Carpet Cleaning FAQs

Here are answers to some common questions.
What process do you use to clean carpet?

Most of the Carpet Cleaning we do is the “hot water extraction” method; also known as “Steam Cleaning”. This is the preferred method of cleaning by most major carpet manufacturers. AAA Steam Carpet and Upholstery cleaning uses “truck-mounted” machines that produce more power and hotter water, resulting in better cleaning results. Where necessary we use portables, encapsulation, and dry bonnet cleaning.

Should we vacuum our carpets/furniture before the cleaner arrives?

You may if you wish. You can never over vacuum, but all our packages do include pre-vacuuming. No certified professional cleaner would clean a carpet with out first vacuuming. Up to 79% of the debris in your carpeting is non-soluble and is much easier to remove prior to wet cleaning.

Do you move the furniture?

Our trained technicians will be happy to move most furniture, as long as any knickknacks and breakables are removed prior to our arrival. If you have china cabinets that you want moved they must be emptied to prevent any breakage. All furniture that is moved will be returned to its original position and blocks and pads will be placed under the legs to prevent staining. These protective items should remain under the furnishings for 24hrs before removal. There are some items that we can not or will not move. Eg: pianos, exercise equipment, pool table anything to do with electrical cords and wall units.

Last time we had our carpets cleaned they seemed to get soiled really quickly. Why?

Most carpet cleaners, to save time and costs, inject their cleaning products in to their rinse water. Therefore leaving behind all that sticky alkaline shampoo. Just imagine washing your hair with shampoo and then rinsing it with shampoo. It may be clean but it is going to dry all sticky and hard. Plus it will attract dirt faster! At AAA Steam Carpet Cleaning we take the extra time and care to pre-treat all your carpets and spots with a pre-conditioner and rinse with a cleaning chemical FREE rinse. This ensures that your carpets will stay clean longer and are safe for your children and pets.

We just painted will your hoses scratch the paint on corners of our walls?

At AAA Steam Carpet Cleaning we have take extra steps to make sure that your property and all valuables are protected in every way possible. We use wall corner guards and drop sheets to ensure our hoses do not damage baseboards, paint or floors when we pull our hoses. A nice thing with our truck-mounts is that all the heavy equipment remains in the truck and is not dragged thru your home.

What is the cost? Why is there such a great variation in prices between different carpet cleaners?

The simple answer is quality in workmanship and reputation. Skilled, experienced and schooled technicians take pride in their work and it shows in the end result. Rather than use harsh chemicals to achieve a surface brightening, AAA crews rinse your carpets clean. Remove spots with expert techniques in a separate operation. Achieve a near new look, which lasts far longer. Our crews move (most) furniture and truly clean carpets from corner to corner. When it comes to low advertised prices keep in mind that in the end this advertised price will be greatly inflated by adding additional and often unnecessary services (bait and switch). So what originally may sound as a ‘good deal’ may cost more in the end. Rapid re-soiling is the biggest consumer gripe of cut-rate carpet cleaning. Guarantees are only as good as the company that stands behind them (reputation). Our price is based on the amount of sq. ft. cleaned, not room per room. This way you just pay for what you are having cleaned. There are lots of low priced cleaners who love to take your money. But like my father would say; "Cheap is good, but good is never cheap." So if you are looking for a quick brush the dirt of the surface cleaning we are not the company you are looking for. If you want a deep thorough cleaning, using environmentally sound products by trained certified technicians, backed by a 100% money back guarantee then call us!

What about spots, spills or stains? Will they all be removed by the cleaning?

The different fibres used in producing carpets, or upholstered furniture, have different characteristics; such as how much liquid they will absorb or what food dyes can stain them. Such as; black coffee is much easier to remove then the coffee that contains cream and sugar. So it may be that one spill comes out but the other spill does not. It could be the same drink just with different ingredients, or even the temperature of the beverage. Therefore successful stain removal can vary greatly. All spots are pretreated before any cleaning begins. Our crews use a variety of products to achieve maximum success but we cannot guarantee that all staining can be removed; especially if the stain has been previously improperly cleaned, thus setting the stain permanently. Thanks to our training and years of experience we are generally very successful, often astonishing our clients with what we can do, and what other cleaners in the past were unable to do.

How long does the carpet take to dry?

The normal drying time is from 6 to 8 hours depending on the degree of soiling and the outside humidity. We suggest you use ceiling or floor fans to aid in the drying process. Any air circulation will speed up the drying time. Extreme humidity, and or heavy soiling, will add hours to the normal drying times. Cleaning in the winter season the drying times can be considerably shorter.

I’ve heard it’s best to put off having your carpets cleaned as long as possible, is this true?

No. The build up of soil in your carpet in combination with foot traffic creates abrasion that breaks down your carpets’ fibres. So what you perceive as soiling is actually the damage that has been caused by the soiling. This wear & tear can be permanent. This means higher traffic areas will require cleaning more often. We only charge you for the areas that we actually clean so it is possible to get just the traffic areas done when needed.

