Remember the old saying, “The more things change the more they remain the same”? So true in our industry. For example, we’ve had a dramatic shift in commercial carpet cleaning called “encapsulation”. Huh? Brand new? Not really…
Here is how the late industry visionary Ed York described encapsulation many years ago:
“Rather than dissolve the micro particles or break them into small pieces, encapsulation with lower surface tension works its way under and around the particles, breaking their BOND. Now they are free to drop to bottom of carpet, or be vacuumed out.” Ed York
But let’s cut to the chase. What can encapsulation (aka. encap) mean to you as a carpet cleaning entrepreneur who absolutely adores his truck mount? (Bear in mind I am NOT suggesting you dump hot water extraction. However, having encapsulation as an option has given my company a huge head start with commercial accounts.) For example:
- No more “open door” security issues- Unlike carpet cleaners who are “chained” to their truck mount we can offer the security option of cleaning with the account’s doors shut and locked.
- Low overhead- When encapsulating I am now working with the client’s electricity instead of my gas. Cool! Plus, any floor machine (especially my personal encapsulation machine of choice, the Cimex Cyclone) will be more reliable and break down less than even the best engineered truck mount. AND we can haul your encapsulation equipment to the job in any vehicle. Even better, much of the time my employees provide their own transport! (More on this in our upcoming Special Report on developing encapsulation routes!)
- Low initial cost and almost immediate payback- Getting into encapsulation cost me a fraction of adding a new van and truck mount. Plus as I add new “encap routes” I can equip them so much more inexpensively than putting another truck mount on the road.
- Super fast production- A high production encapsulation machine like the Cimex Cyclone let’s my employees easily exceed 2,000 square feet an hour in any open carpet environment! Let’s see you do that with a scrub wand!
- Extremely fast dry times- Typical dry times for encapsulation are less than 2 hours. This eliminates the slip and fall and re-soiling issues found with hot water extraction. Plus the fast dry times of encapsulation also let’s us do many jobs early in the morning thereby getting my employees out of those horrible all-nighters. (There is a reason why they call it the “graveyard shift”, you know!)
- Better appearance- Sure, you may be skeptical. As a dyed-in-the-wool hot water extraction man I was too. However, on almost all low pile commercial carpet/ soiling scenarios encapsulation will give you a better appearance that stays looking clean longer. Seriously!
NOTE: Another great advantage of encapsulation is those pesky “wick-back” stains that would mysteriously reappear 2 or 3 days after cleaning are now a thing of the past! I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a spot come back after encapsulating.
- Quiet- We recently cleaned a large national 24 hour call center. (I can’t imagine the Pentagon having any higher security!) While I was filling out my Commercial Carpet Analysis form the call center management insisted on quiet equipment. They wanted to still answer the phones while we cleaned their carpets! (Imagine doing this with a TM running!) But just imagine- our Cimex machines were whisper quiet, the carpets looked great and we made a barrel of money on the job! (And of course the fast dry time helped us get the account.)
- “Differentiation”- All Building Service Contractors and commercial carpet cleaners are constantly looking for something to “set themselves apart”, a reason for the customer to call them instead of the “other guy”. (And trust me, Chuck Violand in SFS will prove that setting yourself apart ONLY based on low pricing is a dead end way to go!) However, since my company can promise the encapsulation advantages of reasonable cost, high appearance levels, quick dry times, low noise and a secure building we really are viewed as “someone special”.
Of course, before you can enjoy all these great “encap” benefits you have to have the “fire in the belly” to actually get AND set up the work. And yup, Steve Toburen and I have developed a great new Special Report on How to Set Up “Encapsulation Routes”. We think it will change the industry. We would love to have your stories/ ideas/ suggestions. Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org After all, we are all in this together!
Jeff, Coordinator- Value Added Service for Technicians seminar
NOTE: These sweet regular commercial accounts aren’t going to just fall into your lap. You have to SELL them. How to do it? Steve has the answers in his How to Sell Commercial Cleaning manual. (And yes, it is free.)
16 thoughts on “How commercial “encapsulation” cleaning transformed my company!”
A personal thank you to Jeff for introducing us to Encapsulation. I had been reading the boards for several years about VLM cleaning and had seen the OP method but until Jeff showed us what he was doing with the Cimex Cyclone I would not have believed it.
I was a dyed in the wool HWE and much to Jeff’s credit he opened our eyes to Encapsulation. We now have 3-Cimex machines and a couple of OP machines as well.
We still HWE some commercial carpet, but adding low moisture has allowed us to be more competitive in our pricing while still delivering the desired results for our customers.
