Carpet Cleaner Leaves Too Much Water Behind

Either by faulty technician procedure or faulty equipment- take your pick, both are amongst reasons that cause “brown out!”

Just had the curse or the blessing to help a homeowner with her disastrous recent carpet cleaning. She called in major distress explaining that the carpet cleaning done by someone else was not only a total failure, it left these weird brown blotches all over her carpet. They appeared in strange areas, all over the place and not where anyone walked.

Now the story intensifies. The homeowner, a casual networking colleague, was preparing for the funeral of her brother, and her home in a mere couple of days would be a gathering spot for the two services to be held for her brother’s sudden and unexpected death. She called for emergency service, pleading and praying we could help her.

Immediately we identified and explained what was wrong with her carpets and assured her we could correct it. We would reverse the “browning,” that her carpet experienced. And, we promised we would get it done in two days before her brother’s celebration of life.

Her relief on the phone was obvious. You see Charisse’s job is coordinator and overseer of all technical services performed by her busy, (outstanding customer service oriented), bustling hvac and electrical contracting business she is employed Raynor Services She is the one “in the trenches” dealing with customers, and customer service. She is the one on the front lines orchestrating and  making things happen and buttoning things up in a positive manner for all involved- holding hands, making miracles happen and “taking a rabbit out of a hat.”

So with that said, as our customer she finds herself right in the place where her emergency customer usually is, feeling perhaps desperate, and at the mercy of the professional they called upon- her company. And like them, she finds herself praying we can help her!

She called us in an absolute frantic panic attack—she was horrified!

An acquaintance in the networking world (she works for a good client of ours, and belongs to a networking group we belong to), she called freaking out at the appearance of her carpet. Although she had intended to invite us to work in her home for some projects, she decided to let someone clean along with house cleaning to get ready for a funeral (because they were already there). This was but 3 days before the funeral, where family and friends would be gathering in her home afterward.

In a panic, she called and explained what her carpets looked like. Kind of at wits end she couldn’t explain all the bizarre brown spots that had appeared on her carpets in odd locations, like random areas, including where no one ever walks.

Immediately I explained “brown out” is a result of cleaning, and that we had a reversal solution that would most likely make it disappear.

Talk about relief. It was as if I talked her back off a cliff. She immediately felt comforted when 1, I explained what had happened, and 2, I had a cleaning correction procedure that would fix the problem, and immediately before her family gathering. (It was bad enough to deal with a sudden untimely death of a sibling. But add to that this “train wreck” appearance and potential embarrassment of her carpet that others would not doubt see if not resolved right away. She was livid and frantic!

Feeling reassured there was a solution, she asked would we have time to do this, like immediately!

I further explained that we would drop and run to her aid. As it is common that some emergencies or correction procedures are a race against the clock, we prioritize these appointments when customers need help right away. Well you could say at this point, it was like the weight of the world was lifted from Charisse’s shoulders!

An appointment was set, and we would be in touch with her via phone at work to report on things.

It’s bad enough when you have a job where you are the “go-to” coordinator manager whose presence is integral to the daily flow of a busy, successful contracting entity, and who is sorely missed every day you are out. It is even worse when you have to take time off for a service appointment at your home on top of taking time off for a funeral. I told her don’t worry, if someone can let us in she doesn’t have to be there. We will assess the situation, call her, review what needs to be done, and fix it once she gives us permission.

As it turned out her hubby could be home to meet us, and we would call to let her know everything, before, during and after. What a relief for her!

Once on location Chris called to report this was the worst “brown out” he had ever seen! He was astounded…

With Charisse at work, but her husband working from home the correction carpet cleaning ensued. However, as it did Chris scratched his head and crossed his fingers.  Also, he had our Zipper Wand™ “on board,” which would be the ideal wand choice. To learn about the zipper and other Click here to learn about our specialized wands like the zipper for certain circumstances.

Different wands do different things, and in this case we needed a special wand that is designed to recover the hot water released during the re-cleaning. We needed to make sure we removed as much water as possible- period!

“On Deck”—We planned to re-clean the carpet, apply an anti-browning agent, and accelerate the drying process to reverse what happened.

