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4 Ways to Improve Your Office This Year

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Most modern professionals spend upwards of 40 hours a week in an office environment. Working in an office that’s comfortable and conducive to productivity can have an immeasurable impact on your overall well-being and job satisfaction. Here are four simple things you can do (or suggest to your boss) to make your office a more productive, comfortable place for everyone involved.

Invest in Better Office Appliances

There’s nothing more annoying than trying to print out a document or make a copy only to encounter an error with your office equipment every single time. Small frustrations like this can build up and lower workplace satisfaction over time. Even though it will cost you a little money, it’s a good idea to hire an expert when it comes to things like office printer installation and copy machine set-up. The last thing you want to do is ignore the problem or make it worse by trying to fix it without knowing what you’re doing. Office printer installation might seem simple enough, but it can get complicated quickly. Find an expert you can trust and let them handle the technical stuff.

Office printer installation

Let There Be Light!

Lighting has a massive effect on our ability to be productive at work. Studies have shown that office buildings without adequate natural light tend to have lower productivity and employee satisfaction. Natural light helps regulate your sleep cycle, improves your mood, and reduces chronic fatigue. Consider keeping your office blinds open to let in more natural light or invest in some lamps to compensate for a lack of natural light. If you or your employees are concerned about being exposed to UV rays while sitting near a window, you can have window tint applied to your office windows that will block the majority of UV rays while still letting in natural light.

Invest in Office Décor

No one wants to come into work every day to a drab, lifeless office. Investing a little time, money, and effort into making your office more welcoming and pleasant to be in will go a long way. Consider buying some comfortable chairs or a couch for the break area or hanging up some art on the walls. Adding some potted plants around the office is a great way to brighten up the space on a budget. Go for low maintenance plants like spider plants, succulents, pothos plants, and philodendrons. All these plants need is a little sunlight and water, and they’ll thrive in nearly any environment. As an added bonus, plants will actually improve the air that you and your coworkers are breathing every day.

Don’t Shy Away from Honest Feedback

It can be hard to hear negative feedback from your employees, but sometimes getting their opinions on what could improve the office is the best way to move forward. Send out a simple survey asking how you could make the office environment better for everyone. Ask specific questions like what temperature they’d like the office to be kept at and more general queries that allow your employees to air any grievances they may have. People are more likely to be honest if they don’t fear retribution, so giving them the option to remain anonymous is a good idea.

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Host A Work Event

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Why Is Event Lighting Important?

Planning a special event – whether it’s a wedding, family reunion, birthday party, or work conference – can be an incredibly long and stressful process. You have to think about the food, the drinks, the guest list, the music, the schedule, the décor, and so much more. Your to-do list may feel endless, and the thought of adding something else to it might send you into a panic. However, it’s vital that you don’t forget about lighting.

It might seem like a little thing, but lighting can make or break your event. Lighting sets the mood, tells people where to go, and determines what activities people will be comfortable doing. No one wants to dance the night away under bright fluorescent lights or try to pay attention to an important speaker at a conference filled with flickering candles.

To choose the perfect lighting for your special event, the first thing you need to do is visit your venue beforehand. Make sure to go as close as possible to the time that the actual event is taking place, so you can see how natural light enters the space. Then, decide how much supplemental lighting you need and what you want the feel of the event to be. Is it a romantic wedding? An all-night dance party? A sophisticated work event? Consider what kind of lighting will best accomplish that atmosphere. Outdoor lighting will present its own unique challenges, so talking to a professional with experience in outdoor lighting and landscape lighting is probably your best option for outdoor events.

Another important consideration is whether or not photos or video will be taken at the event. Talk to your photographer or videographer about what lighting would be best for photos and video. If you’re shooting it yourself, do some research online or try to get in touch with a professional to pick their brain about lighting. You don’t want to get your photos back only to find that they’re all blurry, dark, and out of focus due to inadequate lighting.

The best way to ensure that your special event will have perfect lighting is to call in a professional. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Central New Jersey is a premier provider of special event lighting. They’ve provided both indoor and outdoor lighting for special events of all kinds, including weddings, family reunions, birthday parties, retirement parties, and so much more. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Central New Jersey’s team of experts knows how to properly design and install deck lighting, landscape lighting, and both indoor and outdoor event lighting. They will create the perfect lighting for each specific event and will work hard to ensure that it is memorable and magical.

