Carpet Cleaning Equipment

Carpet cleaning is a billion dollar a year industry in the United States. Many commercial and residential cleaning companies clean carpets as a part of their business. Carpet cleaning equipment can be split into three different categories, truck mount extraction equipment, portable extraction equipment, and residential extraction cleaners. Each category is used for different applications with varying results. When purchasing carpet cleaning equipment it is important to match the machine to the types of carpet you will be doing. For professional carpet cleaners, truck mount cleaning equipment is recommended. The average commercial cleaning company that dabbles in carpet cleaning will usually buy portable equipment that can easily be moved from place to place but will stand up to repeated use. The residential consumer will usually purchase lower costing equipment that is used infrequently and is priced much less that the other two categories.

Commercial truck mount cleaning equipment is a high powered carpet extraction unit that is usually housed in a van or trailer. Truck mount cleaning equipment is usually powered by a van or truck motor or by a portable generator. These types of systems can carry their own water and cleaning solutions making them independent and extremely mobile. Truck mount cleaning equipment is the most powerful of all the types of carpet extractors. The power of carpet equipment is measured by the pounds per square inch or PSI that the water is sprayed into the carpet at. The more powerful of a spray that the piece of carpet equipment emits the cleaner the carpets will get. Another method of carpet cleaning is steam cleaning. Steam cleaning works on the principal of heating water to break down grime and soil, making the carpets cleaner. Most truck mount units have built-in heaters that can super heat the water quickly making them extremely effective. With the combination of heat and PSI truck mount extraction surpasses any other method of carpet cleaning.

Portable carpet cleaning equipment units are small, lightweight and extremely maneuverable. These units can be easily transported in a minivan or truck and can be lifted up and down stairs. Portable carpet extractors have moderate to low PSI capabilities and are used primarily for spot cleaning and touch ups. Some portable units do have the capacity to heat water using electricity but are limited to lower temperatures that truck mount equipment. The two types of portable extractors are push/pull units or units that utilize a carpet extraction wand. In comparison, portable machines are about twenty-five to fifty percent less expensive than truck mount extractors and are very reasonable to operate.

Residential or consumer carpet extractors are more commonly known as steam cleaners. Common steam cleaner manufacturers include Hoover and Eureka. Consumer carpet extractors do a great job at spot cleaning and are usually priced under five hundred dollars. Most types of consumer carpet cleaning equipment work on the principle of agitating the carpet fibers and rinsing them with a water solution. These units do not have the capability to deep clean but do a sufficient job at removing visible debris. Most steam cleaners are based on the upright vacuum cleaner design and resemble these units in many ways. These units are great to have around for removing food and drink spills or if you have pets. Steam cleaners or residential types of cleaning equipment are mostly disposable units that are not meant to be repaired or discarded when they become nonfunctional. Steam cleaners and steam vacs are extremely portable and can be used easily in multi-level homes with most types weighing under thirty pounds. These units can increase the life of carpets by quickly removing debris before it is ground in and becomes a stain.

4 Easy DIY Home Security Projects to Protect Your Family

Many people who think about home security immediately think that the first thing to do is install a wireless burglar alarm.

While home alarm systems are a major component when it comes to protecting you and your family, they are not the only things that DIY homeowners can do to improve security.

To stop potential burglars from entering your here are some easy to do tips and DIY projects that do not cost a lot and can help.

DIY Home Security Project # 1 – Improve Window Strength

Most burglars or intruders will tell you that the easiest way for them to enter your home is through your unlocked windows and doors. Unfortunately though, not too many of them are knocking on your door to share this info with you.

Safety locks on windows are easy to install. They work by only allowing them to open part of the way, but not enough so that burglars can fit inside them.

Another tip is to replace worn out window putty and caulking on older wood windows, and reinforce the wood with long finishing nails. You can also insert pins in double-hung windows. With the window closed, drill a small hole through the top corners of the lower sash part way into the outer sash slightly downward. Be careful not to damage the outer seal or drill through the outer sash.

