FAQs

Q

Do you charge an estimate fee?

A.

No. There may be an occasion, under special circumstances, that we may ask for this, but only if we tell you up front.

Q

How much dust will be created during the restoration of my floor?

A.

There is no dust created during the restoration process, because we use diamond abrasives and water.

Q

My marble floors had a beautiful shine when new. How can I restore that new shine?

A.

If your floor is not deeply scratched, surface polishing may bring back an acceptable shine. However, existing scratches may remain. If your floor has worn badly, a complete restoration is warranted. This decision should be made between you and us.

Q

I have Marble Natural Stone floors in the kitchen. Some vinegar got on the floor and now we have a light spot. I believe that it is the sealer (polyurethane coating?) that got discolored. What is the best way to get rid of these dull spots and bring the normal shine back?

A.

When acid (vinegar) comes into contact with marble (calcium carbonate), it causes a chemical reaction. The result is called etching. Natural stone sealers penetrate the stone and do not prevent this natural reaction. If you do in fact have a polyurethane coat on top of your stone, then you have a different problem altogether. If the stone is etched, we can refinish it.

Q

Is there routine, daily or weekly maintenance I should be performing on my marble floors?

A.

The #1 culprit of damage to marble floors is dirt, (grit, sand & dust). The best treatment for your floor is a dry, untreated microfiber dust mop or vacuum, used every day when possible. Damp mopping is recommended on a weekly basis and whenever there are visible spills.

Q

How long will it take my carpets to dry?

A.

Drying time depends upon you and the weather. We generally say until the next day. If you follow the simple steps we recommend it often takes as little as four hours. If you don't, it can take from one to two days. If you need super-fast drying times, let us know before we start, there are things we can do to speed the drying time. Just understand that this is at the expense of lost cleaning power. We can also put an air mover on the walkways as we clean and get those areas pretty much dry before we leave. Most people prefer not to use an air mover, though, because it really blows around any papers that are around. Heavily soiled carpets may take longer to dry due to the extra cleaning involved. Drying starts from the base of the fibers and works its way up, so the last to dry is the very tippy top—the part that you feel with your hand.

Q

Do we have to stay off the carpet after it has been cleaned?

A.

No, you don't have to stay off of the carpet. We give you surgical bootie covers to wear during the damp and drying phase. Washing off the soles of your shoes before stepping on the carpet will also work. We ask that you avoid colored socks or bare feet. Some suggestions for passing the time while the carpet dries—Go out to dinner, have a nice night, and come home to a carpet that is dry or at least "dry enough" to walk on; Plan a day of shopping; Plan a playdate; Have the dog groomed.

Q

Do you move furniture?

A.

Yes, we are happy to move furniture. It's up to you what you would like to have us move. Preferences range from just a few things to most things, so we'll ask you what you want moved before we start. Please Note: Some items may be weakened and risk damage by being moved. For example, the mirrors attached at the backs of dressers are very flimsy and there is no way to hold them while moving the dresser, so they very often fall and break, so we don't want to move those—unless, of course, you detach the mirror before we get there. Lamps will fall off of end tables, so we like you to remove those. There are some types of beds we don't move, because they have legs or wheels that can be damaged when moving them across carpets. There are other "booby traps" in the home as well. We are happy to move anything that won't damage your carpet, our technicians, or the object being moved. In other words, we'll move anything within reason. If you have a lot of furniture for us to move, please let us know in advance so we can send an extra technician if we are able to. In some cases, there are other considerations to be made in advance like storage, special moving equipment we might require and need to plan ahead for.

Q

Is it ok if you work around furniture?

A.

No problem. There is even a slight savings when we don't move furniture, because it is a time-saver and we pass that on to you.

Q

What if we move the furniture before you arrive?

A.

That's ok, too. Just make sure to ask us to leave your protector blocks and tabs so you can reset your furniture soon after the cleaning. (Don't reset furniture on wet carpet without tabs or you can cause damage to the carpet.)

Q

How long have you been in business?

A.

My wife Wendy and I started SPARKLE Surface Care (originally Classic Services or known as Classic Carpet Care) in 1982. Actually, I started working along side of my dad as a kid.  I helped him clean at Shawnee High School, where he was a custodian.  Then I cleaned during my college years. At that time Wendy & I built a commercial bldg cleaning business, with all phases of floor care.  We were known to maintain dealerships, law offices, banks, health clubs. Eventually we began specializing exclusively in technical floor, hardwood, stone, carpet and fabric care.  Since 96' we have focused on all these services in both residential homes and commercial buildings.  

