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How to Choose the Right Carpet for Your Space

 

While looks are important, these are a few key considerations to keep in mind when shopping for carpets.

Carpets have long been a mainstay in flooring, even as hardwood gained its resurgence a few decades ago. While other floorings have many benefits, few can match the luxury and elegance of a well-maintained carpet. If you are thinking about buying carpet for your home, here are a few considerations to keep in mind. Each will help you make the right decision for you, your home, and your family.

  1. Think About Your Lifestyle

While many people go for aesthetics when it comes to carpet, one of the very first considerations isn’t about the carpet. It’s about you, specifically, your lifestyle and your home. Elaborate, beautiful carpets are one of the ultimate signs of luxury, but they simply will not last in a home of young children and messy pets. You will need to have your carpets cleaned fairly regularly; deep, lush carpets last much longer when they aren’t subjected to dogs running in out of the rain or the many messes young children can create.

So when looking at carpet, look for something that can stand up to your life, then look at the aesthetics.

  1. Look into Piles

The pile of your carpet, or how it’s made, is one consideration that will come out of thinking about your lifestyle. In general, carpets are made through two different styles, called cut or loop. Cut carpets weave fabric into the base and then cut the fabric. Loop piles, by contrast, loop the fabric back into the base. In general, cut pile carpets are less expensive because they require less time and labour to create, but loop pile carpets are generally more durable. Depending on where the carpet is going, like high traffic areas, and how often it will be used, you will want a loop pile over a cut pile.

  1. Choose the Right Material

On top of how a carpet is made, you will also need to consider the material itself. Many carpets today are made from nylon, polyester, acrylic and similar synthetic materials. The reasoning is simple: they are much more durable than natural fibers. Nylon is generally considered the most durable while polyester is more stain resistant.

That being said, wool is still a popular material for carpets because of its durability and resistance to everything from stains to static and moths. The major drawback for wool, however, is price, as it is easily the most expensive carpet material.

To say that carpets are making a comeback suggests that they went out of style, but this simply isn’t true. There are few things as luxurious and comforting as a nice carpet in your home. They feel wonderful under your feet, especially in the dead of winter, and they look fantastic. If you are considering new carpets for your home, be sure to consider the many factors that go into owning carpet, including regular cleanings. With the right choices and the right maintenance, your new carpet will look wonderful now and long into the future.

If you have questions about what type of carpet you have and the best cleaning option for you, give us a call! Our specialists are happy to help. 780-487-0184

How to Stop Your Pets from Going Potty on Your Carpet

Our furry friends provide us with hours of entertainment and companionship. They often feel like members of the family. Unlike our human family members, however, our pets are not toilet trained. If your pet is doing its business on your carpet instead of its cage, litter box or outside, it could be a sign of trouble. Here’s how to identify and correct this problem.

 

  1. Dog’s like to announce their presence by marking Dogs that pee on furniture, doorjambs, the leg of the coffee table, etc., are marking their territory. This is usually in response to a change in the environment, such as new furniture, a new baby, or partner moving in. Marking can also be triggered by the scent of other animals on your clothing. The marking defense is your dog’s way of saying “I was here first”. Some dogs only mark occasionally when stressed. For others, it’s a chronic problem.

 

While neutered males and female dogs mark on occasion, this behavior is most commonly seen in unneutered males. Early neutering is one of the best ways to prevent a male from marking. Another method is to watch your dog closely and when you catch him in the act, punish him in a safe an appropriate manner. A firm “no” while pointing out the wet area shows him your disappointment. Your dog wants to please you, so affirm his good behavior when he urinates outside.

 

  1. Cats mark too: Dogs are not the only animals that are territorial. If a cat feels threatened or uncomfortable in its environment, it will spray to calm itself down and to mark its territory. When this happens, it’s very important to clean the scent off your carpet or furniture completely, or the cat will come back to the same spot to spray again.

 
In addition to making sure your cat feels safe and comfortable by having its own space away from other critters (a cat tree, the corner of a closet, etc.) have an extra litter box in the house. In fact, if you have more than one cat, have a litter box per cat, plus one extra. Cats like to have their own space, especially at potty time. Make sure the litter boxes are easy to access and if kitty refuses to use it consistently, change its location, try a new litter or buy a larger box.

 

Also, remember that cats are very tidy critters. If their litter box is dirty, they may prefer your clean carpet over their smelly box.

