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Unusual situation

Symanz

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Raivo Dreismanis
Hello everyone!

This type of situation does not appear so often, but still .... what is the best way to deal with this type of situation?

This customer phoned in & informed me that three days after we did the carpet cleaning he had a skin reaction to the guard we applied ... at least that is what his doctor thinks.
Another company recommended to him that we should come back & have the carpet "flushed & neutralized". He is willing to pay to have this done as he knows it's not really our fault.

We could try flushing the carpet. From what I know once the 3M scotchgard dries, then it would not likely cause a reaction. Scotchgard is put on most carpet sold at the factory, so if the customer reacts to dry scotchgard, then he would know it because where ever he goes he would get reactions. One problem is that now that the carpet is dry, then wetting it to flush it will make may cause the reaction again because compounds are more reactive when they are wet.

Any advice would be appreciated, how should I handle this call?
 

mrg.mrg.

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I'm no expert...but 3 days later? I don't know it just sounds fishy to me. I've never had that happened to me but I do get people trying to get me to do extra work because they say they have allergies but then the rest of the house looks like a dumpster. If he's willing to pay I would do it but have him sign something about you not being liable for his allergies or reactions. I mean how could you know.
 
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Symanz

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Thank you! If the customer reacts to dry SG, then he would know it because where ever he goes he would get reactions, right? =)
 

mrg.mrg.

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I'm not sure what's in scothguard but how would it get on his skin? Is he rolling around on the carpet or something? Besides he's doctor can't just say he thinks it's that without testing I would think. How did carpet look when you left?
 
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OxiFreshGuy

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I've had two customers complain about Scotchgard like this over the years.

There was a recent recall on a batch of Scotchgard you should look into it.
 
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Select

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I've had two customers complain about Scotchgard like this over the years.

There was a recent recall on a batch of Scotchgard you should look into it.
wow WTF
 
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brian3180

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You will need to clean the carpet again to get the SG off. Pre spray and acid rinse.
 
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keep it clean

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The only way the doctor can know for sure is if he tested it on his skin. Along with the cleaners you used. And he would of needed to go to a dermatologist for that. There are millions of different things that can cause contact dermatitis(doctor knows this). And ways to test for each.
At least the customer is being cool about it. This doctor and other company could have unjustly thrown you under the bus. For something that may not even be related to what you did. He could of had reaction from someone elses house, car, work, a bush, anything...
 
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Tom Forsythe

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We had a situation like this occur. My comment was that the dried protector was not new to the environment as the carpet had the same type of protector applied in the mill. Upon further evaluation, the husband had vacuumed the carpet non-stop due to potential reaction. The vacuum bag was full and it was not a HEPA vacuum so it was a reaction to the airborne remaining soils. He bought a HEPA vacuum with a new bag and the issue went away.

We have to remind people that a carpet is like a furnace filter as it captures and hold contaminants. Even a clear water rinse only can bring contaminants to the surface and back into the air on drying and the process of vacuuming without a HEPA filter can do this everytime used. I have 2 daughters with asthma and/or allergies and have been amazed that the doctors never talk about HEPA vacuums or special furnace filters which are among the best preventative measures.
 

lehighcounty

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I had a customer tell me the same thing! Stopped using Scotch Guard on her carpets now no more allergic rashes!
 
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Chris Henry

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We had a situation like this occur. My comment was that the dried protector was not new to the environment as the carpet had the same type of protector applied in the mill. Upon further evaluation, the husband had vacuumed the carpet non-stop due to potential reaction. The vacuum bag was full and it was not a HEPA vacuum so it was a reaction to the airborne remaining soils. He bought a HEPA vacuum with a new bag and the issue went away.

We have to remind people that a carpet is like a furnace filter as it captures and hold contaminants. Even a clear water rinse only can bring contaminants to the surface and back into the air on drying and the process of vacuuming without a HEPA filter can do this everytime used. I have 2 daughters with asthma and/or allergies and have been amazed that the doctors never talk about HEPA vacuums or special furnace filters which are among the best preventative measures.
Hey Tom,
I've heard that most children have asthma because at some point they were given an antibiotic that killed beneficial gut Flora that contributes to getting proper nutrition for lung health and development. The same applies for people who are lactose intolerant.
Simple solution is to use a probiotic to reintroduce the beneficial bacteria.
 
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wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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Cleaning will remove ScotchGard?
My guess is no it will only remove some of it. It almost certainly won't remove it all, but a lot of this stuff is psychological and very hard to prove. I mean, if the doctor said it then it's so right? Well, my experience tells me that's a big fat NO. Doctors often make mistakes and from what I've read medical errors lead to quite a few deaths every single year.
I actually had one customer who had severe allergies. Her doctor actually told her to have Scotchgard applied to her carpets to help PREVENT allergy problems! Go figure. She did have a special filter on her central unit to keep the air in her home filtered. Because her doctor told her that she wanted new protection applied everytime I cleaned for her.
 

