Going the extra mile
When Ben and his wife Tracey, from Sydney, were preparing to move into a rental property, they noted the carpets hadn't been cleaned by previous tenants. "The carpets had some noticeable pet hair and a pet smell so we insisted they be cleaned," says Ben.
Their real estate agent organised a carpet cleaner, who arrived promptly and did a very professional job. "I was very happy with the result," says Ben. "He definitely got the pet smell and the hair out, which were our main concerns."
Weeks later, when their washing machine overflowed and flooded the carpet in the next room, Ben and Tracey were even more impressed. They called the carpet cleaner for his advice and he returned to their house to help them, free of charge.
"He pulled up the carpet and left us with an industrial-sized fan. We just left that running for a couple of days with the windows open and that dried it out. We didn't hesitate to ring him again the next time we needed our carpets cleaned."
Two days to dry
When choosing a carpet-cleaning company to have his carpets hot water extracted (steam cleaned), Tim from Sydney chose a local one he found in the Yellow pages. When they'd finished he was pleased with the job and handed over $200 with their assurance the carpet would be dry in a matter of hours.
Two days later, Tim's carpets were still wet. "We had to walk around on plastic for two days and use blow heaters to dry the carpets - and dealing with a crawling baby on wet carpet was not easy," he says.
Unfortunately Tim didn't realise that the company was at fault, thinking his wool carpets were to blame for the lengthy dry time. He only realised years later, when he used another company, that his carpets should have only taken two hours to dry. "I won't be using that company again, I've thrown the card away!" he says.
Overwetting isn't uncommon and can result in:
- The growth of mould and a mouldy smell.
- Water stains and brown stains from the carpet backing.
- Shrinking or cracking, which in extreme cases will destroy the carpets.
If your carpet seems overly wet, ask the carpet cleaner to suck more water out if possible, and to lend you an industrial-strength blower to help them dry faster. They may also need to lift the carpet back so the underlay can dry.
The company that caused the damage is responsible for rectifying the situation, but if you're having problems getting a result, contact your local fair trading or consumer affairs office. If the carpet cleaner is a member of an association, you can also contact it for assistance.