Category: Maintenance Service

Lovin’ Leather Care Guide

The Basics of Cleaning

Dirt, Dust, Debris, Etc.

Like anything you wear or use, leather items are going to get dirty over time. But worry not – most filth can be cleaned off without any extensive process. Just keep in mind that leather is, essentially, a living material – meaning it will change over time. There’s no stopping it; leather is going to age. How that happens and over what span of time, however, is much more under your control. The following processes should allow you to extend the life of your leather items much longer than they would last on their own.

Cleaning The Filth

Basic leather care is actually a lot simpler than you might think. In fact, all you really need is access to some cleaning rags (or paper towels if you’re in a pinch), water, a non-abrasive unscented gentle bar of soap, and a brush – you can, in theory, use a toothbrush, but we prefer using a proper leather cleaning brush. The steps for basic cleaning are as follows:

Begin by wiping away as much dirt and grime as you can with a dry towel. Sometimes, the dirt isn’t clinging to your leather and will brush away with ease. If there’s still more, repeat this step with a damp cloth, as the moisture can loosen up the grime and make cleaning as simple as following just this first step.

If you find that there is still dirt or grime stuck to your leather, the next step would be taking a bar of soap to it. Work up a bit of a lather with the soap and water, then rub it directly onto the leather in the spots where you find the dirt. You should be able to see the filth break up and start to come off the surface of your leather.

With a damp cloth, wipe away the soap and the grime. If you need to repeat step 2, do so now. You should not need to soak the leather to get the soap and filth off, and it’s best to avoid getting the leather too wet – if that can be avoided, of course.

Once your leather is clean, lay it out to dry on a flat, dry, cool surface. Do not apply heat and do not leave it out in the sun, as this can shrink and crack the leather in the process. It may take a while, but your leather should dry on its own.

Waterlogged Leather

In the off chance that your leather is exposed to a large amount of water – like if you get caught in the rain, accidentally drop your jacket in a puddle, or fall into a body of water – you’ll want to take extra care to get that leather dry again. Do not, under any circumstances, use a direct heat source or the sun to dry out your leather. Like human skin, exposure to a great amount of heat can cause leather to dry out, shrink, and potentially crack. If you take a hair dryer to your favorite pair of leather pants, best case scenario you’ll have a hard time getting back into them next time, as they will have shrank. Worst case, they will dry out, crack, and tear – becoming essentially unwearable. If your leather gets soaked, lay it out on a flat dry surface in a cool room and wait. Letting the leather dry naturally will ensure it will shrink as little as possible and, hopefully, will not suffer any other ill-effects.

 

Sunlight Exposure

While water-logging is mostly reversible, there is one type of damage that cannot be undone: that which happens as the result of prolonged exposure to sunlight. Sunlight is probably leather’s number one worst enemy. As leather (and all animal hides) are, essentially, skin, UV rays and heat will do them no good (with the exception of the heat used in the tanning process). If you’re fond of your leather and you want it to last for a long time, keep it out of the sun as much as possible. If this is impossible, you must be prepared to replace your leather items after some time. No, there is not a sunscreen for leather. The drying out and cracking of your jackets, shoes, pants, or whatever else is something that cannot be undone.

 

Long-Term Treatments: Make Your Leather Last

While your best bet for leather care starts with the short term cleaning solutions listed above, there are plenty of other things you can do to extend the life of your leather as far as possible. There are also a few things you might think are a good idea, but will inevitably have little to no effect or even a negative impact on your animal hide gear. We’ve listed these longer-term solutions below, as well as some information on their purpose, benefits, and what to avoid.

Conditioner Creams

Think of these kind of like skincare products, except that, instead of using them on your own skin, you use them on the animal hide that makes up your leather apparel or gear. Much like lotions, these products are designed to keep up the appearance and feel of your leather – making it supple and (sometimes) softer to the touch than it would be naturally. This stuff also staves off some of the negative effects your environment might have on your leather, like drying it out to the point that it cracks and/or shrinks. One thing to watch for in many conditioner creams, however, is lanolin. Lanolin is a fatty substance found in sheep’s wool that is a common ingredient in leather conditioners. While it isn’t dangerous, it will soften and moisturize your leather – which is great if that’s what you’re looking for. If you want your leather to remain a bit rigid and tough looking and feeling, try to avoid lanolin conditioners.

Leather Oils

Oils are another leather conditioning option. And while you might think that a cream and an oil are two very different products, those with a focus on leather care are essentially one and the same. In fact, you’ll often see leather oils with the word “conditioner” on their label and no mention of the fact that an oil is in the bottle whatsoever. When it really comes down to it, the difference between a cream and an oil conditioner is your personal preference. Some folks like using conditioning creams, others prefer oils. Pick whichever one suits you, purchase the appropriate product, and run with it.

