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The Four Cornerstones of Carpet Maintenance

Carpet appearance in a facility makes an impression on every visitor, whether positive or negative. Designers spend many hours coordinating the colors, patterns and textures to create a space that gives building occupants a positive impression of the business and helps employees be productive. 

Since carpet is on the floor and walked on, its condition needs proper attention and care to maximize its life cycle (some carpets are warranted for 20 years or even life). Extending the time between recycling and reinstalling reduces hard costs associated with carpet materials and labor, and soft costs related to RFQs, procurement and facility disruption.

Planning and implementing an integrated four-step process will extend the life cycle of the carpet, while ensuring a consistently clean carpet appearance.

Follow these four cornerstones of a comprehensive carpet care program to provide the highest level of appearance throughout your facility:

 

1. Preventative Maintenance

Given that 85 percent of soil entering a facility is brought in via visitors’ shoes, it’s essential to find ways to keep this dirt from being tracked onto carpet. Preventative maintenance not only enhances the appearance of your facility, it can reduce long-term cleaning costs by allowing you to collect soil at its source and focus cleaning attention on a smaller area. Installing walk-off matting at entrances and hard-to-soft transition points stops and traps soil and water. To accommodate the first five to six footfalls, allow for 9-15 feet of matting.  

 

2. Daily maintenance

Frequent vacuuming removes 80-90 percent of dry soil accumulation, thereby ensuring that this soil is not pushed into the carpet fibers. Choose equipment suited to the fiber type and construction, and consult the Carpet and Rug Institute for a list of approved vacuum cleaners. Establish vacuuming schedules according to traffic volumes in specific areas, weather conditions and facility use, and train staff in proper vacuuming methods and equipment care.

In addition to vacuuming, conduct daily visual inspections for spots and spills to avoid stains. Treat spots with low-moisture encapsulation spotting procedures immediately to remove 95 percent of spots before they become permanently embedded in the carpet.

 

3. Interim Maintenance

Leading carpet mills and the Carpet and Rug Institute recommend interim carpet maintenance as part of a comprehensive carpet care program. The purpose of interim maintenance is to enhance the appearance of carpet by removing abrasive or oily soil and ultimately extend the life cycle of the carpet. This step is the most important to keep carpet looking its best and to maintain a consistently clean and overall healthy facility. The highest productivity interim cleaning methods utilize low-moisture encapsulation with pile lifting.

 

4. Restorative Maintenance

The goal of restorative maintenance is to remove embedded dry soil, oily substances and any residue build-up. Hot water extraction is recommended every 12-24 months. However, this frequency may vary depending on weather, foot traffic and soil loads.

 

Carpet maintenance goes far beyond just vacuuming. By following the above four steps, facilities can protect their carpet investment and ensure a consistently clean appearance for visitors and employees.

For more information about carpet care the Whittaker way, access our video tutorials, articles and case studies, or contact us at 800.422.7686 or sales@whittakersystem.com.