Here's some news that I've written since I first started Hilbrands Carpet
Welcome: To Hilbrands Carpet Care in Temecula Ca. News Blog. If you haven't
got enough of me I talk on (and on) about what I've encountered since I
started this website. Southern Riverside County is a great place to live. I
have made my home here in Temecula CA with my wife and two kids since 1989
and couldn't be happier. Due to a family friendly yet lots to do location I
think you will too.
Once more I have had to update my website. I really liked my old design but
alas it seems that Google frowned on its wide design and once more it needed
to be updated. I worked hard to keep all the old content people loved
and moved some information into articles. This allows me to go more in
depth without making people weave thru things they are not interested in.
This is the 4th major change since we started this site in 2003, and yes, a lot of things have changed since then, but my desire to give a quality job for the best possible price will always be there.
Price your carpet cleaning right!
One of the things I'm proud of is having my full prices online and not raising prices at the door. The basics of pricing is counting your rooms and it matching the rooms when I get there. This involves some questions on the phone so my price is usually right on.
Really big rooms (bonus room), combo rooms (living room/dining room), L shaped rooms (Master suite) are generally 2 rooms. Keep in mind extra rooms over the first 3 are just 20.00. I am fair and its usually obvious when they are a double room. The second common error is does it need my dual process. I don't use this as a crutch and without it I will do all the spotting that a company that doesn't have this method does, but it makes the carpet many times cleaner. Since dual is usually only the 2 dirtiest rooms of the house (25.00) its not a large add on, and its often mentioned by customers before we schedule.
So basically count your rooms and hall, first 3 are at 25.00 rest are at 20.00 stairs are 35.00 and add 25 for two rooms if they
could use a prescrub and are heavily soiled.
Get the ink out!
A few weeks ago I had a previous customer call about a sofa we cleaned (and stainguarded) not that long ago. The sofa was an expensive Kraus sofa and their daughter took a sharpie from one end to the other. Over the arms and down each cushion. There are a few ways to remove sharpie but the best is rubbing alcohol (Ammonia could also be used but not on this fabric). I wetted each line with the alcohol and allowed to soak steamed and redid about 4-5 times before it was thoroughly out. Now while I mention my method I should point out liquefying would cause it to spread without the steam in between each spotting and I might use other spotters for Nylon carpet so I should say if you do it yourself and be careful. In any case we got the entire line out to a like new state. Our cost for the specialized cleaning was no extra over regular cleaning 90.00 (it was a sectional) and the customer said how we saved her 6,000.00 sofa.
Pictures above 1st image is prespotted with alcohol. 2nd image is still from video of after
Other common color spots are red spots on carpet. As seen on the carpet I spotted below. We can remove these too and usually charge 30.00 for them If you need this type of specialty just ask
Pictures above 1st image is after standard carpet cleaning. 2nd is doing red out process on the carpet. Notice how there is some red transfers on the towel. 3rd image is after
successful red out carpet cleaning.
2/12/13: So last week I went to a job and they had a quote from another company sitting on the stairs. I had to look at it. The company had separated their cleaning into basic and platinum package. No per room price just grand totals. I hate this it becomes a bad job or good job quote with no price checking available. They try to make it look like everyone does this they just have a all inclusive service. Don't fall for it. Their basic was 240 and their premium was 355. My quote for 8 rooms and stairs was 210.00. So was their basic and my quote offering the same thing? No. I treat my jobs as premium no matter how much they spend. Of course this job was pretty simple and had no real issues but we still took a lot of care and the customer added Stainguard of 5 rooms for 50.00 total job 260. So a premium + for just a bit more then their "Basic service".
So what do we do for our pricing on a hard job. Well today I had a 10 room and stairs (250.00) in Greer ranch. A high end development in Murrieta. It was for a property manager and he had said it needed some work. Upstairs I spotted while my assistant worked the wand. At some times he would catch up to me like when I was removing make up spots and clipping bleach spots or solventing some tar. I also was hand brushing some spotter in areas where a desk chair was or bad area in the hall all ahead of him. This was all included in our base price. Most companies don't do 2 man and I doubt they would care to spend so much spotting time alone even if it was a "platinum package". Down stairs we added a power scrubber for 35.00 when hand scrubbing would have become the whole room. Total was 285.00. Came out like new.