Polish

While shining your shoes is certainly a way to quickly make them look sharp, technically speaking, polishing leather doesn’t actually qualify as care. You see, putting a sheen on your favorite jacket might spiff it up a bit, but the overall effect doesn’t actually protect or condition the leather at all. So, while we certainly don’t suggest against a good polish every now and again, it’s important to realize that the act of polishing doesn’t really qualify as care. That being said, some leather polishes have a moisturizing agent in them. While this is not standard, it is definitely something to look out for, especially if you don’t want to soften up your leather.

Waterproofing

As a natural side-effect of the material itself and the tanning process that keeps leather from putrefying, leather is naturally extremely water-resistant. It is not, however, completely waterproof. With prolonged or excessive exposure, leather will absorb water. This might make you want to take some Scotch Guard to your combat boots in order to make them more waterproof. We strongly suggest against this, however. As a living material, leather need to breathe in order to maintain its pliability, flexibility, and so that it can age over time (aged leather is one of the most beautiful materials in the world). Spraying a waterproof layer onto your apparel or gear can suffocate your leather and can give it a cheaper look.

There are, however, alternatives to spray waterproofing. Creams and waxes are a viable option if you absolutely want to be able to wear your leather during the wetter months. You will likely have to reapply them several times over the course of the season, but they are better for your leather than a spray waterproof and are relatively easy to clean off once you’re out of the wet time of year. Still, if you can avoid it, we suggest staying away from waterproofing altogether as there’s no way around the fact that it will inhibit beneficial aging processes and can have a negative long-term affect on the material.

Other Animal Hides: Leather Alternatives

As you may or may not know, cow hide is not the only option when it comes to leather – whether that’s in the creation of jackets, cash and card carriers, apparel, cowboy boots, or whatever else. And while most alternative leathers are near enough that they basically require the same care steps, there are some notable differences between standard cow leather care and the care of, say, reptile, sheep, or even calfskin. The following is some information on different types of animal hides and how to care for them.

 

Suede

Technically, suede is a type of leather. Though, apart from the fact that it is animal hide, the steps for caring for suede are quite different from that of regular leather. You see, suede is much more delicate than standard leather, as its finish is soft and – for lack of a better term – fragile. When it comes to caring for suede gear, you’ll want to do away with just about all the types of care listed above. This is especially true for all exposure to water. H2O will ruin the finish of suede, matting it and making it unpleasant looking. So, avoid exposing suede to water at all costs. As far as cleaning goes, you can purchase a brush specifically designed for taking care of suede and simple brush away any dirt, dust, or otherwise. As a final note, there are suede-specific conditioners, but if you’re going to go this route, make absolutely sure the product you are using is intended for this material.

 

Calfskin/Snakeskin/Alligator Skin

You may own a type of leather that doesn’t come from a fully-grown cow. But that doesn’t mean you necessarily have to treat it differently. In fact, most alternative leathers (though there may be exceptions) can go through pretty much the same care processes as cowhide. The one thing you’ll want to be sure of, however, is that – when using product like conditioners or oils – you should make sure the product you use is appropriate for the type of leather. For instance, a snakeskin conditioner can be chemically different from a regular leather conditioner. Make sure you consult a leatherworker, cobbler, or similar expert if you are unsure.

 

Vinyl/Faux Leather

Whether you’re a vegan, aren’t interested in spending a ton of money on a leather jacket, or you don’t like the investment associated with actual cowhide, there are a number of different types of non-animal leather alternatives. While they share many properties with leather – like a tendency to dry out in heat and sun – they do not benefit from the same types of care as actual animal hide. There are a number of different types of non-animal leather alternatives. In fact, anything outside of basic cleaning will only make a mess and potentially shorten the life of your non-leather apparel or gear.

Your best bet for maintaining non-leather substitutes is as follows: limit the sun exposure of your clothing or gear; gently brush off any dirt, dust, or debris as needed; and follow a similar cleaning regiment to the one listed above for leather. Namely, you’ll want to wipe it down with a wet sponge, use a gentle bar of soap (preferably unscented) to get off tougher grime, wipe the soap away with a damp cloth, and let the article sit to dry – do not use direct heat or sunlight to dry it off. Follow these steps, and your faux leather should last for a good amount of time.

For larger projects or large furniture pieces such as sectionals, love seats, chaise loungers, and headboards, call your friendly Wiz Team, Inc. local office for assistance in care, maintenance, and to schedule your FREE in-home consultation for leather care/cleaning today !

 

847-526-6060

 

5 Reasons It’s More Fun to Clean in December

 

 

Whether you like to clean or not, you have to admit that there’s something magical about making your home sparkle this time of year. Maybe it’s all the wine? Or maybe it really is just more fun?

 

Keep reading for five good arguments on why it’s better to clean in December.

  1. It’ll warm you up.

Baby, it’s cold outside (and probably inside, too!). A little vacuuming, dusting, or cabinet organizing is a good way to get that blood flowing and increase your body temp.

