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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Cultural Pittsfield This Week: Aug. 2-8

Enjoy 18 different art shows featuring work by more than two dozen accomplished regional and student artists in Pittsfield's bustling Upstreet Cultural District during the First Friday Artswalk and all month long! 
 
In most venues, artists will be present from 5-8 p.m. A free guided tour begins at 5 p.m. at the Intermodal Center @ BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.
 
The Lichtenstein Center for the Arts will host HAPPY, an abstract art show by Jesse Tobin McCauley for the month of August. There will be an opening reception during First Fridays Artswalk from 5-8 p.m. The exhibit runs through August 31.
 
Kids and teens, pick up the August 2nd Scavenger Hunt flyer for a chance to win a prize! Grab yours at the Artswalk table in Crawford Square, 137 North St., during the Artswalk or print one from the website.
  MUSIC & NIGHTLIFE
Berkshires Jazz brings five of the most popular regional bands to the stage for the 2019 Berkshire Jazz Showcase, on the Pittsfield Common from 12-5 p.m. The wide-ranging lineup for this jazz extravaganza includes Gina Coleman and Misty Blues, Paul Green and Two Worlds, Andy Wrba's Berkshire Jazz Collective,
First Take with Mary Ann Palermo and the Kyle Murray Quintet. FREE.
Hancock Shaker Village welcomes Berkshire Opera Festival as they pay homage to American opera by composers such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland and Carlisle Floyd. The recital, "Ain't it a Pretty Night," will feature soprano Caroline Worra, tenor John Riesen and pianist Lynn Baker will explore this essential part of the musical fabric of our country. 7:30 p.m. $18-$25.
Plus...  
FRI WordXWord Festival: Crosstalk at Tyler Street Lab | FRI Grahm Sturz at Hotel on North FRI Blue Light Trio at Rainbow | FRI Anthony Luchi at Rusty Anchor | FRI Sawyer Country at Proprietor's Lodge | FRI Karaoke Night at Friends | SAT WordXWord Festival: Accomplice[d] at Berkshire Museum | SAT Orin Swift Cellars Wine Tasting at Hotel on North | SAT Melissa Brinton at Rusty Anchor | SAT Jason & Trev at J. Allen's | SAT Uncensored Comedy Show at Uncorked | SUN Country Dance w/Spurs USA at Italian American Club | SUN-MON Marilyn Maye at Barrington Stage | MON Jazz Night at Mission | TUE Wintergreen at Springside Park | TUE Open Mic Night at O'Laughlin's | WED Live on the Lake: Generation X at Onota Lake | WED Gruppo Mondo at Rainbow | THU Deja Again at Mazzeo's | THU Abandoned Building Brewery Beer Dinner at Hotel on North | THU The Picky B's at Mission
  FAMILY FRIENDLY

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks animated film, Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award-winning fairytale adventure featuring all new songs from Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and a side-splitting book by David Lindsay-Abaire. Shrek brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to the stage and proves there's more to the story than meets the ears. The Colonial Theatre through August 9. $35 and up.
 
Plus...
ONGOING Hansel & Gretel at Berkshire Museum FRI WeeMuse: Adventures at Berkshire Museum FRI Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum FRI Yoga for Kids at Berkshire Athenaeum FRI-THU Parenting Classes & Play Groups at 18 Degrees (formerly Berkshire Children & Families) SAT WeeMuse: Art Lab at Berkshire Museum SAT Health & Wellness Fair at 18 Degrees (formerly Berkshire Children & Families) SAT Chow Time at Berkshire Museum SAT Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum SAT Child & Family Yoga at Onota Lake SAT da Vinci After Hours at Berkshire Museum SUN Discovery Tank Program at Berkshire Museum | MON Exploring Our World at Berkshire Museum MON Kindergarten Countdown at Berkshire Athenaeum MON Star Lab at Berkshire Athenaeum MON Cones with a Cop on The Common MON Stardust Cafe at Berkshire Athenaeum MON Swan Lake Dance Intensive at Cantarella School of Dance MON Auditions for Magic Tree House Kids at The Colonial MON+ KidsAct! at Barrington Stage TUE WeeMuse: Littlest Learners at Berkshire Museum TUE Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum TUE Princess Songs & Popsicle Party at The Whitney TUE Project SpaceCRAFT: Planet Pinch Pots at Be TUE Screening of Monsters vs Aliens at Berkshire Athenaeum WED Little Gardeners of the Galaxy at Berkshire Athenaeum WED Uncharted Wild Animal Show at Berkshire Athenaeum WED Tie Dye on the Terrace at Berkshire Athenaeum | WED Creative Healing Workshop w/Funky Phoenix at Berkshire Museum THU Farm Friends at Hancock Shaker Village | THU Exploring Our World at Berkshire Museum THU Designing with da Vinci at Berkshire Museum THU Story Time at Berkshire Athenaeum THU Lego Lift Off at Berkshire Athenaeum
  WELLNESS
SAT Outdoor Yoga & Zumba at Onota Lake
 
Join Rachael from Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness every 1st and 3rd Saturday (June through August) for outdoor yoga and Zumba classes at Burbank Park on Onota Lake. Yoga begins at 9 a.m. and Zumba at 10:15 a.m. Come to one class or both! $10 suggested donation per class. Rain cancels.
Plus...
FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Running Center | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Family YMCA | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness FRI-THU Various Classes at Radiance Yoga | FRI-THU Various Classes at Berkshire Salsa FRI-THU Various Classes at Pilates Fit | SAT Sunrise Yoga on the Deck at Rusty Anchor | SUN Guido's Great 8 Road Race | TUE Summer Fit Training at Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness | THU Outdoor Yoga at Onota Lake
  PERFORMANCE
ONGOING If I Forget at Barrington Stage
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