Wear socks, shoes, or go barefoot on carpet?


Many people think that going barefoot on carpet is best.


Not true – you’re better off in socks or clean, rubber soled shoes, and here’s why:


Your skin naturally produces oil. That oil will transfer from your foot to the carpet, leaving t…race amounts of oil across the surface of your carpet fibers.Oil on your carpet, even in tiny amounts, is not good. Oil attracts dust, dirt and dander. So when you go barefoot in your home, you’re leaving oil on the surface of the carpet then soil is attracted to it.


You won’t notice a difference immediately since the oil on your feet is minimal. Although, over time the oil will build up.Wear your shoes or socks – your shoes will track in dust, dander and even mud. But shoes will typically leave behind dry soil that can be vacuumed up.


Ideally, a pair of clean slippers at the front door will keep your carpet looking it’s best. Just slip off the out-door shoes, and put on the indoor slippers when you make the transition from outside to in.


So to answer the timeless question; is it better to wear shoes or go barefoot on carpet?


The answer is socks or clean, rubber-soled shoes.


Custom Group Inc. services Arlington Heights, Aurora, Bartlett, Bensenville, Bolingbrook, Bloomingdale, Buffalo Grove, Carol Stream, Carpet Cleaning, Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Lombard, Joliet, Melrose Park, Morton Grove, Naperville, Niles, Norridge, Northbrook, Oak Brook, Park Ridge, River Forest, Schiller Park, Schaumburg, Waukegan and all areas in between!

Remove pet stains, oders, urine, muddy paws prints from carpet


The winter “might” be leaving us soon and when it does we are going to have a lot of wet muddy ground out there! This can mean extra work to keep your carpet looking its best! If you own any dogs, you’ll probably have muddy paw-prints tracked in every time you take them outside. Even if you don’t have a dog, muddy prints are bound to happen by you or your kids. Here are quick and easy instructions on how to remove muddy paw prints from carpet.


First step is to walk away! That’s right, just walk away. The trick to removing mud and dirty paw prints from your carpet is to let the mud dry. Dry soil can be easily be vacuumed up without spreading the muddy mess around. But be sure others don’t walk through it and track it even deeper into your home.


After the muddy paw prints have completely dried, pull your vacuum out and vacuum the area slowly – take your time here. By slowing down, you give the vacuum the time to do its job of removing mud and dry soil. People often assume that because they can’t see the soil that it isn’t there. Not true. Slow down and try to double your vacuum time – the debris may have just settled down deeper into the carpet to a less visible area.


Once you finish with the vacuum, you’ll still have a few dirty spots remaining. Simply spot treat these with a carpet cleaning product like “Spot-Out” or Resolve. If you do not have any of this on hand try a spray bottle of white vinegar and water (a 50/50 mix is the perfect cleaner to keep on hand for many carpet spills) and a white cotton towel. Spray the soiled spot with the vinegar and water mixture then press down with a clean, white cotton towel.


The towel will absorb the moisture and bring any remaining soil along with it. This method leaves your carpet residue-free, unlike many spot cleaners which can end up attracting soil. Again, take your time and don’t be tempted to scrub. Scrubbing moves the soil back and forth, while blotting or pressing down helps to lift the moisture and soil up into the towel.


If you are unsuccessful or there are just too many prints for you to deal with, try contacting a professional! They have the equipment, the products, and can take care of the problem very quickly and for a reasonable price.


Feel free to call Custom Group Inc Cleaning & Restoration for a free in home estimate. Let us clean the messes that are causing you stresses!!! 630-462-9620.


Custom Group Inc. services Arlington Heights, Aurora, Bartlett, Bensenville, Bolingbrook, Bloomingdale, Buffalo Grove, Carol Stream, Carpet Cleaning, Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Lombard, Joliet, Melrose Park, Morton Grove, Naperville, Niles, Norridge, Northbrook, Oak Brook, Park Ridge, River Forest, Schiller Park, Schaumburg, Waukegan and all areas in between!

