Want a Great Carpet Cleaner? Just Ask

If you’re looking for a professional carpet cleaner, you’ll want to take your time and do it right. Look at it this way: Your carpet represents a big investment. The right cleaning service can help you enjoy that investment, every day, for years. The wrong cleaning service can ruin that investment, cutting short the life of your expensive carpeting and requiring you to replace it years too early. The best way to select a quality carpet cleaning company (aside from personal recommendations), is to take the time to ask a few questions. Start with the ones included below. Get the right answers, and you’ll be well on your way to finding a carpet cleaning service you’ll trust for years. Be wary of the lowest-priced option The most successful carpet cleaners are rarely the least expensive. Cleaning services that succeed do so on the strength of jobs well done; the quality of their work generates positive word of mouth, stellar reviews, and repeat business. Successful cleaning services also tend to retain the best employees – paying them a premium in order to ensure that work is performed by skilled technicians who take pride in their work. Companies that can’t rely on quality results to generate business have to use other means – such as offering deep discounts to potential new customers; if you see a price that’s below the competition’s, be wary. Ask if the cleaning company is insured One way that successful carpet cleaners maintain a quality team is by offering quality insurance coverage. While you don’t need to know the details of this coverage, it’s entirely appropriate to ask your cleaner if a.) they are fully insured and b.) if they provide offer workman’s compensation. This insurance not only covers the employees, but protects you from liability should an injury occur on your property; a lack of insurance suggests that the company has no problem cutting corners to make a few extra dollars. That’s a red flag, for certain. Ask if work is guaranteed A carpet cleaning should always come with a satisfaction guarantee. Generally speaking, the cleaning service will pledge to return and re-treat any areas of the carpet where a spot was left behind; this spot will be treated until you are satisfied with the results. Companies that perform quality work will rarely be asked to return – a small price to pay for giving their customers extra confidence; only companies worried about having to return too many times will fail to offer a guarantee. These are the cleaning companies you’ll want to avoid. Ask if the company uses green cleaning methods As you should know by now: There’s quite a difference between the best carpet cleaners and all of the rest. So it shouldn’t surprise you that their cleaning methods can also vary a great deal. One key difference that separates the best cleaners from the also-rans is the use of green cleaning solutions. Meridian Chem-Dry, for example, uses only non-toxic, child-safe, and eco-friendly carpet cleaning solutions. Competitors that employ less expensive detergents or solvents may be able to remove stains, but they may also leave you with a carpet that you would rather not touch. Ask for a quote in advance Reputable carpet cleaning companies have experienced, confident technicians who will get the job done in a minimum amount of time, with a minimum amount of surprises. As a result, these technicians have no problem providing written quotes prior to beginning work. Companies that don’t offer quotes in advance are a.) less experienced, b.) less efficient, and/or c.) less transparent in their pricing. None of these options should inspire your confidence. Stick with companies that aren’t afraid to offer pricing in advance.

7 Steps To Planning A Fall Wedding

Dreaming of a fall wedding? You are not alone. Fall, with its slight chill and colorful foliage, is a great season for a wedding. With a fall wedding, you can incorporate seasonal elements into different areas of the ceremony for a truly unique experience that you and your guests will cherish forever. Here are the steps for planning the ultimate fall wedding.

1. Make the big decisions first.

There are a couple of things you need to get out of the way before you sit down to plan your wedding. First, you need to decide on the kind of ceremony you want. Do you want a pastor to officiate, or would you opt for a rabbi or an imam? Do you want to do it indoors or outdoors? Can you decide between an unconventional wedding venue or your local church? How many guests do you want to invite? What's the color and theme? It is best to agree on these major areas before you take the next step to lower the chances of disagreements and miscommunication once you're knee-deep in wedding preparations.

2. Make a budget.

The budget is essential especially if you both decide to put a cap on how much you want to spend. A budget can also help you narrow down your options which can make for more efficient decision-making. A great tip when doing your budget is to ask your local wedding planner for a rough estimate for a wedding such as yours to get a reasonable benchmark. This is a great way to avoid overpaying for certain services and can help you allocate more resources to areas of the wedding that mean more to you as a couple.

