How A Professional Floor Cleaning Can Be Beneficial

With Apex Floor & Furniture Care being an IICRC Certified Firm allows them to have the knowledge, expertise and ability to provide you with high quality service and workmanship.  Allowing them to provide you with expert advise so you can make a wise decision in caring for your floors and furnishings.  With Apex Floor & Furniture Care working along with you to care and maintain your floors and furnishings properly helps extend their life and helps you protect your investments.

Check out the information below which was provided directly from the IICRC to consumers, helping you with the care of your hard surface floors.

How A Professional Floor Cleaning Can Be Beneficial

Carpets are not alone in exhibiting signs of wear, as repetitive use can grind dirt into hard surfaces, requiring a floor cleaning that is more involved than a simple mopping. No one wants the edges of a room or hallway to be glossy while the most traveled parts are dirty, scuffed, and dull. Hard surfaces are extremely durable, but just like any high traffic area these spaces need to be regularly tended to in order to look their best and make them last. Floor cleaning requires different techniques and products for each type of material. Something that may be used to make ceramic tiles glossy may not be ideal for treating wood, and professionals are equipped with levels of experience that prevent the common mistakes that stem from unfamiliarity. There are companies that practice hard surface floor cleaning for the parts of a home or business that are not padded with carpets or rugs.

Materials like ceramic tiles, hardwood, laminate, linoleum, granite, marble, stone, and brick are some of the types of hard surface coverings that are available. Besides sweeping and mopping, the proper maintenance of a hard surface includes waxing, stripping, burnishing, buffing, and scrubbing, depending on the type. Some need polishing or special coatings to prolong their life. A surface that is not sealed, or improperly sealed, is more likely to have permanent staining. Besides high quality care, hiring a professional also has the benefit of providing a person with knowledge and correct information on the care of these hard surfaces. Some do-it-yourself maintenance tricks, like using ammonia or vinegar, can have a negative effect on sealant.  Some products can leave a residue that ends up attracting dirt. Using bleach between tiles may eat away at the top layer of grout, resulting in a more porous surface that is prone to staining. A professional will know exactly what to use and what to avoid.

These services are usually equipped with machines that make the entire floor cleaning process go much more quickly.  They tend to have wheels that are designed not to leave marks, and a rubber bumper for the protection of furniture and walls. Brushes and pads can be attached, as well.  Depending on the kind of dirt and the type of hard surface, these machines can switch tasks and go from washing to polishing based on the attachments and setting.  Technicians generally undergo a training program for the operation of the machines and stay abreast of industry advancements.  Some businesses also specialize in repair and may be able to remove small scratches or chips, or at least make them less noticeable. Some charge by the hour, while others base their prices on the area being attended to. Services and prices vary from business to business, so doing some prior research can allow a potential customer to be well aware of what they are paying for.

A floor cleaning can be beneficial to even an old surface and help restore its previous brilliance. For someone who wants to protect their investment and lengthen the lifespan of their hard surfaces, hiring a professional is an intelligent approach.  Click on the link below to go directly to the IICRC website with this article.

How A Professional Floor Cleaning Can Be Beneficial

Apex Floor & Furniture Care services the Tampa Bay area, with free consultations they will provide you with expert advise so you can make a wise decision for the care and maintenance of your floors, countertops, rugs and furnishings, helping you to protect your investments.  They are also certified through the WoolSafe of New Zealand and Textile Pro Certified with Finest Rug Cleaners in the world.

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Safe And Proper Ways to Store my Rugs to Protect Them…here in Citrus County, Hernando County, Pasco County & Beyond…

Rug Storage

The biggest dangers for rugs placed in storage are BUGS, FLOODS, and THUGS. Insect damage, flood or mildew damage, and theft are the most common problems we hear from clients who have placed rugs in a local storage unit or placed in a far corner of a closet or garage.  Many times rugs with high appraised or sentimental value are placed in storage to save them for family members, or to save them from a remodel mess, or to protect them from the summer sunlight.  You want to make sure you are not actually causing damage by incorporating the wrong storage procedures.

