Flood restoration in a commercial office & a student house

Our team spent several hours last week carrying out surveys & removing drying equipment from a large flood that had affected two adjoining properties in Clifton, Bristol. The escape of water had originated from the pipework of washing machine on the second floor of a 6 bedroom student property & had cascaded down & flooded this property, as well as a newly converted commercial premises beneath.

The initial call-out had been from the flood at the student house, but it soon became clear that the commercial premises was the more badly affected.

Full Survey

The first element of our flood restoration work is an initial Health & Safety/ Risk Assessment to determine whether the location is safe to work in. Once this was complete, we began measuring moisture & humidity levels to establish how severe the flood had been.

Unfortunately, the water had fallen directly onto the electrical RCU in the property, which meant we couldn’t begin any drying until an alternative means of power was organised. After several days, a local electrician installed a temporary RCU drawing power from next door.

Our first job was then to extract any remaining sitting water & decontaminate the affected areas…


Extracting flood water with one of our powerful rinse extraction machines

Flood remediation scaled

Mould on this plasterboard is a sign of secondary damage

Secondary damage

Where possible, we will always seek to begin the drying process as soon as possible after a flood incident. One of the key reasons for this is to prevent secondary damage. Secondary damage occurs when porous materials & surfaces absorb water & begin to deteriorate. The video below shows how the absorption of water has caused the plasterboard wall & composite wood skirting board to loose structural integrity-

Once this has occurred, it is often necessary to remove all damaged material to ensure that drying can proceed effectively. The ruined areas will need to be repaired after the drying is complete.

Installing drying equipment

Once the flood survey, extraction of water & decontamination work is complete, we can install commercial dehumidification equipment. This usually consists of large dehumidifiers & air movers. These are positioned according to calcluation of the volume of water in the area in each location. This ensures that the drying process is as efficient as possible.

The following two videos are a walkthrough of the drying equipment in the commercial premises & the student house. 

An average time that insurance companies might expect the drying process to take would be 2 weeks…

Even though there was an initial delay in being able to commence drying on this project, both properties only took a week to be declared dry.

We were reasonably pleased with this outcome & our client was very satisfied with the work we had done.

If you have any questions relating to flood restoration at any of our locations across the South West, please feel free to get in touch.

Victorian tile cleaning in a Tudor Castle

The Green Man team were recently invited to be part of a complete refurbishment of Thornbury Castle Hotel. This magnificent structure was begun in 1510 & it felt no small thing that Henry VIII & Anne Boleyn spent 10 days here in 1535. Our role was very modest in the scale of the refurb – the main entrance hallway between the hotel check-in & the restaurant had been uncovered & was in urgent need of protecting…

The initial clean

We were given a very short window in which to carry out the initial clean (between check-out & afternoon tea!), so we arrived & got started immediately.

Professional Minton tile cleaning

As you can see in the image, these tiles have been quite damaged over time. Rather than engage in a complete tile renovation, the hotel wanted simply to thoroughly clean, then seal this important thoroughfare.

The work involved a brisk initial sweeping, followed by mechanical floor scrubbing using our trusty Numatic Hurricane. You can see the solution tank is part of the machine, allowing us to dose the correct amount of fluid to the floor, as necessary.

After small sections of the floor had been scrubbed, we used a grout brush to address the grout directly, then extracted the slurry & rinsed.

The floor then needed to be given twenty four hours to ensure it had thoroughly dried…

Midnight hours

Because the hotel is now fully operational, the only time we could apply the multiple layers of seal was between 11pm and 3am in the morning. This would give us the undisturbed time necessary for each layer to be applied, dry and so on.

Application of gloss seal to Victorian tiles

In order for the floor to be both protected & enhanced, we specified 6 layers of seal in total.

The floor absorbed an initial three coats of a colour enhancing seal, followed by 3 layers of a topical gloss wax finish.

The images here shows the Victorian tiles after their last coat of gloss wax, before completely dry.

N.B. If you have Victorian tiles at home, standard maintenance should include regular sweeping, occasional mopping & a top-up of the seal whenever necessary. You will be able to tell when the seals are failing, as the flooring will become absorbent, rather than resisting liquids.

In between the application of each coat of seal, we were able to walk the grounds alone on a perfectly clear night…

Commercial cleaning services

When the time came to leave, we were quite sad to go. The floor responded very well to the treatments & the management have expressed their thanks. I hope we get to return some day.

Victorian tile specialists

Professional flood services in Bristol

When a flood occurs, it is preferable to deal with it fast. Water tends to move quickly and is capable of moving in unexpected directions, so a rapid response is preferable to prevent as much damage as possible.

