Cleaning Preparation Checklist

Good preparation on your part helps everything go smoothly during the job and allows us to focus our efforts on giving you the best cleaning experience possible.

For Commercial Carpet Cleaning Preparation click here.

For Water Damage Restoration Emergency Steps click here.

For Residential Cleaning review the list below.

  1. When you schedule you usually will not receive an exact arrival time. We generally will lay out our jobs and coordinate everyone’s time schedules the day before your appointment. We will call you in the afternoon, the day before your appointment, to confirm your appointment arrival time window. We make every effort to keep our appointments however, on occasion we may have to adjust your arrival time. We will not rush through one job to arrive on time to the following job. If for some reason we have to adjust our schedule, we will call to let you know. By being prepared you can help us to maintain our schedule.
  2. If for some reason you must reschedule your appointment or adjust the cleaning order, please give us as much notice as possible. If you give us more than a 24 hour notice you can avoid a cancellation charge. If your schedule changed and you can’t stay the entire time see the many options available on our FAQ page. If you would like to add or reduce your cleaning order please let us know so we can allow appropriate time in our schedule. Don’t worry if it rains and/or snows, you don’t need to cancel your appointment. These conditions have no affect on the cleaning or drying time. We will take precautions to ensure we do not track rain and/or snow inside.
  3. Thoroughly vacuum/sweep. Our cleaning rate is based upon the carpet already being freshly vacuumed. If you do not vacuum/sweep before our arrival, we can do so for an additional 5 cents per square foot.
    • Carpet – Thoroughly vacuum all carpeted areas to be cleaned. Use a crevice tool along wall edges and steps. This would be a good time to install a clean vacuum bag to ensure optimal performance of your vacuum. This is especially important if you have pets that shed.
    • Rugs – Vacuum before we pick it up or you drop it off at our office.
    • Upholstery – Vacuum off excess pet hair and any debris on the decking under loose seat cushions.
    • Wood or Tile Floors – Sweep area to be cleaned.
  4. Move furniture to empty the room as much as possible for carpet, tile or wood floor cleaning. We have two different rates for carpet cleaning based on your preparation.
    • Carpet Cleaning Regular Rate: Remove all breakables, such as lamps, pictures, vases and other miscellaneous items from furniture tops which we will be moving. Also remove small furniture such as dining room chairs, computer chairs, chair mats and any other small items such as plants, paper shredders, toys, small rugs, etc. Baths, halls, landings and closets are always priced at the regular rate because of the amount of detail hand work involved. If we are moving a multipiece sectional or bed, the room will be priced at our regular rate.
    • Carpet Cleaning Empty Rate: The room is to be empty which will save you 6 cents per sq. ft. on carpet cleaning. Your efforts to prepare properly will save you money. We will make an exception to this for jobs that are “almost empty”. Furniture that is ‘not practical to remove’ can stay in place and we will carefully clean around it. This may include china/curio cabinets, entertainment centers, big screen TV’s, aquariums, most desks, file cabinets, oversized plants, pianos, pool tables, bookcases, grandfather clocks and appliances. The room is measured completely as if it were empty. We will allow a “couple” pieces of large movable furniture that we will move around while cleaning and still allow you to receive our empty rate. This would include a regular sofa, love seat or dining room table. If you have an adjoining area that these pieces could easily move to, then these pieces would be expected to be removed. You can use areas with hard surfaces such as kitchens, bathtubs, attached garages or areas not being cleaned for temporary storage. Inform your technicians of any furniture that is fragile or broken so we may exercise extra care moving it. Due to liability we cannot move appliances, TV’s, pianos, etc.
      • Living/Family/Great Room: Remove chairs, recliners, end tables, coffee tables, magazine racks, plants, and any other small to medium furniture. Hang full length draperies on coat hangers from the rods. Do not load up furniture that is to be moved.
      • Dining Room/Kitchen/Dinette: Remove dining room chairs. Do not place chairs on top of table. Remove the bottom front cover on the refrigerator and the bottom drawer on the stove. This will allow us to thoroughly clean to the edge as far as possible.
      • Bedroom/Closets: When cleaning only the traffic areas in a bedroom you may place small items on the bed. Please clear out items from under the bed so we don’t accidentally bump into them when cleaning. If possible, we can usually clean about one foot under the bed, around the perimeter without moving it. If moving beds, do not load up with other furniture or items and clear out items from under the bed. Remove drawers from heavy dressers or chests unless we are cleaning around them. Tuck up bedspreads or skirting on beds that touch the floor. Bedroom walk-in closets can be cleaned only in the center open area if you do not want to empty the items from the floor. If cleaning the closet completely, have the lower clothes up off the carpet several inches.
    • Wood Floor Refinishing: If you would like finish reapplied to your wood floors after cleaning, the room should be 100% empty.  All rooms that are connected with thes same wood floor should be cleaned and refinished at the same time.