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SAFE STORAGE TIPS

  • DO clean and moth-repel rugs before wrapping for storage. –> You must clean your rugs of food and liquid material because though moths are normally the storage “bad guys” — ANY insect will eat sugars and other food materials, and they will eat the wool fibers that are holding this meal for them too.  An insect repellent will make your rug unappetizing to moths.
  • DO roll your rugs starting at the bottom end to the top end, fuzzy side inside. –> To find the bottom end of your rug, you want to “pet” your rug to determine when you are going WITH the nap, and AGAINST the nap.  When you run your hand WITH the nap, it will take you to the tassels of the bottom of the rug (where the weaver began weaving your rug).  Roll from this end.  Folding rugs cause cracking over time, so do not fold rugs being put in storage.
  • DO roll your SILK rugs with the fuzzy side outside. –>  Wool and cotton rugs have more “give” to them than silk rugs, so when placing silk rugs into storage, roll them with their fuzzy silk side outside.
  • DO wrap your rugs in TYVEK or brown acid-free PAPER. –>  Wool has a moisture content even when it is dry, so changes in heat will cause it to “sweat.”  Because of this you can NEVER wrap wool rugs in plastic or you will create a mildew problem.  Tyvek Paper is best (tear and water-resistant).
  • DO elevate your rug packages off of the ground–>  Many storage facilities are built-in lowlands that have a tendency to flood during bad weather, so whether in your home or their location you always want to keep rugs at least six inches off the ground in case flooding occurs.
  • DO make certain nothing heavy is stacked on top of your rugs–> Heavy items can cause damage to the rug’s foundation.
  • DO acquire insurance to protect your rugs when placed in a storage facility–> You also want a photograph and appraisal on file in case you need them.

 © Textile Pro Network

Your local IICRC (CleanTrust) Certified Firm, Textile Pro Certified and family-owned business in the Nature Coast & Tampa Bay area is Nature Coast Rug Cleaning by Apex Floor & Furniture Care.

We clean and care for rugs around the world, helping you protect your investments!

Ron & Jackie Wood, MTC (Master Textile Cleaners)

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I need good, durable, long lasting pad to protect my floors and my rugs…here in Citrus County, Hernando County, Pasco County & Beyond…

Rug Pads

The right type of pad underneath your rug provides many benefits from keeping it from slipping on the floor or buckling, to acting as a “shock absorber” for foot traffic to lessen the wear on the rug’s fibers.  These are the best pads for your rugs (and for your floors too).

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PAD RECOMMENDATIONS

Rubber Anchor (“Gripper”) Pad  (rugs on smooth, hard floors):  Linoleum, Tile, Pergo, and some Hardwood.” (Thickness of pad = 3/32 inch)

Durahold Pad  (rugs on uneven and some smooth hard floors):  Mexican and Ceramic Tile, Concrete, Brick, Marble, and all Hardwood.*  This also works rather well over installed sisal and seagrass flooring.  Has a 10 year performance warranty by manufacturer.  (Thickness of pad = 1/4 inch.) (*–> The National Hardwood Association recommends Durahold Pad as the best pad to allow wood floors to “breathe” and keep a more consistent color tone in all areas.)

No-Muv Pad (larger rugs on soft floors):  All carpeting.  Has a 10 year performance warranty by manufacturer.  (Thickness of pad is 3/8 inch.)  Rugs are meant to be placed on HARD surfaces, so pads are important to prevent damage to rugs from heavy furniture poking through them.

Sticky Pad  (small rugs on soft floors with NO furniture):  All carpeting.  These pads are sold in most home improvement stores.  It is sticky on both sides and “holds” the rug flat on the carpeting.  It does not protect from wear, but it does keep you from tripping on the rug.  It also provides a barrier in case you worry your rug will discolor the carpeting underneath.

 © Textile Pro Network

Your local IICRC (CleanTrust) Certified Firm, Textile Pro Certified and family-owned business in the Nature Coast & Tampa Bay area is Nature Coast Rug Cleaning by Apex Floor & Furniture Care.

