- THE MAGAZINE
The company will also require the use of IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) Certified Firms for professional cleaning services effective Jan. 1, 2008.
The CRI Seal of Approval Program was established to test and certify the performance of products and equipment used in carpet cleaning. Years of research have shown that about half of the carpet spot removal and cleaning products in the marketplace do not clean any better than water, and may also leave soil-attracting residues. The results of the use of these products have been shown to be a major source of consumer dissatisfaction with carpet. The CRI program offers consumers a quick, easy way to locate products that work well and do not damage their significant investment in carpet.
The new requirements have been included under "Homeowner Obligations" in Shaw's residential warranty booklet covering its 3-, 4-, and 5-Star warranties. Revised wording addressing the changes is included in the company's homeowner requirement that periodic cleaning by hot water extraction be performed at least once every two years.
Whether the consumer elects to have the cleaning performed by a professional cleaning service or with a do-it-yourself system, the equipment must be "certified under the Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval program." The additional IICRC wording reads as follows:
"NOTE: Effective January 1, 2008, professional service must performed by an IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification) certified firm." IICRC Certified Firms must meet several stringent criteria that serve to protect the consumer. The firm must have at least one IICRC Certified Technician on all job sites, must have a business license, must carry both general liability and workers compensation insurance (where required), have an approved consumer complaint policy, and must agree to adhere to the IICRC code of ethics. All these protect the consumer against unscrupulous operators.
Additional text cautions consumers on spot removal products:
"Research has shown that many products sold for do-it-yourself spot removal clean poorly and their residues attract soil on the cleaned area rapidly afterward. The Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval program tests and certifies products that meet stringent standards and thus clean effectively, without damage to your carpet."
The CRI website (www.carpet-rug.org) is listed for reference to these products.
"We believe our recommendations and requirements will ultimately help consumers enjoy and appreciate our products more fully," says Carey Mitchell, Shaw's director of technical services. "This information reflects years of carpet cleaning research and testing and provides a firm foundation for proper maintenance that will enhance and extend a carpet's useful life."