You have questions. We have answers. Click on the links below or scroll down to find the answer to our most commonly asked questions.
Dry carpet care means utilizing little to no water. MilliCare dry extraction cleaning saves time, leaves no residue, and is gentler on your carpet’s fiber, color, and backing systems. Wet extraction systems leave water behind leaving carpet susceptible to mold and bacteria growth. Chemicals added to the water coat the fibers with residue causing rapid resoiling. That is, carpet gets dirtier faster. Surprisingly, most carpet manufacturers and the carpet cleaning equipment industry instruct customers to wet extract their carpet and endorse frequent cleanings. Imagine what your carpet would look like in just a few years time if you started extracting the highest trafficked areas in your building and then repeated the process month after month. It would very quickly look old and dirty. The good news is that MilliCare can clean often without these same detrimental effects. Contact us at MilliCare by EBC for the long term results you want and a high level of service and experience you can count on. We have used a better cleaning process and a superior technology for more than twenty years; over ten thousand facility and building managers have used MilliCare and have been thrilled with the results.
Seldom Heard Answer (SHA):
In 2012, no one should be spreading potable water, an important limited resource, on carpet in a commercial facility in an attempt to clean it. For those who are unfamiliar with the wet extraction process, this is what happens. Technicians enter your facility and fill their machines with your water. The water is polluted with as many as three different chemicals; the carpet is saturated with the mixture and then extracted. Roughly thirty percent of the water and chemicals used to “clean” the carpet stay on the floor requiring a dry time of forty-eight to seventy-two hours. Dry time can be longer if the technician is not paying attention and uses too much water; shorter if he moves too quickly through the facility and does not allow the machine to properly saturate, agitate, and remove soils and detergents. The remaining seventy percent of the water, now filled with soaps, solvents, soils, and particulates, gets put back into your wastewater system. This is not a responsible practice. MilliCare's dry extraction process is better for many reasons – the best reason, however, is because it's not wet!
The MilliCare system uses a powder that attracts soil to a particle that is then easily removed by a vacuum. No sticky residues or moisture are left behind. If not vacuumed properly, powder can remain in the carpet, but it will be removed by subsequent vacuuming.
Compare this to what you now know about wet extraction systems. They all leave the carpet wet, and a dry time is required. In fact, even the best machines will leave ten percent of the water behind. This includes chemicals and soil. The biggest problem is that the extractor coming into your building is probably removing only seventy percent of the water and chemicals. Your building systems will have to scrub the air and dry the carpet for days. So beware of cleaning equipment companies who tell you that carpet will dry in an hour or two. This is not possible. Wet extraction involves a slow, methodical injection of water and soap into carpet in order to emulsify, trap, and flush soils out with a strong vacuum. Water is injected at a rate of 100 - 400 psi. Think power washer; imagine how deep into your carpet the water is going. It just can't dry in an hour.
You have a choice. If you need clean carpet that will last longer than your previous installation and want clean air for your associates and water and energy savings for your company, pick the only technology that can help deliver these results. Pick a dry carpet maintenance system, and pick MilliCare by EBC.
The best time to begin a maintenance regimen is when the carpet is new. Over time, dirt and soil break down carpet fiber and cause long term damage. When the carpet actually starts to look dirty, it’s too late! Damage to your expensive flooring investment has already begun. Fibers have started to scratch and wear causing “traffic patterns” and an overall dirty appearance. Sure, you can do a restorative clean once or twice a year using other cleaning systems, but this is not preventive maintenance. The only way to achieve a consistently high level of appearance and truly extend the life of your carpet is with a proactive MilliCare maintenance plan starting now, before damage begins.
Seldom Heard Answer (SHA):
Once- or twice-a-year cleanings are the old standard for cleaning carpet. This approach might work in a home where a much smaller group of people, many of whom probably remove their shoes before entering, reside, but it does not work in the office. In fact, it never has. Carpet needs to be vacuumed and cleaned regularly if it is to retain a consistently high level of appearance over an extended period of time.
Your financial controller will tell you that the cost of new carpet is depreciated over a seven year period. This conveniently matches what some believe to be the average life expectancy of carpet once installed. We believe otherwise. Carpet manufacturers now engineer products with stronger more resilient man-made backing systems. Fiber systems have advanced and are more soil and stain resilient; they are also harder to scratch and abrade. Carpet products are made using a denser construction, multiple-ply fibers, and lower pile heights. Everything about the carpet you have purchased for your facility in the last twenty years has completely changed. It's gotten better, and it can last twice as long if properly maintained from day one. Unfortunately, most commercial facilities are still using antiquated systems to care for carpet - restorative extraction and interim spin bonnet cleaning. Add this to the fact that the use of a proper vacuum to remove soil has virtually disappeared. Not only do most janitorial companies lack the necessary knowledge regarding carpet care, but their janitorial budgets continue to shrink (read more about this in the FAQ - How often should I be vacuuming and spot cleaning our carpet?).
