We’ve discussed carpet maintenance programs a number of times in E-tips and other articles. To maintain a carpet’s appearance far into the future, it is essential for it to be on a maintenance program. Manufacturers often require them to have a program to maintain their warranty status. They set this requirement to ensure that the damage to the carpet is not due to manufacturing defect. A number of issues such as discolorations and greying out due to abrasion, can be largely prevented by regular carpet cleanings.
There is not just one approach to maintain a carpeted floor however. In the past few years, carpet manufacturers have started to include the option of an intermediate clean, using what is called a “Whittaker.” Like how the company Xerox is synonymous with photocopying, Whittaker is a brand name of a type of agitating carpet cleaners currently on the market. Simply put, it uses two (or three) brush rollers that are spun in opposite directions at high speeds. This allows for what is called a deep pile cleaning, which is when the area at the bottom of the carpet fibers are agitated by the brush action. This helps to dislodge dust, dirt and other debris, which can later be picked up.
It should noted that Whittakers are really not intended to be used on their own, but rather in conjunction with a vacuum and a periodic hot water extraction. It does not have a traditional extraction system; the rollers will pick up most of the hairs and larger pieces, however dust and smaller particles will not be removed. That occurs either through the extraction clean or during a building’s regular vacuuming schedule. Whittakers are also designed to work with our existing cleaning products and crystallizers, which helps to remove stains and discolourations. They are activated when agitated by the rollers and then removed through the vacuum or extraction.
Functionally, you will not see any difference in how we offer Whittakers: we are using them regularly during maintenance cleanings in conjunction with a hot water extraction. The only obvious difference may be in how much cleaner the floor will look afterwards.
We also employ Whittakers in buildings with a program as an intermediate step between day-to-day vacuuming and a full extraction clean. In these cases we may use a Whittaker at a higher frequency to agitate the carpet to enhance the effectiveness of the building’s regular vacuuming. The Whittaker cannot deal with an entire range of stains and discolourations that are found on carpets, so a spot will be necessary as usual.
Fall is upon us in the Lower Mainland and with it comes dropping leaves,
as well as the heavy storms that will break branches and nettles from large evergreen trees. As a result, the health of a building’s gutters is at the top of many property managers’ minds. One approach to dealing with these issues that we see from time to time, is a leaf guard gutter. As you may have seen, this system basically adds a lip to the top of the gutter, which prevents leaves from entering into the channel. Although this is generally effective at its role, Leafguards are not well suited for the West Coast environment.
In particular the Lower Mainland has a very high number of conifers with nettles, like pines or hemlock. When their twigs and nettles fall, they bypass the guard and enter into the drainage canal and will start to form a slimy difficult to remove blockage over time. We have had dozens of these calls over the past few years, and they pose a problem: often the LeafGuard system’s warrantee is usually voided when opened up to clean. They still need to be cleaned but they cannot easily be opened and often can’t be opened without damage.
This year we are starting to deploy a new weapon in the war against clogged gutters; Foam Guards. As its name suggests, it is a foam insert that sits within the gutter, which allows for water and small particulates to travel unimpeded to the downspout while preventing larger debris from getting into the system. It is a dramatically more effective system in our climate. It is nearly impossible for debris to get into the system, and larger pieces of foliage are for the most part blown off the top due to wind and weather.
Although gutters with the foam guards still require a clean every year or two, they are far quicker than a normal cleaning call because they can be easily removed and without damaging the gutter system.
Perhaps the best part is that foam guards are significantly less costly than leafguards; and can be retrofitted into a building’s existing gutter systems in a tenth of a time it takes to install the alternative.
Best practice for gutter cleaning is be on a gutter maintenance program and to use gutter foam in challenged areas.
In this stage we basically use high-pressure air to remove loose debris and a large portion of the growth. This allows us to gain better access to the underlying roof surface, without damaging the roof itself.
This is really the most critical part of the process. We use a mild, wash safe, chemical that is wash safe to basically break down and kill all the growth on the roof. The system also is a preventative step: it delays future growth for a year or so, keeping the roof integrity intact.
Building notices are one of the most critical points of communication between us, (the service provider), the property manager and residents at a location. We usually send them out when we schedule service, so that they are posted in advance before the work commences. We see them as an essential part of our service, for a number of reasons.
First, building notices allow residents of a building to prepare their units for a service, which greatly facilitates our ability to complete the agreed-to work. For example window cleaning on low-rise buildings require screens be removed from windows. If notices are not posted, the parts of the work can’t go ahead requiring return visit(s) that are difficult to deal with. The same issue applies for dryer vents in large buildings. These commonly require suite access to do a complete an interior and exterior service. Without visibly posted building notices, large number of residences are usually missed, which requires us to come back another day
Finally building notices are critical for giving residents information if they think there is a problem. We often post useful trouble shooting information, as well as contact addresses. This helps to avoid burdening you with complaints and other calls about a service, which we can deal with them quickly and directly. For example when our floor care team is maintaining the common hallways are notices provided specify whether the service is an extraction cleaning or maintenance cleaning service.
All in all building notices keep everybody happy and working productively. By posting them we reduce potential issues with a job, and ensure the service is done in a quick and effective manner…. that’s a win for everyone.
We are always looking at our notices and working to improve the message, have a look at our latest version of our low-rise window cleaning notice.