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Go Soft and Save

As a restoration contractor, you have many tools to choose from. Some are of higher quality than others. But you may never think about the quality of one of your most important tools; water. Its ability or inability to clean well is directly related to its hardness. Hard water residue can interfere with your equipment by building up on the inside and outside of a unit. It can also leave streaks on hard surfaces and hinder the cleaning capacity of certain disinfectants and detergents.

How to Control The Effects of Water Damage

Hard water is produced when water seeps through deposits of limestone and chalk which are mainly made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates. (That’s why rainwater is naturally soft as it hasn’t had to make that journey.) Concentrations vary dramatically across the country, and sometimes even from one side of a town to the other. Hardness is calculated either in “grains” or parts per million (ppm). Anything above 14 grains or 240 ppm indicates severe hardness.

These days, most cleaning products have additional ingredients that partially reduce the effects of hard water. But it’s important to know the quality of the water you’re using. Local water utilities can supply you that information. But here’s a fast way to test water yourself: dissolve soap (not detergent) into the water you use. If the mixture gets cloudy, then the water has at least some hardness.

The good news is that you can control hardness with several devices including deionizers, reverse osmosis systems and water softeners. Having soft water on hand for mixing cleaning chemicals at your warehouse and on the job will greatly improve their performance, thus taking less time to finish.

Having an on-board water softener for your truckmount and extractor can also be a tremendous asset. If you live in one of the areas shaded in yellow to red on the above map, then here are some of the reasons you should have one:

• It helps protect your truckmount by preventing hard-water scale which can damage your unit and decrease its performance and life expectancy.

• Without a water softener, you should descale your truckmount anywhere from once a month to no less than four times a year. With one, you’ll rarely have to do it.
• Conditioned water can decrease the amount of chemicals you use by at least 33%! If the label says to use one cup, with soft water you’ll be able to cut it down to 2/3 cup or even less. Calculate those savings per year and you come up with a lot of extra cash in your pocket.
• Chemicals clean better in soft water and carpets end up cleaner and softer which equals happier customers.

Increase The Life Expectancy of Your Equipment

To experience these benefits, you’ll only need to invest $500-$800 and give up about a square foot or so of truck floor space. It’s not completely maintenance free and a little time will be spent recharging the tank.

The benefits of soft water are better cleaning results with less equipment maintenance, which equal money saved. (Not to mention softer skin!) So unless you’re fortunate enough to live in an area that naturally has soft water, do yourself a favor by obtaining a water softener unit for your business.

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First Choice Equipment Sales & Service

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