By Fabian Sandler
Dirt happens. So do pet accidents. Carpets are susceptible to being exposed to both dirt and pets. What happens when a pet has an accident on an expensive oriental rug? It’s too costly to throw away. Even cheaper area rugs tend to run hundreds of dollars. Should they be cast aside if Rover the dog or Felix the cat goes oops on the rug?
Let Carpet Cleaning & Restoration Services worry about those oops sessions. The owner, Larry Caudill, has been in business since 1995.
He got his start when the Houston area construction company that he was working for was going through reduction in force. “I got laid off. I got tired of it,” the owner explains. “I was already cleaning carpets on the weekends with another guy there. I started dabbling in it.” Larry says that he has never worked for anyone else in this business, and learned to fly, so to speak, on his own. He admits that it’s been at times a bumpy ride.
“I’m a mom-and-pop store. I’m family-owned, family-run. I believe we take more care of the customer than your commercial franchise companies. We use up-to-date techniques such as rotary extraction to standard wand, depending on the type of carpet and situation. The idea is to get your carpets as clean as they can be.” I think it’s the service and I think it’s the caring that differentiates us from our competitors.”
Carpet Cleaning & Restoration offers services that include air duct system cleaning to carpet cleaning, tile grout cleaning, furniture upholstery, restorations like sheetrock work and painting, dry out structures, and fire-damage contents. Larry and his guys can just about do it all.
“We do a lot of specialty cleaning,” Larry begins. “People bring us furs that their dog has urinated on.” In fact, getting rid of the scent of urine is one of their specialties. “Oriental rug cleaning is a lot different than cleaning carpets. You don’t just run a machine over it. It doesn’t work. If they’re heavily saturated in urine, a lot of times we have to put them in a bath and let them soak for a while to break apart the urine.
“With area rugs, we bring them back to the shop,” the owner continues. “You can’t professionally clean them in the house. We dry dust them, as it’s called, where it knocks out 80% of the dry soils out of it, the rocks, sand, the dirt, and dander. Once we get that out, the next step is to shampoo and clean it. Well, first we have to break up the urine from the rug.” This is where the bath comes in.
Wool rugs can last many decades, if properly taken care of. If it is stained, however, it must be removed immediately. Area rugs in general should be cleaned from every year to every third year. “We hand-clean area and wool rugs. We charge a little bit more, we clean delicate things. We dye-test everything,” Larry relates. After the dye test, dry soil is removed by way of a combination of professional techniques. The cleaning baths come next as gentle shampoos are used to agitate the soil loose, and then extracted. Finally, fast drying is implemented as the rug is gently hung on a rack, while turbo air movers are used.
It is not just the fibers that need cleaning, but the inner liner that really needs to be scrubbed.
Larry states that ducts should be cleaned every seven to ten years. “Technically, you should never have to clean your air ducts. It’s more the older systems. Usually there’s a problem, like the seals weren’t good on them and they started growing mold. If it’s too moldy you need to replace the whole line and be done with it. Don’t try to clean it. Usually, there’s a reason for us being there, like you had an animal eat the side through and a whole bunch of hot air got in. Or something went wrong with the coils. We’re mainly cleaning the older systems. We’re not cleaning newer systems as much, but when they’re not properly installed, then we’re needed.”
Sources of water can also be a problem. “If your hot water heater breaks,” Larry states, “we dry out the structure. We’ll work with the customer’s insurance company on that.”
A leaking hot water heater is minor, compared with the extensive and wide-spread damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey. Larry remains swamped working with contractors, particularly with mold remediation.
“We’re getting mold out of the houses so that contractors can start working,” Larry states. “We’re still taking calls. I’m doing all of their prep work, so that they when they start rebuilding, putting sheetrock back into the house all their insulation is clean. A lot of people are now starting to get their air ducts cleaned.”
“Carpet isn’t the only thing we do,” Larry expounds. “We clean all kinds of flooring as in ceramic/porcelain tile, travertine and marble, laminate flooring, solid wood and engineered wood. Most of the natural stone can be polished to bring back that original look.
“Our specialties include our fire/water damage cleaning,” Larry continues. “From your contents in the house to the structure itself, we will professionally dry it all out, stop the mold from getting a foothold in your home, to putting it back together,” the owner summarizes.
Larry explains that dry-out is separate from cleaning. Drying out a home after water damage is the first step before cleaning begins. “Step two then is to find out what’s damaged and what needs to come out and what can be salvaged and cleaned. Step three is the cleanup and rebuild.
“Fire damage is totally different than water, obviously,” the owner continues. “Soot damage can be cleaned up. We’ve cleaned whole houses from toys to furniture to the walls. There are techniques and ways to get rid of the odor to where it won’t come back.”
If items like mattresses are damaged from the soot, there isn’t much Larry can do, since mattresses, particularly foam styles, will absorb water and even odor. For items such as couches, hydroxyl is used. Larry explains that sometimes the furniture is removed and brought back to the shop for proper cleaning.
Homes that have had flooding from an interior source like a busted pipe or leaking sink or toilet, or hot water tank are easier to deal with than water damage from outside sources. “Imagine if you put water across the yard, it picks up gasoline to bacteria and mold and brings it all in.” In that situation, carpets and other damage are cut out and removed.
Most water damage projects are less than the home owner’s insurance deductible, and can be considered minor repairs. But, if there is extensive damage, Larry can work directly with the contractor or insurance company, saving his customers that aggravation.
Regardless of the source that leads to damage, Larry and his staff can clean and restore the contents of a home, from area rugs, furniture, exercise equipment, electronic equipment such as televisions and stereos, to toys and clothing.
Larry says that he gets a lot of calls from customers who smell an odor they believe to be mildew, but it turns out to be mold. “The problem people have with restoration is that they don’t understand that the drying is the most important part. They think they can cut it all out and get it out of there, and then let it dry on its own, but that’s when mold gets a foothold and if it’s not treated and killed, it can be a problem down the road.”
The business is located at 3000 N. Main in Baytown. The phone number is 281-838-4833. Hours of operation are 8 AM to 5 PM, Mondays through Fridays, but Larry can be reached 24/7 and can respond to an emergency call any time of the day or night. “If it’s water, we’re immediate,” Larry says. “Fires generally aren’t immediate, because usually the fire department’s in there. For a total burn-out, it’s usually a day or two before we can even get in there. But if it’s a light fire, they want us to get in there and start getting the estimates done with the adjusters, the quicker the better because fire’s an acid. It starts to get rid of paint. Anything it sits on or touches, it starts to ruin.”
If Rover or Felix have become too cozy with an area rug, if the water heater has decided to bathe the carpets, or the house smells a bit musty, Carpet Cleaning & Restoration Services has the solution.