Website Re-design in Progress

Coming Soon!

ADVANCED ON-SITE H.Q. – I’ve long since come to lament how cluttered this site looks. Part of the problem, I’ve been advised, is the small font employed by the original design. Add that to the wrap-around images, and it comes off busier than a stampeding herd of zebra.

A trend among web developers has been to leave lots of “white space” on their pages. I’ve sampled hundreds over the last year, and less truly is more. Toward that end I think the sidebar with links to recent and archived content must also go. At least on primary pages. Newly posted blog-style pages may retain this feature.

As is all too often the case, the author of the site’s current design has disappeared. So there can be no easy tweak. Everything must be built from the ground, up. With a little help I hope to publish a new, simpler, and much easier to read site in August.

Above is a screenshot of what we’re projecting the initial page load of the new design to look like.

ADVANCED ON-SITE‘s specialty is drapery and shade cleaning, though we offer a range of other services related to window coverings. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Curtains Cleaned. In Place!

Curtains Cleaned in Your Home!

IBIS C.C. – The owner of this lovely home wanted her curtains cleaned. She put it off for a looong time because she thought they’d need to be taken down. And that seemed daunting. Never mind, inconvenient.

In the process of searching the web for a qualified service she ran across the SERVICES page at Listed among all the other window covering related entries, was “Takedown and Storage”. Now, the intent behind that offering has always been as prep for larger projects like painting, remodeling and window/door retrofits. Takedown is no longer necessary when the objective is simply to get your curtains cleaned. Or any fabric window covering, for that matter.

The entry immediately above “Takedown and Storage” says it all. Titled “Cleaning”, it includes the statement, “…without removal from the opening.” The homeowner was intrigued, but doubtful. How could such a procedure be effective?

She called to ask about the method used. I happily explained it in detail, and encouraged her to check my glowing reviews. She soon called back to schedule service. Happy ending.

ADVANCED ON-SITE‘s specialty is drapery and shade cleaning, though we offer a range of other services related to window coverings. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Job: Roman Shades Cleaned

Roman Shades Cleaned

Roman Shades Cleaned in Your Home!

LAND’S END, MANALAPAN – That’s right! If you need your Roman shades cleaned, I’m Dave Smith and I’m your man.

Located near a cooking environment, the pictured shades acquired a greasy film over a period of 20 years. Naturally that film attracted dust.

Still, it wasn’t evident until one of the shades was lowered. As it unfurled, the hidden inner folds were revealed to be dust free. Protected from airborne contaminants the entire time.

Well, when the homeowner noticed this she knew it was time to have them cleaned. Her dry cleaner referred me and everything happened pretty quickly after that.

Full disclosure: For thorough drying, shades like these need to remain unfurled at least 16 hours after saturation. As I was not invited to stay overnight, the featured photo was taken before cleaning.

ADVANCED ON-SITE‘s specialty is drapery and shade cleaning, though we offer a range of other services related to window coverings. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Drapery AND Upholstery Cleaning

Requested Service: Drapery AND Upholstery Cleaning

ADMIRAL’S COVE – Homeowners are often pleased to learn the process used by Advanced On-Site is suitable for Drapery AND Upholstery cleaning. Good thing too, because designers often specify coordinating fabrics.

In such cases a difference in appearance can occur after cleaning one, but not the other. It’s also less disruptive to have everything cleaned at once, rather than by different specialists at different times.

Don’t Entrust To Just Anyone

Carpet cleaners, maid services, and even restoration services offer drapery and upholstery cleaning. However, most require a signed form releasing them from any responsibility should damage or shrinkage occur. Such conditions are common when the same cleaning solutions are used across the board.

Carpet is made of rugged materials. It can withstand heavy traffic. Stretched taught and held in place by tack strips, properly installed carpet cannot shrink. More powerful water-based cleaning agents are therefore deployed with impunity.

