With so many colleges and universities competing to engage prospective students, as well as researchers and staff, these higher education institutions often rely on in-person visits to help visitors envision themselves learning, teaching, or working on campus. A 2020 survey found that 80% of high school juniors and 84% of parents feel that campus visits are extremely or very important to their college selection process. While the pandemic required many schools to shift to virtual tours, some have resumed welcoming visitors to campus with safety precautions in place.
There are many different factors to consider that impact student recruitment. One component is the way a campus is maintained. This includes the grounds as well as the interiors of buildings like resident halls, libraries, student centers, and more. Proper upkeep signals that a college cares about its image as well as student wellbeing and safety. Carpet care is an important part of every cleaning and maintenance program. Read on for affordable carpet care tips that will help your school maintain its reputation as a prestigious destination for higher education.
How Maintenance of School Carpet Reduces Long-term Costs
With most things in life, proper maintenance is key to extending the lifespan of any asset and reducing the likelihood of unexpected costs that can put a budget off course. Ignoring carpet care can result in more extensive, time-consuming, and costly maintenance to try and restore the look of carpet. Often, these efforts are “too little too late” and cannot bring carpet back to its like-new appearance.
While carpet is a relatively affordable type of flooring compared to other options like hardwood, having to frequently replace carpet puts added strain on maintenance budgets. Carpet replacement requires dedicated time for research during the selection process, funds to cover the cost of materials as well as installation costs in the form of labor. Removal of old carpet also requires an investment.
When facility managers are dedicated to prolonging the lifecycle of carpet, carpet can last for years beyond the carpet manufacturers’ warranties. In some cases, carpet can remain in place for multiple decades, which limits disruption in busy educational facilities and helps schools focus their maintenance budgets on other important priorities.
Affordable Carpet Care on Campus
There are several different ways that schools can reduce carpet wear and tear, and long-term costs. Consider the following tips for affordable carpet care:
- Install matting – Entrance matting helps capture soils and moisture from shoes, reducing the risk that these contaminants will end up dirtying carpet. While matting is an additional expense for schools to consider, it is a common and effective preventative maintenance tactic that is not nearly as costly as replacing carpet before its warranty expires.
- Vacuum soils away – If unaddressed, soils that make their way onto carpet can become deeply embedded and rub against carpet fibers. Over time, this results in damage that negatively impacts the look of carpet. Vacuum often, in some cases daily if campus buildings experience high volumes of foot traffic.
- Address stains and spots as soon as possible – A stain is typically the most noticeable carpet issue in the eyes of facility visitors. Large stains or many small stains signal that a school does not focus on carpet care. To keep stains from permanently setting into carpet, have a plan in place for regularly checking for spots and spills, and use effective chemistry that breaks down and removes stains of various types. Be mindful that although some buildings may implement “no food or drink” rules to limit stains, there are typically rulebreakers who will ignore these safeguards.
- Prolong the time between hot water extraction sessions – Hot water extraction is an effective maintenance method, but it is disruptive and costly because it often requires special equipment and outside experts. Extend the time between extractions by performing interim maintenance. One such approach is low-moisture encapsulation, which uses specially formulated chemistry to capture dry and oily soils in a crystalline structure. Performing encapsulation daily, weekly, or once a month is as simple as operating a vacuum and keeps carpet looking consistently cleaner.
Supporting the Bottom Line and Student Success
Today, students have a variety of options when it comes to their higher education journeys. They can attend an in-state school, an out-of-state university or even an accredited online program. Brand image is incredibly important, as it can greatly influence student recruitment and retention rates. There are many components that go into forming a college or university’s image. This can include everything from academic reputation to athletics to campus safety to aesthetics. Carpet is a major component of the look and feel of indoor environments on campus.
Regularly performing vacuuming and low-moisture encapsulation cleaning is one of the easiest ways to prolong the life of carpet. It helps remove unwanted soils from carpet, contributing to a better-looking campus. By consistently performing carpet maintenance, schools can reduce costs over the long term and uphold their reputation as a leading higher education institution.
Many colleges and universities ace carpet care with the help of Whittaker’s low-moisture encapsulation systems. From the economical Smart Care® TWIN machines to our trusted Smart Care® TRIO equipment, there are many options from which to choose. Get started on your journey to cleaner carpet today!