Commercial carpet is a sizeable investment. Naturally, you want your carpet to remain attractive and highly functional long after it is installed. A well-programmed maintenance schedule will extend your carpet’s performance, appearance, and life. The longer carpet lasts the less it costs. This may seem like quite the understatement but it is a simple truth. Maintenance costs for a carpeted floor, average 30 to 40 percent less than those for hard surfaces, and replacing carpet is always an expense. To be truly cost-effective, maintenance must be carried out with systematic frequency over the life of the carpet. Today’s carpets are engineered to disguise soils and stains. This sometimes masks the need to vacuum and clean on a regular basis. A consistent and effective maintenance program can dramatically extend the life of your carpet. The cleaner the carpet, the better the air. Properly maintained carpet can act as a filter, improving the air in your work or hotel environment, This results in better performance and morale from healthier employees. Not to mention that when your carpet looks good it reflects a positive impression of your company to your customers.
FIVE KEYS TO EFFECTIVE MAINTENANCE
Dirt is everywhere. Keeping it out of the building is easier and less expensive than removing it. The use of walk-off mats will significantly reduce your maintenance costs. They trap soil and make it easier to keep soil out which is less expensive than removing it. Using mats inside and outside the main, entrance ways for best results. Mats and removable grates are available to fit any type of entrance situations. Consult your maintenance professional for proper mat selection.
Regular vacuuming is the most important part of any maintenance program because is the most effective way to remove soil. How often you vacuum is influenced by soil type and traffic patterns. Soiling at entry areas and ground floors have high levels of dirt and sand, while executive offices generally are not as heavily traveled and will require less frequent vacuuming. Training your cleaning personnel on proper vacuuming methods and techniques can make each cleaning go much further. A slow pass against the carpet pile is more effective than several quick strokes; while heavy traffic areas may require multiple passes (forward and backward) to sufficiently extract, embedded soil. A vacuum brush will open up the tufts of the carpet, the agitation will loosen the soil embedded, and slow movement allows time for the air to circulate through the face yarn and extract debris.
Spots are inevitable, but they don’t have to be permanent. If a spill is removed quickly then there is less chance it will become a stain. Spills should be extracted or blotted up and rinsed with water immediately. Absorbent powders or spotters should then be applied and rinsed thoroughly with clear water. Another tip is to always work from the edge towards the center of the spill and never rub, it may spread the stain.
A well-planned maintenance program includes regular interim methods. Scheduled pile lifting, vacuuming, spot extraction, or dry cleaning in high traffic areas can help the carpet retain the appearance and improve performance. For interim cleaning, there are many dry cleaning methods available in the marketplace. You should analyze several methods for effectiveness and cost, to determine which best suits your facility. An effective dry cleaning method involves the application of a dry cleaning substance that dissolves and absorbs both water and oil-based soils, holding them until they are removed by vacuuming. The cleaning agent contacts all surfaces of the soiled carpet, breaking down the bond that causes the soil to stick to the carpet fibers.
No matter how conscientiously you work at it, daily maintenance will still leave some soil behind. Periodic deep cleaning, using hot water extraction, is most effective at removing embedded abrasive soil. Deep Cleaning is restoring the carpet’s appearance by extracting soil and substances that can damage your carpet. Hot water extraction is the industry’s most frequently used method of deep cleaning. A hot water and light cleaning solution are sprayed into the carpet. Check with your carpet’s manufacturer for their recommended mix. This solution mixes with the soil as powerful extraction removes the solution and the loosened soil in the process.
Many factors govern a carpet’s lifespan and appearance, from the fiber and construction to the way the carpet is installed. However, none pay more dividends than proper care. The small amount of time that it takes to implement a well-planned maintenance program can dramatically extend the life of your carpet. And remember…the longer it lasts, the less it costs.