A few weeks back, Green Man were called out to deal with a Cat 2 escape of water in a Georgian block of flats in Clifton, Bristol.

Stage 1: The survey

Flood restoration

Although reaction time is important, a thorough initial survey is vital. At this stage, we gather as much information about the flood- how it started, where it came from, the type of water, how long it lasted. From a thorough understanding of the cause, we can then begin to put together a viable drying strategy.

At this stage, we also use a variety of moisture detecting equipment to take readings. This is the only way we can ensure we are able to monitor how the drying process is proceeding. 

Stage 2: Extraction of flood water

We now use powerful water extraction equipment to recover as much water as possible. In this instance, because the flood was recent & was pure water from the mains, we are using a large commercial carpet cleaning machine. We moved the furniture off the affected areas as much as was possible. The decision about which items were or were not recoverable was not ours in this instance.

Flood water removal in Bristol scaled 1

The images here is of one of the flats below the flood. The volume of water and force of gravity were quite sufficient to mean that the water moved laterally across the floor above and fell into this flat through the light fixtures.

The water has also soaked through the wall in this image…

How do you think you dry a wall?

The answer is: it depends what it is made of. The main wall affected by the flood in this instance was constructed of cinder block with plaster. 

This type of initial extraction is able to recover a large amount of water from non permeable surfaces, or areas (like carpet) which will release the water as easily as they absorb it.

Stage 3: Install drying equipment.

3 commercial dehumidifiers for drying a flood
A row of commercial dehumidifiers waiting to be installed.
A commercial dehumidifier and an air mover.

This job required a large commercial dehumidifier and 2 air movers in each affected room. Drying is accelerated through increasing the heat and air movement to promote evaporation. Once we can begin to get evaporation occurring, we can recover the moisture using a dehumidifier. Without this equipment, moisture that is trapped within materials such as brick, wood and plaster will remain where it is and cause secondary damage. Once everything had been set up, we returned to monitor the drying every three or four days.

After about ten days, we took final moisture readings which indicated all the affected structures were dry to a satisfactory point. We cleaned the carpets with a biocidal solution to ensure that mould would not have any chance to develop. We were then able to remove the drying kit & declare the flats dry and ready for redecoration. 

Thank you for reading.

If you have any questions about this article or about our flood work, please use the CONTACT page to get in touch.

Village hall wood floor restoration

Last week, our team carried out a deep-clean & re-polish of a large wooden floor at Ston Easton village hall. 

The following images & text give an overview of our work

1. The first job involved the clearing of the hall & the removal of dirt & the old finish from the wood floor. We swept the floor to begin with, then used an eco-friendly solution & abrasive pads on a rotary machine to strip the flooring back.

This type of process is generally viewed as an middle ground between cleaning & wood floor sanding. Sanding is generally much more expensive than this type of work. Judge for yourselves how the finished product looks…

Eco friendly cleaning in Ston Easton
Skittle alley clean scaled 1


The work included the lovely skittle alley.

We prepared this area with less agitation than the rest of the hall, because of its cambered & more highly polished surface….

3. Once the entire wood floor had been prepared, we used air-movers to accelerate the drying of the area. On the following day, we applied the two new coats of polish…

If you are looking to renew a wooden floor without the expense of sanding, it might be worth contacting us & asking for a free survey. One of our team will offer honest advice as to whether or not we can help. After the work was done, it felt fitting to try out the acoustics in the hall with my new hobby – thank you for reading!

Stone floor clean & re-seal near Frome.

Last week, three of our technicians attended a large converted barn near Frome to carry out a variety of professional cleaning services. The brief was to remove all furniture & deep-clean the travertine tiles & grout on the ground floor, then apply new seal. As well as this, we were required to clean a pure wool lounge carpet & several rugs, including a dhouri.

The initial job here was clearly moving a significant amount of furniture… 

The removal of furniture prior to professional stone tile cleaning.

When the day began, it was a beautiful Spring day – Later on, we were glad we brought our extra large tarpaulin! 

Limestone floor dee cleaning

Once the main area had been cleared, we applied an environmentally friendly stone cleaning solution to the travertine & used a rotary machine to agitate the floor. We used a wet vac to pick up the resulting slurry, then repeated the process. We cleaned the grout lines manually with a grout brush.

Professional stone cleaning in Cheltenham
Cleaning a limestone floor

After this process was complete, we left the floor to dry. As you can see, at this stage the stone has been taken back to its initial matt finish-

Travertine floor after initial clean

While the stone dried, it was time to address the living room wool carpet & the rugs.

After the initial vacuum, a different eco-solution was applied to the wool.

This works at a nano level and sanitised the wool, as well as conditioning it.

Apart from a small area of permanent staining, the area responded beautifully well.