I know of many other stories of how I got some of my other property managers but must are recommendations after they had a company do this "wow its dirty I think I'll charge XXX" and then they make up a number (often failing to really get it that clean anyway).
After a number of years of knowing our website was getting dated we finally changed it. It should be easier to read but still have the content people love. This is the 3rd major change since we started this site in 2003. A lot of things have changed since then, but my desire to give a quality job for the best possible price will always be there.
When to replace carpets:
So many customers call to ask if their carpet can be saved. They want me
to take a look and the answer is always the same if its soil Yes. if its
stained with colors or smells No. Even if the soil is black and the carpet
looks terrible I can get it out.
You see soil can be scrubbed with a machine
until it dissolves and then removed with a steam machine all that matters is
that I spend enough time on it and use the proper strength chemical. Its the
permanent stains that are....well permanent. Yes we can remove red spots
with a dye reducer but they are difficult and one spot the size of a hand
can take 1/2 hour or so. Smells are not that sure fire and there is no way
So in general soil (black and grey)yes, stains (colors) or odor no.
But if you are ok with an improvement I can reduce permanent stains using
dye reducers and smells using enzyme to make more livable. I also can do
repairs that cause many to think their carpet is hopeless.
One this week in
fact had a 2 inch by 10 feet gapped seam in the middle and 2 inch by 15 feet
missing at edge requiring me to reseam the first section wall to wall and
then add 4 inches to the end from a remnant and seam in then power scrub and
steam to make look like new (there was no seam lines it was a perfect
repair) a definite saved carpet.
So what's new?
Well repairs and tile cleanings seem to be the big call lately. Last week I had four of each. One repair was from a fish tank and was 6' x 6' I wish I could have a bit larger piece of carpet to go to two walls but was able to take it at least to one wall and seam between wear to make it very hidden. The secret with repairs is to try and get them to be two sided so they can be better seemed in and less noticeable this is why sometimes I do triangle patches.
With tile cleanings people have been getting estimates from other
co.'s that come to their house and measure then give them a price of 450 or so one of my customers said he then dropped it a 100.00. When she asked about acid wash he said it didn't need it. When I showed up I did it for the online price of 215.00 acid washed not rotary steamed absolutely perfect just a cream colored grout line. To contrast I sometimes rotary steam a section then acid wash it shows the three levels dirty to good to perfect I wish I could show everyone the difference no one would pay for an inferior job at twice the price go figure.
have been a big call for me lately and I must say I have been praised on so many I'm getting a swelled head. Recently an agent had me repair a carpet that another cleaner refused. It was close to the wall so I pealed back and did the cuts from the back (this avoids cutting face fibers without the need to cornrow so its faster) and seamed from the back by heating tape and laying on. I then replaced the damaged carpet into the closet. It took only a 1/2 hour and was invisible (she was amazed).
I also did about 30 bleach spots in another job by tip cutting all but the larger bleach spots which I did with my cigarette burn type repair (I created and taught this method) all where invisible customer again amazed. On another I took a fresh Berber strand and re-adhered it to a run, also invisible.
None of these methods where ever taught to me but just evolved with carpet understanding and practice and involved many ah-ha moments. I now often use these methods to remove a bleach, paint or gum spot without charge while cleaning. Or certainly charge less to get while I'm there.
Do it yourself floods:
I have been called to do the relay from many do it yourself floods. I usually will do a relay for 125.00. Many though still have mold issues. One customer dried their carpet and then called a mold tester who charged $1,000.00 (more then if I had done whole flood). The tester said no mold present and yet I could smell it on entering the room and saw it on the tack strip, warped plywood, and water marked drywall and carpet. I don't have much faith in these testers and feel a good visual is probably better (and free). Anyway, I corrected some issues sprayed some disinfectant and relayed for 125.00. It is better though to have me do the full flood to prevent structural as well as carpet damage.
When to go heavy duty and Repo cleaning for banks
In home cleaning you worry mostly about residue, in repo for sale cleaning you need to worry about removing soil and getting home sold.