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Why is Window Tint Important?

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When you think of window tint, you might think it’s only necessary for cars that transport celebrities or politicians, or for people who care about how “cool” their vehicle looks – but it’s actually about so much more than that. Window tint affects more than just the aesthetics of your car, and it has some serious benefits that you should think seriously about before writing it off as an unnecessary vanity item.

Window tint can reduce the heat in your car by over 60%. That means that you won’t have to run your AC as often or for as long, which will extend the life of your vehicle’s air conditioning system and get you better gas mileage at the same time. That adds up to some significant savings over time. Plus, the reduced heat will keep your seats and steering wheel cooler in the summer, so you won’t have to deal with those excruciating few minutes where you’re trying to find a comfortable way to sit on scorching leather seats.

Window tint also extends the life of your vehicle’s interior by protecting your seats, carpets, trim, and dash from fading in the sunlight. If you invested in a nice, luxurious interior, the last thing you want is for it to become faded and unevenly colored after only a year or two of use. You’ll also get some serious protection from glare from the sun and oncoming headlights. That might not seem like a big deal, but accidents are caused by blinding sunlight or headlight glare every day, and window tint can help you avoid ending up in one of those sticky situations.

Speaking of protection, window tint is designed to block UV rays, which are the harmful rays from the sun that cause health problems like skin cancer. Being exposed to the sun without protection is extremely dangerous, especially if you live in a hot, sunny climate, or if you spend a lot of time in your car. Getting your windows tinted can go a long way toward protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

Window tint can also keep your car and your belongings more secure. When your windows are tinted, thieves can’t see if any valuables are sitting in your car. Tinted windows have been shown to be a highly effective crime deterrent, as car thieves are generally looking for the easiest target that will give them a guaranteed payoff.

As you can see, window tint is about so much more than aesthetics. Although we have to admit, it does look pretty cool. For expert window tint services, check out Solar Concepts. They provide window tint services for commercial and residential properties as well as vehicles of all kinds. Solar Concepts uses the highest quality tints and has years of experience in the industry, so you can trust they’ll get the job done right.

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Where to Go for Knee Replacement Surgery in Richmond, VA

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Knee replacement surgeries have been performed in the United States since the 1960’s, and they’ve gotten progressively safer ever since. Today, knee replacements are one of the most successful – and safest – kinds of major surgery out there. Around 90% of patients will recover from their knee replacement without complications and experience significant pain relief and mobility restoration as a result of the surgery.

Having chronic knee pain can make almost every part of your life more difficult. Because of the decreased mobility, it can become extremely difficult for you to exercise, get up and down stairs, shower, clean, and even walk to and from your car. Some qualifications for knee replacement surgery typically include:

  • Having pain that’s severe enough to affect your day to day life, including but not limited to work, leisure activities, and daily activities like showering, bathing, getting out of bed, and going up and down stairs.
  • Experiencing chronic pain that is not relieved by medication, physical therapy, or reduced activity.
  • Losing mobility and experiencing significant joint stiffness.
  • Getting x-rays that show arthritis or other degenerative problems.

Even though knee replacement surgery is one of the safest major surgeries, it can still be incredibly difficult to decide it’s time for you to get your knee replaced. If you know anyone in your life that has had a knee replacement, ask if you can talk to them about their experience. They may be able to soothe your anxieties and give you some tips on how to make a successful recovery.

If you decide you do need knee replacement surgery or just want to learn more about the process, the next thing to do is find a reputable, trustworthy doctor. Dr. David Miller provides expert knee replacement surgery in Richmond, VA. Dr. Miller provides the highest quality orthopedic care possible, and his goal is to help people live better lives free from chronic pain. Dr. Miller empowers his patients to make their own decision about their health and will never push surgery on anyone. He can suggest exercises and physical therapy for you to try before committing to surgery, and his team will be an active part of your recovery process. Dr. Miller stays up to date on new advances in treatment and technology, so you can trust his team is always on the cutting edge. If you’re getting a knee replacement in Richmond, VA, Dr. Miller will walk you through the entire process and help you decide what’s right for you.