Q

What experience or special training do you have?

A.

We have more than 33 years of experience and counting! We have been IICRC certified Master Cleaners for decades and we participate in on going service industry training.  Our staff also is certified.  And, we have had specialized training by a world reknowned Stone Care Expert.  Add to that a NWFA Certified Sander and Refinisher.

Q

What carpet cleaning methods do you offer?

A.

Truck mounted steam extraction is usually our first choice, but there are circumstances when another cleaning method, or even a combination of two or more cleaning methods is best. So, we also offer hot water extraction, dry foam, shampoo, dry bonnet cleaning (similar to Chem Dry's original method) and we offer the latest craze in commercial cleaning—encapsulation cleaning. Most oddball cleaning methods are gimmicks. Many carpet cleaners mistakenly think that if they offer a different cleaning method than competitors customers will flock to them, when in truth, as we at SPARKLE Surface Care understand, most people just want a clean carpet and don't much care how it gets done. There are companies offering cold water extraction—which we think is just stupid. Chem Dry has switched over to truck mounts that are, unfortunately, decades behind. There's a guy using a machine called a "widget" which is basically a brush he uses on your carpet—we're not sure why he thinks it's going to make people flock to him. There are plenty of guys who just go out and rent the same machine you could get at the supermarket or have one of their own. Yep, there are all sorts of carpet cleaners using nutty methods to clean carpets around here and we've seen and tried them all. SPARKLE Surface Care uses the methods that we know actually work. And if a new one comes out that works better, we'll learn that too. In a heartbeat. Our goal is to offer you the best method for your situation and we'll tell you what will work best for you. For most people, it's truck mounted steam cleaning, but for some that just won't work well. For example, if you are in a high-rise condo, we can't always get the hoses up to your home from the truck mount, so in those cases a portable hot water extractor is usually best. Some places need to be cleaned with extreme quietness, like apartments in a retirement home, and in those cases a bonnet cleaning method works best. We offer the method that best suits your situation.

Q

Are your carpet cleaning products safe for children & pets?

A.

Great news!  As carpet cleaners we have switched whenever possible to a natural, organic, non-toxic kid & pet friendly formulation that does a fantastic job of cleaning when used with our truck mount steam extraction.  In fact, it is plant based, derived from Thymol (the herb Thyme). which has wonderful cleaning properties and Citric Acid and other medicinal cleaning properties.  The result- it out cleans other detergent formulas!!  Even if it is ingested it is safe. We are happy to provide you an MSDS sheet if you request one.  Also, we even have had formulations prepared by our supplier's chemist if there is a specific reason.  For instance, if someone has a scent concern, we have 2 options for them.  Also, for very concerned folks we offer steaming with just water, although there trade offs with that.  Some soiling will not come out as effectively if we are not using the above mentioned solutions or others when we are cleaning. Yes, our cleaning products are safe for everyone—human or pet, and we have never had an incident. However, it is good to keep children and pets out of the work area.  Between the equipment, the hoses and such, it is just safer to have them out of the work area.

Q

Why is steam from truck mounts better for cleaning?

A.

The bottom line is it kills germs and dust mites, and cleans many, many times better and faster than other methods. It has been proven in laboratory research under a microscope to out perform all other methods. It has also been designated to be the only method that restores the carpet to its cleanest state by the teams who wrote the cleaning standards that guide our industry (the mills, the EPA, the cleaning industry, etc.) and written into industry standards as such. It is so much better there is no comparison.

The technical explanation

Every eighteen degrees we raise the temperature of the cleaning water above a certain point doubles the water's cleaning power. The standard heat we use for our cleaning water is eight times greater than that base point. In addition, the vacuum power of a truck mount engine is much greater than that of a machine you plug into the wall. This not only allows us to suck up more soiling, but it gives us far more water lift, meaning we can flush the carpet with more water for q quick and thorough wash while leaving the carpet dryer.

Q

Should I have my carpets protected?

A.