Drapes on the other hand are free-hanging and much more delicate. Lined drapes are especially susceptible to shrinkage when water is present during the cleaning process. Upholstery, too, requires careful handling. Most sofas and chairs can in fact be wet cleaned. However, some accessories like sofa skirts and arm covers must be dry cleaned.

Choose Wisely

It’s important to select the right man for any job. As to drapery and upholstery cleaning, a technician trained in the myriad fabrics and configurations is the wise choice. He employs less powerful injection/extraction, as well as special attachments for delicate work. Most importantly he’ll never use the wrong cleaning methods on a given product. That, more than any other factor is why he can offer a NO shrinkage, NO damage GUARANTEE!

ADVANCED ON-SITE‘s specialty is drapery and shade cleaning, though we offer a range of other services related to window coverings. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Attention: Property Managers

Attention: Property Managers

CRYSTAL POINTE – Attention property managers, and rental agents! The foregoing photo shows a property transitioning between occupants. The owner’s agent wished to freshen it up. Suspecting these drapes to be the source of a faint musty odor, she requested my cleaning service. Voila! No more odor.

Any number of nasty contaminants can defile window coverings. Mildew, tobacco smoke, pet hair and associated oils, cooking grease, things that get on little fingers, candle soot, just to name a few.

Previously drapes needed to come out of the opening and go to a dry cleaner. Now, they’re just as effectively cleaned in place! Along with the shades and top treatments dry cleaners could never accept.

When a change in decor is desired and cost is no object, replacing soiled window coverings is a no-brainer. To have replacement forced on you due to misadventure is another matter entirely.

While cleaning expensive window fabrics is no minor operation, its cost is generally less than twenty percent that of replacement. Furthermore, it prolongs life expectancy!

ADVANCED ON-SITE‘s specialty is drapery and shade cleaning, though we offer a range of other services related to window coverings. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Service: Removing Mildew from Drapes

Service: Removing Mildew from Drapes

IBIS COUNTRY CLUB – Experts agree, removing mildew from drapes is vital to good respiratory health in the home.

Interestingly, the mildew we see most often on fabric is not the dark gray, or black variety more common on other surfaces. It is in fact an orange-ish color, and usually manifests as circular colonies of one-eighth to one-half inch in diameter.

For an in-depth look at what can cause mildew on draperies click here.

Don’t Try it at Home

Removing mildew from drapes is best left to a professional. His, or her trained eye can identify each of the many different weaves and fabrics used. This is critical to determining which might react adversely to the cleaning agents and mechanical action necessary.

Synthetic sheers offer the best chance of complete removal, as they are easily cleaned using water and detergent. They can also withstand a great deal of mechanical action and the use of effective water-based agents such as peroxide and degreasers.

On the other hand, drapes made with natural fibers can become limp, and even shrink when water is present. Lined drapes such as those pictured nearly always contain at least some natural fibers. Use of a water-free solvent is therefore imperative. Unfortunately solvent based spot treatments are never as effective as their water-based counterparts against mildew. Or for that matter most any stain. But fear not.

The Dry/Wet/Dry Method

A process known as the Dry/Wet/Dry Method has been perfected in recent years. It involves soaking the fabric with solvent to seal out moisture, attacking the surface with a commercial degreaser and appropriate mechanical action, then flushing again with solvent. After that, it’s kind of a “lather, rinse, repeat” scenario until all traces of mildew are gone. Or the technician determines that further mechanical action could damage the fabric.

When partially dried it gets a very light spray of industrial grade peroxide. But only if its color is closer to white than black. Peroxide has brightening characteristics that can produce uneven results on darker colors. Its effervescing characteristics are the key here, though.

Just consider how the peroxide in your medicine cabinet works when applied to a cut or scratch. Its bubbling action literally beats bacteria-containing contaminants out of the wound. Now, multiply the strength of that peroxide by 5 or 6 and you have an all-natural substance that’s so strong it’ll sting your fingers if you touch it! However on fabric it’s actually safer than bleach by a mile.

