The INS and OUTS of PET CONTAMINATION in your CARPET

We all love our furry family members. Unfortunately, our homes require extra care when pets live indoors. Pets can cause three conditions in your carpet: odor, contamination, and stains. I will go into detail about all three conditions below. 

Initial Contamination...

Oils and dander transfer from the pet's fur coat daily onto the the carpet fibers. These organic materials cause the initial odor-causing bacteria. Vacuuming on a regular basis can help prolong the need for professional cleaning due to these materials. 

Urine Contamination layer by layer...

Layer One- Small animals, five pounds or less, deposit two ounces of urine per visit. The first of the liquid is absorbed by the face fibers of the carpet. 

Layer Two- When the fibers are fully saturated, the urine comes in contact with your carpet backing. It then spreads along the backing about double the size of the visible area on the surface. When the liquid can no longer spread out, it then seeps through the backing into the carpet pad below. (I have yet to see it in action, but Shaw has created a waterproof carpet backing called LifeGuard.)

Layer three- When larger animals are the culprits, the urine tends to reach the subfloor every visit. Smaller animals can have these results as well. Which is especially true when they have a "favorite spot". 

Urine Stains...

The principal ingredient in urine is uric acid. It is also made up of urochrome (yellow pigment), fatty acids and cholesterol (lipds), urea, and various other components that depend on diet. Uric acid begins to be broken down into free ammonia and carbon dioxide. Alkaline salt crystals are formed as the acidic urine reacts with ammonia. These crystals draw moisture from the air and remain chemically active. When dried, the salt crystals are remoistend, therefore giving off more ammonia gas. The high alkaline state can damage carpet dyes and cause permanent color loss. 

The main reason urine stains reappear is due to treatment that did not properly break down the urine components, or it was not treated deep enough to the source. The urine then wicks back up from the subfloor or carpet pad as the carpet dries. 

ODOR caused by urine...

The odor experienced is one part ammonia and one part off-gassing from bacteria that grow in warm, dark places with a infinite food source. Pets provide this bacteria a free buffet that doesn't close! Unless the chemical make-up is broken down in the urine, it will continue to have the ability to produce odor. 

 

Well that is the basics. Feel free to comment if you have any specific questions. Thanks for reading!

 

Michael LaFarlett

 

 

 

 

 

8 Tips to follow when you vacuum.

     Carpet acts as a filter for your home. It collects household dust to keep it out of your breathing air and air systems. Like any filter, it needs to be maintained on a regular basis. This includes proper and regular vacuuming. These eight tips will make your professional carpet cleanings more effective in addition to your carpets lasting longer, staying healthy, looking clean. 

1. Dust and vacuum furniture first

    You don’t want to get dust on your freshly vacuumed carpets. Vacuuming your upholstery also        helps your professional upholstery cleaning be more effective.

2. Prepare the area-  

    ✓ Pick up large debris that may obstruct the vacuum hoses.

    ✓ Move small items that can be placed on large furniture.

    ✓ Tuck in bedskirts and pin up curtains that are touching the floor. 

    ✓ Pick up other items such as toys, clothes, or other clutter.

3. Vacuum edges with crevice tool

      Always use a crevice tool for the edges. This helps prevent filtration lines and build up.

4. Vacuum stroke/passes

      One short stroke forward and back over the same spot. Then move diagonally overlapping first stroke. This should be done all in one direction until entire room has been finished. Using the same technique, do the entire room again in opposite direction. This cleans all sides of the fibers. At this point, there have been four passes completed in total. Some traffic lanes need additional passes.

5. Save your back

      Don’t do such a long stroke that you have to step forward or you are bending over. Use shorter strokes to keep your legs under you to keep stress off of your back. This also makes it easier to stay on track and not miss any spots.

6. Slow down

     The slower you perform these strokes the more dirt and dust you will collect. This is the number one mistake made when vacuuming carpet. Vacuums can not keep up with long, quick strokes.

7. Vacuum head height 

     The height of the vacuum should be adjusted so the beater brush reaches just past the top of your carpet fibers. You should not hear a grinding noise, but instead the airflow of your vacuum.

8. Treat stains

     While you are at it, treat unnoticed stains using our spotting guide. This will keep stains from sitting too long and becoming permanent.

     On top of thoroughly vacuuming your carpet, they should be professionally cleaned every 6 to 12 months. If you are in the Little Rock area, we are always happy to provide you service or just answer questions about your carpet cleaning. 

Thanks for reading!