Yes. Protection for your carpet serves multiple functions:

  • Laboratory research has proven that it extends the life of the carpet and protects your investment.
  • It promotes soil release, which means more dirt vacuums off your carpet and more dust is removed by vacuuming, reducing dust and pollutants in the air and helping with allergies and asthma.
  • It helps with spots and spills. Protection increases the possibility of thorough stain removal, both when you are doing it yourself and when we are treating it for you.
  • It is a "sacrificial barrier" for your carpet. So as you walk on your carpet, it is the protective that is gradually worn down before wear begins on the carpet itself.
  • It's similar to changing the oil or waxing a car you care about: it helps maintain your carpet in better condition for a longer period of time.
Statistically it is true that  22% of your carpet "uglies out" because of neglect that forces homeowners to replace it.  Traffic Lanes are the 22%.  If homeowners cleaned those high traffic areas and protected them they would extend carpet life and protect their investment in them! In a nutshell the Carpet Mfg's actually study carpet performance closely.  They even pay people to walk on carpet samples to test longevity and appearance. (folks walk on carpet squares for 50 minutes of every hour, and it is compared to carpet squares without protectant  that are tested the same way.)  It is without a doubt, proven that carpet protectant extends carpet appearance and carpet life.

Q

Do you include deodorizer?

A.

Deodorizer is defined as a pleasant smell designed to mask another smell.  Our baseline products have a mild deodorizer built into them.  Other companies charge you separately for deodorizer, giving them a way to "up charge" you.  This is non sense.  Also, deodorizers are temporary, just like after you shower, it dissipates over time. For stronger odors, we have specialized natural products at an additional cost.  And for other odors such as pet odor, musty odor, cigarette or cigar smoke, deceased animals, defrosted freezers, soured milk, other odor control measures may be required, also at an additional cost.

Q

Do you remove dog or cat odor?

A.

We'll get it out one way or another. If nothing else, the affected area can be replaced.

Q

Do you remove dog or cat stains?

A.

If there is any company that can get them out, it's SPARKLE Surface Care. If we can't remove it, it is because it cannot be removed. We use special spot removers specifically designed for this purpose.

Q

With pet odor is it possible to find where it is coming from?

A.

Yes. We have special probes and lighting that illuminate the urine areas. A black light is useful for this, it will "light up" just like posters do with a black light once popular back in the 60's and 70's.  This will allow us to focus on the problem areas.  Be aware, that male animals may mark, so walls, furniture bases and upholstered fabrics or window treatments may be involved.  If this is an on-going problem for you, you may want to purchase a black light, usually available at pet stores.

Q

What about pet or urine odor, can you remove it?

A.

Pet or Human, one way or another.  Be aware it can be costly and complex to remove.  First thing is the only way to guarantee lasting success is to remove the source.  If this is a loving pet and member of the family it can be difficult.  If you don't remove the source you do stand the risk of future contamination and odor.    With that said, the odor is the result of the ammonia salt crystals that embed in surfaces.  Once the water content in urine evaporates the salt crystal is left behind. Often, especially with a repeat offender situation, the more urine the deeper it absorbs thru, to the carpet backing, padding, sub-floor surface and beyond.  So cleaning topically, or the fuzzy surface of the carpet in not sufficient.  The technician must locate the urine and remove it as deep as it goes.  When this happens the carpet needs to be disengaged, cleaned on the back side.  The carpet pad needs to be cut out. The sub-floor surface needs to be inspected, disinfected and even sealed to lock the odor in.  Once all this is done the carpet can be reinstalled.  Also, other surfaces may be involved as well such as walls, baseboards, upholstery, even furniture. In some cases it may just be better to replace the affected area.  Feel free to call us for a free odor inspection.

Q

Can you get bleach stains out?

A.

Not the way you think.  Bleach causes dye loss. Dye loss is a condition where the surface of the fiber or fabric has been stripped of dye.  An easy way to explain it, if you drop bleach on blue jeans you know what happens- right?  Ok, now throw the jeans in the wash and wash them.  Will it put the blue back in?  NO, of course not. The same thing applies to bleach stains on carpet.  I can clean them but the stain will remain.  The way to correct this problem is to cut it out.  In many cases an installer can re-section the area, either using a small cookie cutter type tool, or a larger area as need be.  The trick is to have extra carpet to use.  If you don't have an extra piece, sometimes they will take a piece of "donor" carpet from a closet and swap it out.  That way you don't see it, and the repair is fixed.  If that is the solution you may decide to swap a piece of laminate in the closet, so it is uniform in appearance.

