Then the machine brushes the mixture into the carpet, which in theory causes dirt to absorb into the mixture. Once the mixture has dried, a vacuum cleaner sucks the residue out of the carpeting. However, vacuuming does not remove all the residue, which accumulates over time between the carpet and pad.  Because the carpet is not rinsed in any way, this method is not very effective.


The second carpet cleaning method is called “hot water extraction”. This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet and then sucked out of the carpet. This method is also referred to as steam cleaning even though steam is not used.

Shaw Industries, the world's largest carpet manufacturer, recommends hot water extraction and you can choose from two different types: Portable extraction, which is done with a small machine. Or truck mount extraction which means the large cleaning machine is mounted in a truck or van. 

SERVPRO of the Twin Ports has the largest, most powerful truck mounted cleaning unit ever made.  It's called "the VORTEX" .  The VORTEX generates 300+ degree heat, which dissolves oil and dirt with 10x less cleaning products used.  Plus, because it has a vacuum powerful enough to power 3 simultaneous users, your carpets are dry in 1/3 the time!  You will not believe the difference between other truck mounted units and the VORTEX system.  

Misconception #4: Having the right equipment is all a company needs to clean your carpets properly.

Not true. Many companies own hot-water cleaners -- but a many company employees don't know how to use them. You probably know someone who bought the newest computer on the market -- but didn't learn how to use it for a year or more. The same is true with carpet cleaning machines. The company you are considering may own good equipment, but the employees may not know how to use it correctly. This is why it's important that you choose your carpet cleaner carefully.

The best carpet cleaning companies are those that have been certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, known as the IICRC.   A carpet cleaning company cannot buy this certification. The carpet cleaner must earn the certification through study, experience and the successful completion of formal, written examinations.

Cleaners who are certified by the IICRC have, in effect, earned a degree in carpet cleaning.  In addition to IICRC training all SERVPRO carpet techs are required to complete a proprietary SERVPRO course training in production and safety. 

The IICRC provides writen credentials to the companies it certifies. So before you choose a carpet cleaner, ask to see written proof of the company's IICRC certification.  All certified technicians are required to carry an IICRC certification card with them. 

Misconception #5: The company that offers the lowest price is the company you should hire.

Maybe -- but not always. Here are two important points to consider.

Point #1:

The price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed. Before

you select a company, decide what you want to accomplish. If you want the carpet cleaner to remove only some of the dirt, you can choose from hundreds of companies that use small shampooers or other cleaning methods. Or, you can even rent a machine at the grocery store and do the job yourself.

On the other hand, if you want your carpet thoroughly cleaned -- if you want to remove the harmful dirt, bacteria, pollens, chemicals and tobacco residues -- then you need to hire a company that uses a hot water extraction unit mounted in a truck like the VORTEX. This is the only way to assure that your carpet remains healthy and free from dirt, disease-causing bacteria, and hurtful chemicals.  If you want the best, most powerful cleaning available, seek a company that utilizes a Vortex unit.   SERVPRO has powerful portable extraction units that we use for high rises and othe places the Vortex machine cannot be used.  We offer the same quality assurance, however.  It just takes us more time. 

So remember that the price you see offered may not be for the services you want performed.  

Point #2:

The price you see advertised may not be the price you pay. Many homeowners have learned that the low price they saw advertised was not the amount they were charged.

And if you've ever hired a carpet cleaner, you too may have been the victim of false or misleading advertising. You probably learned the hard way that some carpet cleaners offer a cheap price -- usually between $3.95 and $9.95 per room -- and then pressure you into paying a lot more once they get inside your home. Some of them may even break the law by using illegal bait and switch tactics.

As in all businesses and professions, the carpet cleaning industry has its share of bad apples. I take no pleasure in telling you this, but some are unethical -- and, sadly, a few are dishonest. By their misleading advertising and false promises, they cast a dark shadow on our entire industry.

 Then you'll find other carpet cleaners -- professionals like us who work hard to earn your trust and respect.

As a way of improving our profession, I've dedicated my business to educating the public. The only way you can make an intelligent decision is to have all the facts you need. This is why I've written this consumer guide. And to help promote my efforts at consumer education, we offer ongoing classes at our facility in Duluth.

Misconception #6: Any honest carpet cleaning company should be able to give you an exact price quote over the telephone.

I wish this were true, but it isn't. Consumers often think that if they want to clean four rooms and the price is $6 per room, then the price will be $24. But most often if it seems too good to be true it is.   

