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All About the Home Cleaning Process: An Interview with Adam Emanuels of ACES Cleaning Services

By Adam Emanuels

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

ACES Cleaning Service is a family owned company that started in the Raleigh area over 20 years ago. Our primary focus is commercial cleaning and janitorial services. However, within the last five years we have expanded our services to include residential pressure washing. With the amount of homes in our region, it made sense to invest in this ever- growing residential market. Our pressure washing division has since then grown exponentially! We are Certified House Washing Contractors and use all environmentally friendly cleaning detergents. Our goal is to leave your house clean and pristine.

What are 3 important questions to discuss with your home cleaners before hiring them?

Insurance: For most individuals, a home is their largest investment. Hiring a company with no insurance to do the work is a big risk to take. The first question a homeowner needs to ask prospective cleaners is, "Are you insured?" With the high rate of competition for residential cleaning services these days, finding an insured cleaner shouldn't be difficult. In today's market place we need to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our homes.

References: Make sure your cleaning contractor is qualified to do the work they are advertising. Ask for references, prior experience that pertains to the specific job, and have that contractor describe their cleaning process in detail. Reputable companies should jump at the opportunity to describe their process and share their experiences. A great way to do this is by checking Angie's List or the BBB website. These are both credible options when looking for references.

Satisfaction Guarantee: Will the cleaning company hired by the homeowner stand behind their work or just "splash and dash?" This particular guarantee shows a company's commitment to quality work! It doesn't cost anything for the cleaning contractor and it gives the homeowner peace of mind. As cleaning professionals, this guarantee should be offered with every job performed.

If you could, please walk our readers through the general home cleaning process.

Before we even step foot on the property, our first action (after turning off the truck) is to set up our traffic cones. Afterwards, a cleaning tech, dressed in uniform, knocks on the door to let the homeowner know that we have arrived and are going to start preparing for their particular cleaning project. At this time we ask if there are any additional services they would like to add and if there are any special areas, whether on the home or around the home, that we may need to be extra cautious around. We also instruct the homeowner to make sure that all of the windows and doors, are securely shut.

Once that is completed, we begin pulling out our hose and mixing our soap. While we pull hose around the property we are extra careful not to pull anything through flower beds or gardens. We only want to leave you with a clean house, not a clean house and uprooted plants. Our company has never had to replace a flower, shrub, bush, or other plant and we intend to keep it that way.

Now, it's time to start cleaning:
Step one: Water down the area around the house. Most sides of a home have been baking in the sun and are very hot. These surfaces need to be cooled down before soap is sprayed so that our detergent doesn't dry on contact. We clean in small sections based on the temperature outside and amount of direct sunlight so that our cleaning detergent never dries on the house. Cleaning detergent that dries on siding and windows has the potential to permanently stain and damage these areas, as well as lose its effectiveness for removing mold and mildew.
Step two: Apply cleaning detergent to section of home being cleaned. This is where cleaning in small sections is critical. Managing a small section of home ensures that the area remains wet while the detergent works to remove mold and mildew, loosens any dirt, spider webs, and other general fallouts.
Step three: Rinse the section of home with cleaning detergent thoroughly using clean water. Rinse down any plants and shrubs in the area.

Move on to next area and repeat steps one thru three until entire house is clean.

Upon completion and prior to packing up our hoses, we always invite the homeowner to walk the property with us. This is where we are able to answer any questions the customer may have about the completed work as well as ensure their complete satisfaction. Once they have signed off on the work we will then begin to pack up and move on to our next home.

Should client prepare for the home cleaning, and if so how?

Yes, a homeowner needs to make sure that all windows and doors are securely shut. Typically, our cleaning technicians are able to safely slide or move furniture, hanging plants, and any other item that may hinder the cleaning process out of the way. However, for example, if a homeowner has a screened in porch they want cleaned and it's full of furniture, pictures, a throw rug and knick-knacks, we will ask for them to clear as much of these items out as they can. If they need help moving larger items we are always happy to assist. With that being said, we also have several retirees that are not as mobile as those homeowners with two young kids and need our help to prepare their property. This is understandable and we budget extra time to help these customers prepare for their upcoming cleaning.

Is the payment for home cleaning services typically a set price or hourly?

Our home cleaning pricing is based on the square footage of the home. For example, if the rate is $.10 per square foot and you have a house that is 1,500 sq.ft. Your cleaning price would be $150. Basing the rate on the size of the house helps keep the pricing fair. The cleaning rate will vary from city to city so don't be surprised if the same size house in Charlotte is different than that of the same size house in Wilmington.

If I don't like the way someone cleaned my house, what can I do about it?

Let them know. Hopefully, a reputable company was hired and they will come back and fix their mistake. Reputable contractors understand that mistakes happen and that it's not personal to be made aware of it, but appreciated. This helps them critique their process and prevents the same mistake from happening again. Many companies will come out in a timely manner and address the situation that you are unhappy with. If for some reason you don't feel comfortable or you cannot reach the company hired, call a different company. Every reputable house cleaning professional offers free estimates. Give one of them a call, explain the situation, and ask for them to come out and see if what you are unhappy about is able to be corrected. Keep in mind, that if the new company is able to fix the problem, you subject to pay for the additional service.

Can I hire you for a one-time job?

Of course! We don't require a contract to clean your property. One time cleanings are always welcome. Realtors especially love using our services for their "one-time jobs." ACES Cleaning Service understands that houses don't get dirty overnight, but they do get listed overnight. If you are a homeowner and plan on listing your house, let us know while we are scheduling you so that we can make sure your property is clean in time for the MLS photos. Our service area is primarily focused in Raleigh and the surrounding counties as well as Wilmington and those surrounding counties.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your business?

There is a variety of ways to reach us. I would recommend first to go online to www.acescleaningservice.com. There you can call, text, and email all from the website. Check us out on BBB.com under ACES Cleaning Service where we have an A+ rating. You may also want to check us out on Facebook by looking up ACES Cleaning Service.

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