The carpets are full of mud, the windows are smudged, and your furniture is starting to look a little worse for wear. At this point, you’ve put the broom down and you’re ready to pick up the phone to call that hot new cleaning company in town.
But before you take a leap of faith, there are a few things you’ll want to double-check before hiring a service. Doing your due diligence can ensure that the cleaning company you hire such as house cleaning services in Washington DC provides the following:
- High-quality cleaning jobs consistently
- The ability to understand and fulfill your job’s expectations
- Fair pricing
- The use of safe, non-toxic cleaning products and equipment
- Know-how on how to clean specific materials without damage
- Trustworthiness – after all, you are letting them into your home!
To find a reputable cleaning company, follow these basic, yet important steps before making a decision:
Check How Long They’ve Been in the Industry
Experience is one invaluable asset that cannot be substituted when it comes to cleaning.
Your cleaner may have the best equipment, but if they lack the experience and knowledge to use it effectively, you risk mediocre results.
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A professional cleaner with years of work under their belt understands that certain materials require different cleaning solutions and materials. For example, silk and wool can’t be soaked in water and require dry cleaning solutions to properly remove stains.
Furthermore, if you have animals or children in the house, they’ll know how to clean without harming them in any way. All-purpose cleaners contain chemicals that can be toxic, so it helps if they have green alternatives to ensure safety.
Regardless of your concerns, an experienced cleaning professional will have the skills to handle any situation.
Research Their Reputation
We know this isn’t a popularity contest where the most liked company such as wins, but the cleaner’s reputation in the community speaks volumes.
To get a better idea of what you’re dealing with, use every resource at your disposal to find out more about the company. These will include online reviews on sites like Yelp, Google reviews, local forums (if available), and word of mouth from family and friends.
Another way to find out about a company is to contact them directly and ask for references from past clients. Any cleaning provider worth their salt should be able to provide this information without hesitation. If their body of work is outstanding, it’s in their best interest to do so.
Confirm their Insurance and Licensing
As you know, accidents happen. This could involve your antique furniture being damaged or a cleaner slipping and falling in your home.
To protect yourself from any liability, confirm that the cleaning company has insurance coverage for their employees and subcontractors. You’ll want to see if they have the following:
General liability insurance: If a cleaner causes property damage, this insurance should cover it.
Workers compensation insurance: In case of an injury on the job, this coverage will protect you from any lawsuits. You may have to pay for their medical fees or even be sued.
Fidelity bonds: If a cleaning company’s employee has stolen any items from your home, a fidelity bond will cover the losses.
In addition to insurance, proper licensing is also essential. Cleaners should be pursuing the correct licenses, such as a business license and any other applicable permits for their specific industry. If not, you’re hiring an amateur and you’ll have no recourse if something goes wrong.
Ensure they have a Quality Control Process in Place
Professional cleaners should have well-documented processes in place to ensure consistent, quality results.
If you’re not sure about their specific practices, feel free to ask. Your cleaning company should provide you with a list of all the tasks they plan to complete and how often. For example, do they work on a room-by-room basis or do they do specific tasks in order?
Also, ask about their quality control checks. Do they inspect the house and make adjustments when needed? Or do they just send a cleaning team in with no oversight? The more knowledgeable a cleaner is about your home and requests, the more efficient and effective they’ll be at doing their job.
All processes should be clearly outlined in a contract. Read the fine print to make sure you’re getting what you paid for!
Know Exactly What You Want
Do you need a large fully occupied home that needs regular cleaning? Or do you just need a one-off, deep clean in your kitchen?
Before you hire anyone or sign any contracts, establish exactly what it is you want from the cleaner. You don’t want to sign up for weekly cleanings when in reality you only need a once-off deep cleaning.
Below are a few reasons to double-check your needs before hiring a cleaning service:
You’ll save money: If you hire someone to do a deep clean but only need them for a regular cleaning job, you’ll end up paying more for nothing.
You’ll avoid any misunderstandings: Let’s say you overlooked the fact that your windows are constantly dirty and your cleaner didn’t include it in their service. You might be left with a messy window and no recourse.
You can get the job done quicker: Once you’ve established what you need, the cleaner can systematically tackle each job, leading to faster and more efficient results.
By taking the time to list out your needs, you’ll save yourself from any unnecessary expenses. It also prevents you from canceling a contract if you suddenly decide you don’t need the service after all.
Find out their Cancellation Policies
Contracts are great in some ways, but bad in others. They’re great because you’ll have a written agreement of expectations between you and the cleaner along with a discounted service. They’re bad because they don’t allow much room for flexibility or change of mind.
If you’ve decided you no longer require cleaning services, you may have to go through a minefield to cancel the contract. So before signing, try to find out the following:
- How much notice do you need to give?
- Are there any penalties for early termination?
- Can the contract be paused or frozen and for how long?
- What happens if my cleaner consistently performs at a low standard?
Having answers to these questions will ensure you’re prepared if the situation arises.