Q

What is the difference between a spot and a stain?

A.

A spot is defined as removable foreign material from a surface.  A stain results from when the foreign material strips the dye from the surface, as in a bleach stain, or difficult dyes actually affix to the surface.  This would be say red based stains such as Hawaiian Punch, blood stains, iron stains.  Other nuisance sources can be medications, dye from pet bones, iron based formula, chocolate, lattaes. Still others can be baby formula, coffee, teas, mustard based spills, hair dyes. To sum it us, stains are permanent.  Your only option is to cut them out which an installer may be able to do for you.

Q

Why are red based spots difficult to remove?

A.

Well think to laundry care.  Hawaiian Punch, spaghetti sauce, benedryl and cough syrups, coffees, teas, all of these can be difficult or impossible to remove.  Same is true for carpet and upholstered fabrics.  In fact, it is true that carpet manufacturers use Red Dye No 4 to dye carpet.  That is the same dye used in Hawaiian Punch.  You know why?  It works really, really well.  In the business when we deal with red based spots we prepare the customer to expect a lightening of these spots, as in what shade of pink will you be willing to settle for. If it can come out we will get it out.

Q

What happens if we have a blood accident on carpet or upholstery?

A.

Run to the phone and call a professional.  After you get them scheduled to come out asap, take wet terry towels or white paper towels, squeeze some water on the blood. Then take an unused plastic bag & place over the contaminated area.  Keep it wet until the professionals arrive.  Once it dries you loose your chances that we can remove it.  Also, the hotter the liquid the faster it absorbs deeper down thru the carpet, backing & padding.  Be prepared that we may have to return & repeat the process, or vary the technique.  At 98.6 degrees it usually pools under the carpet face.  Fingers crossed on this one!  Time is of the essence!

Q

What do I do if we have a Vomit or Diarrehea accident?

A.

Run to the phone and call a professional. After you get them scheduled to come out asap, take wet terry towels or white paper towels, squeeze some water on the blood. Then take an unused plastic bag & place over the contaminated area. Keep it wet until the professionals arrive. Once it dries you loose your chances that we can remove it. Also, the hotter the liquid the faster it absorbs deeper down thru the carpet, backing & padding. Be prepared that we may have to return & repeat the process, or vary the technique. At 98.6 degrees it usually pools under the carpet face. Fingers crossed on this one! Time is of the essence!

Q

My Hardwood, Pergo or Engineered Wood doesn’t need refinishing, it just needs cleaning can you do that?

A.

Yes we have the perfect service for that.  It is best described as a "zamboni" for wood.  Called the Dirt Dragon, it is a wood floor cleaner machine that is designed to clean, rinse and squeegie dry the wood in one pass with the machine.  As a periodic treatment, the floors are cleaned and rinsed of dirt, grime, oils, residues from cleaners and more household pollution that impedes the floors brilliance and lustre.  Some times it is just what the Doctor Ordered!

Q

Do You Work Weekends?

A.

We can by appointment.  While we do not schedule weekends routinely, we do accommodate clients whenever possible.  Sometimes we realize that weekends are the only option that works for our residential clients.

Q

We are a commercial client, will you work evenings or weekends when our business is closed?

A.

Yes of course, we realize commercial clients need services when they are not open for business.  We can schedule work on a weekend, or we can plan to arrive at the tail end of the work day as well.  Some clients are closed on Mondays, some don't have public hours certain days, while others close early.  We try whenever possible to schedule when it is best for you.

Q

Why Do Spots Come Back After Carpet Cleaning?

A.

Couple reasons.  If the spot went through the carpet to the backing it can "wick" back and reinfect the face fiber.  The hotter the liquid, the more volume, the better the chances for wicking.  For instance, hot beverages such as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, any biological accidents strike thru the carpet to the backing.  Once the water content has evaporated, there remains other ingredients that when slightly moisturized during cleaning it will evaporate up to the face fiber- reinfecting it with more discoloration.  Blood is especially prone to this.  If wicking occurs often a touch up will improve it. Another reason spots reappear, right away after it dries is because it is a stain that has been camouflaged by the damp carpet.  Once dry the stained fibers (either from dye loss, or dye "added") do not obscure the permanent stain.  Additional touch ups will not correct this problem.  Scissors may.