First, honest, most reputable carpet cleaning companies usually price carpet cleaning by the square foot. So if you'd like us to tell you the exact cost of cleaning your carpet, we need to know the exact number of square feet that you want cleaned. To get an accurate measurement, we use a Laser measuring device to calculate the exact size of the carpet area

You'll be glad to know that the carpet area to be cleaned is not nearly as great as most people think. For example, if you want your entire home cleaned and your home is 2000 square feet,

the amount of carpeting to be cleaned might be only 1200 square feet. This is because most home measurements are outdoor measurements. Plus we deduct the area taken up by walls, room dividers and the like. The result is that the actual area to be cleaned is usually only about 60% of the square footage of the home. 

So even though we can't always give you an exact quote over the telephone, here are things we consider when quoting a price. 

First, the type of carpet. Certain types of carpet are harder to clean than others. So before we can give you a quote, we need to know the type of carpet you want cleaned. 

Second, the amount of soiling. Carpet that hasn't been cleaned for ten years will take longer to clean than carpet that was cleaned within the last six months. 

Third, the amount of furniture that has to be moved. If we have to move your furniture, the bid must include that labor. But if you move your furniture, we have a 10% empty room discount.

To recap, we consider the type of carpet, the amount of soiling, and the amount of furniture that has to be moved. So, as you can now imagine, every quotation is different. 

If you're thinking about having your carpets cleaned, I offer these four recommendations: 

Recommendation #1: Make a commitment to yourself to get your carpets cleaned. The longer they remain dirty, the sooner they'll wear out. Plus the longer you have to breathe all the pollens, fungus, chemicals and dust mites that live in your carpet.

Recommendation #2: Consider your objectives. Do you want only the dirt removed, something you could do with a rented machine. Or do you want the bacteria, fungus and chemicals removed, which will require a hot water truck mount cleaner, like I use.

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 company might not be in business tomorrow.

Recommendation #3: Ask questions. The way you learn about a company is to ask specific questions and listen carefully to the answers. Here are the questions I suggest you ask: 

1. What method of carpet cleaning do you recommend?

2. What type of equipment do you use to clean carpet?

3. What does your equipment remove from my carpet?

4. How often should I get my carpets cleaned?

5. What training have you had in cleaning carpets?

6. Are you a member of any trade associations and, if so, which ones?

7. Are you certified by the IICRC and will you show me your certificate?

Recommendation #4: Once you're satisfied that you're working with an honest, competent professional, invite him into your home and ask for a specific quotation in writing. A written quotation gives you the assurance that you know exactly what your job will cost -- no surprises.

By following these four recommendations, you'll gain all the information you need to make an informed, intelligent decision. If you want a quick, cheap carpet cleaning job, many companies in the phone book can help you. Or you can rent a shampooer and do the job yourself. 

But if you want your carpeting to be completely and thoroughly cleaned, then I invite you to call SERVPRO of the Twin Ports.  In addition to 24/7 emergency services like water damage and fire cleanup, we are your local experts in carpet and floor care.

We’ll be happy to answer your questions -- provide you a cost estimate over the telephone -- or come into your home and give you a free written quotation -- without obligation of any kind. To reach us, call 218-727-2575.

Here's one last point: I know that many consumers are skeptical about carpet cleaning

companies. Before I got into the business, I was skeptical too. So in addition to dedicating my business to consumer education, I do one more thing as well. 

I guarantee my work. That's right. I fully guarantee every carpet cleaning job we do. If you aren't happy with our work, we'll reclean the area for free. And if you still aren't pleased, you pay nothing for the area that was not cleaned to your satisfaction. Not one cent.   

On top of that, we will pay a competitor of your choice to reclean the area again!  The point?  To prove that if SERVPRO can’t get the area clean, nobody can!  That is our 200% guarantee.

What could be more fair?  Not all companies offer you a guarantee -- and it's important that you have this information before you make your decision.

Thanks very much for reading my report. I hope you found this consumer message helpful. If you have questions or comments -- or if you'd like to schedule a free, in-home quotation, please leave your name and telephone number after the tone. We’ll return your call promptly.  

On behalf of SERVPRO of the Twin Ports -- I thank you for your kind attention.

 This is Kevin Buck, owner of your local SERVPRO franchise located at 4201 W. 1st Street in Duluth, MN.  

©1994, 1995, 2000 Piranha Marketing, Inc, Edited by Kevin Buck

Used by Permission.