3. Choose the reception venue.

wedding venue

Choosing the reception venue is one of the major areas of wedding preparation that should be done months ahead of the wedding date. Since you already know what kind of wedding you want to have and how many guests you want there, you can choose a venue that will suit these preferences and your budget. There are so many reception venues for fall, from outdoor gardens to barns, a local quaint hotel with a pretty courtyard or a small bed and breakfast for a small, intimate affair. Consult with your planner, ask recently married friends, look at venue directories in your area and check out bridal magazines and websites if you need more wedding venue inspiration.

4. Send out the save the dates.

Some couples hold a photo shoot for Save the Dates, so you may need to book a photographer and have these cards printed before you are able to check this off your list. Plan for your Save the Dates ahead of time so you can get this out of the way and get back to wedding prep in no time.

5. Book your suppliers.

Start looking for vendors right after your engagement because you will need to narrow them down until you meet the vendor that is appropriate for you. Vendors include your photographer, caterer, make-up artist for the big day, florists, and of course, your wedding coordinator. To make things easier, choose your coordinator first. He or she can do most of the legwork by connecting you with the vendors most likely to deliver the kind of products you want for the big day. Experts recommend doing this four to five months before the wedding date, because you still need to allocate a week or two to personal meetings with your potential vendors, attend cake tastings, meet with your make-up artist for a trial session, and the like.

6. Plan for a fall menu.

A fall wedding is a great chance to showcase seasonal favorites, from decadent pumpkin pies to hearty dishes of lamb and pork to whet guests' appetites. Incorporate that romantic autumn feel by opting for apple-based desserts such as piping hot crispy apple pockets and hot cinnamon drinks. It is best to hire a wedding catering service early on in the preparation so you can work on the best dishes to incorporate in the menu. Giving yourself ample time to work on the menu plans with your wedding caterer is important especially if you have guests with allergies and other food considerations.

7. Prepare for fall weather.

Fall days tend to be warm early in the day and gradually cool off as the sun sets. Depending on where you are holding the wedding, showers can happen. It is better to have a contingency plan, such as an indoor hall or tents nearby. For outdoor venues, keep fires burning around the venue. Serve hot cocoa or spicy pumpkin lattes to keep guests warm all throughout the night. Assign a corner where guests can grab umbrellas and complimentary wraps or shawls when it gets chilly. You can even use soft fall shawls, wraps and scarves as stylish wedding tokens for guests. There's no better season to get married on than fall. Romantic and colorful, fall can give you the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable wedding, whether set indoors or outdoors. With timely planning and the help of seasoned industry professionals, nothing can stop you from having the fall wedding of your dreams.

How Efficient is Your Home?

Having an efficient home is important for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, if your home is energy efficient, you will save money every month. It’s as simple as that. On top of that, maintaining your home’s energy efficiency is better for the environment, and more comfortable for you and your family. There are many ways the the efficiency of your home can be compromised. Doors, windows, HVAC systems, and general construction can all affect your home’s efficiency. If you have a historic home, or even just an older home, there are many things that you should check when it comes to efficiency. Modern construction techniques create much tighter and precise joints and seams in walls, windows, doors, and flooring. In older homes all of these areas should be checked to make sure that your cooled or heated air isn’t escaping through a bunch of tiny outlets. It's always a good idea to have your home’s efficiency checked by experts. Your local HVAC company can usually help you test your home to find out where conditioned air is escaping. They can also let you know if your windows or doors are creating hot or cold spots. Here are some solutions to various home efficiency issues:
  • Applying Solar Window Films: Solar window films from 3M have a variety of uses, but chief among them is to reflect the sun’s rays to avoid hot spots around your windows that make your AC unit work harder. It’s recommended to have experts, such as Solar Concepts Inc., apply these films to make sure that it is done correctly.
  • Regular HVAC Maintenance: Getting your HVAC serviced a couple times a year can make sure that everything is running as it should year round. This can help to catch small problems before they become larger issues. Regular maintenance will make sure that your HVAC stays as efficient as possible, which will keep your energy bills lower each month.
  • Make Sure Doors and Windows Seal Tightly: The cracks around windows and doors are some of the biggest culprits of lost efficiency. They can usually be sealed up with weatherstripping or in some cases a fresh line of caulk. If you can feel drafts around your doors and windows, call a professional to come seal them up for you. You’ll save money every month and your house will be more comfortable year round.
Do your part to take care of the planet, and save some money while you’re at it. Complete a full energy audit on your home to see where you could be saving the most. You’ll be amazed at what you find, there are probably areas that you would never think about that are costing you extra on your energy bills each month. Once you seal up any problem areas, your house will stay much more consistently comfortable while requiring far less energy.