Why shouldn’t I just rent a carpet cleaning unit and save some money?

It is true you can definitely save money doing it your self, but at what is the true cost? Improperly treating stains with the incorrect product, or incorrect pH can permanently set a spot. A spot that could easily have been removed by us. Portables, especially the rental ones, lack suction. Portables lack the ability to remove all the debris and equally important they fail to remove all water you have injected. This inability to fully remove all that water can leave your carpets wet for days, not a few hours like with our cleaning process. This can cause bacterial growth and the odours that go along with them. Time is money. Figuring the time to pick up the equipment, set up, move & return your furniture, you could easily spend an entire day soaking your carpets. In less time we could have cleaned and fully dried your carpets. The place that rents the units to you will NOT give you a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with your cleaning. Nor help you remove the browning or wicking back of spots after it does dry in a few days. We back our cleaning with a money back warranty, a 30 day no spots will return guarantee, and a 7 day spill warranty.

Can you get the pet odour out of my carpet?

Pet odour is a very common problem. At AAA Steam Carpet Cleaning we can help you deal with your pet odours. The problem with pet odour is that it can be much deeper than it first appears. Pet urine can easily soak through the backing of the carpet into the padding underneath. In more severe cases the urine can penetrate into the sub-floor beneath the padding. This creates a problem that is multi-layered. The urine also provides for the growth of bacteria. This in turn contributes to a worsening of the odour problem and can contribute to permanent colour loss of the carpet fibre. Left untreated over a period of time pet odour can become absorbed into many of the porous materials in your home; draperies, sheet rock, upholstered furniture, baseboards, even concrete foundation. These are just a few of the materials that can absorb these odours. We offer a range of solutions to help you solve your pet odour problems.

To answer your question – a complete inspection of your carpet, pad and subfloor would have to be done. When the subfloor and pad are saturated carpet cleaning alone will not completely remove the odours. As the odours will wick up from the subfloor and pad. We cannot guarantee complete pet odour removal with out the removal and replacement of effected pad, sealing of the subfloor and cleaning of both sides of the carpet. So it is best to get us in as soon as possible to treat these accidents before the damage sinks in.

Do I have to be home while my carpet is being cleaned?

It is not necessary that you be home while your carpet is cleaned because our carpet cleaners are professionals. They are fully trained, reliable and insured. However we do recommend that someone be home before we begin cleaning to discuss carpet care issues pertaining to your carpet, and to discuss which cleaning package you would prefer, and the cost.

Why do some stains reappear after the carpets have dried?

Some spots may reappear after drying, or after a few days of the carpets being walked on. This is usually caused by a previous soap build-up or stickiness from a spill. Spots reappearing from a process called “wicking” is also common. This is caused when the spot wicks up from the backing of the carpet. The top of the carpet dries first and pulls up more moisture. Any dormant spots in the pad or back of the carpet can be pulled to tips of the fibres. Our service technicians concentrate on these areas but can only go over areas a limited number of times. Return services may be subject to a minimum service charge AFTER our 1st return service (1st is free for up to 30 days after original cleaning). So if a spot does return after our cleaning please be sure to call us back within the first 30 days and we will be happy to return and retreat for FREE!!! After 30 days our minimum charge applies. Please do not hesitate to call as soon as you see the spot!

Can I walk on my carpet after it has been cleaned?

You may walk on your carpets as long as your feet are not soiled. However, please try to keep pets, children, and heavy traffic off the carpet during the drying process. There is also the concern of slip and fall hazard when walking from your damp carpet to hard surface flooring, so be extra careful till dry. Wait 24 hours before removing protective tabs that our technicians have placed under the furniture to protect the carpet from furniture stains.

How can I keep my carpets cleaner for a longer period of time?

Vacuuming twice a week will help in preventing soil build up. Door mats can also help prevent dirt from being tracked throughout your home.

Why should I choose your company over other companies?

A very good and fare question! AAA Steam Carpet Cleaning is not the only professional carpet cleaner in the region.To say that would just be dishonest. But the truth be told there are a lot more poorly trained and unscrupulous cleaners then trained professionals.

Here are a few questions you should ask any cleaner before letting them into your home:

1. If I am not fully satisfied with your cleaning will you refund 100% of my money?

2. Are you fully trained by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification) and what are your areas of certifications? What is your certification number?

3. Are you fully insured?

4. Do you use truck-mounted cleaning with chemical free rinse?

5. Do you have over 20 years experience?

6. Can you provide referrals and testimonials?

7. Are all of your cleaning products environmentally friendly?

8. Do you give a written price prior to cleaning?

9. Are you a member of ethical services?

Our answer to all of those questions is YES. Our biggest asset is our thousands of thrilled clients who constantly refer us to their friends, family & co-workers and leave us great testimonials. Please check our testimonials on our site. We would love to add your name to our growing list of thrilled clients.

