Landlord In Distress
Last week I got a call from a Landlord, whom we shall name John, enquiring about having the carpets cleaned in one of his rental properties in Birmingham. He explained that new tenants were about to move in and that he wanted the property to be presented in the best possible light. Asking questions to learn of his hopes and expectations for a cleaner, fresher carpet, he informed us that the carpet had only recently been cleaned by the vacating tenant, and the place was left in, as he put it, in a complete mess. He had also come to the conclusion that the carpet was beyond cleaning and that buying a new one may be the only option left. Before making a final decision he contacted us for advice, through the recommendation of a friend. As this was not a straight forward cleaning and something that we could not do over the phone I arranged to meet him at the property.
The following evening I had the pleasure of meting John at the property. Since our initial conversation John had made contact with the already vacated tenant to learn the details of the cleaning which she had arranged. The tenant emailed the receipt for the amount she handed over to the carpet cleaner. When John told me of the amount paid, I found it hard to believe. The price was at the top end of the scale, and should have resulted in a very thorough multi-stage carpet cleaning carried out by a competent professional.
On viewing the supposedly cleaned carpet, it was evident that all had not gone to plan. There were various staining’s, water marks and with all the light and dark patches it was impossible to recognise the original colour without closer examination and some testing. The pile was stiff and sticky to the touch, and a stale smell lingered above the carpet. The cleaning in question was attempted without a thorough vacuuming which is the important first stage to cleaner, healthier fresher carpets. Evidence in the form of dried grass, pet hairs and grit rested on top and between the pile.
As the larger percentage of soiling in any carpet is light, dry particulate, it remains beyond comprehension as to why anybody would attempt to clean a carpet without first vacuuming. The science is not complicated ….. add water to the light dry soiling and you will create heavy wet mud. This heavy mud sinks to the bottom of the pile. Add pressure to this water and you can guarantee that mud will be driven further into the back of the carpet, incapable of being extracted during the present cleaning. From this point on the fate of the carpet cleaning has been sealed and the cleaner is fighting a losing battle.
Getting back to our consultation, I performed some basic tests in order to ascertain the type of staining, level of soiling and to establish if the light patches were a result of permanent damage or if we happen to be looking at the original carpet colour. To the Johns relief the carpet was restorable, and so an appointment was made to complete the task.
On the day of the cleaning John had other commitments and so was not present, however he was interested in learning what was in the carpet to bring about such a terrible condition. As it turned out the he returned just as we were in the final stages of our cleaning, and was able to see for himself the condition of the rinse water that came from the carpet. As the speechless property owner was left shaking his head we then produced the debris taken from the carpet. Animal hairs, grass, silt and loose fibres were present in the dirty mass, not to mention the amount of detergent residue which was left in the carpet from the previous clean.
This time John had luck on his side. His carpet was lovingly restored to its former glory and is now clean, fresh and healthy ready to greet any would be tenant.
Lesson learnt …. price and quality go not always go hand in hand. In this case the vacating tenant paid, in good faith, an above average price only to receive a below average service. Researching the company, obtaining guarantees and making informed decisions is what makes the difference. For further reading on Choosing a Cleaning Company click on Choosing a Professional Cleaning Company.
If you have any horror stories or unusual experiences with carpeting issues and you wish to discuss them further contact Brendan on 0121 472 3349. We can offer advice and who knows we may be able to restore your home carpet to its former glory … a clean, fresh and healthy carpet.