 

  1. Little critters just don’t know any better: Smaller pets, like hamsters and guinea pigs, just go when nature calls them. Unlike a dog that can ask to go outside or a cat that can be litter trained, rodents eat and poop without giving it any thought. If you want to play with your small critter on the carpet, avoid doing so right after it’s had a meal, and if there is an accident, clean it up promptly.

 

  1. Anxiety: Urinating on the floor is a common sign of anxiety in most pets. When you are gone for an extended period of time, your pet misses you. The smelly surprise is their way of saying,
    “Don’t leave me like that! I thought you weren’t coming back.” If you are going to be gone for an extended period of time, have a trusted friend or family member check on your pet. In addition to making sure they have enough food and water, your pets need to be cuddled, petted, walked and played with. They are social animals; your unexplained absence stresses them out.

The high concentration of ammonia in cat and dog urine can irritate the lungs and trigger asthma or allergies. Even if the surface of your carpet appears to be clean, urine can quickly soak into the underpad. Animal feces should always be cleaned up from household surfaces promptly and thoroughly to prevent health hazards and staining.

 

If your pet has an accident in your home, call AmSteam for a thorough, deep carpet and upholstery cleaning. Our team of professional cleaners will also discuss long-term solutions with you, like our 3M Scotchguard Stainguard® treatment that eliminate smells and bacteria. Contact us today to learn more!

3 Types of Bacteria That Are Lurking in Your Carpet

Did you know that there are approximately 200,000 bacteria per square inch of carpet in your home?

Yes, you heard that correctly. And it’s not just everyday organisms like dust mites and allergens. A lot of the bacteria found in carpets pose serious health risks.

Below are just three kinds of germs hidden in your carpets.

 

1. Fecal Matter

Particularly common in households with pets and young children, fecal bacteria can cause E-coli diarrhea, salmonella or shigella. Along with these serious health risks, there are also viruses transmitted through human feces, including rotavirus, norovirus and hepatitis A and E.

 

2. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

These aggressive bacteria are resistant to antibiotics and can have a nasty effect on anyone who is infected. Symptoms typically include inflamed, painful red bumps and fever. MRSA can be contracted by coming into contact with an object or surface that an infected person has touched – including your carpets!

 

3. Mold

Molds can produce allergens, irritants, and even dangerous mycotoxins, leading to a variety of health risks. The most common health concern is allergies, with symptoms ranging from sneezing and coughing to inflammation of the throat and lungs. One particular type of mold that poses a risk is Aspergillus Versicolor, a slow-growing fungus commonly found in damp carpet. If a clump of this particular mold enters the lungs, it can cause a cough, fever, chest pain and even difficulty breathing. If the spores enter the bloodstream, it can lead to chills, shock, seizures and even blood clots.
84 percent of adults believe that their carpets are clean, but only 9 percent claimed to wash their carpets regularly. At Amsteam, we use the highest quality products and industry-leading methods to ensure anything harmful in your carpets is removed.

 

In fact, our cleaning procedures remove on average of 98.1% of common allergens from carpets and upholstery.

Don’t wait! Book your appointment online today!

3 Cleaning Hacks to Improve Your Household Chore Routine

If you are like most homeowners, you have a list of chores you do regularly, and you do them the same way every time. But what if we told you there’s a better way? With these 3 cleaning hacks, you’ll get better results and never go back to your usual way again!

 

  1. Use a squeegee when cleaning windows

Using a cloth to clean windows and glass almost always leaves behind streaks. By using a squeegee, you’re guaranteed to have spotless glass. The best part? They aren’t expensive at all. A small investment for a big improvement!

 

  1. Use pillowcases to clean your ceiling fan

Put the pillowcase over each individual fan blade and then pull it off. The dust from the blade will fall into the pillowcase, saving you from having to sweep those dust bunnies up from the floor afterward!

 

  1. Run used sponges through your dishwasher

You use them to clean your kitchen, but how you’ve never thought about cleaning the sponge itself! You can run sponges through your dishwasher to get a longer life span out of them. Running your sponge through a dishwasher cycle that includes drying eliminates 99.9998% of the bacteria inside of it! What better way to keep your home as sanitary as possible than making sure the tools you use to clean it are hygienic too?

 

By making these simple adjustments to your routine, you can make your home a whole lot more fresh! Enjoy the sparkle and flawless finish!

 

And of course, if carpet cleaning is on your list of things to do, give us a call!