As the World Turns

I’ve gotten to the point on certain projects where I know the mildew is dead, yet its faded footprint is still visible. That’s when peroxide’s brightening and effervescing action becomes so important. It continues to work for as much as six hours after drying. On returning later, or occasionally the following day, I’m nearly always pleased.

Only twice have I observed little to no improvement following treatment. Even after reapplying peroxide, then checking back after the requisite amount of time. Don’t know why.

Alas, while the process renders mildew unable to proliferate, it seems we must stop just short of guaranteeing the elimination of all traces.

ADVANCED ON-SITE‘s specialty is drapery and shade cleaning, though we offer a range of other services related to window coverings. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Service: Removal of Barbecue Sauce on Drapery Panels

Service: Removal of Barbecue Sauce on Drapery Panels

JUPITER HILLS G.C., JUPITER – This formal dining room is almost never used, yet the homeowner ended up with barbecue sauce on drapery panels. (pictured)

She believes it happened during a “barbecue social” she and her husband threw one fall a couple years ago. He was running for HOA president and everyone with a vote was invited. Over seventy people showed up. At times that afternoon two or three children had been “kind of swirling around in that area.” One may have tried to hide behind a panel, sauce on the fingers.

I was able to remove it after first dry cleaning both panels so they’d be uniformly clean and not appear different from one another. While still saturated, I applied a degreaser with mild mechanical action to the stain. A thumbnail dragged back and forth across the area coaxed the dried sauce from the fibers. I then flushed the area with the same dry cleaning solution used to clean the panels.

Sometimes low tech solutions are the most effective, while at the same time least apt to inflict damage.

ADVANCED ON-SITE‘s specialty is drapery and shade cleaning, though we offer a range of other services related to window coverings. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Service: Regular Cleaning of Fabric Window Coverings

Service: Regular Cleaning of Fabric Window Coverings 

PRESIDENTIAL PLACE (BOCA RATON) – Pictured, is a waiting area off the kitchen of an upscale condominium belonging to a long-time, loyal customer. She’s had me schedule regular cleaning of fabric window coverings throughout her home for nearly 10 years now.

Her Hunter Douglas Silhouettes, especially, are prone to the unsightly collection of dead insects inside their vanes (fabric louvers). One or two tiny ones here and there are not necessarily that noticeable. However, the buildup increases over a two or three year period and I inevitably receive the call.

Some homeowners request regular cleaning due to concerns over allergens trapped in their window fabrics. Others are simply obsessive about cleanliness.

I’ve even made repeated visits to a private home whose Muslim prayer room contains an eternal flame. It’s an oil lamp that continually throws off small amounts of black soot, which over time builds up on the home’s snow white Silhouettes. In as little as 6 months they begin to appear dingy. After a year, downright grimy! My ability to reverse the condition (below) keeps me in good standing.

Black soot removal in progress.

Notes & References

 Silhouette’s manufacturer recommends a thorough cleaning every 3-5 years, to prolong life expectancy. This is a good rule of thumb for any fabric window covering.

Though not always visible to the naked eye, pollutants in the air are ever present. Some possess the ability to break down fabrics. Check out this TIME magazine feature to learn about some of the components the dust in your home may contain.

Info on avoiding Black Soot through an investigation into what causes it, can be found at this link.

ADVANCED ON-SITE‘s specialty is drapery and shade cleaning, though we offer a range of other services related to window coverings. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Project: Dry Cleaning Cellular Shades

Project: Dry Cleaning Cellular Shades

VILLA LOFTS – Dry cleaning cellular shades becomes necessary when blackout material lines the inside of each cell, or when certain fabric protectants are present.

Known alternatively as honeycomb shades, and less frequently accordion shades, a vast majority of cellular shades can be wet cleaned. The shades pictured above are one exception. (Sorry, not the best photo ever.)