    • Upholstery Cleaning: Move furniture or tables to ensure we have 5 feet of ‘elbow’ room on all sides of the piece to be cleaned. If there are coffee, sofa or end tables next to the furniture being cleaned, they may need moved so the furniture being cleaned can be moved.
    • Automobile Cleaning: Empty your vehicle of all personal items or place them in the trunk if not being cleaned. If we are cleaning the seats and/or floor in a van and the seats easily detach and come out it will be easier for us to do a better job.
    • Mattress Cleaning: Remove sheets, blankets and pillows from the mattress prior to our arrival.
  5. Please clear vehicles from the driveway. We will need the space closest to the door we will be entering. We cannot park inside of a garage or carport because of the exhaust fumes from the truck engine. If you have to leave while we are cleaning, please remove your car from the garage and park it on the street before we arrive so we don’t block you in. Please ensure there is a clear clean path from where our van will be parked to the entrance of the home. This may include shoveling snow off the walks or sweeping garage floor debris clear to help us from tracking it into your home.
  6. We may need access to a water source and electric power. We prefer a soft water hook up in the garage or we can use an outside faucet or an indoor sink. Inform the technicians of any water faucet that is broken or leaks that we should not hook up to. We are not responsible for any damage caused by any pre-existing broken faucet. Our equipment is truckmounted and power take off (PTO) powered by the van engine, however we may need electric power to turn on lights, power our fans or steam iron for specialty stain removal. Access to power can be a concern when a house is being sold or purchased and the utilities have been turned off.
  7. Please let your pets know that our technicians do not bite. We would appreciate mutual consideration in this regard. A constant barking dog is very disturbing to our technicians. Please have pets put in an area so they will not bark, bite, run away or track onto freshly cleaned carpet. While working in your home the door will be cracked open 2-3 inches to allow for our hoses to come in. You are responsible for your pets where abouts during the cleaning. Please put them in an area out of the way while we are working. Special Attention if you have a pet bird. Our cleaning solutions are nontoxic and safe for your family and the environment. However, birds are reported to have very sensitive respiratory systems. Even a change in air drafts can sometimes affect the health of a bird. You know your bird’s sensitivities best, but we ask that you take the bird to a separate room for 24 hours where we will not be cleaning or cover the bird cage with a sheet.
  8. Safety first – We want to ensure that you and your family are completely safe while we are working in your home. To prevent injury, slip and fall or burns please keep children away from our truck, equipment, tools, hoses and cleaning products. Elderly clients are requested not to walk around during the cleaning process. This is to prevent tripping over the hoses or slipping on wet floors. If necessary, ask your technician to assist you.
  9. Please bring to our attention any preexisting conditions or other items that may require special handling or care. 
    • Furniture – Point out any furniture that has loose legs, parts that are already broken or items that cannot be moved.
    • Edges along baseboards – We generally clean the carpet edges along the wall with our hand tool. We use great care while doing so, however, freshly painted baseboards could easily be scratched. If your baseboards are freshly painted, please bring this to our attention. We will only clean edges along freshly painted baseboards if you take responsibility for any touch up painting that may need to be done. We use great care while doing so, but depending on the type and age of paint on your baseboards there is a chance that they could be marked up. If this occurs we cannot be responsible if you would like your edges cleaned.
    • Berber Carpet – If you have a berber style carpet bring to our attention any loose yarns. If we are not aware of such, our equipment may cause the yarn to ‘run away’ and we cannot be responsible. Please have this repaired by a professional carpet installer, or if not too difficult, we can give you a price on the repair.
    • Tile/Grout – If your grout is loose or cracked from improper installation or from the floor settling, the grout will need repaired. We cannot be responsible for loose grout that is removed during our normal cleaning process.
    • Wood Floors – If wood floor polish has been applied in the past, it will look shiny upon initial application, but may cause uneven or unsightly appearance issues over time.  Our floor polish removal procedure can usually remove this problematic coating.  In rare instances, the removal of floor polish may not be possible or may cause adverse appearance issues, in this case you acknowledge that adverse issues could result and the floor may need completely sanded and recoated to restore the floor to its desired condition.  If floor polish needs removed from a laminate floor, there is a risk that moisture could absorb into the laminate, causing permanent swelling / raised edges.   If you choose to have Referral remove a polish/wax coating from your laminate floor, you understand the risk and will not hold Referral responsible for any damage caused by cleaning or moisture.
