Bob Wittkamp, a respected industry textile maintenance expert, has been deeply involved in training since 1965. He is an IICRC certified Master Cleaning Technician and Senior Carpet Inspector. He is an IICRC past president and past chairman of the IICRC Certification Board. Bob is senior instructor of the Textile Cleaning Institute, and operates an on-site carpet and upholstery cleaning company and consulting firm in St. Petersburg, FL.
With the increasing use of carpet in the commercial/institutional market, installed in buildings with very low airflow and exchange – and often with no air conditioning during hours of non-use – proper drying may become a challenge.
An increasingly common unique selling position for carpet cleaners today is rapid drying, which plays upon the customer’s fears and concerns about slow drying, discolorations returning, odor, mildew and GKW.
Odor control is a service easily offered along with carpet cleaning, and it can be very profitable. There are two general steps to effective odor control: remove or contain the source of the odor, then deodorize.
So you’ve done it! You’ve bought the biggest, hottest, shiniest new truckmount and all the toys and attachments, and you are ready to be the next carpet-cleaning mogul in your area. Now it’s time for the phone to start ringing and for the dollars to start flowing in. Isn’t it?
A not-uncommon request made of the average cleaner is a cry for help with blood and other protein-based contaminants, e.g. sewage. This call must be investigated and the conditions must be weighed carefully before any action is taken. Quite often, the wisest move will be taking no action at all.
Certainly item No.1 (and possibly Nos. 2, 3 or more) must be your primary cleaning/production system. The more methods and systems you offer, the more primary cleaning units you will have on the truck. There also should be tools or attachments for "off the floor" cleaning such as furniture, stairs, personnel panels (cubicles) and possibly even draperies. Each of these items is a separate profit center. Of prime importance is some sort of vacuuming system to address the dry particle soils that may make up as much as 80 percent of the soils present in the fabric being cleaned. This may be an upright model or a canister type with its own attachments, preferably including a power head of some sort to offer agitation of the face pile while vacuuming is being performed. There are even small power heads for use off the floor. Power heads may be electrically driven or powered by the recovery airflow. Ideally, this vacuum system should have HEPA capabilities to trap the soils being removed.
If you were to profile the equipment employed by the average carpet-cleaning tech using the hot-water extraction system in today's industry, odds are good your list will include what we generally call a wand.