I am notoriously always cold (I complain so much all winter that people who don’t know me think I’m from Florida … and then I tell them I’m from New Jersey!). I can never seem to warm up and will never say it’s too hot — even in August. But after any cleaning session this time of year, you can find me overheating, stripped down to a tank top and shorts with my hair piled in a messy bun on the top of my head.

Try it. If your place is tidy to your liking and you’re still cold, you can crank up the heat or light a fire. But I’m guessing it won’t come to that.

 

 

 

 

  1. You can listen to Christmas songs the entire time.

I highly recommend the “Today’s Christmas” station on Pandora. I turn that on, crank up the volume, and get to cleaning my own little winter wonderland. It’s certainly not as educational as a podcast, but I think it’s okay to zone out for a few hours. Plus, this station gets me in the mood for some serious holiday-ing.

 

 

 

 

 

    1. Your soap smells like pine trees.  Or cranberries. Or peppermint. The holiday season is a short one, so there’s a limited amount of time that it’s technically acceptable to surround yourself with these festive scents. I fully support getting as much of it as humanly possible while you can. I can clean with basil-scented soap 11 other months out of the year. For now, I’m going with something that smells like a forest of trees and freshly fallen snow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. You can do it under the twinkle of string lights.

Yes, I know you’re technically supposed to clean when it’s sunny, so you can see all the dust. (Although you’re supposed to clean windows when it’s overcast. So many rules!) But I’d rather do it at night with all my Christmas lights on to set the mood. It just makes it all feel so much more special. Like I’m a Christmas elf and I’m on a mission. Besides, that’s the setting my guests are going to see, anyway. So I may as well clean from their perspective.

 

 

 

  1.  You’re getting ready for guests.

Guests, I say! It’s not like you’re cleaning for no reason (you know, aside from having a clean home). You’re organizing because your coworkers are coming over. You’re vacuuming because your baby nephew will be scooting around on your floor. You’re scrubbing your countertops because you’re about to prepare a major feast in that kitchen. Those impending plans just make it all worth it. I know I’m going to have fun and people might even shower me with compliments when they see how clean I keep my home.

 

 

 

What do you help cleaning this time of year? Your professional cleaning and restoration specialists are here to make your holidays go right. Give us a call to set-up your free in-home consultation today at 847.526.6060.

From all of us at Wiz Team, Inc. we wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

Avoidable Holiday Home Malfunctions

 

Dear Homeowners,

There are many preparations that need to be completed in the run-up to the festive period: cards need to be mailed, gifts need to be purchased and dinners need to be planned. But amidst all the mayhem, don’t forget to prep your home too.

With all the extra guests arriving for Holiday parties, that means extra strain on your appliances… you don’t want your heating to malfunction on Christmas day and be left in the cold! Here’s our guide to preparing your home for the Holidays if you’re expecting guests.

 

Winterize Your House

If it gets cold or wet where you live, you need to prepare now before the really bad weather arrives. Avoidable holiday home malfunctions are easier to deal with if you get ahead of the ball! So let us get started. Check or change your air filters to keep your inside air fresh and your system in peak condition. If you want to avoid unnecessary filter changes or clogs, install new filters and be sure to check your system – it is time to act. Also, check window and door seals for air leakage and seal them up. Lastly, ensure the exterior is prepared by maintaining clean gutters – have salt on hand for walkways and stairs to prevent slips and falls. Remember that before winter fully sets in, it might be a good occasion to have your air duct system professionally cleaned before you are couped up all winter long in a stuffy allergy-ridden household!

Inspect Your Heating

Festive parties should be warm and cozy, so make sure your heating unit is in great working order. As well as timely air filter replacement, duct cleaning is an important step to take. To clean your ducts, contact Wiz Team, Inc. for a free in-home consultation. During our consultations we take a look at your system, ensure it is performing at its peak, as well as, assess the time, access, and cost of cleaning your system. A well-tuned, clean heating system operates much more efficiently, is better for the environment and will save you money this Holiday season. That’s more dollars for eggnog and pecan pie!

Check Your Plumbing

Though it might not be polite to mention, more guests means your bathroom gets some extra use…Avoid embarrassing situations with timely preventative maintenance and repairs. Drains should be checked to ensure they are clear – try plunging some water through. For most, minor blockages and a plumber’s snake will do the job. If you can’t seem to get the water flowing right, it may be time to call a plumber. Wiz Team, Inc. only works with the most respectable, timely, and honest plumbing companies. If you need assistance finding a dependable plumber, contact us – we are happy to provide referrals for great home services.

