Why is my natural stone floor getting more stains?

Before Marble Floor After cleaning and seal

Have you had natural stone floors installed in the past three years? Is it evident it’s getting tougher to get stains out? Here are some reasons why this might be occurring.

  • Dullness and discoloration from built-up residue and soap scum
  • Endured some etching, scratches, chips and seam repairs
  • The surface was polished
  • Someone cleaned the floor with an acidic cleaner
Abrasive cleaner

If you have limestone, travertine, onyx, marble and serpentine, then it is susceptible to acid. Find a pH-balanced, non-acidic gentle soap to clean your counter tops.

 However, granite, slate, quartzite, soapstone, and sandstone are not as sensitive to acidic cleaners.

The best way to prevent staining on your floors, is to have a protective seal on them. It might be well overdue for one. You could have the new look of your floors like did before!

Have more questions on natural stone maintenance? Call Elite Floor and Furniture Cleaning. 480-710-4110 I would be glad to give you some tips.

Pet Care and Floor Care Go Together like Paw and Hand

1. Reduce Wear and Tear on Floors

It’s inevitable that your floors will get scratched by your pets but, there are some things that you can do to minimize the scratches to your floors. First, examine your pet’s nails. How often do their nails need to be trimmed? This will depend on the size of your dog or cat; the larger your pet, trimming will be more often. The most common areas for scratching are by entry doors and high traffic areas of your home. Because dirt accumulates the most in these places, an active pet can trap dirt into the floor surface with their nails. If possible use floor rugs in high traffic area to reduce the amount of scratching

2. Pet Urine & Vomit’s Damaging Effects

Urine stain visible with black light

The acid from pet urine causes discoloration to carpet fibers but as urine seeps through it becomes a welcoming haven for bacteria. As bacteria grows, it produces gaseous waste in the form of ammonia. That is the pungent odor that is difficult to remove. The pictures above are residual stains Elite Floor and Furniture Cleaning found with a black light and UV glasses. Our experience in removing pet stains, has taught us that the longer urine sets in, the greater the damage is. Thus, getting out as much urine as possible once you notice your pet has a had an accident, is your best bet to minimizing its damaging effects to your floors.

3. Tipsy Water Bowls Means Frequent Spills

You can also use a waterproof mat under your pet’s water bowl or a bowl that is rubberized that will won’t slide to help protect your floor. Likewise, it will reduce your pet’s scratching the hardwood floor if their food and water are in a stable position. As we get ready to bring a four legged member into our family, we will keep these tips in mind!

Monsoon Season Prepared!

Monsoon season already?

Arizonians know heat, thunder, lightning, and sporadic hard rains produces monsoon storms that could pose as a serious problem to our homes.

To get your home ready for the monsoon season, here are some tips:

Get Rid of Germs

Monsoon season is a favorable time for germs to breed. So, one of the easiest ways to get rid of germs is to disinfect your floors. If possible try to use a disinfectant with natural ingredients so it is safe for children and pets.

Tidy up the yard/garden

Your yard is exposed to a lot of additional dirt due to strong winds and rains. The storm makes the leaves fall and sometimes the weak branches even break making the yard dirtier. Hence it is important that you take care of your yard more often during this time.

Also, make sure you do not have containers in your yard that may accumulate rain water because it is a breeding ground for the mosquitoes and other germs.

Gutters and Downspouts

Take the time to clean your gutters now before the hard rains hit. Also, re-position your downspouts away from the house to the protect the foundation of your home. Avoid unnecessary water logging inside your home by maintaining an effective drainage system.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing entry ways and flooring is a proactive way of protecting your home. Weather strips on doors and windows keeps the air-conditioning in and rain out.

Sealing your floors protects them from debris at the same time will help make your flooring water-resistant. Sealers are semi-permanent floor coatings that look and wear more like paints than like floor finishes. That means it requires a skilled worker to correctly apply sealant. The sealant will last longer than a finish. Feel free to send me an email at info@eliteclng.com to ask about sealing floors.

Protect your floors, but protect your phone first!

