It’s time to move on. Perhaps the family is growing and your current home is bursting at the seams and you just need some more space for the kids to run away (and perhaps some space to hide from them, as well). Or perhaps the kids have finally gone, and your home is feeling a little empty and you just want to downsize.
There are many reasons why you might want to sell your home, but one important thing you must do before bringing potential buyers is clean your carpets. But why? What difference can cleaned carpet actually make to the sell price of your home?
First Impressions Matter.
When people come into a home and see dirty carpet, what do you think their first impressions are? We can be fairly sure that it is not, ‘Awesome, now I get to clean the carpet!’
Their first thought is more likely to be, ‘So … what else is wrong with this place?’
For a prospective buyer, having clean carpets is a no brainer; it’s a small detail, something that shouldn’t be difficult to achieve, so the mere fact that your carpets are dull, dusty and dirty is immediately a red flag that you have not taken care of the house. The prospective buyer is immediately in a negative mind set, and it is difficult to turn that around.
It’s a vibe thing, man!
Dirty carpets can make an entire house look old and run down, even if you’ve spent thousands on the new kitchen remodel, or the extra sink in the bedroom bathroom, or timber decking in the backyard.
On the other hand, clean carpets look bright, and they can make the entire house seem breezy and fresh. It changes the atmosphere of the house, and even if you don’t notice it yourself, a prospective buyer will. Clean bright carpets just make people feel happier.
And it’s a smell thing, too, man!
How do we say this sensitively? People can have an … odour. We’re not necessarily saying it’s a bad odour (although if you eat a lot of onions, garlic, cheese, tuna and sardines, then we are saying it’s a bad odour), but it seeps into the very fabric of the house, particularly the carpets. Couple that with pee-happy pets, and you start getting a distinctive smell. Even houses without pets or people with strange diets also get a smell. It’s a kind of ‘lived in’ smell that all houses have (to varying degrees) that you don’t notice because you’re used to it, but prospective buyers will.
Cleaning your carpets brings in a different kind of smell. Let’s simply call it a ‘good’ smell. One of the joys of life is the smell of freshly shampooed carpet. It too permeates the house and for a while after you clean your carpets, your house smells less of you and your leaking pets, and more of, well, cleanliness.
And this smell triggers more content emotions in a prospective buyer’s brain than the smell of your morning sardine breakfast or little Rover’s untimely accident in the corner.
When tenants leave their rentals, one of the things all real estate agents require of them is for them to have their carpets cleaned. Because real estate agents know the benefits of clean carpet to helping them rent out the place again. Real estate agents sell houses daily – it’s kinda their job – and if they think it’s something worth doing, then perhaps it’s something we should do.
Professional carpet cleaning companies like our good friends at Wollongong carpet cleaning can take the hassle out of cleaning your carpets. It is a sensible investment to ensure a good selling price.
I’m not talking about cleaning the insides with with the broom and Spray and Wipe. I mean the outside of the house. Siding, windows, roof, bricks etc.
This is the best way to rid your property of mould, mildew and grime. If your plan is to repaint, then a good pressure wash is a perfect way to prepare the surface.
While pressure cleaning is safe for most surfaces, some siding may damage easily and care should be taken. You must carefully inspect every surface that needs to be cleaned, and ensure there are no ways that moisture can get into the property. A good cleaning solution is necessary, and there are choices to be made here as well. Chemicals, e.g. bleach for mouldy areas, or more natural solutions, like baking soda and laundry detergent.
The actual ground will also be taken into consideration, and plants and landscaping need to be protected. The home owner should move away outdoor furniture, pot plants, and also pets and doghouses.
To Pressure wash an older house.
There are likely to be fragile areas in older homes. There is also likely to be a lot of dirt, grime and cobwebs in all sorts of nooks and crannies. A home owner might consider do-it-yourself pressure cleaning, however using the wrong technique could cause damage to wood and other areas. It may be necessary to attack the job gently, using lower pressure than he would on your hard surfaces like driveways, and also by keeping the nozzle further away from the surface, until you can assess how the surface will respond. An experienced cleaner will know exactly how to deal with the situation,
When to wash the house.