Prep Your Garbage Disposal

Another unit that’s going to get some extra use this Holiday is your garbage disposal. As with all things, prevention is the best cure so give everyone in your household a refresher on what doesn’t go in there. The worst offenders for blocking the garbage disposal are bones, grease, fruit pits, and even potato peel! Be careful if you are going to try and clear a blockage yourself – never put your hand in there! Make sure the unit is switched off and then use a wooden spoon or tongs to loosen or extract the offending item. Remember this article is about avoidable holiday home malfunctions – we want to help you avoid them before they ruin holiday plans.

Post Holiday Clean-Up

If the in-laws and all the extended family have left your beautiful home in somewhat of a disarray – it might be time to call for back-up. Wiz Team, Inc. offers a wide array of home care services such as; 7Ph Carpet Cleaning, Hardwood Floor Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning, among many other services that you may benefit from. Give our office a call and let us help you take care of the carpet full of crumbs, or perhaps let’s clean those area rugs that had a little too much wine during dinner, or maybe its the hardwood floors that need a bit of TLC after being trampled by all the guests. Whatever your home care cleaning needs may be – we are here to help keep your home beautiful and lovely. Remember, all of our in-home consultations are completely free!

 

From all of us here at Wiz Team, Inc, we wish you have a Happy and Malfunction Free Holiday Season!

Hardwood Floor Care

 

Pine in natural tone wood floors

Pine in natural tone wood floors

 

 

Hardwood floor care can seem like a daunting task. Fear not, because, with a few simple steps you will soon be mastering the art of maintaining your hardwood flooring throughout your home. Knowledge is power. Being more knowledgable about the nature of hardwood floor care in-home is key to understanding how to keep your floors looking brand new for many years to come.

 

Hardwood Flooring dust

Hardwood floor dust bunnies on the run

Daily  Task – Hardwood Floor Dust/Sweep

You may not realize, however, fine dust and dirt can wear down your beautiful hardwood floor over time. Acting like sandpaper with every step dirt can grind away at the surface of your floors, resulting in a dull and worn out look of your hardwood flooring. We recommend a proper dusting utilizing microfiber mop or cloth as your surefire defensive approach to maintaining and keep your hardwood floor gorgeous for years to come.

In our professional experience, hardwood floor care with homeowners who make dusting their floors to collect micro dirt and debris part of their cleaning routine really reap the rewards. The nature of the microfiber cleaning pad is that it naturally has a buildup of static electricity within in the fibers.

This attraction to static makes dusting he floors a breeze by pulling particulates, hair, and dust bunnies to the fiber and locking on to all the unwanted contaminants lingering on your floors and in crevices. Brooms may be an effective way of collecting dirt and dust into one localized area – however, they do a poor job of trapping dirt. Furthermore, simply sweeping may actually cause microscopic scratches which over time become more and more evident with each time you choose to sweep versus dust properly.

The best way to dust is to have your microfiber pad to the ground surface and avoid erratic swinging or the mop head or lifting the mop until you have fully completed and area. This helps avoid tossing dirt and dust from a freshly cleaned area to another part of your home. In turn, you trap dust where you want it – on the mop head and nowhere else in your home.

 

Floor Mopping

Hardwood Floor doggy mop

Weekly  Task – Hardwood Floor Vacuum/Mop

A weekly maintenance approach will help you tackle the more difficult areas of the home which daily dusting cannot reach (spaces between wood boards, small crevices, and all the other nooks and crannies). By utilizing your vacuum (with soft brush attachments) and using the appropriate wet cleaning methods you can have your floors spic and span in no time. These tools are most ideal for getting into the deep spaces between floorboards and into all those pesky corners of the rooms.

Be aware that caution should be exercised as to not cause damage to your floors when operating a vacuum on hard surfaces as such. Note, if your vacuum has a beater bar built-in – first ensure that the height setting is optimal for your hardwood floors before you begin. The key here is to set it high enough so as to not to have the beater bar beating on the wood floor as you make your passes during vacuuming. Also, note the condition of the wheels on your vacuum. You may want to consider how this will impact the flooring finish. If you find you have severely rough or hard wheels on your vacuum, consider replacing them or the vacuum for one with more hardwood floor-friendly design in mind.

In regard to mopping your flooring do not forget that water and wood are not allies in any fashion. Bearing this in mind know that you do NOT want to over-wet your flooring. This may cause cupping and even buckling of floorboards over time. The best method is to use A. appropriately designated cleaning product, such as BONA hardwood floor cleaner and B. apply it in the form of a light misting after completing your dusting and vacuuming and it should result in a beautiful clean. Lastly, note that there is no need to be overly aggressive with your mopping technique. As dry soil removal is step one in any and all cleaning processes – mopping should be done gently as the last step to removal of any grime that may be stuck onto the flooring. Easy does it!

 

 

Woodgrain slow motion

Hardwood Floor wood grain

Monthly  Task – Hardwood Floor Polishing

Set up a routine where you show your hardwood floors a little extra love once a month – by polishing the hardwood flooring. Polishing floors will help boost the radiance and luster that lives inside your wood floors.