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How To Run A More Successful Dental Practice

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Sooner or later, every dental practice finds itself searching for an improved business model that will lead to improved results. With the continuous rise in administrative and operating expenses, the average dentist often feels caught between the hammer of rising costs and the anvil of strictly limited time available to deal with everything that a modern practice entails. Balancing this equation gets more challenging every year. But that’s the key concept: balance.

Most solutions offered for improving a dental practice involve equipment and technology, but there’s only so far that these can take you. It’s just as important – if not more so – to examine the more intangible aspects of the problem as it is to consider the financial and physical ones. Here are some steps you can take to build upon your dental practice!

Be Real

Most dental practices rigorously train their staff as to every possible procedure – particularly when it comes to customer interaction. This drilled-in pleasantry can quickly devolve into rote interaction. This can even raise an unwelcome impression of insincerity among those who sit in the waiting room and listen to the exact same greeting being doled out to everyone. Many people are already nervous about visiting the dentist. Making them feel that the staff doesn’t really care, but is merely putting on a happy-faced act, is not going to create a lot of repeat business.

Timeliness Is Next To Godliness

The cheapest and most effective form of advertisement in the world is that of customer referrals. The patient’s time is just as valuable as that of the staff. Avoid wasting their time and schedule enough resources to handle their problems in a seemingly-unhurried manner. Patients are not the same thing as an assembly line of half-finished teeth that need to be run through the factory before quitting time. The more you value them, the more they will value their association with you — and the more they will desire to share their good fortune with their friends. There are plenty of skillful dentists out there, but the ones with the human touch all have successful practices and better job satisfaction.

Free Stuff Rules!

Everybody likes receiving gifts, especially unexpected ones. You can pass out all the branded-logo toothbrushes and manufacturers’ samples you can get your hands on. These will have some effect for sure, but you might want to take it one step further. For patients who have just undergone a rough procedure or had to wait a little bit longer than usual, why not give them a bright carnation on the way out the door? Offer something that connects on a personal level rather than serves as a calculated marketing tool. Spontaneity and sincerity can really make the difference in your practice.

Pay It Forward

Set aside an appointment or two on your slowest day of the week to do some charitable work that will really have an impact on people who are less fortunate. Perform a little pro bono cosmetic dentistry so someone can have a better chance at landing a job or remove a diseased wisdom tooth that’s causing someone a lot of pain. Midlothian Family Dentistry in Virginia, for example, often holds community dental events. Many businesses are willing to chip in on such efforts, and the word will definitely get around.

While all of these suggestions may at first seem counterproductive on a financial basis, the truth is that ruthless efficiency is not always the solution to what ails most dental practices. This is not to say that making maximum use of one’s time is a bad idea, but rather that it can be something that gets carried out to the point of being counterproductive to the actual goal in mind.

Prosperity is not just a financial consideration. The practice of medicine should not be a daily grind that one dreads to face every morning. Treat your patients the way you want to be treated if the situation were reversed and prosperity will be sure to follow.

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7 Tips To Follow When Planning A Morning Business Meeting

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If your boss puts you in charge of holding a morning business meeting for 20 to 30 people, it is a huge responsibility. If it is your first time planning the meeting, it can be a bit overwhelming. Since your boss is counting on you to plan a successful morning meeting, it is important that you do a good job. There is a lot of work and planning that goes into planning a breakfast meeting. Below are a few tips that can help you plan a successful meeting that will impress your superiors and your co-workers.

1) Serve Good Coffee

Coffee cup

When the guests arrive for the meeting, you want to make sure that the coffee is ready and waiting. You should also make sure that there is enough coffee for your guests to drink during the entire event. Since you want to make a good impression, you don’t want to skimp on the coffee. If it is cold, weak, or tasteless, your guests aren’t going to be happy. Most people depend on coffee in the morning and they want it to taste good. If you have the money in the budget, you should also have a selection of tea for guests who aren’t coffee drinkers.

2) Serve a Good Breakfast

When your guests arrive at the meeting, chances are they are going to be hungry. If you want to please them, you are going to need to serve a good breakfast. This means hiring a company who specializes in breakfast catering. To start, you should have a table with donuts, muffins, yogurt, and a fruit platter. When it comes to the main course, you should avoid having a buffet. Buffet service can take too long and it can cut into the beginning of the meeting. It is best to have a plated breakfast served. This will allow your guests to get their breakfast without interrupting the speaker. There are plenty of tasty breakfast dishes to choose from and the menu is up to you. Finally, be sure to serve a selection of juices on ice.

