By Joe Bshero
August 5, 2019
Carpet can easily last for 15 years or more, but only if it’s properly maintained. Unfortunately, carpet often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Facility managers are frequently pulled in many different directions and may overlook carpet care, especially if carpet appears clean. Additionally, carpet care myths exist that impact how often carpet is cleaned and what methods are used. Taking a closer look at these misconceptions will help facility managers develop an effective carpet care maintenance routine.
Some of the most common misconceptions about carpet care include:
- Regular vacuuming leads to premature carpet wear.
Vacuuming is an essential component of carpet care, yet some view it as a potentially harmful tactic if performed too frequently. Daily vacuuming is recommended, especially in areas that experience high foot traffic and during seasons that bring increased moisture and contaminants like sand and salt indoors. To ensure minimal wear on carpet fibers, select a vacuum that is certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute and is compatible with the carpet profile, density and fiber.
- Carpet should be cleaned when it appears soiled.
Waiting to clean carpet after it looks dirty means that it may need to be replaced more quickly than necessary. In actuality, carpet needs to be regularly cleaned even when it’s not visibly soiled. This helps to remove dirt that is embedded in the carpet fibers. Again, depending on the environment, adhere to a schedule of weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly carpet cleaning to extend the time between restorative hot water extraction. Not only does regular cleaning improve the appearance of carpet, it reduces costly and disruptive carpet replacement.
- The right chemistry is all it takes to remove a stain.
While effective chemistry is key, it’s important to follow the TACT theory when cleaning carpet. This ensures that the elements of temperature, agitation, chemical and time are properly balanced. First, match the chemistry to the type of soils you want to remove and follow the chemical’s dwell time so that it works as promised. If the chemical needs to be applied at a certain temperature, follow these instructions or adjust the other TACT elements. Then, ensure the machine’s brushes adequately agitate and lift the carpet pile, which promotes thorough removal of carpet soil.
- Carpet cleaning requires lots of downtime in a facility.
While some carpet cleaning methods require numerous hours for the carpet to fully dry, there is one approach that can return carpeted areas to use more quickly. Encapsulation cleaning can dry carpet as quickly as 30 minutes. This is because it is a low-moisture process that encapsulates soil particles for removal with regular vacuuming. With encapsulation cleaning, employees can clean carpet, replace furniture and open up areas to foot traffic at a much faster rate.
A Lasting Investment
There are numerous benefits to keeping carpet clean. Regular cleaning removes allergens and embedded soils, gives customers, occupants and employees a positive impression of a facility and can reduce long-term maintenance and replacement costs.
Facility managers must understand the proper carpet care techniques and have the right system in place. This system will combine one or more carpet care machines, a range of cleaning and spot removal chemistries and spotting tools. With simple and lightweight machines and tools, and effective chemistry, employees can easily and quickly complete daytime cleaning to keep carpet looking its best and extend its lifespan.
Joe Bshero is a product manager with R.E. Whittaker Co., a family-owned business with over 30 years of experience and the pioneers of the first commercial carpet encapsulation system. For more information about low-moisture encapsulation systems from Whittaker, visit whittakersystem.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.