Polishes fill in the microscopic scratches which are highlighted when they are not properly maintained or have been cleaned but not polished. To boast it adds a nice protective finish to your hardwood floors.

Polishing should not be a daunting task; simply after your dusting, vacuuming, mopping and allowing for drying time – mist a fine polish onto your floors and using a clean microfiber pad gently buff the polish onto the floors. Tadaa! Protected and looking beautiful. Look at you, home maintenance superhero!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Advanced Hardwood Floor Tips

  • Invest in the proper tools. Every hardwood floor cleaning kit should include the following: A machine-washable Microfiber pad for dusting and cleaning. The electrostatic nature of a microfiber pad will do half the work for you as it attracts loose dirt, dust, and hair to the pad and stays put. This also helps eliminate any pesky allergens that may be lingering on your hardwood floors that we drag in from outdoors.

 

  • Keep away from the old school water and vinegar method of cleaning the hardwood floor! Although it does clean well, it is not good for the long term health of your wood flooring. Vinegar, being acidic in nature, even diluted, will inevitably etch away at the finish of your floors over time. This will result in dull and lackluster looking floors that will take a lot more time, effort, and money to fix once the damage is done. On the other hand, soap and wax leave a residual buildup – residue buildup will not only damage your flooring but will also be a dirt magnet!

 

  • Avoid steaming your flooring at all cost! Steaming cleaning mops/wands put an excessive amount of moisture onto your floor but they also force that steam in-between and under floorboards. This can very quickly result in wavy floors that are no longer uniform – known as buckling or cupping of hardwood flooring. This method of cleaning can also irreversibly damage the stain and finish on your floors! Not to mention the potential for causing mold beneath of your floorboards. Again, avoid this at all costs.

 

  • Dusting is really the secret to the long life of the beauty of hardwood flooring. Dry soil removal will prolong the life and appearance of your hardwood floors as the dry soil is the most culpable culprit to microscopic scratches and damage that can ruin the finish.

 

  • Furniture protection – for a few bucks you can easily protect all the furniture which comes into direct contact with your wood floors. With a wide array of choices ranging from plastics to rubber, to fine felt – protect high use areas so that the legs and feet of couches, sofas, bar stools, chairs, and other furniture do not cause high-pressure abrasion directly to your wood flooring.

 

  • Lastly, consider a professional deep cleaning service every 3~5 years. With all the traffic and family moments our hardwood floors are faced with every day, month, and year, after a while some outside reinforcements can certainly make keeping and maintaining the life of your hardwood floors. Wiz Team, Inc. strictly uses BONA’s Deep Hardwood Floor cleaning system to clean your floors deeply and thoroughly, while helping the longevity of your floors. Prolonging the time between having to refinish your floors with those messy and stinky floor refinishing procedures. In the long term, this saves you thousands of dollars as your floors are impeccably clean and if the above recommendations are followed may extend the life of your hardwood floors by decades!

 

Call Wiz Team, Inc. or email us for a free in-home consultation for your hardwood floor cleaning and maintenance needs. Or simply call for advice!

Finding the best way to clean hardwood floors can be difficult. But with some time and patience along with the proper tools and proven techniques, you’ll be able to keep your floors looking their best, longer. Remember that the time you spend maintaining your floors pales in comparison to how much time you’ll spend making memories with your floors beneath you, every step of the way.

 

Textiles: What is the best upholstery?

If you are new to the world of upholstery, choosing the right fabric may seem like an arduous process. With all the fabrics (not to mention the colors and designs) available, how do you choose the one which is right for you? Here is some information on various fabric to help you select the right fabric for your furniture.

You may hire a designer to make these choices for you based on your lifestyle, home traffic, and desired design inspirations – however, as they say – knowledge is power! Knowing a little more about the various fabric types and combinations thereof will truly help you in your decision making process.

Some things to consider before we jump in: How easy is it to maintain? Is it dry or wet clean only? How long will it last? These are just some baseline points to consider before re-upholstering every piece in your home! Some fabrics are gorgeous to look at and touch, however, they are notorious for being very difficult to clean and maintain. The more difficult to clean, the more expensive they are to maintain (think art silk, silk, viscose, velvet, and suede).

Let’s Jump in!

 

 

Durability – How do you use it?

If you are planning to upholster something that will experience everyday wear and tear, durability is important to consider. Upholstery fabric’s durability is determined by how it rates on the manufacturer-administered double rub test, which is a back and forth motion that mimics the wear and tear of someone sitting on an upholstered seat over time. The higher the number of double rubs, (for example 100,000 vs 10,000) the better the indicator of quality and durability. In addition to higher double rubs, look for upholstery fabrics treated for performance, like stain resistance, water repellant, or UV resistance.