First we certainly had to re-clean the carpet, and use the anti-browning agent to eliminate the odd looking brown—blotchy areas throughout the affected carpet. And since it was a large area Chris went through his anti-browning agent like there was no tomorrow. (Usually the anti- browning agent is in stock, “on-board” the truck, sitting there and available for use. But usually only needed for isolated areas it is rarely needed.)

After applying the “anti-browning” we extracted with our Zipper™ Wand, a wand designed specially to minimize the release of water, and did extra dry strokes.

What is brown out?

First a lay explanation that may explain it easily:

  • Take an apple and bite into it, then leave it sit. The inside of the apple will turn brown, which happens when the sugars start to caramelize when exposed to the air. Eventually it becomes unappetising…
  • Peel potatoes and either let them sit, or put in a pot with water. Over time they too will turn brown. One quick way to stop that (if you prepare potatoes ahead of time for cooking) is to squeeze lemon juice in the pot of water. You can avoid the browning of the potatoes. Before cooking you replace it with fresh water before cooking.

Each of those explanations get the point across as to browning of carpet. The same thing happens to carpet for one reason due to over-wetting (either technician error or equipment failure ((from jet malfunction et al))). The other reason could be because of high alkalinity let behind on the carpet. (And to complicate matters there are other reasons carpets turn weird colors, less so with today’s’ carpets, but none-the less, when it happens people find themselves in a weird place with an expensive surface needing attention or replacement. While less likely to be permanent like other strange coloration, odds were in favor it could be reversed.)

As the correction cleaning progressed Chris felt it necessary to do more than basic “brown out” procedures.

Between the severity of the “brown out” and the impending family gathering Chris wanted to be extra careful in assuring the “brown out” would correct and not return. Again, wetness is a major cause, so re-wetting was necessary but also capable of returning. Therefore Chris took extra precaution:

  • During the cleaning he had the anti-browning agent needed, but frankly for this job they used the entire stock on the truck. Usually rarely needed, what is kept on the truck is adequate, and although they had enough it was barely enough
  • As the cleaning began he placed several “air movers” (aka heavy duty fans) to circulate air across the damp carpet to assist in the drying
  • We suggested they purchase or borrow a small household “dehu” or de-humidifer and use it in the area where the browning was
  • Again, using the Zipper™ Wand, inherently designed to improve drying, Chris and his tech also did extra “dry strokes” to extract as much wetness from the carpet

Satisfied that the brown-out disappeared with the careful methodical cleaning and drying Chris was pleased with the results.

Chris called back to the office to report the progress so it could be shared with Charisse while she was at work.

Not just keeping the progress to himself, Chris called me in the office to give updates. At this point he shared that he was pleased with the results, and felt he was about finished, and that he would “shut the truck down” and begin rapping up. I called Charissee at work and gave her a “professional” assessment of the progress and update. Thankful for the info it was obvious she was relieved and appreciated we kept her aware of every step along the way.

However, the phone soon rang again (it was Chris) and Chris informed me he wasn’t done.

He decided to add an extra drying procedure— “bonnet drying.”

Bonnet drying is a extra procedure where an floor buffer, or “swing machine” is used with a drying pad called a “bonnet” to absorb moisture when used (blotted) across the damp carpet. A bonnet is a thick, looped and round cotton pad that is placed under the buffer. As the buffer swings from left to right across the carpet the dry bonnet pad’s cotton surface absorbs the wetness on the carpet. It pulls the moisture out of the carpet. Once the bonnet becomes significantly wet, it is removed and a fresh, dry bonnet is installed. This process is repeated over and over across the entire affected area.

Clearly almost doubling the time spent, this drying procedure assuredly extracted all surface moisture possible from the carpet. Add to that the air movers, dehumidifier, ceiling fans and air conditioning, there was everything in place to resolve the problem, and call this a success!

I again called Charisse, gave her the update, and pointed out Chris pulled out all stops so the browning was removed, and wouldn’t return!

Totally relieved she couldn’t wait to get home to see it for herself!

If you have questions, basic cleaning or a problem project give us a call. We do reserve time for people with emergencies to help them out. Give us a call at 609.953.0472Contact Us on line and we will reach out to you!