Why should we have our carpets cleaned every 6 – 18 months?

People invest thousands of dollars in their new carpets and furniture. Cleaning is protecting your investment from being damaged. The soil that is in your carpets and furniture that your vacuum can’t pull out because its oily properties causes your carpet to wear and have a dull colour and appearance. What would your kitchen linoleum look like if you did not clean it for 2 years, only sweep it? Your carpet is designed to trap and hide dirt from showing. The dirt is there and must be removed in order to preserve its colour, quality & strength.

Shaw Industries, StainMaster and Mohawk, who together manufacture over 80% of the world’s carpet recommend hot water extraction cleaning.

This paragraph comes from the current STAINMASTER Warranty page: “To qualify for coverage under this limited warranty, you must have had hot water extraction, performed by a trained, qualified carpet care professional, at least every 24 months since the date of purchase of your carpet.

(You must provide your receipts for proof of service.†)”


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    Upholstery Questions

    Can you clean leather furniture?

    Yes, we are your premier leather cleaners in the St. Catharines area, we can clean most leather furniture and treat them with special moisturizers that keep your leather supple, preventing cracking and unnecessary aging.

    How often should I have my upholstery cleaned?

    According to American Furniture Manufacturers Association, you should not let your upholstery get soiled to the point of a noticeable or visible change in the color of the fabric. This means that most upholstery has to be cleaned as a regular maintenance practice once every 18 to 24 months or before soil builds up and stains the fabric.

    Another cleaning company came out and when they saw that my couch was cotton they refused to clean it? Why? Can it not be cleaned?

    Yes, many companies will not, as cotton is more difficult to clean, and most are not trained or certified to clean cotton. It is very absorbent, and readily absorbs body oils, newsprint and spills. Cotton does not clean as well, as many of the synthetic materials used, so it is vitally important to not allow your cotton upholstery to become soiled, frequent cleaning will keep it looking fresh & clean. At AAA Steam Carpet Cleaning we use specialty low pH upholstery products, with a dye setting rinse, and low moisture deep cleaning tools, followed with air drying. Improper cleaning done by the home owner or untrained cleaner, can cause permanent water marks (which may only show up in subsequent cleaning), dye bleeds or migration, and shrinkage, always call a professional.

    Do you clean Micro Suede?

    Micro suede has become one of the most popular materials in the past 10 years. With proper cleaning and fabric setting they clean extremely well.

    How do you charge?

    We charge by the piece. Actual true pricing can only be done once the piece has been inspected, confirming the material content, colour, number of cushions, size, and overall soiling level. Prices over the phone are only the starting price, to give a client and idea of the least they should expect to pay. All prices are given in writing prior to cleaning.

    Can I clean leather with wipes?

    A lot of leather wipes contain chemicals which will also destroy the finish or leave residues on the leather which will damage it. They are not cheap in the long run as you would need a lot to clean. A bottle of foam cleaner should do your car about 3-4 times.

    Most car cleaners also contain oils or waxes so should not be used as they leave residues on the surface of the leather which attract more dirt which eventually leads to cracking.

    Fairy liquid contains more salt these days to get dishes clean and this will break the finish down on your leather. This has been verified by the manufacturers (as with the baby wipes).

    You should also follow cleaning with a good water based leather protector which will act like a ‘scotchgard’ and inhibit dirt and stains from being absorbed and make cleaning easier the next time.

    Dry leather needs rehydrating with water and oils and waxes should not be used as the natural oils do not dry out of leather. Wiping over with a damp cloth regularly will help to do this.

    It is important to maintain a regular cleaning regime cleaning dirt off the surface regularly and inhibiting the absorption of body oils into the leather with a protector is the best way of doing this. The only ‘moisturizer’ a leather needs is from water.

    The alternative is a brand new product on the market called Lazy Leather. This is the latest technology in cleaning and combines an effective cleaner with a protector. It is quick and easy to use and should be used as a maintenance product once your suite has been cleaned or from new if you have just bought it.

    Using incorrect care products is usually the cause of deterioration in the leather as unfortunately most car care products contain waxes and oils or silicones which do not do the leather any good.

    Duct Cleaning FAQs

    Why do heating and ventilation systems need cleaning?

    Indoor air pollution is a major concern these days; millions of dollars are spent each year on small air filtration systems. Yet so many home owners over look the largest air system in their home; your HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning). Dust is made up of dirt, pollen, mold spores, hair and other allergy causing particles; all of which get drawn into your HVAC system. As much as 90% of these particles pass through your filter and will accumulate on the blower motor and the fan blades (reducing the air flow). As well they are inside of your duct work, on the grills, and go back into your home. The build-up of dust can cause allergic reactions for allergy sufferers, and leave your house with a stale and musty odour. Rodents and other pests can enter the duct system and die; we find dozens of them during the year. All the air in your home passes over their decaying bodies.