For upholstery projects that will not be used every day, like decorative or heirloom pieces, performance characteristics might not be as important, which opens up a wider variety including silk, wool, linen, cotton duck, embellished fabrics and more!

 

 

 

Upholstery Care

Upholstery fabric is often not suitable for traditional washing or dry cleaning once applied to furniture; therefore, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions and look for stain repellent fabrics for heavier-use pieces. Remember that over time protective finishes do wear down, so be sure to re-apply them during professional cleaning of your furniture.  Our recommendation for dry-cleaning is intended prior to upholstering if cleaning before use is desired. Once upholstered, use spot cleaners intended for upholstery fabric, or upholstery cleaning services. Using a fabric protectant application over your completed project is recommended for enhanced stain resistance. Be sure to hire a certified upholstery cleaning professional service.

 

 

 

 

Upholstery Types

These common, upholstery fabrics come in a variety of weights, colors, fibers, and treatments to ensure you get the fabric you need for your project.

  • Chenille – Excellent fabric choice for home usage, primarily heavier use pieces. Similar to velvet, it has a cut pile that aids in abrasion resistance and comfort.
  • Faux suede / Microfiber / Ultrasuede – Typically a polyester multi-weave fabric with a surface abrasion treatment giving it a fuzzy, suede pile to mimic suede, this fabric is an excellent choice for heavy-use family rooms and pets. It’s very strong, abrasion resistant and easy to clean.
  • Velvet – Velvet has a dense cut pile, making it luxuriously soft with a sheen. Velvet can stand up to heavy usage and is an attractive choice for most homes. Cleans best when spill or stain is tended to immediately. Please note, however, that velvet – like many finer fabrics – do have a tendency to have fiber distortion if rubbed too hard when wet or during stain removal.
  • Basketweave / Tweed – These textured woven fabrics hide stains and wear well, and can be used in any upholstery application depending on their double rub rating. Higher double rubs will reduce pilling and fabric pulls.
  • Faux Leather – Easy to clean and makes a great choice for children’s furniture and other high-usage pieces. Clean and condition appropriately to reduce the risk of cracking.
  • Marine Vinyl – Made to resist weather and harsh elements, marine vinyl is a leather-look vinyl that is extremely durable and easy to clean.
  • Jacquard – Typically a heavier fabric, it has yarn dyed fibers that create a pattern, giving the fabric texture and style. Good fabric choice for home usage, primarily moderate use and decorative pieces.
  • Duck/Canvas – A strong, plain weave fabric, ideal for printed designs. When made of cotton, this fabric shape can warp over time with heavy use, so it should be used on moderate-use furniture, decorative pieces or pillow accents.

 

 

 

Upholstery Fibers

These are common fibers used in upholstery fabrics. They can be 100% or blended with other fibers to join characteristics. These fibers can be made up into a variety of fabric types, which also have an effect on their performance:

  • Cotton– breathable, comfortable, and budget-friendly. Not fade resistant.
  • Linen– Very strong and breathable and classic. Less resistant to stains and fading, should not be used for heavy-use, but excellent for heirloom pieces.
  • Wool– Luxurious, great texture and feel, keeps its shape, less resistant to stains – look for stain resistance treatment or a blend.
  • Silk– Luxurious and strong, but should not be used for everyday. Due to weave type – it can snag very easily.
  • Rayon / Viscose– Adds softness when blended with other fibers, not durable.
  • Polyester– Durable, easy to clean, low – moderate abrasion resistance – it can pill if double rub rating isn’t high enough. CAN BE VERY FLAMMABLE!
  • Nylon– Durable, high abrasion resistance, easy to clean. CAN BE VERY FLAMMABLE!
  • Acrylic– Very durable, colorfast, easy to clean, great for heavy-use upholstery. CAN BE VERY FLAMMABLE!
  • Olefin– Very durable, colorfast, easy to clean, great for heavy-use upholstery. CAN BE VERY FLAMMABLE!

 

 

Upholstery Colors

Your color choice is also dependent upon the type of use your furniture will see. Natural beige color is a popular choice for hiding dirt as well as being a neutral that can go with many different décor styles.

Consider lighter solid colors to create an airy, inviting mood in a space. Darker colors or patterns are better for hiding dirt and wear. Or you can always select a bright color or a fun, bold pattern to make a statement in your space!

 

 

 

When considering a professional for your upholstery cleaning and protection – call Wiz Team, Inc. for your free in-home consultation and we can discuss the best methodological approach to handling your beautiful textiles and ensuring a long life for your upholstered home furnishings.

Hazards Hiding Inside Your Carpet

Most people know that a clean environment is better for your health. While you can’t always control the cleanliness of public spaces you interact with, you can make sure that your home is fostering the healthiest environment possible.

Especially before cold and flu season is back in full swing, take the time to protect your family by making sure your carpet isn’t making you sick. Although your carpets appear clean, they can be a host for bacteria, microbes, and other irritants. Below you will find the common list of health issues that could be coming from or made worse by dirty carpet.