We clean and care for rugs around the world, helping you protect your investments!

Ron & Jackie Wood, MTC (Master Textile Cleaners)

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Oh No – I spilled something on my Rug what do I do…here in Citrus County, Hernando County, Pasco County & Beyond?

Spots and Spills

There will come a time when you will spill something on your rug, and the question will come to mind — “what should I do?”  Rug fibers, especially wool, are very resilient to spills…but they are also very reactive to harsh chemicals…so you want to keep your spill system quick, simple, and safe.

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Rug First-Aid Kit = Club Soda + Cotton Towels

Rug First-Aid Kit Instructions = BLOT, RINSE, BLOT

1a)  LIQUID spill:  Immediately BLOT with cotton towel (do not scrub the fibers or you’ll distort and potentially damage them.)

1b)  NON-liquid spill:  immediately scrape up material with spoon, and BLOT with cotton towel.

2)  Look at the towel for two things:

  • Is the spill absorbing into the towel?
  • Are any of the rug’s dyes absorbing into the towel?

3)  If the rug’s dyes are absorbing into the towel, blot a bit more and then STOP.  No more work can be done to this area without causing this area’s dyes to bleed together.  This type of damage can devalue your rug, so you want to stop before you make it worse.  You can pack the area with CORN STARCH to help absorb more.

4)  If the rug’s dyes are not absorbing into the towel (only the spill is seen), then place a folded towel underneath the affected area.  Take a bowl of CLUB SODA and then use a sponge to get the location of the spill wet again — not soaking wet, just enough so the fibers are damp.

5)  Take a new towel and blot the top of the rug to continue pulling out the spill from the fibers (the club soda helps to keep the spill “suspended” so you can grab it with the cotton towel when you BLOT).

6)  When no more spill material is visible in the towel, create a “sandwich” with a folded towel under the spill and one on top, and either stand on this area or put a heavy book on it for about 10 minutes.

7)  Remove the towels and elevate the damp area so that it can dry completely.  Most rugs have a cotton foundation that is very absorbent, so you have to be absolutely certain this “skeleton” of your rug is 100% dry so mildew will not grow.  Use a hair dryer (on cool or warm setting) on the front AND back of the rug to help quicken the process, or keep it propped up to “air dry” for at least 24 hours for a small spill, and longer for larger ones (or if your rug is thick).

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Puppy Puddles. 

Kitty Catastrophes.

Add to Rug First-Aid Kit:  Add vinegar and an enzyme treatment like Vet’s Trust, which is something we sell if you need some.

Of all the possible spills to happen to your rugs, pet urine and pet vomit are the worst.  Because they go on hot and acidic, they actually re-dye the fibers, and “set” them at the same time — so if you are not quick these will become permanent stains that will devalue your rug.  You need to follow the spill steps in the previous section (blot, rinse, blot).  If the rug has dyes that show up in the towel in the first blotting step, then substitute a 50/50 Vinegar and water mixture for the Club Soda AND get the area only slightly damp — NOT wet.  For pet feces, you must pick up as much as you can before you begin the Club Sod process.

As far as the odors associated with all of these pet “emergencies”, misting the enzyme on the areas helps to remove some of the odor-causing bacteria.  Resist the urge to saturate the rug with this because pouring any product on a rug is never a good idea.  With pet urine, if it is a substantial amount then it has (because it’s hot and acidic) penetrated the wool or silk fibers and has been absorbed into the rug’s cotton foundation.  In this case, the only way you will be able to remove the odor will be to have the rug get a bath and be soaked completely in an enzyme or deodorizing solution.  You need to find a Textile Pro rug care specialist to do this.

A different set of problems arises with “old” pet urine stains.  When a pet urine stain is “fresh” it is a strong acid stain.  After it has dried completely, and has sat in the fibers for several days, it becomes a strong alkaline stain.  The problem with high alkalinity and wool is that it yellows the wool, and it also counteracts the mordant process that holds the dyes on to the wool fibers.  It essentially makes the dyes “dissolve”.  Even a rug with colorfast dyes will bleed and fade in areas that have old pet urine stains.  So, the key in handling all pet stains is getting to the area as soon as you can (and use the spill steps so that you can minimize the damage).