Professional rug cleaning in Frome scaled 1
Frome eco friendly carpet cleaning scaled 1

The dhouri rug had absorbed a considerable amount of soiling, so required significant agitation prior to the rinse extraction stage.

The image here shows our senior technician using a rotary machine to agitate the eco-solution throughout the pile in order to loosen & emulsify soils & absorbed oils.

Professional wool carpet cleaning

After stone tiles & grout have been deep-cleaned, Green Man will always specify at least a top-up coat of seal.  Most of the time, stone flooring will benefit from a full re-seal involving 2 – 5 coats of a protective seal to protect the stone from spillages & build-ups. Depending on the type of seal chosen, this will often significantly improve the appearance of the stone, intensifying colour and increasing the depth of the grain.

In the images below, you can see the impact a satin seal has on the area.

If you have any questions regarding stone floor cleaning & sealing, please feel free to use our Contact page to get in touch.

Further information about our hard floor cleaning services can be found here.

Thank you for reading.

Wool carpet clean on The Circus, Bath

As those of you who live in Bath will know, the logistics of parking and working in our city can be interesting.

Operating a carpet cleaning company in Bath presents its own particular challenges so, over the years we have been in business, we have developed various strategies to ensure we can deliver a high quality eco-friendly deep-cleaning service without compromises.

This particular job was the result of a pigeon being trapped in a top floor flat. While it was contained in the property, it caused quite a mess & the owner was keen to have the carpets cleaned & decontaminated quickly. We organised a survey the same day as the initial call and were able to book the work within two working days.

Carpet cleaning equipment outside The Circus, Bath

On the day of the clean, our team collected keys from the nominated estate agents. If pre-arranged, this is a service we can easily provide for our customers in Bath.

After we had picked up the keys, we parked temporarily outside & unloaded.

You can see here that we have specified one of our powerful compact commercial machines, owing to the number (and narrowness) of the stairs here.

The balance between powerful kit & portability is key when working in most of our locations.

For this reason, we carry a wide range of machines & equipment to enable us to deliver the flexibility our customers require.

Carpet cleaning in Bath 1

The views from behind The Circus are pretty stunning. It’s certainly not the worst place to spend a morning!

Rinse extraction carpet cleaning

The quality of the wool carpet here was excellent. This type of carpet responds extremely well to our preferred eco-friendly carpet cleaning solution. It has a plant-based formula & will sanitise & condition the carpet, as well as deep-clean. 

Flat carpet cleaning in Bath

If you have any questions regarding this job, or how we clean using eco-friendly solutions, please feel free to get in touch using our contact form.

Thank you for reading.

Stain removal in Bath

Sisal repair at Kenilworth Castle

A short while ago, English Heritage were in touch with us to ask whether we would be able to carry out repairs to some sisal flooring in Kenilworth Castle. Standard carpet cleaning can be challenging, but sisal is often extremely tricky & is impossible to repair “invisibly”.

We were given some images & measurements, so set about sourcing some replacement carpet & arranged a date to carry out the work.

Sisal carpet professional repair

The work was in the Keep of the castle, and involved patching up a few areas where display units had previously stood. The whole while we were there, fully conscious that we were within a building that had stood for over 700 years!

Professional sisal repair

The brief was to create an insert of sisal with a flap to allow access to electrical sockets beneath.

Repairs of sisal carpet

After the work had been completed to a satisfactory standard, we were really delighted to be given a socially-distanced tour of the grounds, as part of our chaperone’s daily checks…

One of the great aspects of our work is the people we meet & the places it takes us to. It was a genuine pleasure to work alongside the conservators for English Heritage.

Days like this don’t come along too often, but it’s a memory we will cherish.

Odour Neutralisation in a cottage in Broadway

The Brief –

This week, three of our technicians were called out to conduct a full professional odour neutralisation clean for a start of tenancy in Broadway. The new owners had realised that the property smelled strongly of tobacco odours as a result of a long-term smoker in the property.

A certified IICRC company

IICRC Water Restoration Technician

Green Man are certified members of the IICRC & our technicians are trained to the highest standard in a wide range of services, including flood restoration & odour neutralisation.

The Odour Control Technicians Course teaches a rigorous & scientific approach to the causes of odours. Nicotene & smoke odour removal requires intensive cleaning with specialist solutions of all surfaces, including walls & ceilings…

Because of the “sticky” nature of deposits from tobacco smoke, traditional rinse extraction is an essential first approach to removing unpleasant smells from soft furnishings, such as curtains & upholstery.

Professional end of tenancy cleaning in Broadway

Porous surfaces such as stone require a longer contact time with the specialist cleaning solution, so we employ a foam-generating sprayer to ensure the “dwell time” of the product is increased.

