Here at Like New Carpet Care, our professionally trained technicians provide a variety of in home cleaning services. Each in home service that we provide is what is called a Hot Water Extraction Cleaning service. This method of cleaning is often referred to as a steam cleaning. The slang term of steam cleaning comes from the steam that rises from the wand (the hand tool used during carpet cleaning) as the technician is performing the cleaning service. Steam cleaning seems like an adequate name, however, the steam is not actually performing the cleaning. The cleaning is done by using highly heated and highly pressurized water, in conjunction with a pre spray solution specific to what is being cleaned. The water being used is so hot that when it is applied, there is steam created as a byproduct. The extreme temperature of the water can soften up the fibers and any contaminants attached to them, so that the pressure of the water can help to blast these contaminants right out of your carpet’s surface pile. The high temperatures and high pressures that are used to perform this incredibly effective cleaning service are provided by our Truck Mounted Units. A truck mounted unit is a machine with multiple parts, that is built to perform these heavy duty cleaning services. A hot water extraction cleaning using truck mounted units is the most effective way to clean the surface of your carpet. This service eliminates the need for overly harsh chemicals, instead using lighter enzyme based cleaning solutions that are safe and effective, yet they are not harmful to pets, guests or little ones. These lighter pre spray solutions do not stick to the fibers, which is a problem when using more heavy duty, harsh cleaning chemicals. When the harsh chemicals stick to the individual fibers, they create a magnet like effect which will cause any kind of dirt, dust or debris that comes near the fiber to stick to it. That makes the cleaning service itself much less effective.
The main instrument that makes this hot water extraction cleaning style so effective, is the truck mounted units that are used. A truck mounted unit is a large machine made of a few different pieces, that is permanently mounted into each service vehicle. These machines are very, very heavy and must be professionally mounted in a service vehicle that was built to carry excessive additional weight. The main component of a truck mounted unit is its two stroke internal combustion engine. This engine runs off of a separately added fuel line that is connected to its own filter and pump and attached to the service vehicle’s fuel tank. The machine also has its own battery and alternator/generator. One nifty feature of the machine is its automated fuel cutoff. Being that the machine runs on the fuel provided by the vehicle’s fuel tank, there could be a possibility that the machine uses the last of the fuel from the service vehicle’s fuel tank. In that case, the service vehicle would out of fuel and unable to travel to the next stop. Now, the technicians do always attempt to keep the fuel tank on the service vehicle full from job to job, but there can be instances where keeping the vehicle fuel tank full is a difficult task. Something as simple as two medium to large sized jobs that are both in the same neighborhood could lead a technician to run through an excess of fuel without the opportunity to stop for a refill. In the very rare chance that a service vehicle is in danger of running too low on fuel, the built in automatic shut off would kick in. This automatic shut off can be a lifesaver, as it shuts the machine off when the service vehicle’s fuel tank hits a quarter of a tank. At the quarter tank mark, the machine cuts off and will not restart. This leaves the technician with plenty of fuel to get to a station and refill. While running down to a quarter tank of fuel on the service vehicle is very rare, the automatic shut off is a great safety measure to ensure that a technician will not become stranded at a customer’s home at any point during the service.
As mentioned before, the big benefit of using these truck mounted units is the ability these machines have to pump out highly heated and pressurized water. This is done by the various pieces of the truck mounted unit working together. The engine runs a couple of pumps that operate the vacuum as well as pressurizing and moving the highly heated water. The water that is used for the cleaning service is typically either provided by a standard spigot, or by an on board water tank. Most homes will have access to a spigot outdoors, which is where you would typically attach a water hose. A technician can hook up to some indoor sources as well, including some sink faucets or even the water feed for an in home clothes washing machine. Each of our service vehicles are equipped with a back up water tank as well. Technicians will have this on deck water source ready to go for situations in which there is no water accessible. The more common instances where a technician may not be able to access water through a spigot are cleanings in apartments, condos or even some townhome neighborhoods. The first choice will always be to hook up to an external water source, but our technicians are always prepared to complete a service with no water source available, thanks to the on board water tank. The water used for the cleaning service is highly heated using a heat transfer technique. The heat that the machine generates is directed to a radiator type device. The water is pumped through this radiator where it is heated to near boiling temperatures. This is an efficient way to heat the water, while helping to cool the machine.
The water is pressurized by a water pump that is attached to the machine and is propelled by the crankshaft of the engine. This displacement style pump works by way of the engine and compresses the water and sends it through the heat exchanger and out of the machine, to the tool being used. The highly heated water is sprayed at a high pressure which helps to open up individual fibers and create a deeply effective cleaning. A vacuum pump is attached to the machine as well and is used to suck the water and all debris out of the freshly cleaned surface. The vacuum pump is also powered by the engine of the machine, just like the water pump. The power provided by the internal combustion engine, which is the main part of the unit, is what makes it so that the water can be hot and pressurized, as well as making the vacuum pump work at maximum efficiency!