Protector Chemicals (like ScotchGuard®) will not protect your rugs from pet stains, and actually, some have a high alkaline pH that may cause yellowing and dye migration with certain rugs.  Whatever is used, make sure that it is approved for use on wool because most of these products are meant for synthetic fibers.

© Textile Pro Network

Your local IICRC (CleanTrust) Certified Firm, Textile Pro Certified and family-owned business in the Nature Coast & Tampa Bay area is Nature Coast Rug Cleaning by Apex Floor & Furniture Care.

We clean and care for rugs around the world, helping you protect your investments!

Ron & Jackie Wood, MTC (Master Textile Cleaners)

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Proper Care of Your Rugs in Citrus, Hernando, Pasco Counties and Beyond…

DUSTING & CLEANING

Vacuuming your rugs is the BEST thing that you can do to keep your rugs in great shape in between cleanings.  Think of all the dust that daily settles on to your hard floors…that same dust settles on your rugs and needs to be removed also, otherwise it works its way into the fibers and causes damage you cannot correct.  However, you do not want to overly “brush” these fibers, so the best tool to use is a canister vacuum cleaner, or the upholstery attachment on your upright HEPA-filter vacuum cleaner, and just run it over the top of the rug fibers.  Vacuum WITH, not against, the nap of the rug’s “fuzzy” side.  (The rug’s fibers are similar to your pet’s fur — you know when you are petting with the nap, and when you are not.  Going “with” it causes less friction.)

If a lot of dirt seems to be collecting on the rug — like on your entryway rugs — then turn these rugs fuzzy side down and run an upright beater bar vacuum along the back side (stay away from the fringe tassels or you’ll suck them up!).  This “shakes” the dirt out of the base of the rug’s foundation, and then you can flip the rug over and vacuum away all of the dust, dirt, allergens, mold spores, bacteria, and other “unmentionables” that have been brought into your home by lots of shoes, feet, and paws.

Entry rugs with high traffic should be “dusted” twice a week (or more) with your canister or upholstery attachment.  Rugs with moderate traffic should be dusted weekly.  Even rugs in areas with no traffic will still have dust settling on them daily, so attend to them bi-weekly.  A consistent dusting routine will help keep your rugs cleaner and healthier longer.  It will also (especially when using a HEPA-filter vacuum) help keep your indoor air cleaner.

Dust & Wash Guidelines:

  • 1)  Entry Rugs (High Traffic):  Vacuum 2+ times per week / Wet wash every 1-2 years*
  • 2)  Moderate Use Rugs (Medium Traffic):  Vacuum weekly / Wet wash every 2-3 years*
  • 3)  Low Use Rugs (Low or no Traffic):  Vacuum bi-weekly / Wet wash every 3-4 years*

(* = if you are dilligent with your vacuum routine you can be on the higher end of the timelines.)

Rugs in rooms with Children and/or Pet Activity

Vacuum (# of kids + pets) times per week / Wet wash every year

Rugs collect allergens, bacteria, and chemicals in their fibers, so if you have kids or pets low to the ground, it’s healthier for them if you keep these areas as irritant-free as possible.  (This is also the guideline for rooms frequented by people with strong dust mite allergies.  Having your rugs, carpeting, and bed linens treated with an all-natural Anti-Allergen Treatment is also recommended.)

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(Don’t forget to include cleaning your wall-to-wall carpeting, upholstery, draperies, and hard floors in your “dusting and cleaning” routine.  This will help to extend the life of your floors and furnishings, as well as helping you and your family stay healthier by providing better indoor air quality.)

(C) Textile Pro Network

Your local IICRC (CleanTrust) Certified Firm, Textile Pro Certified and family-owned business in the Tampa Bay area is Apex Floor & Furniture Care.

Helping you and your family protect your investments!

Ron & Jackie Wood, MTC (Master Textile Cleaners)

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H-E-L-P — My Allergies Are Driving Me C-R-A-Z-Y!!

