Requesting an Estimate For Carpet Cleaning? Here Are 5 Things to Know
If you have children, pets, heavy foot-traffic, or you host a lot of parties, you may already have recognized that there is more to carpet cleaning than just running a vacuum. Carpet cleaning professionals are very aware of this and price their services accordingly. But how do you, as a consumer evaluate the pricing you are given?
What goes into an estimate?
Shopping around and checking references and reviews, experience and certifications will provide a good start. It is also helpful to understand what the estimator is evaluating. Here are five primary factors a professional carpet cleaning company may consider when creating your estimate:
1. The type of carpeting.
Step into any carpeting retailer and you will immediately see that not all carpeting is the same. There are shags and berbers, treated and untreated, and several different brands and compositions. Some are more delicate than others and may require different cleaning methods. Warranties also differ between types and brands and could stipulate specific cleaning methods in order not to void the warranty. (It is the consumer’s responsibility to be familiar with and to inform their cleaning professional of these kinds of warranty details.)
2. The size and accessibility of the rooms.
Carpet is priced by square footage, so it should come as no surprise that cleaning should be priced similarly. Any furniture that may need to be moved and who moves it is also relevant. You should verify whether the estimate includes moving furniture. There could be some wiggle room in pricing if you move the furniture yourself. The accessibility of rooms can also impact the cleaning method needed and consequently the pricing. For example, if truck-mounted equipment is standard for the company, a change in method (and consequently pricing) may be necessary if the property cannot be accessed by truck-mounted equipment – no appropriate parking for the truck, a high-rise location, etc.
3. Any special treatments required for stubborn spills or spots.
So, about that wine your cousin Jeff spilled the other night… An experienced cleaning professional probably has a few tricks up their sleeve for just such an occasion. This kind of troubleshooting may require specialized knowledge or training, equipment and/or products. Just as your dentist probably doesn’t include whitening in the standard cleaning process, spot treatment can be a separate pricing element for a carpet cleaning pro.
4. High-traffic areas.
You might not think of the daily routines of your house or office as “traffic,” but you’ve probably noticed your carpet looks dingier right around the doors, or maybe in front of the couch in the family room, or the fridge in the break room. Those areas that are more soiled due to frequent use can require extra attention. This means more time and, as we all know, time is money.
5. Pet accidents.
If you’ve ever cleaned up a pet accident, you probably realized it is not like cleaning up any other spill. The ammonia, the smell, the… messiness. EEEW! And did you notice you can clean it up nicely, but it keeps coming back? Or that your pet keeps “accidentally” messing up the same spot? Cleaning pet accidents so they don’t re-appear (or continue to smell like “the place to go” to your pet) takes knowledge and effort. Pet accidents can go deep – to the carpet backing, the pad, or even into the flooring under that. Understand that if your carpet pad or flooring is impacted, you’re looking at a greater magnitude of problem that probably can’t be solved by cleaning alone. Don’t be afraid to ask for details.
These are the most common considerations and the kind of details you want to know and ask about when seeking an estimate. Some companies may not charge for some of these items separately while others will. For this reason, it is important to verify what a provided estimate covers in order to avoid any surprises, and so you are comparing oranges to oranges if shopping around. This also helps weed out companies that may employ bait-and-switch tactics – offering an enticingly low estimate, then arriving to do the job and pushing up the price with add-on charges for any or all of the factors mentioned above or anything else they may think up.
A truly professional and ethical carpet cleaning service will let you know up front what you can expect to pay and what that price covers.
This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Stone and Tile PRO Partners.