Thank you Jeff!
I think you will be very interested, Richard, in our new Special Report on setting up “encap” routes using well-compensated part-time employees using a Cimex and their own vehicle. This lets you ramp up your regular commercial contract accounts but without adding full-time overhead!
Thanks for contributing as I know how BUSY you are running a wand all day, etc … 🙂
PS BTW, what do you think about this site? I know it doesn’t have near the drama of Mikeysboard but someone needs to focus on business!!!
Steve, I’m not sure Topeka is big enough for a encap route. LOL Thanks for the complement Richard. It’s always a pleasure hanging out with you and your brother Daniel. I can truly say that if it wasn’t for encapsulation I wouldn’t have started up a commercial carpet cleaning business again. Hands down the Cimex has been the best investment in equipment I’ve ever made. (Trust me I’ve made some bad ones. Just ask my wife.) I just wished I hadn’t been so stubborn and got an earlier start.
JonDon VAST Coordinator
It’s amazing what an open mind can do for your business…
Its amazing how helpful these guys are
We do like helping you folks. BUT at the end of the day it is Papa Nick Paolella and Jon-Don who are funding and keeping this site going. So thanks (and your support if you wish) are in order to Jon-Don!
I’m definitely want to get in to commercial cleaning. I’m going to check out the cimex cyclone. Thanks Jeff for the info.
Anyway to prevent this info from being seen in Georgia ? Just kidding. Almost 3 years ago Steve stressed to me the importance of a Cimex and encap cleaning to our newly opened business. I had been in cleaning for years and only knew HWE with a truckmount. I also had a good friend in my ear from New Orleans telling me the advantages. So we purchased a cimex and the rest is history. I make more money with my cimex units than I do with my Hydramaster 3 wand capable Titan 875. We are looking to purchase more units this coming year.
What about the counter rotating brush type of machines to lift the pile and clean in and or around each side of the carpet fiber? The cimax can not do that.
CRB type equipment does a nice job lifting the pile. I have both but use my cimex machines a lot more.
The cimex is the king for commercial glue down but for cut pile something like the CRB DriStar has some advantages. It also has 2 side trays to pick up some dry soil and several brush options. The carpet mills love the cylindrical machines.
The planetary action of the cimex is fantastic for agitating the fibers and working in the encapsulant, but not so much with standing the fiber up.
Big Billy Yeadon loves the DriStar but if you’ve seen his stature you’ll know why lugging a 105 lb cimex isn’t for everyone.
Actually you are talking about the one thing where the CRB’s really outshine the Cimex. The carpet manufacturers really love the Dristar for it’s pile lifting capabilities.
The one other area where it simplifies life is as an actual agitation tool following a Prespray such as Matrix Grand Slam.
Plus you could throw the Dristar into the trunk of a small car and do a quick encap job in a commercial building while the Truckmount is out doing a big greasy restaurant.
Don’t forget that it works nicely on area rugs including those problematic sisal rugs.
It is a wonderfully versatile cleaning tool.
Hi Jeff, encapsulation related to commercial cleaning is a new thing for me. Really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing.
Encapsulation is very economical as well as profitable. I have been doing all the commercial FedEx accounts as well as restaurants, nursing homes, all with the encapsulation process first as a process started with the Dupont Flooring using a “green machine” (low moisture machine) a taski and whitaker the results are wonderful on carpet that has been bonneted for years and you do not want to take the time and expense to fully restore.
Really I want to tank you for sharing this information. Just I have a quick question. If you are using the Cimex, what tool would you use for cleaning carpeted stairs?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Hi Ivan! Just muscle up and use your Cimex! 🙂 Just kidding! Depending on the soil level some cleaners will use a terry cloth towel manually after spraying down their choice of encapsulation chemical. Others will use a rotary drill or grinder adapted to hold a pad or towel. (Don’t run either of these at too high of a speed.) Or my favorite- a two-handed low-speed car buffer. (Whichever system you use be sure to pre-vacuum.) Maybe some others will chime in with their favorite methods.
Steve hit the nail on the head. But I’m not as high tech as he is so I usually just put a couple gallons of my encapsulant in a 5 gallon bucket and do a quick hand scrub with a horse hair brush and then towel down the stairs. If you decide to go the car buffer route I know Walmart has a cheap small buffer for waxing cars that works. (You could also use it when encapping furniture as long as the fabric is durable.) Since I only clean commercial carpet I don’t clean many stairs but any of the above suggestions will work. Of course with our “Customer’s Eyeglasses” with any of the methods listed you could say we’re “gently agitating” the fibers into shape..