Choosing The Best HVAC Contractor

Deciding on the proper HVAC company to take care of your home's required projects is not an easy decision, because with each contractor, comes different levels of experience, knowledge, and customer service. For reasons unknown, many times, HVAC contractors particularly have a bad reputation, and unfortunately, it can be well deserved. This is why it's vital that you do your proper research before deciding on a company to ensure that the work is not only completed timely and correctly, but also so you won't have any costs that may arise in the future due to the work not being completed properly. Here are some of our top tips for choosing the proper HVAC contractor for your next home project to ensure that you aren't left stranded with potentially costly repairs.
  1. Contractors who are willing to give estimates over the phone, without seeing the actual project scene and personally coming in to look over the area. No HVAC systems are exactly the same, and there are countless factors that come in to play when going through the HVAC process, including numerous outside factors. If a contractor is willing to give you an estimate instantly over the phone, they more than likely don't have significant experience in the industry, or just want to take your money. A true, experienced HVAC contractor will come out to your property, look at your crawl space, your attic, walk through your home, and check out all aspects before making an estimate or decision on what should be done.
  2. It's important that you decide upon an HVAC contractor who is not only experienced, but actually licensed as well, with the Contractors State License Board. It's vital that you check whether the company is licensed or not, so you can be sure there would be insurance in case a job is not completed properly or any issues arise with the work in the future.
  3. Be sure to use the internet to do your research on the company before you decide to go with the lowest bidder on the job. In many times, avoiding review sites with bad reputations such as Yelp will help you out in the long run as well.
Deciding on a quality HVAC contractor to take care of your home project can be the difference between a project that goes without a hitch, to a project that ends up costing you thousands more in the long run. There are numerous accounts online of HVAC projects gone-wrong, whether it's a crawl space issue, an attic ventilation project, or something even worse, sometimes leading to the family having to leave their house. If you are looking for a quality HVAC contractor, take the work of a qualified company such as Opie's One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning. They are a high-quality business that has been in the HVAC field for decades, and bring that experience and knowledge with them to their projects.

Benefits of Professional Carpet Cleaning on Indoor Air Quality

Improve Your Respiratory Health With Better Air Quality

The majority of people spend up to 90 percent of their time in indoor spaces. From being at home and at work to traveling in a vehicle, many are exposed to poor air quality. This has the capacity to affect health owing to the significant amount of contaminants found in the homes, particularly in and on carpets. Indoor air quality is compromised by dirt and dust infiltration. Moisture can also play a role in fouling the indoors. Medical practitioners say dust is a chief culprit when it comes to human infection. Dust mites and germs are known to attach themselves to dust particles. Research has shown that the average home collects up to 40 pounds of dust annually. Dust mites feed off organic detritus, especially dead skin cells. Humans shed skin cells and they drift into the air and land on carpets and other surfaces. This provides dust mites a delicious meal, and as a result they thrive. When the level of infestation is too high, the mites cause significant irritation.

Indoor Air Pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) views the problem of indoor air pollution as a major environmental issue faced by millions today. Hiring a professional carpet cleaner provides a sure-fire way to improve overall appearance and longevity of the fabrics. More importantly, the cleaning rids the carpet of pet hairs, dust and other contaminants that affect air quality. The EPA is also concerned about toxic gases, which can attach themselves to trapped pollutants. This means when pollutants are not removed from the carpet, occupants will eventually face the threat of allergies and breathing problems. Young children and immunosuppressed individuals face higher levels of risk. An added benefit of professional carpet cleaning is the removal of odor. Pet owners are often faced with the problem of pet odors. Fortunately, a professional carpet cleaner can thoroughly sanitize the carpet leaving it smelling fresh and looking immaculate. Preventing the growth of mold and mildew requires proper cleaning. Hiring a cleaner allows homeowners and commercial property owners to take advantage of industrial-grade carpet drying tools that eliminate moisture. This allows carpets to dry relatively faster. Eliminating moisture also helps improve air quality and prevent the sick building syndrome.

