It is always important for long-term care facilities to uphold their home-like aesthetic, but especially when it is time for new residents to move in. Residents and their loved ones expect to see a clean and well-maintained environment. If they encounter dirty floors or lapses in cleanliness, they may make assumptions about the quality of care provided by the facility. However, former residents are bound to have left carpet stains, which is why facility managers and cleaning staff must know how to care for carpet. Proper maintenance is key for preserving the appearance of carpet and prolonging its lifespan.
Residence in Long-term Care Environments
Of the 54 million Americans who are age 65 and over, more than half (52%) will need some type of long-term care during their lifetime. Moreover, 48% of those receiving care will need it for less than a year. This leads to new occupancies frequently. In other words, high-demand and short tenancy periods have long-term care facilities preparing for new residents quite often.
Cleanliness is key for impressing potential residents who are looking to start the next stage of their lives. Carpet care is vital because spills and stains are likely to occur during each resident’s stay. In addition to the regular cleaning and maintenance challenges most facilities deal with, long-term care environments need to address a wide range of carpet stains caused by food and beverages and even bodily fluids. Thankfully, the right carpet care procedures can help facility managers limit the risk of permanent carpet stains, discoloration, or damage.
Effective End of Tenancy Carpet Care Tips
When a resident’s tenancy has ended, facility managers in long-term care environments need to prioritize carpet care when preparing for the next occupant to move into their room. Consider the following tips for successful carpet maintenance in these settings:
- Shift easy-to-move furniture out of the way – Taking the time to clear furniture out of cleaners’ paths makes the process smoother and ensures employees can address all visible spots and stains. For example, staff can move small side-tables, chairs, and nightstands without much effort. Facility managers should look for carpet care equipment that is properly sized for the building’s various rooms. This allows workers to clean underneath or around obstacles that are not easy to move, such as large beds, heavy couches or dressers.
- Use fast-drying chemistry – Carpet cleaning processes like hot water extraction can take hours to complete and need additional time for carpet to fully dry. Opening up areas of the facility before carpet is dry can cause carpet to resoil more quickly. Extensive carpet care requires careful planning and can be especially costly if many rooms need to be cleaned at the same time. However, there are fast-drying alternatives like low-moisture encapsulation, which allows flooring to dry in as quickly as 20-30 minutes. In addition to enhancing staff productivity, the low-moisture encapsulation process enables employees to clean a room the same day a resident moves in. Keeping occupancy rates high is key to profitability in long-term care environments and low-moisture carpet cleaning supports this goal.
- Select easy-to-use carpet cleaning equipment – Employee turnover rates are often incredibly high for cleaning staff. In some cases, it can be as high as 200%. The time it takes to train new staff further drives up the cost of cleaning programs. Selecting carpet care machines that are easy to operate makes it possible for managers to train new staff quickly. This includes both vacuums and equipment used to apply carpet cleaning chemistry. Whittaker’s Smart Care® machines are as easy to use as a vacuum, making the training process simple and stress free.
- Keep numerous types of stain removal solutions on hand – Removing spots or stains settled into carpet requires the right kinds of chemistry, as stains have varying compositions. For example, removing organic stains (vomit, urine, food) requires a different approach compared to grease/oil stains (paint, cooking oil, adhesives) or red food dye stains (coffee, tea, wine). Untreated stains can make residents and their guests view a facility in a negative light. To successfully clean carpet, use chemistry that targets the underlying composition of the stain. This will keep flooring looking its best and eliminate any potential lingering odors.
The Importance of Long-term Carpet Care
Carpet care should be an integral part of every cleaning program, but defining the regularity of carpet maintenance can be more complex when it comes to long-term care facilities. The frequent, and often sporadic, shifts in vacancies require facility managers to be prepared for recurring carpet care. Thus, having the right resources, equipment and protocols should be of the utmost importance to long-term care facilities. Does your long-term care facility have the right carpet care equipment and chemistry necessary to keep carpet clean? Learn about Whittaker’s Smart Care® TWIN and TRIO low-moisture encapsulation machines and CRYSTAL® chemistry. Contact us at 800.422.7686 or firstname.lastname@example.org today!