Australia is a hot, dry country. We all know that dust and dirt are constant problems. They get in everywhere. There’s pollution in our cities. Dirt, grime and pollution created by builders, roadworks, buses, trucks, factories and animals will settle over whatever they touch. Birds make contributions also. This mix of yukkiness will soon cause a haze over our houses, so an exterior house wash can bring back the brightness.
There is only one way you can clean your house exterior and that is house washing. It doesn’t take too long, if you know the right solutions to use, and the high-pressure water soon washes away the dust, dirt, grime, as well as insects, and even get into the little nooks and crannies. No harsh chemicals are needed, so this is a “green” way of doing the job. And it doesn’t really use a huge amount of water. Your paint colour will be revived, the whole house will look renewed, and all that dust and dirt and potential bacteria will be reduced.
So, I’ll tell you the best time…..
Before you want to sell the house
Because washing the house (especially power washing) renews your house’s appearance and brightens the paint colours. Take photos while the house is slightly damp, as this makes the colours more vibrant. Perfect for the advertising brochures.
After a dry and dusty winter, spring is the best time for a good exterior clean.
Before a pest control treatment
If the dust is washed away, pesticides are more likely to cling to the surface. And be sure NOT to get your home pressure watched immediately after pest control.
Your carpet has been lying there, keeping the floor warm, keeping your feet warm, and generally not interrupting our lives very much. It might be a shaggy pile carpet in a nice lime green shade. It might be a cut and loop in mundane mauve, or twist pile in turquoise. Whatever it is, if it’s been there any length of time, it is likely to be a receptable for microscopic beings who are very interested in the skin cells we discard.
Microbugs and other things
Yes, skin cells. Every day, without your noticing, you lose skin cells, you might lose some hairs, and mostly you don’t notice this happening. You can sometimes see dust floating gently in the rays of the sun that pierce through your window. But it’s not a totally benign and pretty sight. The scientific word for this is “dander”. And you might get your dander up (get angry and upset) knowing that “dander” accumulates in your carpet, and that the microbugs – dust mites and fleas, etc – in the carpet are having a feast on our skin cells.
Your average dust mite is tiny, you need a microscope to see them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the alien monsters in the movies are inspired by them. They have been known to live for 3 months and every day their excretions are surprisingly heavy. The mama dust mites, believe it or not, lay from 60 to about 100 eggs.
Vacuuming Won’t Do It
You must know that the surface of carpet is not flat. The carpet pile rises from the base of the carpet, and does a very good job of trapping the “dander” that falls on it. The microbugs are at the base of the carpet ready to enjoy the buffet presented to them.
But that is why vacuuming doesn’t do what you want to do. Surface dust may be easily removed, and some advertising shows how the top notch cleaner stir up the carpet’s pile, but basically, the vacuum cleaner runs over the top of the carpet, and not every sucker is good enough to clear out all the micro eco-system at the carpet’s base. It doesn’t go anywhere!
There’s probably only one way to remove the microbugs
You must clean the carpet deep down, to rid yourself of the microbugs. It would be best to get a professional carpet cleaner like Carpet Cleaners Launceston who will bring in their big guns and attack these freeloaders.
Their equipment is so much more powerful than anything you can get. They shoot their powerful cleaning solution right into the carpet fibres, to get to the bottom of the carpet and flush out the contaminants, so that you end up with a sweet smelling, squeaky clean, fresh and bright carpet.
Regular carpet cleaning by professional machines will keep your floors pristine, and improve your lifestyle so that your health and wellbeing are ultimately the benefactors of this particular exercise.
It doesn’t seem like it should be that big a deal, does it? So what if your gutters are a bit clogged? So what if the water spills over the gutters? It’s just waters and leaves and dirt. What harm could any of that do?
The problem is that blocked gutters can cause a lot of harm. The gutters themselves can sag, the backed up water can, over time, cause your roof to rot and leak, or cause erosion at the foot of your foundations, which then means your foundations are open to the elements, which can cause subsidence and your walls to crack.
It seems that blocked gutters can have a big deal on the future of your house.
So how can you determine whether your gutters are actually blocked? Here are some signs that can clue you in to the state of your gutters.
Your Gutters Are Sagging.
