This category includes establishments primarily engaged in cleaning carpets and upholstered furniture either at a plant or on customers' premises. Establishments primarily engaged in rug repair are classified in SIC 7699: Repair Shops and Related Services, Not Elsewhere Classified, while those primarily involved in reupholstering and repairing furniture are classified in SIC 7641: Reupholstery and Furniture Repair.
Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Services
The advent of nailed-down (wall-to-wall) carpets in the 1950s fueled growth in the industry after a period of economic stagnation during World War II. Previously, people rolled up their carpets and took them to the dry cleaners or to other facilities. The shift to in-home services enabled new businesses to establish themselves more easily. Instead of maintaining a commercial location with a public counter for transacting sales, prospective dry cleaners needed only transportation and the necessary equipment and chemicals to get started in business. Consequently, the number of service providers swelled during this time. By the early 2000s, there were an estimated 8,887 carpet and upholstery cleaning establishments in operation in the United States, employing 48,451 workers and earning total revenues of $2.72 billion. These figures reflected a continual upward trend over the 1990s, which, overall, represented an increase of more than 68 percent from 1990, when 5,629 carpet and upholstery cleaning establishments constituted a $1.69 billion industry.
In the mid-2000s, the industry was dominated by small businesses, with approximately one-third of total industry establishments and one-quarter of employees operating under the representation of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Most firms in the industry appeared in metropolitan areas, employed an average of five people, and offered cleaning services exclusively, according to Cleaning Management Institute. Increased demand for additional services characterized the carpet cleaning industry in the early to mid-2000s, according to professional rug cleaner, Larry Cooper. He was quoted in the industry journal, Cleanfax, stating that "Companies … are expected to be experts in many areas in addition to the normal carpet and upholstery cleaning services, including: water damage...