keep it clean

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My guess is no it will only remove some of it. It almost certainly won't remove it all, but a lot of this stuff is psychological and very hard to prove. I mean, if the doctor said it then it's so right? Well, my experience tells me that's a big fat NO. Doctors often make mistakes and from what I've read medical errors lead to quite a few deaths every single year.
I actually had one customer who had severe allergies. Her doctor actually told her to have Scotchgard applied to her carpets to help PREVENT allergy problems! Go figure. She did have a special filter on her central unit to keep the air in her home filtered. Because her doctor told her that she wanted new protection applied everytime I cleaned for her.
Doctors also like to make patients sit 1/2 hour in waiting room after their scheduled appointment. Then bring them back only sit for another half hour. Then finally give you roughly 7 minutes of their time of "uh huh, hmmm, uh huh" only to give a half cocked guess just to get you out the door. General practitioner needs to give referral to go see specialist. Then maybe they might just rule out 20 different things. Stuff one is allergic to then triggers. Im allergic to some things and all year long it dont bother me. But when a scent or perfume or those stupid glade plugin make my nose itch. Its all over. Cats make my skin red, my face gets hot, dogs bother me and i start sneezing. Funny thing is i live with dogs and cats. But it takes a trigger to set it off. Otherwise im fine.
 

Symanz

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Thank you everyone for the help in this case.

I will be calling him tomorrow. I will ask tomorrow, if his condition is better or keeps progressing.

We could try flushing the carpet. It would be good to know if the customer had the reaction to touching the wet carpet, or something else, because once the guard dries, then it would not likely cause a reaction. If the reaction is starting to improve now it may be better to wait.

Probably, we will go back and just flush out the carpet, but he has to know that the cleaning once again might not help. The rinsing will be free of charge, this will be one time visit. There is no real proof that the guard is what caused his reaction, as some said there are multiple things and our product is safe.
 

brian3180

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Cleaning will remove ScotchGard?
In theory cleaning the carpet strips the SC off. That's why you ask the customer if they want the SG reapplied after you clean their carpet.
 

wandwizard

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Thank you everyone for the help in this case.

I will be calling him tomorrow. I will ask tomorrow, if his condition is better or keeps progressing.

We could try flushing the carpet. It would be good to know if the customer had the reaction to touching the wet carpet, or something else, because once the guard dries, then it would not likely cause a reaction. If the reaction is starting to improve now it may be better to wait.

Probably, we will go back and just flush out the carpet, but he has to know that the cleaning once again might not help. The rinsing will be free of charge, this will be one time visit. There is no real proof that the guard is what caused his reaction, as some said there are multiple things and our product is safe.
I would think it will help. I would also highly recommend you follow what Tom Forsythe said about the HEPA vacuum. At least inform the customer they may need to buy a vacuum with a HEPA filter if they don't already have one. It sounds like they are coming into skin contact with something that's causing their problem. It actually could be the Scotchgard, but w/o real lab tests nobody can say for sure. This is the first time I've ever heard of this kind of problem and Jondon sells a ton of that stuff every year. I'm not a big fan of it frankly and will never buy another gallon of it as long as I live and it has nothing to do with your post.
 

Jimbo Williams

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Sounds like the customer may have a sulphite/sulphate allergy. I have that myself and there are certain brands of prespray that I cant use or I get a rash and itch. Most doctors don't have a clue about this allergy including many allergists. I had to diagnose myself with the help of Google. I can't even eat any foods that are preserved or packaged without my heart pounding.

I would go back and do a thorough clear water rinse. If you use a rinse agent it could contain sulphites too so just plain hot water.
 

mrotto

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In theory cleaning the carpet strips the SC off. That's why you ask the customer if they want the SG reapplied after you clean their carpet.
I thought that SG eventually wore off and that the mill application was good for 3-5 years (depending on usage) and that application by a cleaner lasted 1-2 years (depending on usage)

I was taught thats why you need to keep the cleaning agent under 10ph. Was my IICRC instructor wrong?

Maybe a discussion for another thread?
 

Ed Cruz

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Hello everyone!

This type of situation does not appear so often, but still .... what is the best way to deal with this type of situation?

This customer phoned in & informed me that three days after we did the carpet cleaning he had a skin reaction to the guard we applied ... at least that is what his doctor thinks.
Another company recommended to him that we should come back & have the carpet "flushed & neutralized". He is willing to pay to have this done as he knows it's not really our fault.

We could try flushing the carpet. From what I know once the 3M scotchgard dries, then it would not likely cause a reaction. Scotchgard is put on most carpet sold at the factory, so if the customer reacts to dry scotchgard, then he would know it because where ever he goes he would get reactions. One problem is that now that the carpet is dry, then wetting it to flush it will make may cause the reaction again because compounds are more reactive when they are wet.

Any advice would be appreciated, how should I handle this call?
Brother I got a call from some woman on behalf of JonDon sometime in mid to late August about a recall or something im not sure about the Scotchguard I purchased some of which is still sitting unopened in my garage. She gave me a case number or something and told me to call JonDon or somewhere but I never did. Was busy a faq and just decided not to use the shit. I don’t know what or why it was about as I never followed up and lost that number she gave me but Ima give them a call if I remember to this coming week. Dunno if this is related but thought I’d share.