I wanted to write about protecting your floors. However, I was recently a victim of a phone hijack. Hijacking phone numbers is a high tech crime that is on the rise because perpetrators can intercept your phone number easily from miles away.  Once the crook has obtained your phone number, obtaining new credit cards by assuming your identity is a breeze with your phone number in their possession.  Not only are the data and account information on your phone in jeopardy but also the phone hijacker has greater credibility to establish new lines of credit by verifying security codes sent to your phone number.  If you are scratching your head to fathom how your phone number can be stolen without it being physically taking it from you, you can learn vicariously from me. 

When this happened to me, I had several glitches with my phone and within two days my phone was inoperable.  The hijacker quickly got into my Paypal account, Facebook and established new credit cards and made several transactions.  All the while, I was combating credit card companies and service providers to decimate the new charges accruing under my name and my email address. 

Unfortunately, I was unaware of this kind of porting phone scam until I became a victim of this crime.  I feel remiss if I did not make other people aware of how to take preemptive measures to ensure it does not happen to them.  Below are a few suggestions to prevent your phone number from being in a phone port scam. 

This is how porting a number works:

Porting a number to a new provider shuts off the phone of the original user, and forwards all calls to the new device. Once in control of the mobile number, thieves can request any credit card company or service like Paypal to send a one-time code via text message or an automated call to the
the newly stolen phone number to their activated device.  Porting normally occurs when upgrading to a new phone which allows one to take their phone number with them when they change phone carriers. Unfortunately, porting is available to crooks.

In these cases, the fraudsters can call a customer service specialist at a mobile provider and pose as you, providing the things that identify you; like name, date of birth, social security number and other information. Often this is enough to have your calls temporarily forwarded to another number, or ported to a different provider’s network. 

The hijacker simply pretends to be you and requests a new SIM card for your account. They get the SIM, they get access to your number.  And since only one SIM card can be attached to a number at any given point, it effectively disables your current SIM card. The end result is that your phone is disabled and someone else has your number as their own.

How to Protect Your Phone:

1. File a police report within your city and the city of the phone hijacker.  Usually, the address and IP address of where the hijacker is located will be made known to you from the fraudulent credit cards the hijacker started. 

2. You should do a factory reset but do not use a backup to set your phone up or you may import the hackers ability to get into your phone from your backup. So before you do a factory reset go onto a computer and change your Google account password as you need to regain control of your accounts first. Hackers will know your passwords for everything so you cannot use any of them again.

3. Call your phone service provider to add a security PIN to your account. The process is going to be different for every carrier, but this PIN will be required to make changes to your account, which includes porting your number to a new carrier or requesting a new SIM card. Thus, it secures your account against both port-out and SIM swap scams.

4. Put a security freeze and credit report lock to make credit bureaus aware of identity theft.  Or just keep a security freeze on your credit until you need to unlock it. 

More information on the following links:

https://about.att.com/sites/cyberaware/ni/blog/porting

https://www.equifax.com/personal/education/identity-theft/fraud-alert-security-freeze-credit-lock/

Love Your Floors…

Love your floors and you’ll find a years of easy maintenance, time after time. They will be waiting to be cared for. So this Valentine’s Day, treat your floors with OXOXOXO. And we can put a stop to covering up stains with rugs or tables. Here’s some tips for showing some love to your floors.

Floor Love 101:

For wood floors- sweep or vacuum regularly. It is best to avoid using any kind of abrasive cleaners.

For laminate flooring- a dust mop, or a damp cloth are great for cleaning.

For tile floors- regularly clear any lose dirt, hair, and other dust and debris in grout lines.

For vinyl floors- a cleaning solution of clear, non-sudsy ammonia and water helps to pick up grime and dirt.

For carpets- steam clean your carpets once a year. Spring is good time to do this to help remove allergens and debris from last year.

hot water extraction

If you want to bring some love to floors, call 480-710-4110.

*If you recently had new flooring is installed in your home, then, you should extend the longevity of your flooring by finding a good routine treatment that works with you and your family’s schedule.