Here is what we know. Carpet in a landfill can stay around for thousands of years. We believe that it is environmentally irresponsible to put it there before its time; seven to ten years is well before its time. So don't let anyone convince you that you need to replace carpet. Instead, let MilliCare by EBC help to double the life of your existing product by creating a maintenance and vacuuming program tailored specifically to your facility. By doing so, you eliminate the cost of a new carpet and installation purchase, keep thousands of yards of carpet out of landfills, and preserve employee productivity (no one is uprooted for a carpet install). Best of all, the money you save more than pays for the program put in place to care for your existing carpet. Find this hard to believe? Click here and take a moment to read about one of our customers from Virginia Beach who took eighteen-year-old carpet from a building that he was closing and sold it to another commercial facility for reinstallation and another entire product life. This has to be one of the best carpet sustainability stories ever!
So, join us. Commercial facilities all over the world are using MilliCare. Our organization is growing and more and more customers sign on every year. Isn't it time for a higher level of care; not just for your financial well being but also for the environment, your associates, and your facility? Let us help you make the next twenty years really count.
Glad you asked. Quite favorably, actually. It’s important to keep in mind that when comparing cost you don’t just look at the price per square foot per cleaning. Instead, it is very important that you look at two things: annual budget (cost/carpeted square foot/year) and life cycle costing. First, MilliCare is unique in that we can truly work within your budget to provide a customized dry care program. Other systems, like wet extraction, are usually forced to clean all carpeted space each and every time. Millicare, on the other hand, has the ability to “blend clean” carpet allowing us to clean high traffic areas on a higher frequency and keep the overall look of the space consistent. This allows you to get more value out of your budget dollars, because you are proactively addressing the high trafficked areas that need the most attention and not over-cleaning areas that can use a lower frequency. Second, life cycle costing is very important. Think about it. If MilliCare can extend the useable life of your carpet, doesn’t that lower your annual total cost of ownership? If you are interested in having us calculate what it would cost for you to have a customized dry care program in your facility or would like to learn more about life cycle costing, please contact us. We'd love to hear from you.
Seldom Heard Answer (SHA):
MilliCare's price per square foot is always lower than a wet extraction method. Why compare to wet methods? As they are the only other system that can effectively remove soils and spots, it's really the only comparison that matters.
Before examining price, however, it is important to first discuss logistics. In order for wet extraction to be as productive as MilliCare's dry extraction process, the use of a truck mount system would be required. Try using that in a multi-floor building or in a building with security and fire doors that cannot remain open. Bottom line, you can't. Additionally, carpet manufacturer specifications state that wet extractions need to be completed using hot water. As you can imagine, this is a logistical nightmare. Unfortunately, the biggest problem with wet extraction has nothing to do with logistics. Instead, the problem becomes how to perform the service at the recommended frequencies at a cost of twenty to twenty-five cents per square foot per cleaning. It is just not possible. Carpet manufacturers know this and now allow interim maintenance systems to be used between scheduled wet extractions. Go ahead and read the specs. What you will find is that MilliCare is considered an interim maintenance system. Hard to believe when the Carpet and Rug Institute’s research on carpet extraction methods ranked MilliCare's dry extraction system as high as any portable extraction equipment for deep cleaning. But get this, MilliCare does not require a truck-mounted system or use any water. Sounds like as easy decision to me.
So, here is your choice. Start with the twenty cents per square foot that it would cost you to wet extract all of your carpet once a year. If you actually follow the carpet manufacturer's recommendations, however, you will need to extract some areas several more times. This increases your price to thirty to forty cents per square foot. Or, have EBC’s account managers help you design a proactive maintenance program that can extract high trafficked areas in your facility up to twelve times a year. Less trafficked areas would be cleaned quarterly while others semi-annually or annually. All this at a cost of twenty cents per square foot for the year! We often get told that our process is expensive. The reality is that a well designed MilliCare program costs a lot less and carpet is actually cleaned more frequently than specific by the manufacturer. In addition, you are saving water, reducing electricity costs, and getting longer life from your carpet. Who’s cheaper now?
MilliCare is a system, not a product. To effectively maintain carpet over its lifetime, training is required. It's important not only to understand the type of carpet that is installed in your facility but also the condition of your work space and the type of soiling that is most likely to occur in your building. EBC’s trained and certified technicians are uniquely qualified to assess your space, to implement a program designed to fit your needs and budget, and to take that worry out of your work day. Carpet care in an indoor environment has become increasingly more complex and a higher level of knowledge and training is required to care for today’s carpets in today’s facilities. EBC technicians are highly trained, motivated, long-term, full-time employees. They have gone through multiple background and drug tests and are depended on by over 800 facility managers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. So let us do what we do best, and feel confident in your choice to outsource your carpet cleaning needs to Millicare by EBC. You will be gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience and ultimately letting your people do more of what they do best.