Frozen Pipes Break from Freezing Temperatures


Frigid nights can very quickly turn into extremely expensive ordeals. In cold temperatures pipes freeze for a combination of three central reasons: quick drops in temperature, poor insulation, and thermostats set too low. Both plastic and copper pipes can burst when they freeze, and recovering from frozen pipes is not as simple as calling a plumber.


A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spew up to 250 gallons of water a day, causing flooding, serious structural damage, and the immediate potential for mold. In the United States, frozen pipes cause a huge amount of damage each year; unlike natural disasters, this disaster is largely preventable. You can help save yourself the mess, money, and aggravation frozen pipes cause.


Your Best Bet: Don’t Let It Happen


There are a number of preventative steps you can take to keep your pipes from freezing. Here are a few simple tips: You can prepare by protecting your home during the warmer months. Here’s how: Insulate pipes in your home’s crawl spaces and attic, even if you live in a climate where freezing is uncommon. Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing.


Remember: The more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.


Heat tape or thermostatically controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents, and pipes, and use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.


Before winter hits, disconnect garden hoses and, if possible, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.


When The Mercury Drops


Even if you’ve taken the right preventative steps, extreme weather conditions can still harm your pipes. Here are a few more steps you can take: A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let warm water drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall. Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night.


You might be in the habit of turning down the heat when you’re asleep, but further drops in the temperature – more common overnight – could catch you off guard and freeze your pipes. Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.


Before You Leave Travelling in the winter months might be good for the soul, but don’t forget to think about your pipes before you leave. What can you do? Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55°F (12°C). Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing. Shut off and drain the water system. Be aware that if you have a fire protection sprinkler system in your house, it may be deactivated when you shut off the water.


If Your Pipes Do Freeze


What do you do if your pipes still freeze, despite your best preventative measures? First step: Don’t panic. Just because they’re frozen doesn’t mean they’ve already burst. Here’s what you can do: If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.


Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water: You could be electrocuted. Never try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame because it could cause a fire hazard. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house! You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.


If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it.


Call Custom Group Inc Cleaning and Restoration to do the water mitigation at 800-462-9620. We have the tools to dry out the home and prevent mold growth.


Custom Group Inc. services Arlington Heights, Aurora, Bartlett, Bensenville, Bolingbrook, Bloomingdale, Buffalo Grove, Carol Stream, Carpet Cleaning, Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Lincolnwood, Lombard, Joliet, Melrose Park, Morton Grove, Naperville, Niles, Norridge, Northbrook, Oak Brook, Park Ridge, River Forest, Schiller Park, Schaumburg, Waukegan and all areas in between!

Can thermal Imaging detect water leaks?

Can Thermal Imaging detect Water Leaks?

Yes Thermal imaging can detect water leaks, water intrusion, and plumbing leaks inside walls before they become visible.  Just because you cant see it, doesn’t mean it is not there!  Thermal Imaging can help you trace the leak back to the source, finding the area that needs to be repaired, some hard to find leaks surface several feet from the actual problem, thermal imaging can detect the path that the water is traveling, so you know where to make the repair.

The purple or dark blue area in the thermal images shows where the water has entered a wall cavity through the roof traveling down against the ceiling joist of a vaulted ceiling, a leak from pipe in the wall, a toilet overflow, etc.  The thermal imaging cameras are able to detect this before it became visible, giving the homeowner a chance to make the necessary repairs before the leak had a chance to cause further water damage and before mold can grow within the wall cavity.  Thermal imaging also helps to pinpoint what areas of a wall need to be opened to take care of a problem without having to tear the whole wall down or an incorrect area of a wall in order to find the problem.

Area Rug Care – Cleaning Service


Area Rug Care

Rugs can be beautiful additions to your home, but they can be expensive and sometimes delicate. It’s important to know how to clean and maintain them to protect your investment. Custom Group can properly clean these rugs for you. If you want to try cleaning yourself, these few tips can keep your rugs looking new for as long as possible. There are a few very common mistakes that people make when it comes to cleaning area rugs. These mistakes can end up subtracting years from the life of your rugs, and they should be avoided.

