Monday, November 12, 2012

The Difference Between Wand and Rotovac Carpet Cleaning

When water damage affects a carpeted area, one of the final steps in completing the restoration process is to give the affected area a thorough carpet cleaning. This last step usually helps with not only removing unwanted odors, but provides a fresh look to old carpet. For the most part, carpet cleaning is typically performed with one of two vacuum types. The most common and established method for the past fifty years is the traditional wand cleaner; however, the Rotovac has been increasingly become accepted in the industry as the defacto standard.
Wands have been around for long enough that many carpet cleaning companies and their clients have come to expect them in daily usage. To maximize the effectiveness of wands, a number of steps have to be applied first to prepare the carpet:

1. Apply heated pretreatment solution
2. Allow for dwell time
3. Extract with heated rinsing solution

Wands are also dependent upon the diligence of the carpet cleaner themselves. Since they require manual labor to be utilized, the cleaner must use directional force in order to guide the vacuum and apply enough pressure to ensure that stains and dirt are removed. Without proper application, wand vacuums cannot perform their job adequately and tend to leave behind stains, streak marks and other signs of residue. This can usually be seen at the end of a carpet cleaning job, when the technician is less likely to use the same amount of force as when they started.

On the other hand, Rotovacs use a completely different type of technology that far outstrips the cleaning capacity of wands. By automating the cleaning passes, the Rotovac increases the number of passes from around 6 to approximately 1500 per minute. Additionally, Rotovac passes come at the carpet from all angles, thus increasing the effectiveness of treatment and ensuring that the cleaning it provides is long-lasting and as thorough as possible. In cases of severe stain or residues, Rotovacs are the preferred equipment of choice due to being much more efficient than wands.

But even with all of the benefits that the Rotovac provides, there are a number of potential drawbacks that can cause issues. Since Rotovacs are so powerful, they must be calibrated properly in terms of pressure, RPM and heat levels. When set incorrectly, they can cause damage to the carpet. Additionally, because of the thoroughness of Rotovacs, they take longer to use than wands and leave the carpet wetter than a wand would, which adds to the drying time for the client. Wands are also preferred for getting into corners and crevices, as well as other areas where the circular head of a Rotovac would be a difficult fit.

As always, a little bit of research can go a long way when ensuring your job is done right. Although a carpet cleaning is usually just a finishing touch for a water damage restoration job, routine carpet cleanings may not require all of the horsepower that a Rotovac provides. When hiring a cleaning firm, be sure to assess the areas you want cleaned first and discuss your options with the company before moving forward. Be sure to ask if the company is IICRC certified and ask if they provide both cleaning options, or if they only specialize in one or the other. This can help cut down on time spent and costs involved should you not require intensive cleaning, or can ensure that the job is done right with minimal time spent in the event that you have to get your carpets deep cleaned.

Superior Restoration is a full-service carpet cleaning and water damage restoration firm servicing all of Southern California.


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