Technology in Cleaning and Restoration

December 7, 2005
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Professional cleaning and restoration technicians are always searching for equipment and technology to help them do their jobs better and more efficiently. For the fourth consecutive year, ICS Cleaning Specialist looks at some of the innovative equipment and technologies making their way into the industry.

To try and include every single process, development and piece of equipment that has affected the industry in a single feature would be ridiculous if not impossible. This is not a "Best of the Best" list; it is a chance to see and hear about some of the equipment making its way to the marketplace.

Principles and long-accepted methodologies need not be shattered in order for something to be innovative. Some may have already seen some of this technology at various trade shows and exhibitions, while others are getting their first look at what the cleaning and restoration industries have to say about some of the latest developments as we head into 2006.

Air Movers

The AirPath Direct Flow Carpet Dryer from Studebaker Enterprises features a unique 360-degree directed airflow that the company says makes it a far more effective carpet dryer than any other fan available to the professional cleaner.

The specially designed eight-bladed fan is positioned vertically and parallel to the carpet surface. The fan, blowing down through a matched louver system, creates a 3-inch-high, 360-degree, 40-mph envelope of air just above the carpet. The AirPath's design allows it to draw warmer, drier air from above, blowing it down and across the entire surface of the carpet, completely drying the average 200-square-foot room in 5 to 10 minutes.

Wands

The Hydrosonic Wand from JWC Inc., sports four patented features the company says makes the product revolutionary. The pulsating valve produces agitation by way of fast-paced pulsation. Depending on water pressure, agitation may occur 20-30 times per second.

By capturing steam before it's released into the air, the operator controls the humidity in the area being cleaned. There are eight adjustable holes to dial in the equipment. The quick-dry jet position features jets that are angled down toward the wand head, preventing water from being forced into the backing of the carpet.

Notches in the sides of the vacuum chamber and in the back lips of the wand create airflow injection at the carpet.

Drying Technology

The Thermal Energy System, or TES, from Bridgepoint Systems, is a unique water-damage restoration system that combines new and current technologies in a new way, utilizing the Reets Evaporation Method combining controlled heat and airflow to produce high-speed evaporation and improving the drying process.

The TES power plant generates a high temperature in a unique heat-exchange fluid. The fluid is then transferred with a high-volume pump through specially designed insulated hoses to the Thermal Exchanger - TEX - box, which directs its energy (via air mover) to the wet areas, resulting in rapid evaporation.

Fuel Monitoring

The OFF ROAD Fuel Monitoring System from FloScan Instrument Co., Inc., monitors fuel usage on carpet-cleaning vehicles with direct-drive or slide-in cleaning units that draw their fuel from a "commingle" fuel tank.

Federal and state taxes are added to every gallon of gas purchased. However, the company says that these taxes may not apply if the fuel is consumed "off road." By recording fuel usage only while the vehicle is stationary, the OFF ROAD system may allow the operator to recover the fuel taxes that were paid up front. Recording stationary fuel usage is the key to obtaining off-highway fuel tax rebates

Rug Cleaning

The Rug Wringer from Rug Power is used to remove the majority of water from a recently washed rug. When the water is removed, the rug will be easier to handle and will dry much quicker. When used with a ‘Rug Duster,' the operator "has the ultimate solution for your commercial area rug cleaning needs."

The Rug Wringers comes in 8-, 13, and 16-foot-wide-roller sizes; sports simple pneumatic loading to provide plenty of "squeeze" to get the maximum amount of water out of the rug; features 85-90 Durometer rubber covers on the rolls protect the rugs; an optional rinse header before the rug enters the nip is available, as are 110-, 240- or 480-volt AC drive options.

Carpet Cleaning

The Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval program uses X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) technology, originally developed for use on the space shuttle, to measure the precise amounts of soil that cleaning products remove from household and commercial carpet.

The CRI uses XRF to identify carpet-cleaning products that meet strict standards for soil removal and other criteria, and awards those manufacturers a CRI Seal of Approval. To qualify for the Seal of Approval, extractors must meet CRI standards in three test categories: amount of soil removed from the carpet; amount of residual water left in the carpet; and impact of the equipment on carpet fibers and appearance.

Rinse-Water Delivery

The RO Trolley from Pure Rinse Systems is an all-in-one patented mobile design that combines a high-capacity 3,000 GPD reverse osmosis unit with a storage and distribution system. This high-flow, high-pressure distribution system is ideal for applications such as water-fed pole window cleaning, and allows for the use of up to three poles and hose lengths of up to 600 feet.

An optional deionization system attaches for further polishing of the RO water for the most demanding spot-free jobs. RO followed by DI is an economical and efficient way to make spot-free rinsing water, and the RO Trolley provides a way to produce it on site.

Glides

A Teflon wand glide is a device that fits over, or in some cases, into, the vacuum slot of a standard carpet-cleaning wand.

Wand glides perform several functions, including making the wand glide easier over all types of flooring surfaces; significantly reducing operator fatigue and stress injuries; leaving the carpet drier and cleaner than an un-glided wand; eradicating streaking and pile distortion that may occur with low-profile, multi-jet wands; cleaning area rugs gently and thoroughly without fear of distorting the pile, damaging the fiber or construction of the rug, or leaving the rug overwet, and more.

The glides slide smoothly over the carpet, and the increased surface area helps keep the wand from sinking into the carpet and hindering momentum.

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