What You Need to Know about Pet Spots and Odor

Pet spots and odors require immediate attention for best results.  And even the utmost care in cleaning might not get the spots and odors completely removed.  It is difficult to say your pet spots will be completely gone. But if you use the checklist below, you can figure out if it’s going to be simple to get out or more involved.

Pet Stain Checklist

  • How long ago did the pet spot(s) occur?
  • Do you suspect urine spots you are unaware of? (Elite uses a high power black light to find spots not visible to the naked eye)
  • Sometimes pets like to return to the same area to do their “business”. Do you think this is a favorite spot for your pet?
  • Is your carpet cleaned at least once a year or more?
  • How badly is the area soiled?
  • Did you try to treat it yourself and the spots and odors still did not come out?

*Most pet stains will take at least two treatments and most likely the third treatment.  However, people do not want a carpet cleaner coming to their house more than once.  In addition, most people feel that would have to pay for multiple visits.  Elite does not charge for the post- treatments.

Recent Review from Marianne 

5 star rating 10/14/2018

Justin and Elite Floor & Furniture Cleaners are awesome!!! Every phone call and text were responded to quickly. I received a quote the same day and was able to schedule cleaning my rugs and couch within a week. The best part – a stain showed up on my couch after it was cleaned, and Justin came back not once, but twice (!!) (it was a pet stain (?) I was not aware of) to get it clean! He responded so quickly and returned twice within a week. I’m so impressed with his care and the quality of his cleaning. He was prompt, professional and friendly. I’d recommend his services to anyone and everyone I know! Thanks again Justin!! 

Here’s What You Need to Know

The quicker the response time in addressing the spots and odors makes all the difference in the level of difficulty to reduce or remove spots and odors.

Once found, the area needs to be extracted and treated with chemicals that are appropriate for that spots and odors.  For example, urine treatment requires different chemicals to be cleaned properly.

The area must be completely dried which takes up to 48 hours.  After the treatment, more of the stain will come up to surface.  This is why a post-treatment is a part of the cleaning process.  This is normal.

Elite Floor and Furniture Cleaning include the post-treatment in the total cost.  So don’t be shy when a post-treatment is needed.  Remember, it is most likely expected.

There are three treatments available to address the level of damage. 

  1. The spots and odors are a few months old and may be removed with a topical enzyme treatment.
  2. The spots and odors have aged more and there is a strong odor. This occurs with cats because they have a higher concentration of urine than dogs.

20150910_094051
Kitten at play

Thus, a pre-treatment, subsurface is needed.  Some of Elite’s clients’ have had success with “Nature’s Miracle” which can be found at your local pet store.

3. The spots and odors are deeply soiled which requires a carpet pad replacement and sealing the subfloor extraction and a post-treatment if needed.

Back To School Cleaning Tips

20170920_143214 (2)

My daughter is already back to school and that means we have to get our home ready for family and friends coming over this fall.  Here are some extra clean-up duties, we do as school gets back in session.

1.     Use a dustbuster or hand vacuum for soft surfaces; like curtains and pillows.  They can trap allergens and make the air inside your home unhealthy.  In addition to the environmental allergens in the Phoenix area, we take some extra steps to eliminate them in our home.   20180823_174110

 2.     Wash your child’s stuffys and other soft items.  Stuffed animals attract pet dander and dust mites, especially since these items are not washed as often as we like.  Make sure the stuffed toys are durable to handle a wash with hot water (should be at least 130 degrees F) in the washing machine.

20180823_174448

*Try FREEZING stuffed animals.  Really, place soft toys in a plastic bag, then freeze for 24 hours and say goodbye to dust mites.

 3.     Clean underneath.  Often times, I find food, small toys, and even clothes in the couches I clean.  So move around the furniture from the walls and clean underneath to remove any unwanted debris. 20170405_112612 (2).jpg

 4.     Replace air filters.   Too bad we don’t have timers to tell us when air filters need to be replaced.  Just take a look at your filter and compare it to a new filter.  Most likely, you need to replace it.  Try to replace your air filters every 3-6 months, depending on the condition of them.

Alright, here’s to a busy, fast-paced school season!  We love the fun-filled holidays, school events and extracurricular activities.  Hope you get to fit in some of these cleaning tips!