Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I hire Castle Keepers instead of any other company or individual?
Our people: The most important consideration when hiring a cleaning company should be knowing who will be coming into your home. You need to be able to trust the people with access to your home 100 percent. At Castle Keepers we take your security seriously. Our goal is to be the best part of your day, and that can only happen with the best people. Fully trained, background checked and drug tested, our team members have chosen serving others as a way of life. This process is costly and extensive, and it is difficult for people hiring individual cleaners or small cleaning companies to do. You can be confident we have the skills and resources to do it.
Your Peace of Mind: Castle Keepers and its staff are bonded and insured, so you are protected against loss and breakage that may occur while we are cleaning your home. We carry worker’s comp insurance on all our employees so if one of our staff is injured while cleaning your home you are not responsible for any of their medical bills. Castle Keepers is licensed to conduct business in your area and we pay all federal, state, social security and all other required payroll taxes – less hassle for you!
Our Commitment to Quality: Castle Keepers guarantees the quality of our work. We strive to be detail-oriented, consistent, and If you are not completely satisfied, we will gladly come back at no additional charge and re-clean the problem area (see details of our Service Guarantee, #20). Our focus is on helping you do all the things busy families do these days by helping you with some of the basics, like creating a comfortable, healthy, clean home.
Our Reputation for Excellence: We’ve been in residential cleaning business for over 20 years, so it’s safe to say we know a little bit about cleaning houses! Castle Keepers’ team members are professionally trained on the most current methods for safely cleaning all surfaces in your castle. Each member of our cleaning team undergoes extensive training on our products and equipment and how to use them correctly. We were one of the first cleaning services in the area to use environmentally friendly, sustainable cleaning products and green cleaning techniques.
We like to say, “We make more time for you to enjoy!” Stop feeling like you’re coming home to a second job, start focusing on things that matter most to you, and let Castle Keepers take care of cleaning your castle.
2. What hours do you clean and can I pick the day I would like to have service?
Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM. We try our best to accommodate your preference in cleaning days. You will be asked what day of the week you prefer, and if you prefer a morning or afternoon cleaning time, and we will do our best to accommodate you. We can give you a time range of when to expect us but we are unable to give you a specific arrival time for your cleaning due to traffic and weather-related road conditions and unexpected situations that occasionally pop up.
3. What if I need to cancel a cleaning?
Please call or email your Castle Keepers office 24 hours in advance to make any scheduling changes. Cancellations for regular service must be made 24 hours in advance. If you contact us less than 24 hours in advance, or if we are unable to access your home, including being unable to clean due to other work being performed in your home, we charge a $50 fee to cover a portion of our expenses. Cancellations for one-time cleanings require 48 hours’ notice. If we are contacted less than 48 hours in advance of the scheduled cleaning or we are unable to clean due to other work being performed in your home, Castle Keepers will charge your credit card a $50 fee to cover a portion of our expenses. If your home is absent from our schedule longer than 30 days, Castle Keepers reserves the right to charge a fee to restart your service.
4. Is Castle Keepers a franchise?
Castle Keepers is more like a group of like-minded cleaning service owners who have come together to efficiently utilize software and phone resources.
5. Who provides the cleaning products and equipment?
Castle Keepers provides all the equipment and supplies needed to clean your home. We pride ourselves on using the best professional cleaning supplies and equipment – safer choices for you, your family, your pets, and the environment. Due to OSHA regulations, we are unable to use any cleaning equipment and supplies but our own without a signed liability release statement. Please note, we are unable to accept responsibility for products or equipment we do not provide, or the results from their use.
6. Do I need to sign a contract?
No need to sign a contract. We want you to keep us because you love us! We do ask you to sign a Customer Service Agreement which simply states that you understand our agreed upon cleaning procedures and company policies. You may cancel your service at any time (see cancellation policy #3).
7. What if something gets damaged during the cleaning process?
Castle Keepers team members are trained to take extra time and care with your valuables, including electronics, computer equipment, and fragile collectibles. We appreciate that you’ve trusted us with them, but since we can’t absolutely guarantee that nothing will be broken or damaged, please notify us of anything you prefer we not touch.
If something does get damaged while we are cleaning your home, the cleaning team will leave you a note, or inform you in person if you are home. The office will also follow up with a phone call to determine the best course of action to take to repair or replace the broken or damaged item. We do our best to repair or replace anything we damage during your cleaning.
The most tragic type of damage is that of something irreplaceable with either monetary or sentimental value. Rather than be sorry, the safest way to protect these items is to store them away on your cleaning day, or instruct us not to clean such items.