    • Odor- Odor from pet accidents and other odor producing substances may become more noticeable for a period of time after the cleaning because of the elevated moisture content. Generally, it will return to the same pre-cleaning condition after it has dried completely. We cannot be held responsible for such odor producing deposits unless we are able to identify, treat and neutralize such odors. Please visit our Pet Stain and Odor page to learn more.  If we are treating for urine odor, a blacklight inspection may be necessary to locate the affected areas. A blacklight works best when the room is dark. To prepare, please close any blinds or cover the windows with sheets to reduce the amount of light coming into the room being inspected. If this is not possible, contact us to arrange other plans such as using our blacklight before your appointment to mark the spots at night when the room is dark.
  10. Please call to the technician’s attention any spots, stains or odors which may require special attention. If possible, identify the cause of a spot. If we are aware of the cause it will assist us in choosing a product to attempt removal. Inform us of any products you have used previously. Some spot cleaning products can permanently discolor and may not be apparent until the carpet/fabric is rinsed. We cannot be responsible for damage caused by previous cleaning attempts. We will make every attempt to remove your stains. Some stains require specialized attention and advanced solutions. We will advise you of possible stain removal solutions. Some solutions may cause color loss. If you would like us to attempt stain removal you accept responsibility for any damage that may occur.
  11. We open and clean under every door adjoining to areas we are cleaning to remove any air filtration lines and thoroughly clean the edges. If there are any doors you do not want opened or private areas of the home you do not want us to enter, please bring this to the technicians attention upon arrival.
  12. Help your carpet dry faster. If cleaning during the summer, please leave your air conditioning on so when we arrive it is 72 degrees. This will help the carpet dry faster because the air conditioning removes the humidity from the air in your home. Since cleaning is a very physical job you will also keep your cleaning technician comfortable so they do not become a sweaty mess while working. We will use our fans to begin speed drying while at your home. We use care when setting up our fans but from time to time the high airflow has caused items that are not secured to the wall to fall off such as a light art frame. Please bring to our attention any items you may have a concern with. If you have any fans or dehumidifiers, please have them wiped off clean and sitting near the area we will be cleaning. If you do not have any, you may want to ask friends or neighbors if they have fans you can borrow. We will be happy to set them up for you when we are done cleaning to continue the drying process. If you have ceiling fans be sure they are set so the air is blowing down. Check that the fan blades are clean so dust does not fall onto the freshly cleaned carpet. Turn OFF any humidifiers, these add moisture to the air which will slow the drying process. If your thermostat is programmed differently it would be best to adjust it to these described conditions temporarily or by pushing ‘hold’ to override the regular program. Click here to read our post cleaning drying tips
  13. Phone estimate – If you received an estimate over the phone, it was based on the approximate sizes you provided.  The exact size will be measured at the time of service. We will keep those measurements on file for future reference. Extreme soiling and specialty spotting charges will be determined by the technician at the time of service. Estimates are also based on proper preparation so please give attention to the items on this list in particular prevacuuming and furniture moving.
  14. Payment is required upon completion. Sorry, NO EXCEPTIONS. We prefer personal checks. We also accept Visa, Master Card or Discover with an additional 2% Credit Card Convenience Fee of the total transaction to cover merchant processing fees.  We do accept cash, however your cleaning technician does not carry change. All checks and payment should be made payable to Referral Cleaning & Restoration. If you must leave before we are completed you need to provide a payment method. Payment/Billing may be prearranged for some commercial accounts.  Gratuity is accepted but not expected, if you would like to tip your technician, please tip them directly, do not include it in the same check to Referral as payment for cleaning.  All math on invoices is double checked at the office. If math errors are discovered we will contact you with the proper adjustment and either refund or collect the difference. A $25 fee will be charged for any NSF and/or dishonored check. All accounts if not paid as agreed are collectible with attorney fees, court costs and without relief from valuation or appraisement. After 15 days a finance charge is computed by a periodic rate of 1.5% per month (21% annual) on any unpaid balance. When the invoice is complete we will email you a copy from our web based software. Please provide us with your primary email address and add and to your “Safe List” to prevent our messages from going to your Junk Folder. If you do not have an email address we will be happy to print it at our office and mail you a copy.
  15. Consider benefits of applying protector after cleaning. Click to learn more about:
    1. Scotchgard Carpet, Rug & Fabric Protector
    2. Stone & Grout Sealer
    3. Hardwood Floor Finish 
  16. Can any of our other cleaning services help keep your home clean, healthy and fresh? Click the service Referral offers to learn more:
    1. Carpet Cleaning
    2. Upholstery Cleaning
    3. Tile, Stone & Grout Cleaning
    4. Oriental & Area Rug Cleaning
    5. Hardwood Floor Cleaning
    6. Pet Stain & Odor Removal
    7. Mattress Cleaning
    8. Automobile, Boat & RV Cleaning
    9. Commercial Cleaning Services
    10. Emergency Water Damage Restoration
    11. Mold Remediation
    12. Allergy Relief
    13. Products