How Does Professional Carpet Cleaning Work?

Professional carpet cleaners use a wide variety of methods and equipment to remove dirt, odor, mold and contaminants from the carpet. These methods and equipment include wet shampooing, dry cleaning, buffer machines, dry foam and more. Wet shampooing is one of the methods used by carpet cleaners. It involves the use of a buffer machine, which applies the shampoo to the carpet. However, this method requires careful handling to avoid damaging the carpet fabrics with the rotary discs. The solution takes several hours to dry. Dry cleaning is also a practical way to clean carpets properly. There are various methods employed to dry clean. Some of the ways use wet cleaning but dry very quickly while others are completely dry. Drying cleaning techniques involve the use of a bonnet, dry foam or absorbent powder. Cleaners can opt to use a bonnet attached to a buffer machine. The bonnet is covered in cleaning solution that contains carbonate w ater. The attachment absorbs the dirt and is replaced once it is saturated. The use of dry foam, on the other hand, follows the same process as wet shampooing. However, this method does not involve any wet solution but rather a dry foam. This eliminates the need to wait for the carpet to dry. When using the absorbent powder approach, a professional carpet cleaner applies a solvent and lets it set on the carpet. After a short while, the professional will proceed to work the solvent into the carpet using a buffer machine.

Deep Carpet Cleaning with Hot Water Extraction

Dry and wet carpet cleaning methods lack the capacity to deep clean. They can only handle quick cleaning of the top part. For a thorough clean, professionals recommend deep cleaning once every year. This provides a sure-fire way to prolong the carpet's working life. This type of cleaning can be handled using a floor wand that sprays a pressurized mix of hot water and solution. The carpet is then vacuumed. clean carpet smileAdvances in technology have improved the way deep cleaning works. The improvements have made the method more popular, safe and effective. The approach is sometimes referred to as steam cleaning even though no actual steam is involved. Professional carpet cleaners can use a portable or truck-mounted system to clean the carpet thoroughly. The portable version uses the customer's electricity and water. Conversely, the truck-mounted deep cleaning equipment relies on its power to handle the job. These units are capable of delivering more pressure and higher temperature. Hence, they are more effective at eliminating contaminants and leaving the carpet dry. For this reason, it is best to opt for truck-mounted carpet cleaning system.

Why Oil Changes Can’t Wait

We get it: No one loves to change a car’s oil. If you do it yourself, you know it’s a dirty job. If you rely on a pro, a trip to the car repair shop is an extra errand that takes time and money. As a result, some of us wait too long between oil changes. But regular oil changes are an essential part of keeping your car running smoothly – a basic, relatively inexpensive task that can help you avoid bigger, costlier repairs in the future. Once you understand the importance of oil changes, you’ll feel better about getting them done on schedule. First, let’s consider the role oil plays in your car – specifically your car’s engine. Inside your engine, metal parts like pistons and valves interact with and move past each other thousands of times each minute; this interaction should happen smoothly, efficiently, and with a minimum of friction. The lubrication that clean oil provides is what allows metal parts to smoothly slide past each other. When these metal parts aren’t able to slide, when clean oil isn’t there to provide needed lubrication, bad things can happen. Bare metal on metal contact scrapes and scratches. Parts wear down. Friction builds up. Engine performance is compromised, along with mileage. Points of contact can overheat until individual components – and even the entire engine – are damaged beyond repair. A lack of oil in your car can cost you your engine. If you ever find yourself in the position of having to price out a new engine, you can expect to pay somewhere between 10% and 20% of the cost of your vehicle – when it was new. Ouch. Keeping costly car repairs at bay aren’t the only benefit of regular oil changes: Improved performance is another. When parts slide past each other with ease, the engine doesn’t have to work as hard. As a result, you may notice a smoother feel and better acceleration. You’ll also enjoy improved mileage. The money you save at the pump could easily be enough to pay for your oil changes – and then some.   If it’s been too long since your last oil change, schedule a visit at your local car repair shop. Your technician will be happy to change your oil and filter. You’ll be assured that your car will receive the right kind of oil. And you’ll be able to schedule your next oil change in accordance with your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