3) Be An Energetic Host

Most people aren’t completely awake and alert early in the morning. If you start the morning meeting with one of the scheduled speakers, you might not be able to get the attention of all your guests. If you hire a host with lots of energy, they will get the guests interested in the upcoming program. Also, they can make sure that the program stays on schedule and that the event runs on time.

4) Organize the Speakers Before the Program Begins

If you have a few people scheduled to speak at the meeting, you should find them before people sit down to eat. You want to make sure that they are all at the meeting and they know when it will be their turn to speak. This will keep things running smoothly throughout the entire event.

5) Have Some Questions Prepared For the Speakers

A productive meeting will include an informative Q&A session for each speaker when they are done giving their speech. Before the event, you should familiarize what each person will be speaking about. This will give you a chance to prepare questions for the speaker. When it comes to Q&A sessions, it takes just one question to get the ball rolling. If nobody is asking questions, you can start things off with a question of your own.

6) Set Time Aside for Networking

Business Meeting

When you are planning the meeting agenda, it is important that you set aside some time for the guests to circulate, mingle, and network. The best time to do this is at the end of the meeting. This will give your guests a chance to discuss the things that they heard during the meeting. Most people don’t want to be the first one seen leaving a meeting, If the networking time is at the end of the meeting, the guests can slip out when they are ready to go without being noticed, which will make them more comfortable.

7) Wrap Up the Meeting On Time

Since most of the guests at the meeting are going to need to get to work, it is important that you stick to the schedule and wrap the meeting up on time. If there are any stragglers still talking at the end of the event, you should kindly let them know that it is time to wrap things up. Not only will your boss appreciate it, the catering service will as well because they will need to clean up.

If you follow the tips listed above, your business meeting should be a complete success. As long as you pay attention to detail and you stay organized, you shouldn’t have any problems during the event.

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Should You Hire A Contractor For Your Home Remodeling Project?

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Are you considering making some improvements to your home? Before getting started, it would helps to consider all your options. When you get the itch to make one or two improvements to your home, one of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself is whether you’re going to handle the project on your own, or simply hire a professional contractor. The former gives you the opportunity to remodel the space as you deem fit, paying special attention to every detail along the way. On the other hand, hiring a contractor means you won’t have to spend your time on the project. Still, it’s important to know what tasks are best left to professionals, and when you might opt for the DIY route as well. Doing it yourself might save you money, but you must be absolutely sure about your ability to complete the task. And while a DIY home improvement project might look easy on TV, this doesn’t always translate over into reality. It might thus be in your best interest to hire a contractor, but you’ll need to compare several companies before making your final choice.

Being Your Own Contractor

Tackling a home improvement project on your own offers a few benefits — besides saving money on labor costs, it also gives you the chance to enjoy the work of your own hands. That said, it takes more than a can-do, will-do attitude to complete all the tasks involved successfully and on time. Depending on your skills and abilities, you might take the DIY route if:DIY Tools

  • There’s enough time to get familiar with the project: This mostly applies for small renovations, such as painting your deck. As long as your schedule allows, you can watch tutorial videos to learn the steps involved. Remember to consult other homeowners who’ve tackled similar projects for more advice.
  • You’re fine with small mistakes: There’s a good chance that the remodel won’t turn out as well as you’d initially hoped. If you’ll be satisfied with less-than-stellar results, a DIY project could make sense.
  • You view the project as more of a hobby: If you enjoy painting, carpentry or any other activities related to renovation, a DIY project involving those tasks might be worthwhile trying on your own.

Before you can even start planning your DIY remodel, take a good look at your experience and skills. The last thing you want is to discover that you don’t have what it takes right in the middle of the project. It’s easy to look up instructions for certain tasks, but putting them into practice is a whole lot different. If you’re forced to call in a pro to correct your mistakes or finish what you already started, you might actually end up spend more than you’d have paid if you hired them in the first place.

Why Hire a Contractor?

