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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do I find and hire a professional gutter cleaning service?

To find and hire a reputable pro, start by comparing gutter cleaning services in your area online. This may include companies that solely offer gutter cleaning, as well as companies that provide roofing, pressure washing, lawn care or general cleaning services. Read their ratings and customer reviews, paying close attention to any reviews that include photos for evidence of their workmanship. 

Next, check to see if the pros you’re considering have the proper credentials (licenses, certifications, insurance, etc.) in your state. Your cleaner should be insured against all work-related injuries and damage. 

The final step is to compare quotes and estimates from the pros you’ve selected.

What is upholstery cleaning?

From your carpets to your drapes to your furniture, all fabrics need to be cleaned. Cleaning upholstery, or the fabric on your furniture, removes the dirt and oils that are transferred to couches and chairs through regular use. Because furniture upholstery can be delicate and colors can fade easily, it’s often a good idea to let professional sofa cleaners handle the job. They’ll determine the type of fabric — usually cotton, linen, wool, suede or microfiber — and the appropriate method for cleaning it, either steam-cleaning or applying a dry-cleaning solvent. In general, cleaning an entire piece of furniture includes a pretreatment, cleaning, and neutralizing rinse to the body, plus removing and cleaning all cushions and cleaning all crevices.

An upholstery cleaner may clean the entire piece of furniture, on a regular schedule or by request, or do spot treatments to remove pet, food, drink, or oil and grease stains. Furniture can also be deodorized to remove the smell of pets or tobacco smoke. Furniture that’s used often, like that in your family room, should be cleaned once a year to keep it fresh and extend its life. Sofa cleaners often also offer repair services to mend tears in fabric or patch holes in leather.

How often should you get your air ducts cleaned?

How often you should clean your air ducts depends on your situation. If you or someone in the home has asthma or is acutely allergic to certain airborne materials or pollen, regular duct cleaning may be helpful. The Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t have an official position on the necessity of air duct cleaning unless the ducts have been contaminated by rodents, insects or mold, or you are aware of particles blowing out through the vents. The EPA recommends you have your air ducts cleaned on an as-needed basis. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) suggests having air ducts cleaned every three to five years.

Be cautious with companies that offer “whole house air duct cleaning,” urges the NADCA. The company may be using unscrupulous tactics to upsell you once they get started. Before any work begins, always clarify in writing what the job entails and what the cost will be. To protect yourself against fraud, read customer reviews and verify that your HVAC cleaning service has applicable licenses and certifications.

Who cleans area rugs?

Like your carpets, area rugs should ideally be cleaned at least once a year to remove dust and dirt and help them last longer. In general, carpet cleaning professionals also clean area rugs. Some rug cleaners bring their cleaning equipment to your home, while others remove your area rugs and clean them at their facilities. Either way, the rug should be cleaned with the solution most appropriate to its specific fabric and construction. It should also be completely dry before you return it to the floor.

Why is it important to clean your gutters?

Rain gutters, those easily-forgotten trenches that hang off the edge of your roof, protect your roof, walls and foundation from excess rainwater. When they get clogged with leaves, sticks and other wind-blown debris, they can no longer direct water away from your walls and foundation, and may become homes for pests and insects. They also become heavy enough to pull away from the house, preventing proper rainwater drainage and spoiling the appearance of your home. Experts recommend inspecting and cleaning your gutters twice a year, once in spring and once in fall, as part of your regular landscaping schedule. Gutter cleaning and maintenance is a fairly easy DIY job for some homeowners, especially on one-story homes. However, professional gutter cleaners have ladders tall enough to safely reach rain gutters, as well as the necessary tools to clean out the downspouts. Most gutter cleaning professionals can also make any necessary quick repairs.

Is it worth it to hire a gutter cleaning service?

It’s almost always worth the money to hire a professional to clean your gutters, especially if you’re unable to clean your gutters yourself. 

Because your gutters see a lot of debris and abuse from Mother Nature, it’s essential to keep up with maintenance. Gutter cleaning is not terribly expensive, but it’s risky — working at the height of a gutter is dangerous. A professional gutter cleaner not only has experience, but also has insurance to cover any injuries. A pro also has the equipment and know-how to keep gutters in top shape and remove clogs from long downspouts. 

How much does it cost to get your carpet cleaned professionally?

The cost of carpet cleaning is generally determined by the type of carpets, stains, square footage and number of rooms that you need cleaned. On average, a professional will charge $94 to clean one room. Two rooms cost an average of $120, and three rooms cost approximately $146. 

To find out how much it will cost to clean your carpets, contact the top-rated professional carpet cleaners near you and ask for free cost estimates.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a house cleaner during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The best way to set up a consultation with a house cleaner during the COVID-19 pandemic is by using virtual, online tools. Start by performing an online search for local house cleaners. Message them to set up either a phone call or video call to perform a consultation. During this call, they can give you recommendations and may be able to estimate the cost of their services. Be sure to discuss whether they accept virtual payments and any precautions they can take to perform the job safely.

How much does carpet cleaning cost per square foot?

In some cases, a quote from a carpet cleaning company will depend on the square footage of the room. The lower end of these prices will be between $0.15 and $0.20 per square foot, and they may rise as high as $0.40-$0.50 per square foot. Factors raising the price include the carpet’s condition (are there stains?) and whether they have to clean carpeted stairs, which take longer.

To find out how much it will cost clean your carpets, request cost estimates from pros near you.

How do I find and hire a professional carpet cleaner?

First, take your search online to find the best carpet cleaners near you. Look at their ratings, photos of their past work and customer reviews. Having too many negative reviews can certainly be a bad sign, but you should also pay close attention to how they handle those reviews. 

Before you make your final decision on who to hire, ask yourself these questions:

  • What method of carpet cleaning do you prefer? Steam cleaning is an increasingly popular method because it’s thorough and safe, and dries quickly enough for you to return to your home the same day the carpets are cleaned.
  • Are the pros reputable? It's always a good idea to check their reviews and references. Look for references from people in your neighborhood with homes similar to yours.
  • What’s included in the base price? What other services does the carpet cleaning company offer? Some companies will move furniture for you, while others charge a fee for it. Some include stairs in the cost of the home’s cleaning, while others charge per step.

Ask a few carpet cleaners to provide you with an estimate for your home, and compare their quotes to decide on the best one for you. You should also check to make sure that the contractor holds the proper insurance and licenses. 

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