By using a scrubber you get more soil emulsified and don't
get concentrates on carpet that cause browning. When you use a co that doesn't do repos they wont know the steps and strength of chemicals to go either browning out or just making lap marks. In fact many repo cleaners are just a top co with a list of subs that just reduce income and expertise until finally gets to the tech who is just some kid. In one I met (we were mistakenly both authorized) he said his machine was so strong he didn't need scrubbing and what he uses is "oh it's not in the truck". He might try to do a good job but no scrubbing or even a spotter for lightly soiled carpet would really prevent this. My machine was stronger and I use a scrubber not because its fun because it works. As I work I keep spotter, razor knife, and solvent on a tool belt for problem spots/repairs so I am ready as I notice problems. Even while waiting for auth to get resolved I repaired a carpet edge and I installed closet doors for free that he said wasn't his job.
Be wary of co.'s like this that talk big and charge a lot more but all you end up getting is the flash of their top co and a kid at your door with little experience or desire.
After a summer of heavy bank reo cleaning I must comment on what I have been noticing. Repo Homes are either selling on auctions (the only one I know is http://www.ushomeauction.com/ that adds 5% to the winning bid for fees) or sold thru a real estate agent (which allows more thought and less fees). Many of my customers are investors and rent out or resell quickly, the faster the turnover the less the chance for prices to drop further.
One customer was cleaning before escrow closed with plans to list the
day it closed and sell for a 20,000.00 profit before his first house payment
(seems like a lot of risk for 20,000.00). Another customer told me he is taking a loss and wanted me to charge less. All I can say is this type of investing is tricky. Carpet cleaning usually needs dual process and is slightly more expensive then my regular rates it takes up to twice as long and there is no way I can do it for the same price much less lower then my regular truck mount cleaning. Homes are still selling but people want a bargain and want it to look better then others so if you want to sell clean and price low. If you want to purchase get a good deal, look for quality fixtures, and a newer home in good repair and, oh yah, call me.
Recently I wrote an article discussing rinsing carpets. Some webs suggested steaming twice and using fabric softener or vinegar in the rinse. This may cause problems or be smelly. The professional product is all fiber rinse and while It is better to be careful with spotters and not over soaping, neutralizing your carpet does wonders if you have a residue problem.
Usually to avoid over wetting one chooses the chemical that will do the most good rather then steaming twice. Grease/protein gets detergents, light soil gets pure water with spotting, residues get all fiber rinse. Detergents have a ph about 9.5 water only has about a 7 ph and all fiber rinse can go down to 4.5 ph (actually concentrate is a 2 ph so must be diluted). All fiber rinse costs about 15.00 a gallon and is heavily diluted.
So why use smelly or possibly damaging products. Even DIYers should purchase this chemical. It can help remove residue and you can steam with only this product if the carpet isn't to soiled. It does not cut protein stains as a degreaser but does remove stains from sweet substances, vegetable stains, and its better then rinsing with only water in these situations. It has a pleasant odor and will leave carpet soft and bright. It also helps to remove browning if you got ph to high and some pet spots due to it's light acidic properties.
Vacant House Cleaning:
My full house vacant cleaning for resale is used more and more by Realtors and new purchasers sometimes ask for it in their sales offer. A few days ago a customer was required to clean his home in his sale agreement. After 5 months on the market and accepting a low offer I got a deeply greasy floor and counter grout clean again, plus shiny tile bathrooms kitchens and of course carpets. Now since he still had to pay me wouldn't it have made more since to clean before his sale and sell his home faster for more money. Another point to make is I cannot tell you how many cleaning people leave the tile sticky after cleaning they use degreaser but can't rinse. You need to use a truck mount to rinse the floors a mop just can't cut it and how does it make your home desirable to hear sticky sounds as you walk.
Many spots require a number of different spotters used consecutively as different results are reached. Today a Customer used a product called Wine Away only to have the red wine spot turn black (Much worse then she started with). When I spayed lo-ph neutralizer on it, it turned back to a light red I could have stopped there but I then used
ammonia and back to neutralizer and repeated until the spot was barely noticeable. Red wine is a listed spot (not guaranteed removable from carpet manufacturers) and is best avoided.