1.The best way to keep your area rug looking its best is to flip it upside down once a month and vacuum the back of the rug.
It is okay to use a beater bar/rotating brush vacuum on the back of a wool rug, on the front it is recommended to only use suction. Vacuuming the back with the beater bar/rotating brush helps push dirt trapped deep down toward the top of the rug. The rug is then flipped right side up and this dirt is vacuumed. For synthetic area rugs it is fine to use the beater bar/rotating brush vacuum on the front and back of the rug.
2.It is not advisable to vacuum fringes/tassels.
When you run the vacuum over the fringes they get sucked into the beater bar of your vacuum. The fringes do not need to be vacuumed at all. Fluffing them by hand is all they need. Anything else can cause damage to them.
3.Be aware of carpet shampoos or sprays!
Carpet shampoos are usually made for synthetic wall to wall carpet not wool area rugs. Always check the label before using any spot cleaners or rug shampoos. When you use a spotter or shampoo make sure you rinse it all out. If there is any soap residue left in the rug it will attract dirt. ALWAYS TEST YOUR RUG WITH A DAMP WHITE COTTON TOWEL TO MAKE SURE THE COLORS WILL NOT RUN OR BLEED.
4.Make sure that you clean spills or stains as soon as they occur.
Blot or scrape the spillage up depending on the type of spill. Blot, using a clean white 100% cotton dry towel and pressing down very hard from the outside towards the middle. Do this repeatedly, turning the folded towel over and over until you have absorbed as much moisture as possible. When you blot the spot move the towel in straight lines, NEVER RUB IN A CIRCLE, THIS CAN CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE TO YOUR RUG. If the spillage is milk care must be taken to rinse the area thoroughly with mild detergent and water to prevent souring of the residue. For red wine spills, use equal parts of 10% hydrogen peroxide and Dawn liquid dish soap apply to cotton towel and blot.
5.Neutralize pet odors by mixing 1 part white vinegar with 3 parts water and blot with white towel.
6.You’re Finished

Cleaning Carpet Spots and Spills

Here’s Rule No. 1 regarding spots and spills on your carpeting: Clean them immediately. If you catch the spill when it’s fresh, you’ve got a good chance of removing it totally. Consider these tips, too:

  • Carefully blot or scrape the entire area before applying any cleaning solution. Remove as much of the spill as possible.
  • Before using any cleaning solution, test your carpet in an inconspicuous area to make sure the cleaner won’t damage or discolor it. Test the cleaning agents that you keep on hand before you have to use them to make sure they will not harm your carpet.
  • Do not rub the spill — that might spread the problem to a larger area.
  • When you apply spot cleaner, work from the outside of the stain toward the inside to avoid spreading the stain. After applying a cleaning solution, blot up all the moisture.
  • A clean white bath towel is unsurpassed for drying carpet and brushing the nap back up to a standing position.
  • If you feel that there is still too much moisture after blotting the carpet, place a 3/4-inch-thick stack of white towels over the spot and weigh them down with a heavy object.

Searching For A Restoration Service

Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)

No one plans for a disaster, but quick action after a calamity and bringing on a fire and flood restoration business to repair everything can save both time and money. There are many things that cannot be fixed after a disaster and will have to be replaced. Though it may be difficult, this is a process that has to be dealt with swiftly, as the longer it takes to respond, the more damage will take root and make the situation worse.

The problem with burn damage is that it doesn’t end when the flame goes out. Ash left behind is highly acidic, and will slowly rot away whatever it touches. Within minutes, plastics are yellowed and any appliances in the vicinity of the combustion are discolored. This discoloration gets worse and worse, and begins to affect fiberglass and metals after several hours. Fire and flood restoration typically must begin before a few days pass, because metal corrosion takes root and wood furniture requires refinishing as quickly as possible.

After a few weeks, huge costs can be expected, because at this point, carpet needs to be ripped up and replaced, and metal and glass will be permanently etched, many times, beyond the point of being able to salvage it. This means windows and appliances will need immediate attention to avoid replacing them. Piping may also be damaged beyond repair, and multiple leaks may cause water damage throughout the home. Those companies that are certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification can keep this from happening, and are equipped to replace carpeting that is beyond repair and clean furniture in an effort to save it.