Applause Blackout Shades

Manufactured by Hunter Douglas, Applause® blackout shades are highly coveted for their ability to block ambient light in bedrooms and home theaters, while at the same time provide an extra layer of insulation against heat or cold at the window.

High-rise condominiums with ocean-views are another popular application. The brilliance and heat of morning sunlight can be significantly magnified as it glances off the ocean’s surface. Its sheer intensity has been known to severely damage household fabrics.

The penthouse in the above photo belongs to an ADVANCED ON-SITE customer at a prestigious North Flagler address. Concerned about sun damage to tapestries on the opposite wall, she purchased the Hunter Douglas product several years earlier.

One look at the photo reveals just how effectively the shades block bright sunlight, as seen streaming in at a different angle through light filtering shades at left. The shade fabric does not in and of itself possess such capability. It’s the thin metallic foil laminated to the inside of each cell that gets the job done.

Solutions and Caveats

Water compromises the process used to bond foil to fabric during manufacture and for that reason Applause® must never come into contact with it. Dry cleaning cellular shades involves the use of a solvent that, although fluid, contains no water and therefore preserves this bond.

However even dry cleaning can further aggravate a condition arising from previous exposure to moisture. One customer was dismayed to learn that a water stain on her shade was a clear indication that it had already sustained damage. Damage that even with proper handling would only get worse.

Possible sources of moisture shade owners should be aware of and guard against include humidifier use in close proximity, morning dew entering through an open window (rain too, of course), and even condensation forming on metal window frames when the temperature outside is vastly different than that of the interior.

ADVANCED ON-SITE‘s specialty is drapery and shade cleaning, though we offer a range of other services related to window coverings. Contact us to discuss your needs.

Service: Removal of Allergens from Household Fabrics

Service: Removal of Allergens from Household Fabrics

FRENCHMAN’S CREEK – Removal of allergens from household fabrics is an important step toward reducing the incidence and severity of symptoms. Let’s hear that again. Removal of allergens from household fabrics is important, nay, critical to reducing the frequency and severity of allergy symptoms.

Pictured above is the dinning room of a beautifully appointed residence belonging to a long-time customer. The home could easily be the subject of a Good Housekeeping feature. By turns luxurious and practical.

The two children enjoy personalized bedrooms, each with its own bath. Connecting the rooms is a common work space for studying and creating. Unfortunately both the daughter and her younger brother suffer from acute sinus issues. For years their mother learned everything she could about potential means of alleviating the near constant discomfort.

On hearing of our ability to safely and effectively clean any fabric window covering, on-site, she requested the service immediately. During our initial inspection it was mentioned that upholstered furniture can be cleaned using the same process. Accordingly, the project’s scope was expanded.

A week or so later the homeowner called to express delight over the difference in her kid’s quality of life. She wished for all fabrics in their rooms to be re-cleaned annually. We’ve returned eight or nine times now. Additionally the entire residence is serviced every third visit.

The Facts

Experts agree, household fabrics are to allergens as kitchen counter tops are to bacteria. However there’s a major difference in that fabric items cannot simply be wiped clean with disinfectant.

Being permeable, fabric allows air currents to carry tiny particles deep within its fibers. Over time, any such material can acquire an amazing volume of unwelcome guests. These can then be released back into the air by a number of different factors. Subsequent air currents, billowing caused by direct contact, and even well-intentioned vacuuming.

Previously, only carpets and some upholstered items could be easily cleaned in the home. Draperies on the other hand needed to be taken down, transported to a dry cleaner, then put back up on their return. Sometimes at great inconvenience to their owners.

Other window coverings like shades and top treatments couldn’t be cleaned at all! At least not thoroughly. Until the “on-site” method, the very one we use, became widely available 25 years ago.

For deep cleaning that simply cannot be achieved through vacuuming, call (561) 644-4091.

ADVANCED ON-SITE‘s specialty is drapery and shade cleaning, though we offer a range of other services related to window coverings. Contact us to discuss your needs.

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