Respiratory Issues

Mold, pet hair, old skin, dust, and dirt can all get trapped in your carpets. Daily activity such as walking or vacuuming can free these particles from the carpet and spread them into the air. Can dirty carpets make you sick? This movement of pollutants can lead to respiratory issues such as coughing or difficulty breathing. Individuals who suffer from asthma can feel these symptoms even more intensely, as they’re more vulnerable to such airborne toxins. The American Lung Association advises that pets, as well as children who spend more time on the floor and touch their hands to their mouths, are more at risk of being affected by toxic particles in your carpet. Only proper maintenance and professional cleaning methods can successfully remove these toxic particulates which lay dormant in your carpeting.

Allergies

The same mold and dust mites that can inflame your lungs can also give you red eyes or a runny nose if you suffer from allergies. The buildup in your carpet can easily trigger an allergy attack or make your day-to-day life just a little more unpleasant. If you frequently wake up with drainage or allergy-like symptoms, your carpets should be one of the first places you look to eliminate bacteria and dust mites. (Pro-Tip: The second place is to check your air duct system and if it needs to be cleaned.) Now that fall is here, you might be experiencing sneezing and skin irritation thanks to ragweed and mold. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology warns that these irritants can build up in your carpet and that your symptoms can flare up in the immediate hours after vacuuming. This buildup can occur due to the fact that we keep our homes more closed up during the colder months which allows irritants to settle in the carpeting and consistently recirculate in the air when the heating systems kick in.

Skin Irritation

Itchy skin, rashes, athlete’s foot, and eczema are all dirty carpet dangers that can be triggered or made worse by dust mites in the unclean carpet. Even if you maintain a regular cleaning schedule, dust mites are small enough to evade the most diligent home cleaners. Utilizing technologies such as home humidifiers and having the carpeting cleaned on a regular schedule can help in significantly reducing presence of dust mites.

Weakened Immune System

Your body works hard to keep you healthy! Whether you’re at home or at the office, your immune system is constantly fighting off germs and toxins. When you live in an unclean environment, your body is working overtime to fight against bacteria and keep you healthy. It makes sense that your immune system can start to get tired when you’re living in a home where there’s a buildup of germs and toxins in dirty carpets. Babies have developing immunes systems and are frequently in contact with floors, which puts them at a greater risk of getting sick from your carpet. If you have a home with toddlers and small children, frequent vacuuming and professional cleaning are important for keeping your kids healthy.

Pet Germs

If you have animals, keeping your carpets clean is even more important for disease prevention. Animal urine and feces can cause a host of issues in your carpet. From carrying bacteria to creating smells like ammonia that can cause nose and lung irritation, pet waste can be particularly dangerous for small children who are in frequent contact with dirty carpet. The dampness can also increase the risk of mold growth, so immediately treating affected areas is crucial. Especially with cats and dogs that spend time inside and outside of the house, diseases and germs can be easily spread. Fleas and ticks can find their way into your home if you’re not regularly cleaning your pets and your carpets. These pests often cannot be eliminated by cleaning alone, often extreme heat or chemical treatments are required to free your home of these unwanted visitors. As much as we love our pets ensuring we take every necessary precaution to have a clean environment should be at the top of our list.

Stomach Illness

Nothing good comes from wet carpet. But you may not realize just how bad damp carpet can be for your health. The presence of mold can cause a variety of health issues, but the presence of mycotoxins cause severe stomach irritation and infection. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, mold can go unseen and is even more common in basement carpeting. Your carpet could even be a host for salmonella. While you may think of salmonella as a foodborne disease, this pathogen can be tracked into your home, putting your household, especially children, at risk.

Mental Anguish

Along with the host of physical illnesses that can result from dirty carpet, your mental health can also be affected. Ridding your home of a flea infestation or taking care of sick child is a lot of stress. The American Psychological Association has confirmed that stress produces physical symptoms and leads to a weakened and immune system. So clean carpets won’t just help you stay healthy. They’ll help you stay happy, too. So how do you protect yourself and your family against the health risks of dirty carpet? Regular vacuuming and cleaning does help. However, dirty carpets can also mean a dirty vacuum. To prevent spreading any carpet problems, make sure you are using a vacuum with a true HEPA filter that’s frequently cleaned and regularly change full bags.

Basic cleaning measures alone aren’t enough to ensure that your carpets aren’t a host to pollutants and toxins. It is recommended to have your carpets cleaned professionally every 12 to 18 months to protect against allergens and bacteria. This will ensure that your home is as clean and healthy as possible! Learn more about our Wiz Team, Inc. Cleaning & Restoration Specialists.

Master Certifications: Is it important?