Another major disaster that many homeowners have to deal with each year is extreme water damage. This may happen following a hurricane or major storm that causes a river or lake to overflow. There are many fire and flood restoration teams that service areas in the south and Gulf Coast regions of the country, where this tends to occur with some regularity. Water can cause catastrophic and permanent destruction to a building, and it’s not unusual for those affected to be condemned and removed completely in the worst case scenarios.

The problem is that water accelerates the growth of many nasty organisms, from molds and fungi to bacteria and parasites. All of these represent major health hazards, and are difficult to remove if they are allowed to take root. While fire and flood restoration teams can stop the spread of these organisms by removing rotting material, a homeowner can help out by getting rid of some items in the home right away.

Anything that is textile-based will need to go if it is soaked by water contaminated by sewage. It is often difficult to tell if this is the case, so some fire and flood restoration businesses err on the side of caution and remove them anyway. Carpeting in the home will need to be ripped up and discarded if it is not dried within 48 hours of being soaked, including the padding that lies underneath the fibers. Clothing, insulation, bedding, paper and stuffed toys will all need to be thrown out if they come in contact with contaminated water. Electronics will likely be destroyed if submerged, though it’s best not to test them, as wiring can be damaged and cause electrical shock. When a catastrophe such as either of these occurs, it is best to contact a reputable company to help as quickly as possible.


Protecting your Hardwood Flooring

For cleaning, make sure you…

  • Use a soft cloth to blot spills and spots as soon as they happen. Always avoid allowing liquids to stand on your floor.
  • Sweep, dust, or vacuum the floor regularly with the hard floor attachment (not the beater bar) to prevent accumulation of dirt or grit that can scratch or dull the floor finish.

While cleaning is easy, there are a few things to avoid:

  • Don’t use oil based, wax, polish, or strong ammoniated or abrasive cleaners.
  • Don’t use steel wool or scouring powder.
  • Don’t wash or wet-mop the floor with soap, water, oil-soap detergent, or any other liquid cleaning material. This could cause swelling, warping, de-lamination, and joint-line separation, and void the warranty.
  • Don’t use any type of buffing machine.
  •  For spots such as candle wax or chewing gum, harden the spot with ice and then gently scrape with a plastic scraper, such as a credit card. Be careful not to scratch the flooring surface. Wipe clean with a damp cloth.
  • Do not use any type of buffing machine.

Use protective mats

Good quality entry and exit mats will help collect the dirt, sand, grit, and other substances such as oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer that can otherwise be tracked onto your flooring. Do not use rubber- or foam-backed plastic mats as they may discolor the flooring. To prevent slippage, use an approved vinyl rug underlayment.

Use floor protectors on furniture

Use floor protectors and wide-load-bearing leg bases/rollers to minimize indentations and scratches from heavy objects. As a rule, the heavier the object, the wider the floor protector should be.

Maintain relative humidity level

Maintain a normal indoor relative humidity level between 35 and 55% throughout the year to minimize the natural expansion and contraction of wood.

  • Heating Season (Dry): A humidifier is recommended to prevent excess shrinkage due to low humidity levels. Wood stove and electric heat tend to create very dry conditions.
  • Non Heating Season (Wet): An air conditioner, dehumidifier or periodically turning on your heating system can maintain humidity during the summer months. Avoid excessive exposure to water during periods of inclement weather.

Watch your feet

Remove shoes with spiked or damaged heels before walking on the floor. They many cause indentations in your flooring.

Watch your pet’s feet

Keep your pet’s nails trimmed to keep them from scratching your flooring.

Rearrange your rugs and furniture

Periodically rearranging your area rugs and furniture will allow the flooring to age evenly. Exposure to the sun and its UV rays will soften the tone of different species of hardwood to varying degrees and accelerate the oxidation and aging of wood. This can cause the stain and/wood to fade and/or change color. Exotic species such as Brazilian Cherry are more susceptible to color change during the aging process and may actually darken over time. Other species such as Merabu, Pine, Oak and Cherry may also darken over time.