Seldom Heard Answer (SHA):
The short answer to this question is "No." The MilliCare dry extraction process requires the use of specific products and machinery not available to the general public. It also requires training. Users need to be knowledgeable about the process and proficient with the equipment in order to deliver an amazing clean at a low cost. It is certainly not like renting a machine from your local grocery store. The good news is that EBC has trained technicians who are ready to show you how efficient and cost effective the MilliCare system can be.
As an added bonus, our Operations teams also recognize that using MilliCare's dry extraction process can improve your facility’s indoor air quality. They take great pride in using state of the art, well-maintained equipment that removes all products applied to your carpet. Unlike wet extraction methods, moisture and particulates are not as issue, so air handling systems don't have to stay powered on overnight and your associates return to a dry, odor free environment immediately following a clean. Our technicians also understand that your associates put a value on how clean their space is when they come to work, so they pay attention to detail.
Let MilliCare by EBC remove carpet care from your ever expanding list of things "to-do." We have over twenty years experience and fully clean 100 million square feet of carpet a year. We are confident that you will find us to be a valuable addition to your current list of service providers and your in-house team.
A lot of companies talk about “being GREEN,” but MilliCare lives it every day. In fact, by using MilliCare, you not only protect your assets and extend the useable life of your carpet, but you also take advantage of a cleaning system that has one of the strongest environmental stories in the industry. Here are the specific benefits:
Seldom Heard Answer (SHA):
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has put together a model that they hope everyone will be able to understand on how to handle waste. They used an inverted pyramid and call it the "Hierarchy of Waste Management." The EPA promotes the reduction and reuse of waste and suggests that the treatment and disposal of waste be used as a last resort. Recycling is an option, but because the process generally requires the use of additional resources, it is not an optimal solution.
For the past twenty-two years, EBC has been promoting these same concepts. We know that by using our dry extraction process we can and do keep carpet on the floor longer. When a customer decides they want a change, we also know that this same carpet can be reused. It will continue to look great! We firmly believe this to be the strongest sustainability story in the industry. This goes far beyond using green seal chemicals, recycling, and the waste reduction goals we have set in our own offices. Our process, as compared to all others in the industry, can be and is being utilized to reduce the amount of carpet sent to landfills in your area. Over the years, we have donated thousands of yards of carpet tile to Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores to be resold. Our best sustainability story, however, is probably our customer in Virginia Beach who was able to sell his eighteen-year-old carpet to another building manager for further use in his facility (click here to see a letter written on our behalf).
In addition, the water and electricity savings that using MilliCare's dry extraction process allows is significant simply because of the amount of carpet we care for annually. Couple this with our ability to maintain a carpet far beyond the industry average, and it's obvious that we are not just green washing. We are making a difference on how the resources of our planet are used.
Absolutely. We have a solution for you - EBC National. If centralized invoicing, single point of contact, reduction in the number of vendors in your portfolio, and the ability to manage your carpet maintenance program online through a propriety software program are important to you, click here to learn more. EBC National can help provide you with a consistent, standardized solution across all of your locations and, most importantly, make your life much, much easier. How many carpet cleaning companies can make that claim?
We pride ourselves on being Carpet Care “experts.” Because of our experience, we know that all customers and their buildings are unique. As a result, we work very hard to create customized floor care solutions based one hundred percent on your specific needs. How do we determine those needs? We visit your building, ask a lot of questions, and watch closely to see how the space is used. It’s important that we really understand and know your facility before recommending a specific maintenance program. We take measurements, determine traffic flow patterns, learn about the areas that get the most spots/spills, look at the different carpets and flooring products, and, most importantly, try to understand your expectations. Once all this takes place, we recommend a program that will exceed your expectations now and keep your carpet looking great well into the future.
Are you ready for some great news? The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! This is one of the things that truly makes MilliCare so different from other cleaning systems. Traditional hot water extractions have to be completed at night or on weekends, whenever your facility is not being used. The carpet then has to dry before it can be walked on. MilliCare’s dry, polymer system means no downtime for your facility, because the carpet is ready for use as soon as we’re finished cleaning. In fact, we can even perform cleans during regular business hours. With dry care, we work around your schedule, any schedule. We also have the ability to take away one of the biggest complaints in the carpet cleaning industry - WET CARPET! As a result, your headaches are minimized and overall productivity in your building can be maximized.
