Investing in carpet as a flooring option for your long-term care facility is a big decision that can impact occupants, visitors and employees for years to come. In many circumstances, however, facility managers choose to avoid a higher upfront cost and instead favor a cheaper carpet investment and maintenance program.
This unfortunate mistake can lead to problems later on, as inexpensive carpet, machines and tools cannot match the performance and appearance retention of high-quality floor covering and carpet care systems. In addition, basing a carpet maintenance program off initial price alone in areas with moderate to high foot traffic will not provide the best value over time.
Facility managers who have a clear understanding of the lifetime cost of commercial carpet, which includes the cost of carpet maintenance, will be better equipped to care for this important investment.
Identifying the Lifetime Cost of Commercial Carpet
To get the most out of your carpet investment, it’s important to consider all the factors that contribute to the real cost of commercial carpet, including:
- The costs associated with selecting, purchasing and installing carpet in your long-term care facility.
- The initial purchase price of carpet care equipment including accessories, taxes, shipping cost and extended warranties. Use the Smart Care® WorkloadingCalculator to compare the annual cost of various carpet care methods.
- Soft costs, or smaller costs, like the amount of time it takes to train facility staff on proper carpet care procedures.
- The recurring cost of carpet care chemistry to ensure proper stain removal and maintenance.
- Preventive maintenance and labor operating costs that are recommended by the manufacturer to keep equipment and carpet care essentials in top condition.
- Repair costs, or unscheduled costs that may come up over time as carpet installed in heavy foot traffic areas like healthcare environments or schools may require interim maintenance due to stains and spills.
Carpet Care Considerations
Assets like carpet can last for years in any facility, but only if employees prioritize proper care. Poorly maintained carpet may have to be replaced much sooner than anticipated.The process of carpet replacement is lengthy and time consuming, requiring the careful selection and purchase of new carpet that complements interior spaces. It also results in closures for carpeted areas as work is being done, and increased labor costs as facilities must hire crews to remove damaged and stained carpet and install new carpet. If this work is completed after hours, labor costs are even higher.
A smarter upfront investment in the right carpet care equipment, tools and chemistry can offer long-term cost savings that surpass the cost of replacing low-quality and poorly maintained carpet. Consider the following carpet maintenance best practices to keep your flooring investment looking its best year after year and your costs from skyrocketing:
- Improve productivity with low-moisture cleaning – Low-moisture encapsulation cleaning helps reduce long term costs, as the method relies on less water and allows carpet to dry faster. This in turn allows businesses to reduce downtime that can occur when carpet needs extensive drying and lowers labor costs by increasing overall productivity. A low moisture encapsulation system allows staff to carry out interim maintenance anytime stains appear due to its quiet operation and 20-30-minute dry times. From dirt particles to marks from wet mud to food and beverage spills, encapsulation cleaning can tackle even the toughest stains without over-wetting carpet. Look for a two- or three-brush machine that lifts the carpet pile and agitates the chemistry into the carpet fibers to achieve a top-to-bottom clean.
- Ensure worker health and safety with easy-to-use systems –Select a lightweight, ergonomic machine that reduces strain and work-related injuries known for increasing costs due to paid time off and workers’ compensation claims. An easy-to-use system should feature lite-touch controls, a machine-mounted tank and come in a range of sizes to encourage employees to regularly conduct carpet care.
- Prolong carpet’s lifespan with the correct chemistry – Aside from machinery, any solid carpet care regimen should use high quality chemistry to prolong the lifespan of carpet. Lower end chemicals can prove to be ineffective at adequately removing stains and soils that are deeply embedded into carpet fibers. This often means that employees must reclean carpet to fully remove a stain or clean more frequently than is necessary. This in turn drives up labor costs. Find a chemistry line that can remove a wide variety of stains from carpet to keep long term costs low. From the immediate removal of spills and discolorations to deep cleaning and everything in between, the proper carpet care chemistry should be able to account for all of the facility’s cleaning needs over time.
Understanding commercial carpet lifetime costs is essential before buying carpet, machines, chemistry and tools, as the cheapest initial options may not be the most economical long-term investment. However, with the right carpet care equipment and chemistry, protecting your commercial carpet investment has never been easier.
To learn more about the real cost of commercial carpet, try using our Smart Care® cost calculator or Smart Care® Workloading Calculator. For more information about carpet care essentials, like our Smart Care® machines and CRYSTAL® Chemistry, contact us at 800.422.7686 or email@example.com.