Hiring a maid service in New Orleans, Broussard, Lafayette or Baton Rouge, LA may seem like a simple process. You check the yellow pages or conduct an online search, select a service and call for an appointment. You might get lucky and find a competent service that does a decent job for a reasonable price - or you might get cleaned out after hiring the wrong company.
It's hard enough to find the time to get everything done that needs doing, and hiring a maid service seems like the right choice. But there are some things you need to look into before allowing a group of strangers with cleaning supplies into your home. For your own peace of mind, verify that the company has up-to-date protection against theft. They should be able to show documentation concerning 1. Bonding 2. Insurance and 3. References.
Not everyone understands the difference between bonding and insurance. Not all maid services are bonded against theft on the job and some are only bonded to protect the company's property in the event of a theft. You will want to make sure the company is bonded so that, in the event something comes up missing from your home, it will be covered.
Insurance protects you in case a member of the cleaning crew is injured while working in your home. Not all homeowner policies will cover injuries sustained by someone hired to perform work in or on your home, nor will some policies cover damages caused by them. You will want to make sure the company carries insurance to protect their employees while working in your home as well as your property - and the company's equipment, should it be damaged in your home.
You should always ask for references when using a company for the first time. Keep in mind that references provided by the company are going to be from customers who have had a positive experience and there are a few questions you can ask to verify the validity of the reference.
Were you satisfied with the people sent to clean your home?
Did the cleaners seem happy to be working for the company?
Did you have any problems with the end results?
How were your concerns addressed by the company?
Since you are going to allow strangers access to your home, possibly when you're not there, don't be shy about asking if the company conducts background checks on all of its employees. Ask if they verify references before hiring someone and if their residency has been confirmed.
You will also want to deal with a cleaning company that uses its own trained professionals as opposed to subcontractors. That's not to say that subcontractors can't do a great job, but they will not likely have the same level of training as company employees, or the dedication to maintain the company's standards. Many may also not carry liability insurance or bonding, leaving the homeowner in the lurch if something goes wrong.
The type of equipment and products used in cleaning your home can make a difference between a great cleaning job and one that could have been done by amateurs. A big concern these days is the use of green products for the safety and health of your family. Some cleaning companies brag that they have been certified green but are reluctant to verify which agency gave them that certification. Be sure to check the veracity of any green certification claims to make sure you have all the facts.
Environmentally Safe Cleaning Products
Environmentally safe products are used by many cleaning companies and you need to double check that the ones being used are what the company promised to use. Non-pathogenic cleaners and others that contain natural enzymes and beneficial bacteria can be used on many surfaces to effectively clean without leaving harmful residue.
When the kitchen is cleaned, verify the products used will disinfect as well as clean. Remnants of salmonella, E. Coli and staph bacteria can live through exposure to some cleaning products and, if left behind, can be a detriment to your family's health. Products used need to be safe for kids and pets in addition to being considered green.
The cleaning job can only be as good as the equipment used, and if your carpets are vacuumed with an old, dirty vacuum cleaner, most of the dirt will remain in the carpet, even if it appears to have been cleaned. HEPA filtering systems are also only effective if the filters are clean. If the company travels from job to job without cleaning out the vacuum cleaner and changing the filters, you just might be adding someone else's dirt to your own.
As the homeowner, it shouldn't be your job to assure everyone on the crew has done their work as expected. A cleaning crew with a supervisor who watches over the crew and double checks their work will leave you with a feeling of security knowing the house will be as clean as promised.