Cold and Flu Prevention for Kids

Cold and flu season is upon us! Here are a few tips on how to head off cold and flu symptoms in your kids.

  1. Get Everyone a Flu Shot

Vaccinations stop disease, and when it comes to the flu, the best chance you have is free, easy to get, and effective. It’s called a flu shot and all you need is your health card and a local pharmacy. Getting a flu shot dramatically reduces your chances of getting the flu, but it works even more effectively if everyone in your family gets one as well. When more people are vaccinated, the virus that causes the flu has less viable hosts, and will be less likely to spread. That’s good news for you and your family.

That being said, vaccines are only effective when given to people who can have them. If you or a family member has had health concerns, you should check with a medical professional, like a nurse, doctor, or pharmacist, before getting your shot.

  1. Get Your Carpets Cleaned

There are millions of tiny bacteria and micro-particles trapped in the carpets and rugs of your home. Every day, dirt and other materials are ground into your carpet from actions as simple as letting the dog back in from the backyard or spilling something. These stains and accidents can be cleaned up fairly easily, but they can often leave behind bacteria and other things that can get us sick, and those tiny microorganisms bury deeper into the carpet and multiply.

Regular carpet cleanings are a key aspect of keeping your family safe. Annual cleanings are highly recommended for all households, but getting your carpets cleaned just before flu season can help you and your family stay healthy.

There are millions of tiny bacteria and micro-particles trapped in the carpets and rugs of your home.

  1. Wash Your Hands

People touch things constantly, from their faces to dirty surfaces to pretty much anything. In doing so, we pick things up in our everyday activities. To prevent the things we pick up from infecting our bodies, we have to break the cycle of touching things, getting infected with bacteria and viruses, and letting those pathogens multiply on our bodies. The simplest way to do that is to regularly wash your hands. Every time you cook, eat, go to the bathroom, or come home from crowded areas like a shopping mall, wash your hands. Encourage your children to do the same as well, helping them form good habits for regular hand washing. This is still the most recommended flu and cold prevention advice given out by doctors because it’s simple, easy, and extremely effective.

Keeping your home clean is key to keeping our bodies safe. Be sure to keep your home clean to help prevent infections in your home, including using the services of professional floor cleaners like AmSteamWe can ensure your carpets are bacteria-free so that you and your family can make it through flu season with a lot less tissues.

Contact us today to book your next carpet cleaning!

3 Things That Could Happen If You Don’t Clean Your Furnace for Winter

  1. Poor Combustion
    If your filters haven’t been replaced in quite some time, dust and dirt can build up in your furnace, causing it to run inefficiently. When this happens, your furnace can’t properly burn off Carbon Monoxide. The result? It leaks into your home, which can be deadly!
  1. Restricted Airflow
    Your furnace could be producing hot air, but if your air filter is blocked with dirt and dust, it won’t be able to blow that heat throughout your home effectively. This means it’s still using up energy (that you’ll be paying for), but you won’t reap the benefits of a nice, cozy home. This also puts extra pressure on the fan of your furnace, which could cause it to malfunction or break.
  1. False Readings
    If dirt builds up around your flame sensor, it could misread and shut down. Your flame sensor let’s the rest of your system know that there is actually a fire when your gas valve is open. If it’s unable to detect the flame because it’s too dirty, your furnace will keep producing gas. Very dangerous!

To avoid these unwelcome surprises (and others), a professional furnace cleaning is essential. Don’t get caught with a faulty furnace during the winter months! Give us a call today!

Tips for Getting your Home Ready for Winter

The changing of the seasons is nothing new. Every year, we look out the window to see the leaves changing from green to red and gold, before eventually falling to the ground. Every year, flocks of geese and other birds fly south, and sure enough, glittering blankets of frost begin to appear on the grass in the morning. Yet, in spite of how routine and predicable these changes in the seasons are, it somehow feels like no one is ever really ready for it. Most people end up scrambling at the last minute to get ready for the cold. However, by getting your home ready for winter before the cold sets in, you will feel more prepared for the drop in temperature, even if you wish summer would last just a little longer.

Check Your Furnace

When getting your home ready for winter, you’ll probably want to start with your heating system. You might not always notice furnace issues in the summer months when the heat is turned down, so now is the time to have your furnace checked to ensure it’s working properly and your house is being heated adequately. Have a furnace specialist come in and inspect to make sure everything is in good condition. This is also a good time to change the furnace filter and schedule your next furnace cleaning.