Proper vacuuming is one of the most important components of a total preventive maintenance program. Ineffective equipment, inadequate procedures, and insufficient vacuuming can accelerate the appearance loss of carpet by allowing dirt and grit to penetrate the pile surface. Getting the dirt out of your carpet makes both short- and long-term care of your flooring more effective. Normally, a janitorial/in-house staff is assigned the task of scheduled vacuuming and spot and spill removal. For maximum soil removal, an upright, top-filled, dual-motor vacuum with a beater brush should be used. For proper spot and spill removal, be sure to use the appropriate chemicals and to always test them on a small, hidden piece of carpet before widespread use.
When deciding on how often to vacuum, consider the traffic in your space. A good rule of thumb is as follows:
Proper spot cleaning is critical for an effective carpet maintenance program and for appearance retention. It should be handled on a daily basis by the janitorial/in-house personnel. Unfortunately, they are not always well-educated on what cleaning chemicals and processes should be utilized. We at MilliCare by EBC, however, can provide you with both the proper chemicals and training you need to take on this extremely important task. Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information or assistance.
Seldom Heard Answer (SHA):
Let’s start with the obvious. Carpet needs to be vacuumed. Soil is brought into buildings daily on the bottom of shoes; particulates within buildings become airborne and eventually end up on the carpet. Regular vacuuming with effective equipment traps and removes this dust and dirt preventing it from becoming airborne over and over again.
The best vacuum for carpet is an upright model with a top-filled bag system that is enclosed in a hard case. It should have a beater bar and two motors on board, one for the brush and one for the vacuum. There are other vacuums on the market, however. Some were invented to be lighter, others to move faster and to be cheaper to operate. None of these work well enough. Take for example the backpack vacuum. With janitorial budgets being slashed, companies cried out for a machine that would allow them to keep up with the required vacuum frequencies and to keep their warranties intact. The backpack vacuum was created so a technician could wear the bag and motor on their back or hip and could push a wand around to remove paper, light debris, and soil. The problem is that the vacuum does not remove much soil or particulate matter at all. The wand is simply pushed around at a high rate of speed to pick up paper and visible debris. Cleaning capabilities reported by testing facilities can only be achieved if the wand is held in exactly the right position for suction to be created. The bigger problem is that people just don't want to use these vacuums. They complain of sore backs and hot motors. As a result, the vacuums often remain in the closet and vacuuming does not get done. So how is carpet cleaned? The choice now becomes a small broom and a stand up dustpan that sweep up paper and other visible debris.
Janitorial budgets are continuing to get cut, even more so since 2008 and the economic slowdown. At EBC, we have watched the degradation of vacuuming programs with great interest and disgust. We know how important vacuuming is to the overall health of a facility and to our own personal goal of keeping carpet out of a landfill before it becomes absolutely necessary. So who's to blame? We know that janitorial companies have a hard time hiring motivated people who come to work every day. They adjust their workload based on who shows up and often skip vacuuming because they can. Facility and Vendor Managers set up specifications that include specific vacuuming programs but don’t hold companies accountable. Vacuuming equipment manufacturers push cheaper, lighter, less-effective machines. Carpet manufacturers produce carpet with a lower, tighter nap and lots of pattern so a lack of vacuuming and traffic-laning is not as obvious. The net result is dirty carpet that loses appearance sooner than it should.
It's unfortunate, but in many cases, we know that when our technicians show up to clean carpet that they are the only ones who have used a proper vacuum on the area since our last service visit. And while we know that our extraction process is capable of catching and removing all the particulates and soils that are present, it's not enough. There are areas in every facility that need to be vacuumed daily; a monthly or quarterly vacuuming will not suffice.
At EBC, we see this as an opportunity, and we hope to be part of the solution. We are now talking to customers about Total Care. Trained EBC technicians can be dispatched to your facility on a specified frequency to vacuum, remove spots, and perform our proactive carpet maintenance programs. All carpet care is performed by one company with the right equipment and trained, motivated technicians. We can ensure that your floors are not only clean but will last long beyond their estimated product life.
Ask yourself, “What is most important factor you consider when rating a vendor?” This is a question we, at EBC, ask ourselves every day. We constantly strive to understand the needs of our customers and, more importantly, to determine how we can help them solve those needs. Our competition, on the other hand, usually focuses solely on price and how to clean the carpet. For us, that is just the beginning. Being able to effectively clean your carpet within a budget that works for you is our prerequisite. We MUST be able to do these things in order to build a sustainable relationship. Our goals, however, go much, much further. We want to exceed your expectations. We have built our business around happy customers; the best way to ensure happy customers is to hire and keep the right people. Our team focuses on professionalism, communication, follow-up, reliability, trust, and building long, lasting relationships. Clean carpet and working with your budget is a given. Great people who constantly work for the happiest customers possible, that's EBC.
Extend the life of your carpet, and leave a lasting impression.
Furniture, cubical panels and window treatments are easy targets for dirt and grime.
You need more than just a “carpet cleaning” company.
You need a trusted partner who can clean your entire workspace.