There are many similarities between decontaminating a property (for Covid-19, or other pathogens) & eliminating odours. In both cases, all surfaces must be cleaned & sanitised prior to fogging. When the Covid-19 pandemic first began, we noted that many companies appeared offering to decontaminated commercial & domestic properties using fogging alone. This will not work.

Professional deodorisation using a fogger

Simply misting a product onto a dirty/dusty surface does not deal with either an odour issue or bacteria/viruses at their root cause.

Once we had completed a thorough clean of every surface in the property, we then conducted a professional fogging using an eco-friendly odour counteractant.

The purpose of fogging is to create a “fog” of particles only a few microns in diameter that are able to penetrate areas that cleaning cannot reach, and also interact with the molecules & micro-organisms that we are seeking to deactivate.

If you have any questions regarding professional odour neutralisation, decontamination or any of our services, please feel free to get in touch.

You can use the telephone numbers at the top & bottom of this page, or use our Contact page to email us.

Upholstery cleaning in Broadway

Cleaning & sealing a Victorian tiled hallway

Many homes from the Victorian/Edwardian era contain skillfully laid tiled hallways. When they were originally installed, they would have then been cleaned & oiled at least once a week. In the more recent modern era, mopping is the main method of cleaning and brings with it a few issues.

“What has this floor been cleaned with?”

The chances are that most tiled floors are cleaned with a general detergent based solution. Over time, the sticky residues left by mopping with detergent accumulate in the grout lines and flaws in the tiles, attracting further dirt. If this is combined with insufficient rinsing, then you will find that entrance tiles can soon lose their vibrant colours beneath layers of soil.

Victorian tile cleaning in Cheltenham
Pointing finger L

This image shows a typical example. The floor is actually quite recent, but a regime of heavy footfall & standard mopping has lead to a dull, faded appearance.

After an initial survey to determine the quality of the installation & integrity of the tiles, our technician performed a simple test of the seal (this is done by pouring a small amount of water onto the surface of a section of tiles to see if the water is absorbed).

Any absorption indicates that the seal has failed & will require new applications of a sealant. 

The Clean

Stage One:

First of all, we conduct a thorough sweep & dry extraction of all debris & loose material on the floor.

Stage Two:

Next, we apply an eco-friendly tile specific alkali cleaning solution to break down historic deposits of soil, grease and layers of ingrained detergent residues. We do this in stages, using either a rotary machine or a more specialist agitating device (example video below) to ensure the floor is scubbed as thoroughly as possible.

How we deep-clean & re-seal Victorian tiles

Stage 3:

After the cleaning solution has broken down the layers of dirt in the tiles, we extract the resulting slurry using a rinse extraction machine or a “wet pick-up”. We then clean & rinse the floor again using pure water only. This tends to be the last stage of Day 1.

Stage 4:

On Day 2, only after the floor is completely dry, we begin applying the new layers of seal. The type of seal depends on the preferred finish type of the homeowner – in this case, we were instructed to put down a satin finish. After the initial layer has been applied, we allow the seal to dry or “cure” before applying further coats.

“A completely reinvigorating facelift”

Pointing finger

After 3 layers of sealant have been applied, the job is complete.

You can see in the image opposite that not only have these tiles been deeply cleaned, but that their colours are now enhanced.

This is the beauty of applying the right type of seal – you are protecting your floor from scuffs & spills, as well as giving the very first area of your home that people see a completely reinvigorating facelift.

Victorian tile sealing in Cheltenham

If you have any questions regarding the cleaning, sealing or general maintenance of your floor tiles, or any type of stone or laminate flooring, please do get in touch using either our  CONTACT page, or by calling your local branch of Green Man using the number at the top of the page.

Thank you for reading.

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We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers & colleagues a very peaceful & prosperous 2021.

Last year was not an easy one for us, as so much of what we do relies on being within our customer’s properties. All aspects of our carpet cleaning, stone cleaning, upholstery & rug cleaning services were affected, particularly in the locations where Covid-19 had an initial and traumatic impact like Cheltenham.

Despite this, we have managed to use our time productively. Last year, we all undertook GBAC training in mitigating bio-hazards (including coronovirus) & invested in haz mat equipment & fogging, which we are now carrying out in both commercial & domestic properties. We have also invested in high-end urine treatment equipment, additional carpet cleaning training & odour neutralisation training.

With these impropvements in mind, we are feeling hopeful about 2021. We feel privilidged to be a company that our communities trust & we take pride in delivering an honest & accountable service.

Thank you, all of you, customers old & new.

Here’s wishing for a more hopeful & stable 2021,

Jon & the Green Man team