Keep Your Carpet Looking Great in 8 Easy Steps

When treated with care, your carpeting should last more than a decade. But without proper care, your carpeting will look dull and worn before its time. And you may find yourself compelled to replace your carpeting a few years early – something that could cost thousands of dollars. With that in mind, a little extra time and effort in maintaining your carpet is a worthwhile investment. Here’s what you can do to keep your carpet looking great. Kick off your shoes Shoes can track dirt, grit, and other stain-causing materials onto your carpet – but not if you leave them at the door. Consider swapping your shoes for slippers that you wear while you’re inside. Place outdoor shoes in a basket or rack that you keep near the door. Use entrance mats While entrance mats lack the softness and sophistication of fine carpeting, they are designed to capture the dirt, grit, and moisture that shoes track into your home. Generally speaking, mats are highly durable, stain-resistant, and quick-drying; relative to new carpeting, entrance mats are also very inexpensive. Vacuum regularly If you don’t have a regular vacuuming schedule, you’re probably not doing it enough. Without regular vacuuming, grit can become embedded in your carpeting, where its abrasiveness can wear down carpet fibers. Following a schedule of one vacuuming per week is recommended. Vacuum thoroughly When it comes to vacuuming carpet, one pass isn’t enough. Be sure to pass multiple times over each area – with extra attention given to high-traffic areas or carpeting located near doors. Attend to stains immediately No matter how careful you are, you will stain your carpeting. Keep temporary stains from becoming permanent ones by addressing them quickly. The earlier you respond, the more material you can pick up before it penetrates deep into your carpet. Plan to remove that stain before it can set. Blot, don’t scrub When dealing with stains, the goal is always to gently pull the staining substance up and out of your carpet. Blotting with a damp cloth fits the bill. Scrubbing, on the other hand, can be abrasive and harmful to carpet fibers; it can also push staining material deeper into the carpet. Schedule professional cleanings If you don’t have a professional carpet cleaning schedule, you’re probably not doing it enough. Professional cleaners have equipment that can penetrate carpet more deeply, and pull away more dirt and grit, than vacuuming can. Look for an eco-friendly carpet cleaning service that dries quickly. Don’t forget your pets Dogs can bring an abundance of dirt, grit, moisture, and debris into the home and onto your carpet. Try gently wiping your dog’s paws at the door. And wash your dog regularly and keep him well-groomed; the cleaner you keep your dog, the cleaner you’ll keep your carpet.

5 Ways Home Improvement Businesses Can Benefit from Social Media and SEO 500

Let’s face it – the industry of home improvement businesses have a ton of competition that is often hard to compete with. While a little competition actually improves your business, it will hurt when you notice the lack of clients you lose to your competition.

If this has recently happened to your home improvement business, perhaps it is time to consider adding social media and SEO strategies into your marketing campaign.

Here are five ways home improvement businesses can benefit from social media and SEO.

Gain A Focused Marketing Approach

With digital marketing, your home improvement business will gain the ability to choose their audience rather than paying more to spread to a larger crowd. Social media will allow you to hand-pick your target audience according to your business needs.

Businesses can use a variety of criteria that includes the following

  • demographic data such as income, property ownership, and more
  • behaviors of recent purchases within the home improvement industry
  • specific interests in home improvement, updates, construction, etc.
  • those searching for specific phrases and works to find a home improvement business.

Having a social media and SEO plan will provide you with the best opportunity to measure your advertising results.

Effective SEO

A website with an effective SEO will increase the visibility of your business through key search results and attract visitors who are looking for your site. This will build a quality website by focusing on search terms that matter most.

Social Media Advertisement

Social media advertisement will offer a cost-effective option that will attract the sophisticated target audience. With its advanced method of targeting capabilities, social media ads will reach potential customers and target homebuyers who are more likely to make purchases in home improvement.

