The Carpet Guy: Check Your Carpet Cleaner's Credentials

By Chuck RobertsSubmitted Content
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For a while now, you’ve noticed your carpet getting dingier and dingier. It’s not as bright and attractive as it used to be. You can see some old spots lingering. Hmmm…what was that? Coffee? Soda? Whatever it is, or was, you want it gone.

It’s time to get your carpet cleaned. Time to call someone.

But who do you call? Where do you look? How do you know if the company you call does a good job? Are they reputable? Do I pick someone from newspaper ads? Yellow Pages? Online? A Google Local search? Facebook? Friends?

Let me give you some tips on what to consider when faced with these questions. What you don’t want to happen is hire a company that does a lousy job and takes your money, and yet your carpets still look dirty, or worse.

Referrals. First, call your friends, relatives or ask associates and ask for their references, if they have any. Why? You know them, trust them, and if they have had good or bad experiences with a company, they’ll tell you the truth. And that is what you want. Truth and trust.

Guarantee. Does the company offer a 100 percent risk free guarantee? You want to take the worry (your worry) out of the cleaning equation. If you’re not satisfied, what are your options with the company you hired? If the company does not offer a 100 percent risk free guarantee, move on to one that does.

Price. Does the company provide you with a written price or quote prior to doing the job? You should know the price BEFORE you hire the company and in order for this to occur, the company should come to your home and conduct a carpet audit or evaluation, AT NO CHARGE. Prices or quotes over the phone should be viewed as skeptical and unreliable.

Training/Certification. Are the cleaning technicians trained and certified? In the carpet cleaning industry, the standard bearer for training is the IICRC – Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. There are many different cleaning systems, components, equipment manufacturers, franchises’, etc. The IICRC acts as the umbrella for training various cleaning systems operators to industry standard. Ask to see written proof that the person who will be cleaning in your home has been properly trained by a certifying and governing body.



Cleaning system. As stated above, there are many cleaning systems to choose from: hot water extraction (commonly referred to as “steam cleaning”), bonnet cleaning, rotary cleaning, low moisture cleaning, etc. All can clean. All have advantages and disadvantages. Ask the company you choose to explain their process. Do you feel comfortable with the answers? Does it make sense?

EthicalServices. Is the company a member of EthicalServices.com? To be a member, they must follow a strict code of ethics. Are they affiliated with any on-line service organization (i.e. HomeAdvisor.com, AngiesList.com, etc?) Check with the Better Business Bureau.

Appearance. You may wonder how this affects your decision to hire a company, but it does. Your first impressions are lasting and usually correct. When the van and technician arrive, is it neat, clean, lettered properly? Is it dirty, rusty, letters falling off or missing? Are the technicians neat, wearing a uniform, smoking? Are they polite, on time/punctual? Do you feel comfortable talking with them? Do they seem “pushy,” too aggressive, impersonal? Are they listening attentively? If any “red flag” feelings arise, it’s probably best to follow your instincts and call another company.

Trust. How do you know if you can trust the people coming into your home? As I said earlier, check with your referrals and those the company may provide to you. Does the company have any customer testimonials you can look at? Have your friends used this company? Is the company licensed, bonded or insured? This is especially important if the company has employees and they are doing the work.

Follow-up. Ask what happens if there are problems after the cleaning. Are there additional charges? Time limits? What can you expect and when. What should, and should not happen, after a cleaning.

Although this is not all-inclusive, it will give you a good start in helping you decide who you want to do your cleaning. Remember, you as the homeowner want to feel good before, during, and after the cleaning. The more you are educated about the process and know what to expect, the better you will feel about your decision.
 
For more information, contact Chuck Roberts at Roberts Carpet & Upholstery Care at 413-458-9399 or Robertscf@aol.com. Roberts Carpet is an authorized Von Schrader Associate specializing in  low moisture cleaning using certified Green Seal approved products with  a 100 percent risk-free guarantee.

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Letter: Support for Lynette Bond for mayor

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

I'm writing this letter in support for Lynette Bond as mayor of North Adams. I've known Lynette for nearly 10 years through my previous work at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition. She organized one of the first teams when we launched the Mayor's Fitness Challenge, she and her family participated in our Downtown Bikearounds, and she attended our yoga in the parks events.

Lynette was also the lead organizer to help move forward Smoke Free parks and playgrounds throughout the City of North Adams. She believes and understands how important recreation and fitness is to a community and supports the work to get us there.

Lynette was instrumental during the planning for the  city's Vision 2030 Plan as a resident and planning board member. Throughout the Vision 2030 plan was a theme of "nonmotorized and active transportation." This means that we safely connect people to places for work, school, services, outdoor recreation, and improved health. (North Adams Downtown Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, City of North Adams).

A shared-use path to connect with the Mohawk bike and pedestrian path in Williamstown and the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Adams was listed in this Plan as High Importance. I couldn't agree more and I know Lynette shares this thinking. The pedestrian/bike path is the single most important project that provides nonmotorized transportation to the residents of North Adams, with transportation being one of the leading challenges for some of our residents, having a safe way to travel by bike can help to overcome the barrier of transportation.

Lynette understands the intricacies of this project because she worked for the Town of Adams and helped to facilitate the rights of way and other items that needed to happen for the extension of the bike path from Hoosac to Lime Street. A bike path through North Adams is an important way to connect neighborhoods and allows our residents to safely bike and walk within the city and to our neighboring towns.

Along with transportation, residents of all ages can enjoy physical recreation and the health benefits that walking and biking provide. These activities reduce stress and improve the mental well-being of a community. I know Lynette will work well with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, the Towns of Adams and Williamstown, MassDOT, and engineers because she has already demonstrated and succeeded in working collaboratively with these partners. She has the experience of working on the Rail Trail extension in Adams and has the passion to ensure we move forward with this critical project for the City of North Adams.

I ask you to vote for Lynette Bond and ensure that the work to advance bikeability and walkability within our city continues.

Amanda Chilson
North Adams, Mass. 

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