There is a multitude of carpet cleaning companies in every city, but not all of them have the licensing, certification, and experience required to do the job right. Untrained and unlicensed professionals may do more harm than good to the homeowner’s property, and the environment. For these reasons, homeowners should always make sure they are hiring a professional worth their time and money. Doing this can be difficult without a starting point or knowing what to look for. To address these concerns, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) provides extensive training to professionals in the industry.What kinds of licensing and certification should consumers look for in carpet companies?In most areas, all a business needs before it can take on jobs is a business license and a couple other special licenses for material handling. In Texas, for instance, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) requires anyone who handles wastewater, including textile treatment businesses, to obtain a special license to show they will comply with environmental regulations. To acquire a wastewater handling license, a professional has to complete at least 20 hours of classes. Once a textile treatment service has a business license and a wastewater handling license, they are able to begin working. However, this is only the bare minimum and consumers shouldn’t consider it enough when looking for reputable professionals. The textile treatment industry is highly complex, and without targeted training, technicians may not be properly equipped to handle all job situations or textile types. The IICRC offers a series of training courses to industry professionals, including a comprehensive Carpet Cleaning Technician (CCT) class. This course is 14 hours long and is taught by IICRC-approved instructors in schools world-wide, so a technician can usually find a class near them. During the CCT course, students will learn how to identify different fiber and yarn types, learn the differences in various methods of textile manufacturing, and how to approach and handle a number of soiling conditions. To do this, students will receive hands on instruction that introduces them to the most up to date methods and equipment. All elements of the treatment process are addressed, including soil removal, soil suspension, drying and grooming. Why should consumers consider carpet cleaning companies with IICRC certification?IICRC trained professionals are taught how to avoid the most common pitfalls associated with textile treatment. For example, using too much water can create a major problem, as this can accelerate resoiling and foster the growth of mold and other microbes. Without the proper training, it is easy to unintentionally use too much water, and it may not be obvious to the homeowner when this occurs. Certified professionals are able to avoid this and ensure that only the best practices are employed during the cleaning process.Consumers can find reputable carpet cleaning businesses in their area through the IICRC’s online locator database. This database is regularly updated, and all professionals listed are IICRC-certified and are able to uphold the IICRC’s demanding standards.