Did you know that pollen season can last from late February through October?  If you or a loved one suffer from allergy symptoms, the following tips for avoiding pollen may help:

  • Limit early morning activity
  • Remove shoes outside of the house
  • Do not line-dry bedding or clothes outside
  • Maintain indoor humidity below 45%
  • Take a shower at night
  • Stay away from smoke and alcohol
  • Stay inside on humid and windy days
  • Use air conditioning
  • Limit house plants to a minimum
  • Limit use of contact lenses
  • Avoid parking cars under trees
  • Don’t rub eyes
  • Limit contact with pets
  • Wash hands after working outdoors

I know it can be difficult to do all of these at times, but the more you’re able to do, the better off you’ll be.

I never used to have allergies when I was younger, but as a young adult I started getting them, and the older I get the more they bother me.  Some of the things on this list are tough for me, but I’ve accepted doing them because they do make my life easier.  Here’s just a few:

  1. I love the fresh air and wish I could leave my windows open much longer than I do, but it’s so true about turning the air conditioner on instead.  This is definitely one I don’t like doing, but will do to make my life easier.  Remember though, to change or clean your filters in your air vents monthly.
  2. I also have chosen to get rid of my live plants in the house.  First of all, as much as I love them and enjoy their beauty, I don’t have a green thumb and so they don’t seem to last long anyway.  But the mold that builds up in the dirt definitely causes me issues, so I’ve gotten rid of all of my live plants and have artificial ones instead.  They’re not as beautiful as real ones, but the upside to this, besides bettering my allergy issues, is that I don’t kill another live plant 🙂
  3. Now the one listed that I can’t do is to get rid of my precious dogs.  They are family to DOG & Chewie (and one of my artificial plants behind them :)me, and there’s no way I can get rid of them.  They love me unconditionally, always welcome me at the door when I come inside, and are my walk partners when we take our walks.  D.O.G. (upper right pic) is always by my side ready to protect and guard me, and Chewie (lower right pic) is my little baby I can cuddle and love on, who has such a big personality.  Yeah, there’s no way I will get rid of my boys 🙂 (Left pic: both laying on the sofa together)

I hope the list above is helpful, and just remember, the more you do, the better you’ll feel.

And don’t forget, clean carpet helps alleviate allergy symptoms too.  If you or a family member suffers from allergies, have your carpet cleaned by an IICRC (CleanTrust) Certified Firm at least annually.

Your local IICRC (CleanTrust) Certified Firm in the Tampa Bay area is Apex Floor & Furniture Care.

If you’re not in this area, go to the IICRC website to find one in your area.  Using an IICRC Certified Firm will help you protect your investment.  Many carpet mills, including the largest in the world, Shaw Industries  states in their warranty, that it will be void if you use anyone other than an IICRC Certified Firm.  Our desire is to help you protect your investment!

And whether you’re in our area or not, please don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you may have in our comment section.  We’d be happy to help any way we can.

Helping you and your family breathe easier,

Ron & Jackie Wood, CMTC (Certified Master Textile Cleaners)

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7 Ways to Help Your Family Breathe Easier….

Did you know that humans and pets lose skin cells every day, which is equivalent to the amount of approximately 16 crushed aspirin per week?  The dust mites, which we can’t see with a naked eye, feed on our skin cells and their excretions are what causes the allergens.  The good thing about carpet is that it acts like a filter and holds them in place, versus hard surface floors, which allow these skin cells and dust mites to just float around in your home.  The important thing is to make sure you keep your carpet (filter) clean, so it doesn’t get overfilled with these skin cells, dust mites, etc.  Vacuuming with a vacuum that has a beater bar and a good HEPA filter is very important on a regular basis as well as having your carpet deep cleaned properly by an IICRC (CleanTrust) Certified Firm to get deep down and help you keep your home healthy for you and your family.  Most people have their carpets cleaned professionally just for appearance, when appearance really should be the last reason to do this.  Carpet should be professionally deep cleaned first for Indoor Air Quality, second, to help extend the life of your carpet and to keep it looking like-new, and last, for appearance.  If you wait to clean your carpet just for appearance, your carpet will be overfilled with these unhealthy items, and it could shorten the life of your carpet and not allow it to continue looking like new for many years to come.

