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Q: Whenever I try to remove certain stains, like Kool-Aid, they sometimes come out and other times I see absolutely no change. What am I doing wrong?
— Anthony, Fort Collins, CO
You might not be doing anything wrong.
Remember, you have technique and chemistry on your side. You control that. What you can’t control is what the customer may have already done to the stain.
Let’s review something… remember that a spot is a substance on the outside of the fiber, while a stain is inside the fiber. If you are dealing with a stain you are at a disadvantage because the staining material has penetrated the fiber. This is why a carpet that has been treated by a quality fabric protector is much easier to clean and you are able to remove more spots and stains. A properly treated carpet surface means most spills will “bead“ up and allow easy removal.
However, in the real-world of cleaning, you encounter many jobs where the protection is either weak or non-existent at all. And that is part of the reason you have these stain removal challenges, and need specialized, professional products. Most stain removal products work by altering the dye molecule. They “bleach“ the stain, removing color, rendering the stain invisible.
A problem you have no control over is when a customer goes to her favorite spotting kit (which is everything under the kitchen sink) and throws an arsenal of consumer products at the stain. The mixture of various chemicals, lack of rinsing and repeated, unsuccessful efforts to remove the stain means your job just got harder. The stain is set.
If the customer were to leave the stain alone and call you, you wouldn’t have much trouble with removing the stain.
So don’t beat yourself up if a stain doesn’t respond to your efforts. If you have done all you can, following recognized industry procedures and techniques, you aren’t to blame.
You do have other options, however, if a stain just won’t respond. You can remove original carpet color and recolor the area. You can also do a bonded insert (patch) as well. Both are additional services that can add revenue to your company.
Q: I do water damage work, but I’ve never considered cleaning contents until I recently lost a job to a competitor that offers that service. It looks like contents restoration can be quite the challenge. Should I still consider it, or keep everything simple and stick with extraction and drying?
— Pete, Scottsdale, AZ
In today’s competitive marketplace, the company that offers more services has a definite edge.
That applies to all services, whether it is carpet cleaning, restoration or other “in-home” services. Consumers would rather deal with one reputable company than go through the hassle of hiring several.
The same goes for insurance companies, specifically adjusters. If an adjuster can utilize one restoration company to do the entire job, from extraction to final drying, including cleaning and restoring salvageable contents, he will no doubt send more work to that company.
There is much opportunity in offering this service. While in the past it was common practice to dispose of most damaged materials, it is now becoming the “norm” to salvage these same materials. Technology is changing. What in the past wasn’t possible is becoming routine.
You can literally save an insurance company thousands of dollars on a loss simply by restoring contents. Insurance companies know this, and most are responding favorably to this option.
But if you do enter the arena of contents restoration, you need to do it right. Contact a company that consults in contents restoration services and they will help you see what you need in the way of equipment, training and certification. Plus, you will receive invaluable marketing assistance as well.