Water is heavy, and when your gutters are blocked, that water has no where to go. Gutters are designed to be a transport system for water, not a support system. The water is meant to go from your roof to the underground drainage system, via your gutters and drainpipes, and that is it. When the water is blocked, causing the blockage itself to become water laden and heavy, the gutters are being asked to do something it wasn’t designed to do; support weight. Over time, the gutters will fail to handle this weight, and will sag away from the roof structure.
Water Is Overflowing Your Gutters.
If you are seeing water overflowing your gutters, it could be that you are experiencing a very intense rainfall event and your gutters can’t handle the amount of rain that is falling. If however, water is overflowing your gutters during a less than severe rainstorm event, this could be a clue that something is blocking the gutters, causing the water to back up and overflow.
You see plants growing from your gutters.
There are three things plants require to grow: sun, water and soil. If plants are growing from your gutters, they are receiving those three things. The sun’s not the problem, but the water and the soil is. Clearly, your gutter is blocked enough with soil and water that plat life has had time to take life. It is probably time you unclog your gutters.
Your gutters seem to be quite popular to wildlife.
If you notice rodents hanging around your gutters, you might have a blocked gutter problem. Why? Because rodents like the snug safety of the blocked vegetation within the gutter. The confines of the gutter and the blockage itself protects them from their predators.
Also, if you notice birds taking a particular interest in your gutters, that might be another clue that your gutters are blocked. Blocked gutters are usually full of vegetation and sticks and twigs … all of this is like a shopper’s heaven to a bird that is nesting. They come back again and again to take another piece of twig or vegetation back to their nest, and if you notice that happening, you need to get your gutters cleaned.
There are puddles at your foundations.
This is related to seeing water overflowing your gutters. Naturally, that water has to end up somewhere, and since it is not going where it is being directed to go ie. To the drainage system via the gutters, it is likely that the water ends up as a puddle near your foundations. As stated before, water at your foundations can cause erosion, which can damage the foundations.
So, all in all, there are good reasons for getting a professional gutter cleaning service, and hopefully now you know those signs that somethings not quite right with your gutters.
Your gutters don’t get the consideration they deserve. We usually think that a gutter’s only function is to make sure that water that falls on your roofs ends up in your drain, and while that is true, it’s the reason why this function is so important to makes it imperative we ensure that our gutters remain in tip-top shape.
Here are a few things around the house that might get damaged if your gutters remained blocked.
Gutters are designed to move water from one place to another, but when the gutters are blocked, that water has nowhere to go. And even if the water evaporates, the blockage itself will remain water-logged for even longer. Water is heavy, and gutters weren’t designed for dealing with heavy weights that don’t move on. Eventually, your gutters will sag and may even fall away from your roof.
If your gutters are blocked, the water will eventually overflow the gutters. Some may flow down your walls (more on this later), some will pool on your roof. Like gutters, roofs aren’t designed to hold heavy bodies of water for long periods of time. It’s why roofs are slanted; it’s to get water off the roof. In time, the roof might rot, or buckled under the weight of the water. If you’ve noticed your roof continually leaking, it might be because your gutters are blocked.
Pretty much all of the damage caused by blocked gutters is because the flow of water is not being controlled. Gutters are supposed to control the flow of the water from the roof down into your drains. If that process is blocked, the flow of water becomes unplanned, and that’s where damage can occur.
As mentioned previously, some water may overflow the gutters and form standing puddles on the roof; some water may flow down your exterior walls and form standing puddles near your foundations. This water can cause erosion at the base of your walls, which weakens the structure of your foundation.
Gutters blocked with water-laden vegetation and debris attract insects, like disease carrying mosquitoes. if you have leaks into your house, those mosquitoes have an easy passageway into your house, and once inside, you become their favourite food source.
If your roofs are leaking, that water coming inside also invites mould growth to form. Mould spores are particularly dangerous for those suffering from asthma or allergies, which are far more prevalent in the young and the old.
All in all, there are many reasons why you should have your gutters regularly cleaned by a professional gutter cleaning company. Perhaps you could do the cleaning yourselves, but please consider the fact that working from ladders that are placed against gutters that may be compromised because of the blockage, may cause you to have an accident and fall … and falls from even a couple of feet can be dangerous, while falls from a couple of metres could be fatal.