Whether you’re planning to remodel the entire house or just spruce up a few rooms, you’ll want to make the best decision between bringing in a pro and doing it yourself. But there’s a good reason why the majority of homeowners prefer to hire contractors — they can handle complex, time-consuming tasks, and those that are downright unpleasant as well. Working with an established contracting company carries several other benefits, including:

  • Peace of mind: An experienced contractor will be able to coordinate the entire project to ensure everything’s done according to your specifications.
  • Efficiency: A company like VanRossun Contracting will not only figure out the most efficient way to complete your project, but they’ll also have the required materials and tools. Their professional connections will also save you lots of time and money.
  • Handling permits and inspections: Depending on the project, certain building permits and inspections might be required by law. This is perhaps the biggest reason why you’d be better off working with a professional; they’ll know what needs to be done to take care of such things. And when it comes time to sell your home, you’ll be able to provide written proof of compliance.
  • Complete coverage: Since contractors have to be insured, you’ll be glad you chose one if anything goes wrong as the work proceeds. Your contractor will take full responsibility for any liabilities that relate to your project, something you don’t get when you choose the DIY approach.

Kitchen RemodelAll in all, a professional contractor can turn your dreams into reality, but you have to choose the right one. So if you do decide to hire a pro, ask for references from the companies you’re evaluating and obtain written estimates as well. And even after you’ve hired one, you might need to take an active role in the project — your home is a valuable investment, after all. So be ready to spend time following things closely, and put some effort into developing a good working relationship with your contractor.

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Your Fall Car Care Checklist

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If fall is your favorite season, you’re not alone. The skies are clear, the air is crisp, and the leaves are beautiful. The holidays, and cherished get-togethers with family and friends, aren’t far away. Unfortunately, icy weather is also just around the corner. Fall is the time to make sure that you and your car will be ready for winter and much more difficult driving conditions.

Brakes – Here in central Virginia, late fall will usher in cold weather and icy roads. You’ll want your brakes to be working at their best – even more so when winter arrives. If you’ve been hearing squeaking or screeching when you apply your brakes, then its time to schedule an inspection from a professional. Same if your brakes have haven’t been stopping you as well lately. Another worthwhile check is to inspect the brake pads; if your pads are less than ¼” deep, then you should bring your car in for some new ones.

Tire tread – Like your brakes, your tires need to be at their best to perform well in poor conditions. So, before winter arrives, be sure to check the tread on your tires. It’s easy to do – even if you’re not a mechanic. Simply take a penny and insert it into your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you’ve got enough tread to drive safely, Lincoln’s head will disappear into the groove; if you can still see Lincoln’s head, it’s time to replace your tires.

Tire pressure – Air condenses when it becomes cold, and that includes the air inside your tires. So a tire that was inflated to perfect pressure in summer may become dangerously low in the winter. Fall is the perfect time to pick up a tire pressure gauge if you don’t already have one; it’s also a great time to get in the habit of checking your tires before you drive, to make sure they’re properly inflated. Not sure what the right pressure is? Look up your tire’s brand and number online.

Heater/defroster – In summer, you can probably get by without having a properly-functioning heater or defroster. In winter, you can’t. In winter, you and your car will have to contend with rain, frost, ice, and perhaps even snow. Without defrosting, keeping your windows clear will be difficult; driving safely may be impossible. Fall is the time to make sure that your heater/defroster works properly, and is able to keep you and your family safe.

Battery – When the weather gets cold, gasoline can be harder to burn and oil can be cold and gooey. As a result, your engine might need a bigger jolt to get moving. If your battery isn’t fully charged, it might not be up to the challenge. The smart play is to have your battery inspected by a local technician before it gets too cold, and before you start running the risk of being stranded when your car doesn’t start. I trust Richmond’s Aarrow Transmissionmy go-to car repair shop – to perform thorough inspections and provide effective solutions for my car.

Antifreeze – No fall car care checklist would be complete without checking your antifreeze. While oil can get gooey in the cold, water can become… you guessed it: ice. If the water in your engine freezes, your engine will freeze, too. Antifreeze lowers the freezing point of the water in your engine to a much lower temperature, greatly decreasing the chance that freezing will occur. Checking antifreeze is easy, and so is adding it. If you have a few free minutes, you can do it on your own. Or ask your local mechanic to do it when you bring your car in for a check this fall.

