February 26, 2013 // Franchising.com // Nashville, TN – As February typically marks the peak of cold and flu season, Chem-Dry, the world’s largest carpet and upholstery cleaning service, has comprised a list of preventative measures that homeowners can take to prevent the flu from entering and spreading within the home.
The Environmental Protection Agency has found that Americans, on average, spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors, sharing most of their time and space with indoor air pollutants and germs that can prompt illness. With the flu virus staying live for 48 hours or more, it can be very easy to contract simply by touching a surface that was recently touched by someone with the flu. Consequently, neglecting your carpet and upholstered furniture can be detrimental to your health.
As carpet and upholstery act as filters that absorb the dirt, dust and allergens in the air, Chem-Dry’s hot carbonating extraction method uses millions of carbonation bubbles that penetrate deep into the carpet fibers and safely release dirt from the base of the carpet so they can be easily extracted. Because carpets trap and hold dirt and germs, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that carpets be cleaned every three months.
“This time of year, it is especially important for homeowners to make sure they do everything they can to protect themselves and their families from all the germs that can cause illness,” said Dan Tarantin, CEO of Chem-Dry. “Hiring a professional cleaning service to eliminate germs and allergens from their carpets and upholstery is one important step to ensuring a healthier home. When you look at the alternatives that customers have today, you simply won’t find one that does a better job of deep cleaning carpets, minimizing inconvenience by allowing carpets to dry in just a couple of hours, and creating a healthier living or work environment.”
In addition to vacuuming, there are several other measures that can be taken to safeguard your health. Beyond getting a flu shot and washing your hands, among other common suggestions, below are additional tips that can help people avoid catching and spreading the flu within their homes.
In order to allow disinfectants to do their job, homeowners must first take measure to remove the dirt and grime that are too often left to linger. Since no disinfectant is 100 percent effective, any remaining dirt can cause germs to regenerate after disinfecting is complete. Therefore, make sure to choose an appropriate cleaning formula that is designed to bond with the kind of dirt you’re dealing with. While cleaning, make sure your cleaning rag has the absorbency power to effectively remove the dirt, rather than just spread it around.
Frequent vacuuming can make a major difference. According to the EPA, a dirty carpet can retain indoor air pollutants that can lead to the production of toxic airborne gases, which often become trapped within carpets. These toxic gases can be released through everyday activities, such as simply walking across the floor. Have your carpets cleaned and sanitized professionally and then stick to a regimented vacuuming schedule. Most people wait until they see visible debris on the carpet before they feel the need to vacuum; however, it’s best to vacuum at regular and frequent intervals to keep your home healthy.
In addition to the visible dirt that comes from food crumbs, dirty shoes, and neglect, germs can also enter your home through moisture, which can later develop into mold. Unfortunately, mold removal is not as easy a task as eliminating loose crumbs because mold is usually undetectable to the naked eye and can sink deep into the carpet fibers where it can fester and cause health problems. According to the CDC, indoor mold can produce a wide range of side effects, from mild symptoms (nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, skin irritation) to severe ones (upper respiratory illness, asthma attacks, allergic reactions, fever). Therefore, during the winter months, it is recommended that homeowners request that people entering the home remove their shoes at the door and manually dry their carpets whenever moisture is tracked into the house.
With Americans spending 90 percent of their time indoors, much of that time is spent relaxing on upholstered furniture. Therefore, when a higher level of cleaning is required to prevent the spread of germs during and post flu season, don’t forget to thoroughly clean your couches and recliners as they tend to consume a large amount of the very germs that turn our relaxation time into misery. First and foremost, vacuum the surface of your couch to remove loose dirt and hair. Then, make sure to use the best cleaning solution for your furniture; this depends on (1) the type of fabric, (2) the dye stability, (3) the age, and (4) the soil level. While it is primarily recommended to hire a professional to choose the best cleaning solution and method for each piece of furniture and situation, homeowners can “spot clean” on their own in between cleanings. When doing so, test for colorfastness in an inconspicuous area and allow it to dry completely as bleeding occurs during the last few moments of drying. Then, clean the area with a mild detergent, preferably with a neutral pH; most dish soaps work well when diluted 10 parts water to 1 part soap. Make sure to blot, not rub, and use a clean towel. Repeat with a damp towel that has no detergent. It is safest to choose a cleaning formula that is non-toxic; some solutions contain carcinogens like nitrilotriacetic acid, which should be avoided when possible. Green-certified and natural solutions, like Chem-Dry’s Stain Extinguisher, are a good choice. While cleaning, be careful not to use too much water as an overabundance can leave water stains and cause the fabric to shrink.
Founded in 1977, Chem-Dry is the world’s largest carpet and upholstery cleaning service, with a network of over 3,500 units in 35 countries serving over 10,000 homes a day worldwide. Its green-certified solution and proprietary hot carbonating extraction cleaning process allow surfaces to dry faster, provide a deeper clean, and leave homes healthier. Chem-Dry has been ranked the number one carpet cleaning franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for 25 consecutive years and has been selected by Franchise Direct as one of the top 100 global franchises. For more information, visit www.chemdry.com or visit www.chemdryfranchise.com for franchise opportunities. Chem-Dry is owned by Harris Research, Inc., which is also the founder and owner of the fast-growing N-Hance Wood Renewal franchise.
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