Castle Keepers is not responsible for breakage due to normal wear and tear, deterioration cause by age, or damage caused by improper assembly, construction, or mounting of an item. Please inform us immediately if any items in your home require this type of attention.
8. Do I have to be home when the cleaning professionals come?
That is entirely up to you. Some people prefer to be home when we are cleaning, and that is fine with us since we would never expect you to leave your own home while we work. On the other hand, some people prefer to leave, and that is fine, too. Most our clients simply provide us with a key, and we lock up when we are finished.
9. How do you clean my home if I’m not there to let you in?
If you will not be home to let us in, we ask that you provide us with a key and, if necessary, an alarm code. All keys are numbered, never labeled, and kept securely locked in our office until the day of your cleaning. If you choose not to provide us with a key and we are unable to access your home for a scheduled cleaning, you will be accessed a lockout fee of $50.
Many people don’t think about parking when talking about access to your home, but if you live in an area where parking is a challenge we do require a place to park close to your home so your cleaning is uninterrupted by trips to the parking meter.
10. Will I get the same team every time?
We make every effort to send the same team to your home for every cleaning. Occasionally a member of your team may be sick or have a day off, in which case we will send a cleaning professional who has been in your home before. We understand your concern with having the same individual cleaning your home on a consistent basis, but rest assured that all our employees successfully complete an extensive training program to ensure consistent cleaning techniques throughout our entire staff. When you become a Castle Keepers’ client, we develop a customer worksheet for you and document your preferences that individualized worksheet, which is provided to each team that cleans your castle.
11. What if my cleaning falls on a holiday?
Our office is closed on the following holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. If your scheduled cleaning falls on one of these holidays, we will contact you prior to the holiday to reschedule your cleaning.
12. What about my pets?
We love pets! If your dog or cat is comfortable with us, he or she is free to roam. We do like to know prior to your first cleaning if you have a pet, along with each pet’s name, so we can talk to them and help them feel comfortable with us. Many pets that are friendly around cleaning technicians while their owner is home may behave very differently to us when the owner is not present. If a pet exhibits aggressive behavior while we are present working, we will may ask you to contain him or her during our visit.
13. Should I tip my cleaning team?
Our staff loves to receive tips as a sign that you are pleased with the cleaning and appreciate their hard work, but tips are neither expected nor required. A note, email, call to the office, or a completed Housecleaning Scorecard (sent by email after each cleaning) to let the team know how well they did also means a lot. Also helpful is a Google+ or Yelp review. This tells not only your cleaners but also the office staff about the great job they are doing in your home. The cleaning team just wants to know that the work they did met or exceeded your expectations.
14. Do you offer gift certificates?
Yes, we do! They make wonderful gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and for new parents, just to name a few. Our gift certificates are available in any denomination, with a two hour minimum. We can send them by mail to you or the recipient.
15. Can I hire one of your cleaning professionals directly?
Castle Keepers makes a significant investment in recruiting, certifying, and training only the most qualified cleaning team members. Each team member signs a non-compete agreement which prohibits them from working directly for our clients during or for one year after employment with Castle Keepers. We ask that you abide by this same agreement. By accepting our service you agree not to solicit, directly or indirectly, or hire any current or former Castle Keepers team member who has cleaned or provided a service in your home without the written consent of Castle Keepers or without compensating Castle Keepers for its loss. If you truly would like to hire one of our employees through our company, we can work out a temp-to-hire arrangement for a fee.
16. Do I need to do anything before you come to clean?
Please put important items and papers away, pick up, file and generally tidy up so our team members can do our job well. If things are left out it will be harder for us to clean surfaces, and you definitely don’t want to risk us putting things where you may have a hard time finding them later.
17. What if I am unhappy with the cleaning?
We are not happy until you are! If for any reason you are not satisfied with our service just give us a call within 24 hours and we will come back and re-clean the area in question at no charge to you. Our goal is to return within two working days to re-clean the areas you are dissatisfied with.
18. Do you take out the trash?
Yes, we collect the trash throughout your home and dispose of it in your roll-to-the-curb trash can. Please tell us where you store this trash can so we know where to quickly find it. In addition, let us know if you keep any trash cans inside cabinets or closets, and please be careful not to leave important papers near your trash cans so they don’t accidently get thrown out.