Keep the Heat in

Once you’ve checked your furnace and are confident you have enough heat inside your home, it’s time to make sure that heat won’t escape. The next step in getting your home ready for winter is to check your windows and doors to make sure they aren’t letting the warmth out. Is it especially chilly near windows and doors? Are walls around them cold to the touch? Do you detect a noticeable temperature drop in rooms with large windows? If this is the case, you may need to have windows or doors repaired or replaced, or install a plastic sealing kit around windows to prevent heat escape.

Carpet Care

Getting your home ready for the winter means preparing for winter messes too! The water, slush and mud that comes with winter can be a nightmare for your carpets. Be sure to have a protective mat in place for family and guests to remove their shoes before stepping onto the carpet. It’s also important to regularly check for moisture seepage on walls and floors, and especially in the basement where melting snow can drip in through cracks or windows. This moisture can damage carpets and cause mould growth if not remedied quickly.

Now that you’ve guarded your home against the cold, you’re ready for the low temperatures to set in. Getting your home ready for winter might not be your favorite way to spend the fall, but ultimately, it will save you time and stress and make winter a little easier. For help with carpet cleaning, get in touch with us here at Amsteam. We have solutions for protecting your carpets, and the equipment to clean them when winter finds its way in!

Contact us today to book your next furnace or carpet cleaning!

How To Protect Your Carpet For When The Snow Hits

Snow can be a wonderful thing. There’s nothing quite like waking up to a world all covered in pure, pristine white flakes falling from the sky, making your street look like a snow globe. As beautiful as it is, snow can make housekeeping a more difficult task than it was in the summer, especially if you have carpets in your house. Snow, as you’re aware, is frozen water that turns into puddles when it comes indoors. It’s often laden with mud, sand and plant fragments, none of which you want tracked onto your carpets. Here are some ways to keep your carpets clean when the great outdoors seems determined to ruin them.

Invest In A Doormat

Your first line of defense against the forces of dirty snow boots is a doormat. A cute little square of rubber that says “Welcome” won’t do. You need something to contain the mess as it comes into the house, because no matter how careful people are, tracking snow through the doorway is something that can’t really be avoided. Get something that covers your whole entryway, that won’t let water soak through onto your carpet, and that’s easy to clean without having to take it outdoors.

Set Some Boundaries

Getting a doormat is a great idea. Being a doormat is less ideal, especially when it comes to defending your carpets from messes and puddles. Make some clear rules for your family members and guests. Let them know that you expect them to take their shoes off when they come into your house.  Although if they’ve grown up in a snowy climate, it may be second nature to do that anyway. Putting up a friendly sign can help remind people not to leave their shoes or boots on as they enter your home. You’ll find that most people are more than willing to help you out.

Business As Usual

Unfortunately, no matter how hard everybody tries to keep the floor clean, floors are always going to get dirty, no matter which season it is. Even with a mat to contain the mess at the doorway, you still need to sweep, mop and vacuum as usual. Pay special attention to problem areas, like dining room carpets and bathroom rugs. With diligent cleaning, you can keep your carpets in good condition so that you won’t have to feel overwhelmed by a winter’s worth of dirt when spring cleaning rolls around.

When Winter Is Over

Everyone’s house gets a little bit dingy over the winter—don’t worry, it’s not just you! It simply isn’t doable to open up all the doors and do a spring cleaning before springtime. When it is time to clear out all of the winter muck, treat your carpet to steam cleaning from AmSteam, just to get the last few trouble spots out and your carpet looking as fresh and soft as new. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of finally getting to walk barefoot, unless it’s the feeling of walking barefoot on a freshly cleaned carpet. We can help you with that!

Contact us today to book your next carpet cleaning!

 

Redesign Your Front Entrance for Fall

The best way to get into the spirit of fall is to redesign your front entrance to match the season! There are many small changes that you can make to get festive, without blowing your budget. By capturing some of the most iconic autumn elements and pulling them into your design, you can easily achieve the best looking foyer on the block!

Rustic Chic

Reclaimed wood is a great way to bring a sense of warmth into your front entrance this fall. By adding something as simple as a small bench or chair, you can take your entrance space to the next level. Combining functionality and aesthetics, natural wood will provide a sense of character to your foyer, while also serving a purpose. Rustic pieces of furniture can add a touch of old-world charm to what might be an otherwise dull space. If you enjoy being on the cutting edge of interior design, look for something combining reclaimed wood and iron bars or piping, to add an industrial look to your entrance.

