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Winter Carpet Cleaning: Managing Cold Weather Woes

Winter Carpet Cleaning: Managing Cold Weather Woes

Building service contractors (BSCs) are relied upon to help facilities always look their best. And winter is no exception. While winter predominantly impacts the Great Lakes region, the northeastern-most states and parts of the western United States, it is possible for other areas to experience cold temperatures and moisture that facilitate the arrival of snow. In fact, every state in the country has experienced snowfall at some point.

During the winter, carpet can experience stains and discoloration. To keep flooring clean, BSCs must be prepared for whatever the season always throws their way. Read on to learn more about the top challenges associated with winter carpet care and how to solve them.

Minimizing Winter Carpet Damage

While this year’s holiday travel season may look vastly different from previous years due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, there will still be people traveling by car, train and even air to visit loved ones and family during the winter season. With concerns around hygiene at an all-time high, building service contractors are being tasked with making cleanliness more visible than ever before.   

Make sure that the facilities you manage are always ready for visitors by addressing the issues below:

  1. Problem: Winter brings increased moisture indoors. Winter is an incredibly wet season, bringing heavy snow, ice and sleet, sometimes on a daily basis. With all this moisture, it’s easier than ever for melting snow and ice to make its way into buildings. While many people are accustomed to stomping excess snow from their winter boots onto entrance matting upon walking into a facility, matting doesn’t capture all moisture. And when carpet becomes oversaturated, this can lead to the growth of mold and mildew.

Solution: It's important that your carpet cleaning technique doesn’t add excessive moisture to flooring. Opt for low-moisture encapsulation that uses a fraction of the water that other methods use and allows carpet to dry within about 30 minutes. Be sure to install matting to extend beyond entrances and into hallways as well as near transitions from hard flooring to carpet.  

  1. Problem: Mud leaves footprints on carpet. Winter weather can cause a muddy mess when snow mixes with dirt. If customers’ or employees’ shoes track mud inside, it can lead to noticeable stains on flooring, especially with light-colored carpet. Stains can send the wrong message about a facility’s commitment to cleanliness.

Solution: Don’t let muddy footprints leave a permanent mark. Instruct employees to first let the mud dry and then vacuum up as much loose dirt as possible. Finish with a trusted spotting agent to blot any remaining residue as needed. 

  1. Problem: Ice-melting products can cause stains. Many facilities try to curb the formation of slippery patches of ice in their parking lots and near entrances by laying down products containing salt or even sand. Unfortunately, these small particles often become lodged in shoe treads and are brought inside and onto flooring. Salt and sand can become embedded in the carpet fibers and negatively impact the way it looks. De-icing salt is especially problematic, as it can cause unpleasant white streaks on carpet, which is even more pronounced on dark-colored carpet. 

Solution: To keep these contaminants from making their home in carpet, staff should regularly vacuum all carpet and near entrances. Make sure you are using a CRI certified vacuum cleaner. Additionally, to remove white stains on carpet, select a pH balancing rinse that has the power to counteract these marks.  

  1. Problem: Spills can happen at any moment. While facilities can put measures in place that limit the occurrence of spills, it’s nearly impossible to prevent them entirely. As more people opt for hot chocolate, coffee, wine, tea, soup or chili to warm up during a cold winter season, you’ll have to be ready to address any spills before they become stains.

Solution: Thankfully, a low-moisture encapsulation carpet care system can quickly and effectively lift soils to leave carpet looking good again. Equip your team members with a machine that has counterrotating brushes to ensure it simultaneously lifts the carpet pile and agitates the chemistry into the carpet fibers. This will allow for maximum removal of not only surface stains but also particles that have become lodged deeper into carpet.

Winter Carpet Cleaning Success

As a BSC, you need to provide exceptional carpet care to your clients year-round. Winter is an especially difficult season for many parts of the country, as it brings lots of moisture and numerous types of contaminants into facilities like road salt, sand and even mud. With the right equipment, tools and chemistry on hand, your employees can confidently take on tough carpet care challenges during the long winter months.

Are you a building service contractor looking to take your approach to carpet care to new heights? Learn about the benefits of using Whittaker’s Smart Care® TWIN and TRIO machines and CRYSTAL® chemistry. Contact us at 800.422.7686 or sales@whittakersystem.com today!

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