19. What is meant by your motto, “Cleaner, Safer, Greener”?
All our cleaning products and equipment are held to our high standards for sustainability and environmental and human safety. We were among the first residential cleaning companies in the country to incorporate innovations such as concentrated products, recycled plastic bottles and microfiber cleaning cloths and mops to the industry. We research and assess the environmental safety of our products and operations and look for products that meet or exceed Green Seal – 37 standards organization which sets standards on what constitutes an environmentally responsible product) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice program that works to protect human health and the environment by helping product manufacturers choose the safest chemical ingredients possible. Highly effective products to minimize the number of products and the amount used. Earned Cleaning Industry Management Standard for Green Buildings (CIMS-GB) for eight years in a row. Continued improvement and true environmental progress, not a marketing gimmick or sales technique.
Cleaner – Our equipment, green chemicals, cleaning techniques, and training are all thoroughly researched and thoughtfully designed to effectively clean your home. For example, our PerfectCLEAN microfiber towels are scientifically proven to wipe away soil and microorganisms more effectively and hygienically than spongers and other cleaning cloths while using fewer chemicals.
Safer – No cleaning chemical residues are left on counter or floor surfaces or in the air of your home, an advantage in homes where infants, children, pets and people with chemical sensitivities and immunity problems reside. Deionized Water attracts the ions in normal household soil and removes them from surfaces. It leaves no chemical residue and is non-toxic. GreenWorks is accepted by the Environmental Protection Agency as a Safer Choice Partner. It contains the safest ingredients for families, pets, workplaces, neighborhoods, and the environment, and yet is effective as a cleaning agent. Clorox Greenworks has been evaluated by the EPA’s rigorous scientific process and represents leadership in safer product formulation.
Greener – Castle Keepers is a leader in green cleaning. We use natural products that clean better, are safer for your family, and are better for the environment. Our cleaning methodology uses less water and has a smaller carbon footprint than traditional cleaning methods, and is non-toxic. We are dedicated to continued improvement and true environmental progress in residential cleaning. At Castle Keepers we believe that everyone should have a clean and healthy home. We’ve tested hundreds of products to bring the highest level of clean to your home, while still being safe for the environment.
20. What is your Service Guarantee?
Our work is guaranteed. If you are dissatisfied for any reason, please call our office within 24 hours of your cleaning and we will return within two working days, or as soon as possible based on your schedule, to re-clean the problem area. We appreciate the opportunity to make things right!
21. Will your cleaning team pick up pet accidents?
Human and animal urine and feces, medical syringes, mucous, vomit and blood all fall into the categories of biological hazards and bloodborne pathogens. OSHA states, “While OSHA does not generally consider all maintenance personnel and janitorial staff employed in non-healthcare facilities to have occupational exposure, it is the employer’s responsibility to determine which job classifications involve occupational exposure.” For this reason, we train our cleaning technicians to avoid potential biological hazards and bloodborne pathogens beyond what is part of our cleaning procedure. We clean around them to the best of our ability and notify you of their presence.
22. Rate Changes
Castle Keepers reserves the right to re-evaluate rates at any time based on the amount of time it takes to perform our services to meet our customer’s standards or expectations. We monitor the cleaning time in each home and will contact the client to discuss possible price or service revisions if the cleaning time differs significantly from the original bid.
23. In Case of Bad Weather
Castle Keepers reserves the right to close for business when severe weather conditions prevent local school districts from opening. If our office should remain open despite weather-related school closings, our team members may choose not to work. We will make every effort possible to send another team to perform your cleaning or reschedule your cleaning. If rescheduling is not needed or wanted, you will not be penalized for skipping a cleaning.
24. How often do you come to clean?
We can schedule you cleaning for weekly, Bi-Weekly (every two weeks) and Monthly (every four weeks). Please note that Monthly service is not scheduled once a month, like the 2nd Tuesday of every month, but every four weeks. Due to the logistics of scheduling monthly cleanings, Castle Keepers cannot guarantee the same Captain or the same slot or date each month.
25. How long have you been in business?
Castle Keepers was founded in 1994. Due to customer demand, we have grown rapidly in the last several years and now have branches in Atlanta, GA, Charleston, SC, Greenville, SC, Dayton, OH, and Portland, OR.
26. Will your teammates remove their shoes in my house if I ask them to?
We are required by OSHA regulations to wear slip-resistant, protective footwear in our place of work, which also happens to be your home. In the spirit of compromise, we do provide our teams with slip-resistant shoe covers we will be happy to wear in your home.