Add Splashes of Colour

When people think of autumn, one thing likely comes to mind before everything else – the colours! It is important when re-imagining your front entrance for fall that you add splashes of colour that evoke that sense of coziness and warmth that is synonymous with this time of the year. Grab a plaid throw blanket combining reds, oranges and browns, and drape it over your wooden bench or chair. Add accent colours with picture frames, pillows, lamps or rugs. The sky is the limit! Simply walk into any home decor store in autumn and you will be amazed by all of the options that you have.

Bring Nature Inside

Another important element of autumn is the time of the harvest. Recreate this look in your front entrance by collecting iconic images of the harvest and use them to adorn your tabletops or window ledges. Placing a few ears of dried corn into a wicker basket, along with a few freshly picked apples, will give your foyer a welcoming presence for your guests. If you are crafty, you can also work with materials such as leaves, corn husks and hay to create a stunning entrance just outside of your front door, welcoming everyone in before they even get ready to knock. Most important of all, don’t forget the pumpkins and gourds! These aren’t just for decorations for outside, as the smaller versions of these will look fantastic along with the other harvest elements inside, such as your basket of dried corn and fresh apples. Adding pumpkins will also create more of that pop of colour that everyone is aiming to achieve at this time of the year.

Don’t Forget the Door!

Make your front entrance look welcoming before your guests even step inside with a beautiful autumn-inspired wreath. Fallen leaves, pine cones, dried corn and husks, branches, and much more can be used to create your very own festive wreath! If you aren’t particularly crafty, there are also many options available to you at local craft stores and vendors of all kinds. Get into the festive spirit and decorate your front entrance today!

Keep your home looking fresh and welcoming all year round with AmSteam’s professional carpet cleaning, serving many locations within the Edmonton area.

Contact us today for a quote!

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality… With Plants!

Decorating a home is always a balance between practicality and artistry. Everyone wants their house to look beautiful, but nobody wants to try to keep a high-maintenance home looking fresh and new every day. That’s why we pick beautiful but sturdy furniture, and choose floor and window covering that are attractive but easy to keep clean. One way to beautify a home while improving its cleanliness is to decorate with live house plants. Not only do they add a touch of life and colour to your home, their natural properties can make the air cleaner in every room in your house. Most popular house plants are very low maintenance, requiring only a bit of water and an occasional trim to stay beautiful.

How Can House Plants Help My Air Quality?

It’s common knowledge that plants produce oxygen. Biologists call our tropical rainforests “the lungs of the planet”. Fortunately, you can harness that same oxygen-producing power on a much smaller scale to add a bit of freshness to your home, but even small house plants take it a step further than that. When plants use photosynthesis, they filter contaminants from the air. They can significantly reduce the presence of benzene and formaldehyde from the atmosphere, making it safer to breathe. Studies have even found that rooms with house plants can have up to 60 per cent less airborne microbes, including harmful mold spores.

Which Plants Should I Use?

Since all plants use photosynthesis, most plants are suitable for the purpose of improving your indoor air quality. However, some plants are more effective than others. Spider plants and rubber plants are both very popular choices because they do a stellar job of cleaning rooms and offices while being extremely easy to care for. Peace lilies produce beautiful and unique blossoms along with oxygen, and larger plants like weeping fig trees add grander touch of nature to any indoor environment.

Caring For Your Indoor Plants

If you want your plants to take care of you, you need to take good care of them. Fortunately, this isn’t difficult. Most indoor plants don’t grow too large and don’t require any special treatment. Watering them every few days is usually enough to keep them happy. If you see any dead leaves or flowers, simply remove them along with any built up dust. Some indoor plant food will provide any additional nutrients your plants require. If you have cats or small children, remember to keep your house plants safely out of reach (hint: cats are especially fond of spider plants).

Other Ways to Care for Your Air

One of the best ways to improve your indoor air quality is to keep your floors and surfaces clean. Dust regularly, don’t leave food or dishes out and about, and open the window if you’re going to use strong-smelling cleaners. Also, book a carpet cleaning or furnace cleaning with AmSteam to see a huge improvement in your home’s air quality. Better air and a beautiful home or office are easier to achieve than you think.

Contact us today!

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