You may have also seen recent national reports on how mold, mildew, and other bacteria are growing indoors and making people sick.  Carpeting is often cited as a source for these harmful contaminants.  While dirty carpeting can be a fertile home for indoor-air contaminants, clean carpet can have just the opposite effect.  In fact, well-maintained carpet can actually help keep the indoor air you breathe healthy!

Here’s how it works.  Indoor air contaminants naturally settle on the floor.  As they do your carpet acts like a trap for things such as dirt, dust mites, allergens and bacteria.  Similar to the way your car’s air filter traps dust and dirt, your carpet filters air pollutants from the air you breathe.  And just like your car’s air filter needs to be changed to remain effective, your carpet needs to be cleaned regularly to continue filtering your indoor air.

The Carpet & Rug Institute  notes that carpet can be wrongly blamed for contributing to asthma and allergy and for emitting levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  Studies have shown that carpet is better at trapping allergens than hard surface, such as tile or hardwood, because carpet fibers catch particles and allergens that fall to the floor.  When allergens are trapped in the carpet, they cannot circulate in the air for you to breathe.  Proper cleaning keeps it out of the air.

Airtight structures keep air inside, but they also prevent the flow of fresh air from outside.  Research by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that our indoor environment has two to five times more pollutants than outside air.  The quality of our indoor air has become more important to us in recent years in that the average American spends over 20 hours a day inside a closed structure.  We spend 90 percent of our lives indoors.  Heightened consumer health awareness has placed an emphasis on improving the quality of our indoor environment.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) states that carpet plays a vital, positive role in indoor air quality.  It acts as an environmental filter, trapping and holding impurities from the air we breathe.  The EPA and carpet industry findings indicate that with proper ventilation of new carpet, carpet itself does not contribute negatively to indoor air quality, but the buildup of soil in carpet does.  Upholstery fabric also harbors soil and contaminants.  According to Michael A. Berry, Ph.D., former Deputy Director for the EPA Environmental Criteria and Assessment Office, the single leading cause of poor indoor air quality in built environments today is poor maintenance.  Carpet and upholstery must be cleaned to remove trapped contaminants before they overflow and are released back into the indoor air.

So for a healthier indoor environment it’s recommended to:

  • Vacuum frequently  A vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency filtration bag removes soil and bio-contaminants from carpet and upholstery and reduces the release of respirable particles into the air.
  • Periodically have all of your carpet and upholstery professionally cleaned.  Proper, thorough, deep cleaning removes soil and pollutants to improve indoor air quality.  For health reasons the EPA suggest cleaning annually, more often if you have small children, pets or allergy sufferers in your home.  Apex Floor and Furniture Care, your local IICRC Certified Firm, specializes in cleaning for health and is trained in the proper use of cleaning agents and equipment for better indoor air quality.
  • Control the sources.  Entrance mats halt tracked-in soil and contaminants.  Tobacco smoke, which is trapped in carpet and upholstery fabric, is a major source of indoor pollution.
  • Increase fresh air flow.  Our ancestors knew what they were doing when they opened windows to air out buildings.
  • HVAC filter.  Change your HVAC filter on a regular basis.
  • Low Humidity.  Keep humidity at 60% or below.
  • Clean for health.  Carpet and upholstery fabric hide soil.  Don’t just clean for appearance when the accumulation of soil becomes visible, but instead clean for the health of you, your family and pets.

Contact your local IICRC Certified Firm near you.  For the Tampa Bay area, your local IICRC (CleanTrust) Certified Firm is Apex Floor and Furniture Care.  For more information or an in home consultation and quote call the owners, Ron and Jackie Wood at 352-556-4012, providing cleaning, repair and restoration for all types of floors, rugs and furnishings located in Spring Hill, serving the Tampa Bay area.  You can also log onto their website at www.Apex-CarpetCleaning.com for more information, testimonials and a full list of services.

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