Master Certification: Carpet cleaning (basic) IICRC Certification is just the start. Think of Master Certifications as the “graduate degrees” of our industry. With the additional requirement of experience, beyond classroom learning, Master Certifications communicate a higher level of experience, expertise, efficiency and credibility, not to mention the confidence.

Master Certified Technicians exhibit higher productivity, increased technical competency, lower error rate and higher level of client satisfaction.

IICRC Certified Firms: Certification of a firm provides concrete evidence to clients that the company is staffed with people who know what they are doing and that the firm conducts business to an IICRC-prescribed set of ethical business practices and standards. IICRC stands for the highest standard of excellence in certification.

Although a lot of technicians become IICRC certified in basic techniques and stop there, three master certification paths – textile cleaning, fire and smoke restoration and water restoration – journeyman and master designations are reserved for those who truly developed their skills.  

Master Water Restorer, Master Textile Cleaner and Master Fire & Smoke Restorer are highest “graduate degrees” in our industry.

All master certifications must be achieved over a minimum of three years so classroom learning and certification is combined with real-world work. The IICRC Master status is the highest technical certification in the cleaning industry.

Certification: Why It Matters

Just as certified accountants, electricians, plumbers and mechanics project a higher level of competency in their fields, and just as members of the American Medical Association and American Bar Association set themselves apart through training, experience and comprehensive examination, IICRC certification helps to immediately identify the cleaning, restoration and inspection industries’ most skilled and dedicated technicians and businesses.

However, unlike electricians, plumbers, accountants, doctors and lawyers, the cleaning, restoration and inspection industry does not require a technician or the firm to be certified in order to perform these services. Certification matters because outstanding service means consecutively correct service, every time.

Being certified is voluntarily, therefore it is important to check if you’re cleaning and restoration service provider is in fact certified.   

Wiz Team, Inc. is keeping up with the latest education and training, techniques and technologies. We are staffed with experienced and educated, well-trained, satisfied employees who are the key to our satisfied clients.

The history of cleaning and restoration certification is long, but for us it all started from – a deceptively simple question: What works best for our clients?

It has driven us to research chemistry, extraction techniques, fiber identification, airflow and many other subjects.

Thanks to the strength of the schools and instructors, our technicians have knowledge and skills to achieve education on cleaning and restoration – improving their skills and serving our clients with best practices.

In the end, certification matters because we all work in service industry – and outstanding service means consecutively correct service, every time.

We obtain science-based information for best practices and build technical and scientific knowledge in the restoration and cleaning industry in order to provide the most outstanding service experience ever to our clients.

Wiz Team, Inc. is the ONLY cleaning and restoration firm in Chicagoland holding quadruplet Master Certifications designations.

We are certified as: Master Water Restorer, Master Textile Cleaner, Master Fire & Smoke Restorer and Master Rug Cleaner.  So, before you call a company whose technicians have only basic or worse yet have no certification, call the Wiz Team, Inc. – true Cleaning and Restoration Specialists – best in the industry.   

Carpet Cleaning: Making Better Decisions

Imagine…

You are shopping for new carpet, perhaps just a few rooms. Two of the rooms are bedrooms, which don’t get as much foot traffic as the entryway, living room and hallway you also need to replace. It’s been nearly 10 years since you had new carpet.

You go to a local carpet retail store. The carpet salesman has a great deal for you: A virtually stain-proof carpet with vibrant colors and also soft to the touch. You put your fingers into the carpet pile and love how it feels. You order the carpet for all the rooms you need to replace.

In a week or two, on the scheduled installation day, you remove all the furniture from the rooms and the installation pros show up and remove the old carpet and pad and put in the new.

It looks great!

A year later, when you decide it’s time to have the carpet cleaned, your carpet cleaning pros show up and do a great job removing the dirt. Even the spots come right out! However, there is a “worn” area in the living room and down the hallway, but not in the bedrooms. You ask your carpet cleaning pro why that is. He performs a fiber identification test and informs you that you purchased polyester carpet, which tends to matt down and look somewhat soiled just because of wear. He then kindly informs you that if you had purchased nylon, a more durable carpet fiber, this likely wouldn’t have happened.

You are upset. Don’t you hate it when you purchase something and it doesn’t perform as promised? Keep in mind – carpet salespeople may not be your best consultant when it comes to fibers.

So before you go looking for new carpet or furniture, give your carpet and furniture cleaning pro a call. Ask which fiber is best for each application in your home. Yes, polyester may be soft and colorful, but it may be best to keep it in the bedrooms and use durable fibers, like nylon and wool (which is expensive), in the high trafficked areas of your home. The point of our write up is to inform you how, even though, carpeting can all seem the same – they are not all constructed the same and do not wear and tear similarly over time. When choosing your next carpeting, be sure to give us a call, we are always here to help, assist, and consult you on all your in home textile needs! Choose the right fabrics for your lifestyle and not based on what a well-spoken sales person may recommend.

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