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Implementing Digital Solutions For Your Local Business

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In today’s fast paced world, filled to the brim with hustle and bustle individuals who are contributing to the dog-eat-dog environment, it’s absolutely vital that you stay on top of innovations and technology solutions to maintain your business and continue to grow successfully. When you are building a company, and your competitors begin to transition to more online and digital-focused innovations, take notice! Using a company that specializes in implementing digital solutions such as Cobb Technologies can be a great way to get started on the right path.

There are many different aspects of digital solutions that can be implemented for your local business, such as:

  • Information technology solutions to help manage your internet, servers, online-based documents, and provide customer support or other work-related assistance any time you are undergoing issues with your network. This is one of the first things you should get started, because with today’s society and the way it is heading, nearly everything will be cloud-based in the future, so get on it while the going is hot!

 

  • Document management solutions can be implemented to help your team stay on the same page when it comes to processes and procedures, and contributing to company projects. Utilizing an online-based document management service such as Microsoft 365 can help you stay updated with all of your employees. With support for e-mail, spreadsheets, and text documents, plus all media files such as videos and images, an online-based service can be a huge help to your entire staff.

 

  • Managed workflow solutions are yet another aspect of different innovations you can implement into the workplace. When it comes to developing processes and procedures for your company, keeping the entire aspect of the work environment streamlined and seamless is absolutely vital to staying organized and providing a great foundation for employees.

When it comes to starting, growing, and maintaining a local business, there are constantly streams of competitors coming into the field, in the hopes of knocking out your business and taking your spot. If you aren’t staying up to date on the various aspects related to the growing digital-age, then it’s time to start! Taking the next step into the cloud-based world will provide nothing but benefits for your local business. There are many differences between a local, thriving, successful business and one that sticks to their roots and traditional procedures.

Take the steps to become more digital focused and your company’s results will be sure to follow!

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Carpet Cleaning In Texas Homes

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EliteGreenTeamChemDryCarpetCleaning

The hot and muggy Texas summers can be simply unbearable sometimes, and make you not want to do absolutely anything around your home. This can cause tons of chores to become backlogged, whether they take place indoors or outdoors, because the heat just overpowers you.

Time and time again, no matter what part of Texas we lived in, filth would somehow manage to find its way into our home. No matter how often we vacuumed, or how stringent we were on taking our shoes off when we came home, there was always a somewhat dull look to our carpeting.

When the weather gets horrible, and your home starts to become dirtier and dirtier as you continue to track in dirt, mud, and other types of grime, it’s important that you get an annual carpet clean to ensure that your entire home stays healthy, vibrant, and fresh.

Because of the constant dirt floating around Texas, it is extremely easy to bring all of that directly into your home, where it is then lodged into your carpet. While many of us may vacuum fairly consistently, that alone isn’t enough to truly clean your carpets when they begin to get soiled and dirty. That’s where it’s vital that you choose a premier carpet cleaning company that uses non-toxic, eco-friendly products. There are dozens of different companies that are able to come out and clean your soiled carpet, but the process that goes behind it is just as important as the company you choose.

Whatever your budget may be, and regardless of the size of your carpet that needs cleaning, doing a thorough research and review of the company you choose is vital. Elite Green Team Chem-Dry, who is based out of Friendswood, was one of our top recommendations from friends and family when we were asking around for referrals for a thorough, in-depth, detailed carpet clean. We had just moved into a new home, and the carpets were in dire need of help. There was staining all over the home, and any time we walked across the carpet, we would kick up tons of dust and dirt into the air, which began making us sneeze and have trouble sleeping. You can see their website here, http://www.elitegreenteamchemdry.com/, and see exactly why we chose them. They were quick to respond and the customer service representative on the other line was very informative and answered all of the questions we had about the toxicity of the product, what different cleaners they use, and how they went about the cleaning process.

EliteGreenTeamChemDryCarpetCleaning

We decided to go with an official Chem-Dry franchise because of their use of an all-natural cleaning product. They utilize a water-carbonation process that basically forces air bubbles into the fabric of the carpet, pulling out deeply-ingrained grime. The process was even able to remove extremely troublesome dark red stains.