Typically around the middle of the month I receive some last minute calls for people moving out on the 15th. Almost always you can hear the urgency in the callers voice. Having the carpets cleaned professionally sometimes is over looked when tenants are looking for a new place to live, packing and moving. More often then not this this will occur the case when roommates are involved.
This week I had young man call me in the afternoon to book an appointment. I was just returning from carpet cleaning in Surrey and told him that I could squeeze him in the following day in the late afternoon. This did not work for him since his landlord was coming at noon the following day for a move out inspection. Consequently, he needed the carpets cleaned that evening. Since he only lived 5 minutes away from my house I agreed.
I asked him the typical questions: how many areas do you need cleaned, do you have pets, is their an elevator in the building and parking. He wanted 5 areas cleaned and he did have pets and their was and elevator and a underground for parking. He did mention that his pets had some accidents but that it was nothing major. He declined having me perform a pet treatment.
From my experience renters rarely invest in additional services. They simply wanted to clean the carpets at the lowest price point to an acceptable level so they can receive their damage deposit back.
I arrived to one of Coquitlam's newest luxury condos about an hour after the customer and I first spoke. I knew that his unit was going to be nice since it was a large unit. Not many of the newer apartments buildings have 3 bedrooms.
The customer met me in the underground and brought me up to his unit. As soon as he opened the door it hit me: urine. Not a faint smell but a strong deep pungent smell. I walked in and was shocked! From our brief conversation on the phone I could have never expected what awaited me.
If he had agreed to additional services we would have given him different options. We could do a subsurface extraction on each and every spot or we could pull the carpet and replace the padding underneath and clean and seal the subfloor and then clean the carpets.
You can't always get what you want and I had to treat this carpet like a regular carpet because the customer would not pay to have it cleaned the right way. I explained to the customer on numerous occasions that a regular carpet cleaning was going to do very little to remedy his situation.
First I vacuumed then pre-sprayed the unit with an acid to neutralize the alkaline urine salts. I let the acid dwell for about twenty minutes. I then pre-sprayed with an enzyme based pre-spray (bio break) mixed with a USR (urine stain remover product). Again I let this dwell for about fifteen minutes. I then extracted with an acid rinse. The end result was as expected: the majority of stains remained and some where removed.
I asked the customer where he was moving too and what type of accommodations (house townhouse or condo) he was moving to and more importantly what type of flooring was in his new place. He gave me a nervous look and said he was moving to another all carpeted condo. I gave him my opinion that he more than likely was not going to get his damage deposit back. As well, he should consider himself lucky if the condo owners don't sue him in small claims court because his dogs have done thousands of dollars worth of damage to this unit.
When I was packing up my gear (portable carpet cleaning machine) the customer asked me how much it costs and where he could get one. I don't usually do this but I suggested that he invest in a small portable spotter cleaning machine. In the carpet cleaning industry us technicians use it for small spots or stains or callbacks. Normally I would never recommend a customer purchase a tool meant for professional carpet cleaners. However, in this instance I thought it was the appropriate since it may reduce the harm to both himself (it can't be healthy living in that environment) and his future landlord (the thousands of dollars in damage done by the dogs have to be paid for by somebody).