DIY Home Security Project # 2 – Remove Outdoor Hiding Spots

If you have large shrubbery or trees close to your property you may be allowing burglars to hide out and watch your comings and goings. This allows them to stalk you to see the best time for them to break into your home.

Burglars can also access higher windows to your home if a tree is close to your home.

It is wise to eliminate or at least prune any tress that can be used as potential hiding places. Trees that are close to your home should be well pruned and cut branches within easy reach of upper floor windows.

DIY Home Security Project # 3 – Improve Lighting

Most burglars work at night. An ideal deterrent are large lights around potentially easy entry points.

Motion detection lights are very popular among most DIY homeowners since they are easy to install, affordable, and they have the option of staying on permanently or only when something triggers them.

DIY Home Security Project # 4

Wireless Vs Wired Burglar Alarms

For the average DIY home owner, wireless burglar alarms are much easier to install and affordable than the wired systems.

Many advantages come with wireless burglar alarms including ease of installation, the fact you do not need to install wiring throughout the home, and the sensors can be placed anywhere in the home easily.

Making the Most of the Relationship With Your Construction Manager

Congratulations. You have decided to build your new home or major renovation. You have picked out your construction manager and you are finally ready to get started.

Building a new home or doing a major remodel is an exciting time. And the most important relationship you have during this time is with your construction manager and maybe primary contractor. Here in Panama, like most places they are usually the same firm.

If you do it right, your project will be a dream and your friendship will be a long one. But, if this relationship is strained, the venture could turn into a nightmare of never ending expense and bad feelings.

Here are 5 steps to keep a good relationship with your construction manager.

Set a Proper Budget

Your budget should be determined before anything else is done. This includes getting your initial quotes and estimates. Without knowing a budget, it is almost impossible to come up with a proper estimate. It’s possible to do a $5,000 dollar kitchen or a $50,000 dollar kitchen. Without a budget, it is impossible to proceed.

Also, when you are doing your budget, you need to allow for changes and over runs. 80% is a good benchmark. So, if you have $200,000 to allocate to your new home, your budget should be around $160,000. If you have it and don’t need it, you can use your extra 20% for furniture. But, if you need it and don’t have it, everyone’s schedule needs to go on hold while you find the extra funds.

Pre-Plan

The most important stage of any construction project is the pre-planning you do with your construction managers. A good plan will eliminate or reduce changes and problems along the way. But, not having a good plan is sure to result in cost overruns and bad feelings.

You should know everything in advance. The makes and model numbers of supplies, how they will be installed, everything. This planning will help keep everything on schedule and as expected.

Keep to the Plan

Wherever possible, try and keep with the plan. When you change anything along the way, schedules are interrupted and it is going to cost you. Probably more than the upgrade or change would have cost originally. So, if you change from a $20 door knob to a $40 door knob, it may end up costing you more than the $20 dollar difference, due to extra trips to the store, schedule changes etc.

This is a small example, but any change at this point causes a disruption, and any disruption takes time from the schedule. If possible, nothing should be changed at this point. If a change needs to be done, use a proper change order. This way all parties know exactly what is expected and what it is going to cost. It will save misunderstandings later.

Follow Up During the Process

Sometimes, no matter how well things are planned, there are misunderstandings during the construction process. Maybe you thought one thing, while the construction manager’s understanding is something different.

Regular follow ups through the construction process will ensure costs are kept to a minimum. If you wait until the project is done before telling the contractor that you wanted a different finish, it might mean ripping out some other finishing work later. And disrupting your entire schedule.

Do a Walk Through / Punch List

Finally, after the construction is completed, do a walk through with your construction manager. Waiting for 3 months to inform the construction manager that there is a problem isn’t going to help you resolve the issue. Get everything out in the open right away, so it can be dealt with.

Working with a construction manager is a process starting before your construction begins, and ending after it is complete. If things go well, the relationship could last for years.

The most important parts of the entire relationship are in the preplanning stages. So make sure that ample groundwork is done.

Make your next construction project a dream come true, and make your construction manager your best friend.