    How do I know my system needs to be cleaned?

    Have your ducts been cleaned in the last 3yrs or Ever? Do you find you have to dust frequently? Do you have allergy sufferers in your family? Musty odours when the system is running? Do you have pets or the did the previous owners have pets? Are your cold vents dirty?

    If you answered YES to any of the above questions then it may be time to consider having your furnace & air duct system professionally cleaned! Air ducts are the respiratory system for your home. Over time, dirt, dust, pollen, debris, tobacco smoke, animal hair/dander and other contaminants can accumulate inside the furnace and the duct work. Dirty ducts can also become an ideal breeding ground for mold spores, mildew, bacteria, and other potentially harmful bio-pollutants which can pass easily through the furnace filter and into the air you and your family breathe.

    What should be cleaned?

    To properly clean your heating & ventilation system all components should be cleaned at the same time. This includes: the heat exchanger, the fan, the motor and the lower compartment- as well as hot lines that run from main trunks and all cold air return ducts. If any part of the system is left uncleaned the dirt and debris left behind will contaminate the parts that have been cleaned.

    How do you as a cleaning tech know if the ducts are actually clean?

    At AAA Duct Cleaning we take the guess work out of air duct cleaning by using several different cameras. An infra-red camera and monitor lets us see the cleaning in action. We also use snake inspection cameras that can travel down supply lines and trunks. This ensures you that the job has been done correctly. Most companies do not use such technologies. One must wonder why? Don’t they want you to see what they are doing? Are they not afraid of what they have been missing? We want you to know it is clean. We are not a blow and go company. We do not simply blow the debris out of sight.

    We have been called in by clients who have had another company clean their ducts. The client was extremely suspicious of their work so they called us as they heard about our camera inspection. Needless to say the other company did not use cameras and did not offer to show the client their work. Once we showed the client the duct work that was supposed to have been cleaned, they hired us on the spot to redo the job

    Do you clean the furnace?

    Yes we do clean furnaces. We access and air wash the a/c A-Frame above your furnace which does not usually get cleaned by the gas companies. As well as air washing the inlets, furnace fan and interior. Furnace fans are usually coated in dust and debris; unless your furnace is new or is frequently cleaned it is important to have your furnace cleaned properly at the same time as your ducts (this is an additional charge on top of duct cleaning prices).

    Can you apply a sanitizer or seal my ducts?

    Yes for an additional fee we will fog your entire system. Our fogger atomizes our sanitizer into a very fine mist and blows it into each of your vents. From there it is drawn into the main trunks by our truck mount suction. This leaves your system smelling fresh and helps to greatly reduce bacterial growth in your system. In the case of fire or other odours like cooking odour we can also fog a sealer into the system; which help to seal the odours.

    Sealing is often done to prevent soot or other such contaminants from moving thru your system. After fire or smoke damage is sealing highly recommended

    How do you charge?

    Our prices are extremely competitive; often times hundreds lower than our major competitors. Our set up fee is $295. This price includes 2 hookups into the hot & cold systems plus 15 vents (hot & cold). Any additional trunks are $35 each. We charge $10 per each extra hot & cold vent (after the first 15). The average home has 14-20 vents. Furnace cleaning is $89 and general sanitizing is $75.

    The average:

    • Bungalow & Two Storey – $295-350
    • Back or Side Split – $295 – $450 (due usually to the extra trunk lines)
    • HST is not included.
    • We service St. Catharines, Niagara Falls, Welland and Fort Erie.
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      Tile and Grout FAQ's

      My grout is really dark through the traffic areas, will this clean up?

      The results are truly amazing, we have cleaned grout in restaurants that was literally black that has come up like new. You will be amazed. The one concern with extremely soiled grout is that the soiling can cover up permanent staining, that you may not have been aware of. Cleaning may reveal these types stains.

      My grout has cracks, can it still be cleaned?

      Cracked grout is damaged grout but it can still be cleaned. Be aware that due to the cracking it has the potential to crack further and possibly break right out. We will be extra gentle with our cleaning but the potential for further damage to your grout exists. Extensive missing grout should be re-grouted.

      My grout in my bathroom around my toilet is discoloured, can this be removed with your cleaning?

      Good question. Staining around toilets is difficult to completely remove as the staining usually has gone very deep in the grout itself. So to answer the question this type of staining is usually fairly permanent, if the stain is fairly fresh and the grout has been sealed more of the discolouration will be removed. The longer you leave it unclean and not sealed the worse it will get. It is recommended to have it cleaned even if the results are not as spectacular as in a typical kitchen.

      A: 129 Hagar St, Welland, ON L3B 5V9, CAN
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