Encapsulation Cleaning is a low moisture cleaning method that all but eliminates "wicking" or stains returning during the drying process. One of the biggest challenges when cleaning CGD (commercial glue down) carpet is the inevitable return of coffee and other drink spills after a steam clean. If you have ever had your office carpets cleaned, you know exactly what I am talking about. The carpets look good after the clean, but often within hours, the faint signs of the old coffee spill shows itself and by the next day, it may look like it was never cleaned. This problem is called "wicking" and while it's not limited to CGD, it seems to be more common. Wicking is defined as the movement of a contaminate to carpet fiber tips, through capillary action, during the drying process. The best way to eliminate wicking is to dry before it can happen or encapsulate or trap the wick before it's visible. Encapsulation cleaning does BOTH. With dry times as low as one hour, carpets are often nearly dry when we finish packing up. So little moisture is used, we can even clean occupied properties quietly and safely with just some basic precautions. If you aren't convinced already, Encapsulation has another advantage over traditional steam cleaning. The encapsulation process keeps happening after we are gone, so carpet stays cleaner longer!
What is Encapsulation? Old school encapsulation used absorbent powders that are messy and have been replaced with new technology. Think of throwing cat litter on an oil stain. This is basic encapsulation. Let the litter absorb the oil and then sweep it up or it might require a good carpet steam cleaning. Modern encapsulation uses specialized crystallizing polymers that bond with soil after it is removed from carpet fiber with specialty encapsulation equipment. Over the next 24 hours the crystallization happens and anything left behind is easily removed through post-vacuuming. This final vacuuming should not happen before 24 hours from completion to allow the process to be completed properly.
Why doesn't everyone offer Encapsulation? The answer is simple - if you don't have a significant commercial client base, it requires expensive equipment, chemistry and training that is very different from traditional steam cleaning. This is often not in the budget or skill set of many cleaners.
What if you encounter something not ideally suited for Encapsulation? This is why it's important to have a full service cleaner with an arsenal of equipment, expertise and cleaning options. If Ripley Services encounters a spot or room that isn't responding, we simply utilize truck mounted steam cleaning or advanced spotting techniques developed over our 20 year history.
Take look at some before and after pictures of a property that had been steam cleaned annually by a national vendor, only to have the stains return within hours. The customer had decided to replace the carpet, unless we could provide a better option. We have now been cleaning this property for 3 years.