By Abby Reinhard
Do you know how to protect your carpet investment? Here’s a helpful guide based on our industry experience and the most common mistakes we see facilities make.
1.) Not enough vacuuming or carpet cleaning: Vacuuming at least daily is necessary for medium-to-heavy traffic areas — and a regular carpet cleaning program, based on your building’s traffic patterns, will extend the life of your carpet. If it gets really soiled, cleaning may be too late! Remember that every time someone steps on carpet, soil grinds and damages the fibers.
2.) Wrong carpet cleaning method: Commercial carpet can take a long time to dry from hot-water extraction cleaning. Wet conditions can cause stains to pull from the backing into the fibers of the carpet and can also damage carpet adhesives. Wet carpet causes downtime in a facility, increases risk of slip and falls, and causes security issues because of hoses propping doors open. Low-moisture encapsulation cleaning is often a better alternative.
3.) Inadequate entry matting: The more matting the better — walking on 6 feet of walk-off matting removes 40% percent of debris from the average person’s shoes and 39 feet removes 98% percent of debris from shoes. (*source) Outdoor mats should be a coarse material to scrape the bottom of the shoe, and indoor mats should have an absorbent material to dry the bottom of the shoe. (There are some nicer looking options than there used to be, thankfully!)
4.) Infrequent cleaning of matting: Entry matting must be cleaned at least daily — more frequently than the carpet — or it can become overloaded and non-functional.
5.) Salt: If absorbed, salt or deicer keeps carpet from drying as quickly as normal, creating a “sponge” for soil. Pre-treatment is often necessary in traffic lanes to prevent discoloration.
6.) Incorrect identification treatment of stains: As soon as spills and stains are noticed, they must be quickly identified and treated correctly. A maintenance plan should include an ongoing spotting plan. Having a spotting chart helps greatly with identifying stains and the proper method and chemical for removing the stain.