27. Will you clean behind my furniture and appliances?
For liability reasons, we are restricted by from moving or lifting items weighing more than 45 pounds. We dust behind and under furniture far as we can reach with our extension pole and poly wool duster. We will be happy to clean behind furniture and appliances if you move it out and back for us. Please be aware we cannot be responsible for scratches to your floor resulting from furniture that lacks floor protectors.
28. Do you wash windows?
We will clean the interior window above your kitchen sink as part of our service. We will also clean the interior and exterior of up to three (3) sliding glass and/or French doors in your home. All other sliding glass doors, French doors and all interior windows are an extra charge.
29. Do you wash dishes?
We will be happy to rinse and place dishes left from your breakfast the morning of your cleaning into your dishwasher. We do charge extra for sinks more than half filled with dishes, pots and pans.
30. Will you do my laundry?
Washing and drying times for laundry can easily exceed our scheduled time in your home, making it impractical to include laundry in the cleaning tasks. It is also a liability to for us to run all the different machines in all our clients’ homes. We do fold laundry for an extra charge.
31. Do you clean high areas?
Due to liability considerations, we are restricted to using a two-step ladder, so if we can reach it using our two-step ladder, extension poles and dusters, we will dust it. OSHA regulations state we are responsible for regularly inspecting and maintaining the ladders our team members use to keep them safe, so we cannot use ladders provided by homeowners.
32. Do I have to clean before you come?
We do the actual “cleaning” – scrubbing, dusting, wiping, washing, etc., as part of our scope of service, but we clean best if your house is in order before we arrive. By tidying and organizing before our appointment you lessen the risk something important will be misplaced, like a child’s favorite doll or an important piece of mail. We understand that sometimes life gets out of control and the house becomes a casualty. If you do need us to pick up large amounts of scattered toys that need to be put away, wash and dry a sink full of dirty dishes, and pick up several weeks’ worth of dirty laundry from the floor, we will be happy to do it, but there is an extra charge for excessive clutter.
33. Do you do move-in or move-out cleaning? Or construction/renovation clean-ups?
We sure do! We have a different cleaning list for move in or move out cleanings, and we do need the cleaning list your landlord or apartment complex expects you to follow. We strongly recommend that all other work be completed before you schedule us to clean, as we charge extra to clean areas after other workmen or carpet cleaners have been through. Above all, we must have electricity and hot/cold running water to clean. Lockout rates will apply for all the above.
34. Do you wash walls as part of a deep clean?
Since cleaning walls and paneled vertical surfaces are not part of our standard cleaning procedure, extra rates will apply.
35. Do you clean blinds?
Yes, we clean blinds and shutters as part of our cleaning procedure and we will use due diligence in cleaning these items. Please understand, however, that Castle Keepers is not responsible for breakage due to normal wear and tear, deterioration caused by age, or damage caused by improper assembly, construction or mounting of blinds, shutters or window treatments. Vinyl and metal miniblinds are especially prone to breakage and damage and we seriously doubt they were manufactured with cleaning in mind!
36. We raise our air conditioner temperature when we are not there. Will this be a problem?
We understand the economic and practical reasons why homeowners raise the thermostat temperature when they are not home. We do ask that you consider the comfort of our cleaning techs and set the thermostat between 68-74 degrees F when your home scheduled to clean. We will call and ask your permission to adjust the temperature in your home if the temperature is uncomfortable for our cleaning team.
37. How do you clean electronics like computers and TVs?
We will clean everything but the screens of electronics. Since the displays of flat screen televisions, and computers of any kind are fragile, and cleaning recommendations vary by brand, we will leave that to you. We will very lightly dust electric and electronic cords, but reserve the right to skip areas with lots of cords to avert the potential disaster of loosening something important. If you would prefer we not clean your computer area at all, please let us know.
38. What do you do about moldy shower curtains and tub mats?
Since moldy shower curtains and tub mats are more efficiently cleaned by placing them in the washing machine with bleach and some extra towels, we will be happy to place them in the laundry room for you.
39. Have you earned any certifications?
Why, yes! How kind of you to ask! ARCSI Seal of Excellence; IICRC HCT certification; CIMS and CIMS-GB certification
40. What are your rules regarding parking?
This is usually only an issue in downtown areas where parking is a challenge. We do require a place to park close to your front door so your cleaning is uninterrupted by trips to parking meters.
41. Under what conditions can’t you clean?
These things happen to the best of families, but we cannot clean during flea or roach infestations. We can’t have our cleaning technicians and equipment exposed infestations, so if we enter and discover a pest problem we will have to leave and charge a cancellation fee.