Lately I have been doing a lot of restorative cleanings for repo's. They are always interesting because I attempt to not just clean them but make them show better for selling. Cleaning first is always better then selling as is; here are two examples:
One I could make perfect. It had a carpet lifted with no padding underneath a bad paint spill in the hall and a lot of soil it had the appearance of one that with cleaning and swapping the hallway carpet with the downstairs under stairs closet carpet and the other carpet repairs would look new. I gave my quote to the realtor (about 600.00) and the bank told them it was to be sold as is, Shoot, I could have made this home spotless. Now immediately after I had a home that was hopeless. It had missing cabinet doors, missing sink tile, a broken window blockaded with lumber, and in need of some carpet seems. As luck would have it I got that bid. I repaired and cleaned the carpet, Cleaned all hard surfaces, removed a gate from the stairs, removed a dingy shower curtain that was hiding some beautiful tile work in the bath, put in some shelf paper in the cabinets with the missing doors and removed all the useless unattached lumber that was blockading the window but offering no extra security.
The result was a home that still had flaws but were much less noticeable and its positives were emphasized it was clean with beautiful tile and the bank got an offer the next day and this was a home on the market through two realtors. So, clean always and yes homes can be sold with damage but they need to be deemphasized and a new emphasis found.
Summer of home resale's:
The summer is mostly over and I have noticed home sales have slowed so I can once again sit down to write. In the past few months I have had a number of interesting jobs. One customer booked me for a repair but then was amazed at how I removed the red spot using red out techniques (this involves an Iron, ammonia a towel and a lot of steaming).
I mention this because sometimes I do cut out stains but sometimes I can clean them out with special techniques. Another customer had fresh urine damage to a sofa. Some people aren't aware that cleaning only effects the surface fiber so I removed the cushion covers and emersion cleaned them for a better effect and then disinfected the cushions. I also had a call from another co that wasn't quite sure how to clean a long fiber wool rug after describing the technique he asked if I would do it (I used to work in Newport beach and did them regularly). Different jobs have different solutions that took me a long time to master so if you have an odd problem give me a call.
I just purchased a new heater for the Truck Mount. Its the biggest heater available at 120,000 BTU's combine that with a Roots 3.5 blower (suction) a 2500 PSI pump and a 20 hp Kohler engine makes my truck mount one of the best in the valley. Many truck mounts don't even use a heater but rather a heat exchanger that doesn't keep up the heat. A smaller blower which doesn't get your carpet dry as fast so they can use a smaller engine like a 12hp brigs. I have been doing this for a long time and having good equipment is crucial to doing a good job, yet I still charge a low price.
Home for sale cleaning:
With the increase in home values I'm doing a lot of fix up for sale of homes.
One of the things I like to bring up is that you always get your money back by cleaning before listing. Yes, it is nice to clean after you move out for the new owner, but I continue to hear from customers that they were glad to get their carpet restretched, or cleaned first because it sold so much faster.
One customer was saying he was going to take away the carpet allowance and I saw a sold sign the next week after it was on the market for going on two months. What made me think of this was a recent customer was told by three company's that their Berber carpet couldn't be stretched (one of the 3 sections had multiple widths with 5 doorways). Well It came out perfect I charged 250.00 and they gave me a 50.00 tip (they were very happy). Anyway they had been trying (unsuccessfully) to sell their 450,000.00 home in this kind of shape. Why?
Recently I gave a restretch quote over the phone to a new customer. It was a small room and a hall with wrinkle through the middle of it. I quoted 85.00 she loved the job and after I was done said the only other repair add in the phone book quoted her $400.00. Hmmm. What's funny is while cleaning a Hemet job today I told him about this. He responded by saying 85.00 seems like a lot and he could do it himself. Hmmm.
This is a job I did today the photo barely captures the transformation. The photo on left is finished. On right I have just power scrubbed so it is better then when I got there but not clean. If you look close the soil is loose and blended looking and does not have spots but still needs rinsing. The customer quote were "It looks like new and I can't believe it".
The carpet is 15 years old and was vacant I had no up charges at the door. I had the camera out only because she wanted a picture of the way the owner had left the home.