Paid Search Advertisement

With the right SEO strategy, you can boost your organic online presence. Paid search advertisements offer an effective way to reach more potential customers and advertise through sponsored listings. You will only have to pay when someone clicks on your ad, which helps build quality traffic. Basically, you will have the opportunity to choose the specific keywords you plan to target and focus on the search terms that reveal when your customer is ready to buy.

Retarget

Most customers search a product, business or service online prior to making a major purchase. That may help lead your website to a final decision. Through retargeting, you will be able to follow such customers through attractive advertisements that will encourage them to visit and return to your website. This will help you prevent the loss of prospects which are in the early stage of research in home improvement planning. Through retargeting, you will become a fresh option and allow them to visit you instead of your competitor.

Conclusion

With a strong business reputation, this is vital in the home improvement industry. Having poor reviews will lead to a major downfall for businesses and the gain of potential customers. If your customers are leaving bad reviews of your business, it is important to monitor their comments and respond to their issues in a timely manner.

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3 Ways Submitting Your Link to Web Portals Will Improve Site Traffic

So, you’ve started your website with quality pages and ready to go live. You’re excited to invite everyone to see your page, only to find yourself waiting for hours with just three notes of traffic. Instead of watching your site traffic rise, you feel lucky if you even get a single hit.

Fortunately, there are some ways you can build your site network and drive in more traffic than you can image. With a mission to gain site authority, you must get your links posts on others. That is where web portals and directories come in. you can contact these sites and offer link trades and pay for advertisement. However, you must also be willing to put in the time to trade links and write descriptions.

For those who don’t know, a web directory or portal is a site that contains a large compilation of sites that is organized according to the topic niche. Most directories offer various levels of categories that stem from general topics to specified areas of content. It is up to the editor to approve of your site and ensure that it provides a high degree of credibility worth mentioning. If you plan on getting listed, be sure that your viewers will have enough information to find exactly what they are looking for the moment they click on your site.

Here are three ways submitting your link to web portals will improve site traffic.

Build SEO with Web Directories

Web sites must also provide an understanding of search engine rankings and Google. It is through the search engine that the site will count links from other sites to vote for your website. As a result, this will count the authority of your position and release in ranking results. To include your link in a web directory will also count as a vote and ultimately improve your SEO link, even without direct links.

Make Relevancy Key

While you might consider building your link network through trading with random web sites, you will end up sacrificing the quality of your network. Web surfers who are looking for specific information on various topics will use such resources that are related to the subject needed. That is why web directories and portals offer the best opportunity to build quality link networks.

Get Validated

While submitting your site to quality directories might seem like a lot of trouble, it is important to focus on getting your website validated as search engines only use validated information. All the top web directories will attract plenty of traffic through such results. This means you will also gain traffic through those web directories.

Conclusion

It is important to build your site link on quality web portals and directories as these submissions will either make our break your ranking and authority. Stick with quality directories that will benefit your site and increase traffic to your page.

Have your prepared your website for your submission? Got any answers you need help with? Comment below and let us know!

Top 4 Things You Should Know Before You Submit to a Web Portal

Want to get more out of your website submission? if you are new or simply looking for more information on how to submit to web portals and directories, we’re here to help you through it.

Check out these top four things you should know before you submit to a web portal.

Submit Your Site the Right Away

When you plan to submit your site, the easiest way to start out is through one-way links. Once you have begun trading links actively, you will have to provide a stable foundation for backlinks. We also recommend that you build a strong PR presence beforehand to establish reciprocal links.

Choose for Paid Portals Than Free

When you have to choose overpaid portals and free links, opt for volume over quality. Start out with getting free links as much as possible, as long as they are within your topic category. Then you will work your way towards paid directories. It is important to consider the cost-point of such directories and portals as their costs will vary according to the budget you are willing to handle.

Provide Quality Descriptions

While it is best to provide brief descriptions, you must provide a short summary that makes your site unique and stands out from the rest of the crown. Summarize your description by getting straight to the point. The main idea is to generate backlinks that won’t look like your site is filled with spam.

Website Must Be Ready to Publish

Before you attempt to submit your website, you must have the appropriate plan and quality content that is needed to publish your site for viewing. All pages must be ready to view with live links and appropriate content. Even if you only have one page, it must be running smoothly with working functions.

Have you prepared your link submission? How well did it work for you? Comment below and let us know!