Consumer Series #1 – How to Care for Your Carpet

Soil Tracking Control

Place walk-off mats or grids at the entry points to your home or business. This will help prevent soil from being tracked from the outside onto the inside carpeting. Vacuum and/or clean these mats frequently. Once they become loaded with soil, their effectiveness is greatly reduced.

Vacuuming

Vacuum your carpet frequently using a vacuum with a high efficiency collection bag or system. In high traffic areas, carpet manufacturers recommend you vacuum at least once or twice a week.  Vacuuming removes the sharp and abrasive soil that can cut, scratch, and abrade the fiber causing premature wear. Particulate soiling left in your carpet has sandpaper like effect on the carpet. Much of this soil is not visible to the eye. Vacuum before the carpet looks soiled. Keep your vacuum in good working condition – check the belts and change the collection bag frequently. Confused about which vacuum to buy? One good source of information is the Carpet and Rug Institute. Click here for more information about the Carpet & Rug Institute’s testing program for commercial and residential vacuums. Another great resource is your local trained and certified carpet cleaning professional. They can provide you with clear recommendations based upon the carpet installed in your home or business the next time they clean your carpet.

Spot and Spill Treatments

Immediate spot removal is the key to a clean carpet. Great care also must be taken in how spot cleaning is performed. When a carpet is new, or has sufficient protector on it, plain tap water will remove many spots. However for those spots that will not move easily with water, you should use a spotting solution specifically designed for carpeting. We recommend getting your carpet spotting solution from your local cleaning professional. They have access to spotting solutions which have been formulated by the same companies who make their professional cleaning solutions. These types of spotters have been demonstrated to be more effective, as well as not to leave sticky residue which can cause your carpet to re-soil rapidly.

Most spot removers that are purchased over the counter at your grocery store or home improvement center leave too much sticky residue and can cause rapid re-soiling or yellowing. Avoid using foam carpet cleaners or any product that is not made specifically made for carpet. The longer the spot is allowed to dwell on the carpet, the more chance there is of permanent discoloration.

Blot up any excess spill. Apply spot cleaner sparingly to white cotton towel and gently massage spot causing it to transfer into the cloth. Never pour spot cleaner directly on carpet. Blot area with water. If the spot persists, consult your professional carpet cleaner. Some spots and spills require the professional equipment, cleaning solutions, and skills of a professional. Repeated attempts to remove the spot may set the stain or cause permanent damage.

Professional Cleaning

As a general rule for residential carpeting, cleaning by a professional, trained, certified firm should take place about once per year. For extremely heavy traffic areas, homes with pets, and homes with people with allergic sensitivities and immune-compromised individuals, more frequent cleaning is often required. Proper professional cleaning will not leave a sticky residue behind and can be done as many times per year as needed. Professional cleaning with truckmounted or high performance portable hot water extraction cleaning is the method most often recommended by cleaning industry experts and carpet manufacturers. Professional cleaning removes the damaging abrasive soil, along with sticky and oil based soil that vacuuming can not remove.

For commercial carpeting, periodic professional cleaning with hot water extraction may need to be combined with interim encapsulation low moisture encapsulation cleaning for maximum carpet appearance and performance. The frequency of cleaning will depend on the amount and types of soiling, the traffic load on the carpeting, carpet owner considerations, budget considerations and other indoor and outdoor environmental conditions.

Protective Treatments                                                      

 Residential carpets are treated with stain and soil resistant treatments when they are manufactured.  These protective treatments will wear and traffic off over a period of time. After a period of 1 to 3 years, carpet manufacturers recommend the re-application of a protective treatment such as HydraMaster Complete Guard Carpet Protector to enhance the performance of your carpet. Your carpet protector should provide your carpet with additional soil resistance for water and oil based spills and soiling, as well as protective barriers which prevent spilled liquids from staining your carpet. The soil resistance will help the soil slide off the carpet easier when vacuuming, spots will be easier to remove, and professional cleaning will be more effective.

Warranties

Copies of specific warranties on your carpet purchase may be available from your carpet retailer. Your carpet’s stain and soil resistant warranty, wear warranty, and texture retention warranty most likely requires periodic (at least every 12-18 months) professional hot water extraction cleaning by a trained, certified professional cleaner. Many warranties on your carpet provide coverage for five years or longer if your carpet is maintained according to the manufacturer’s directions.

 

 

 

 

Developing a Planned Commercial Carpet Maintenance Program

 

Commercial Carpet Cleaning

Analyzing Building Use and Floor Plan

To set up a Planned Commercial Maintenance Program several aspects need to be taken into Blueprint 3consideration.

1. The type of building involved, single or multistory, size of building. This will determine to a large extent the type of carpet cleaning equipment that will be used.

2. The type of commercial activity involved needs to be considered. This will determine the length of time between cleanings, how much time is allowed to complete the cleaning,  and whether or not the building or area can be shut down during the cleaning process.  The type and amount of traffic has a bearing on the cleaning schedule.

3. The exterior of the building is an important area for planned maintenance. A lot of soils are tracked in or carried in with air currents. Proper cleaning of parking lots and entrance aprons to buildings, entrance mats both exterior and interior should be planned.

4. A floor plan of each level of the building needs to be considered and areas assigned a category for proper cleaning schedules to be determined. Potential sources for a copy of the floor plan include an evacuation plan and blueprints.

Note on a facility map the primary areas of concern:

–     Track-off areasBlueprint

–     Funnel areas

–     Main traffic areas

–     Spot prone areas

5. The next step in the analysis is that the type of floor covering in each area needs to be determined. Where they are located in relation to each other and in the building should be taken into consideration.  A hard surface floor preceding carpet will require the carpet to be vacuumed and cleaned more frequently, due to soils being tracked off of the tile floors.  As you proceed further into the building, or in the case of a high rise, up the floors in a building, it is especially important to note the type of floor covering. The first are where carpet is the dominant floor covering reallyHard Surface Floors 12.13 serves as a giant “walk-off mat” for the rest of the building and will need to have more frequent deep, restorative cleanings. The square footage of each area needs to be known.

A. Hard surface:

Concrete:  Sealed, unsealed, polished, stamped. Painted, type of paint, waxed, condition, grade level.

Vinyl: Type, Manufacture, Condition, Previous maintenance, Manufacturer’s recommended maintenance

VCT or Resilient tile: Type, Condition, Age, Asbestos content, intended use, types of floor finish needed, types of floor machines that can be used in that location.

Wood: Type – solid, engineered, laminate. Type of finish, condition

Ceramic tile, Saltillo

Terrazzo – polishing techniques

Stone – geology, construction, polishing techniques

B. Carpet:commercial-carpet-tile

  • Type of carpet,  type of construction, type of fibers, style, dye methods, manufacturer’s  cleaning recommendations, type of installation.

Components of a Planned Maintenance Program

1. Soil Prevention: Attention should be given to the exterior of the building to see that the parking lots are being properly maintained and cleaned. The entrance of the building needs to be power-washed to prevent dirt from being tracked in. Proper mats should be utilized outside the entrancewalkoffMatsImage and inside the entrance of the building and properly maintained. One way to properly maintain these mats is to use a professional cleaning service for mats. These mats need to be large enough to allow people to make about three to four footsteps across the mat to properly clean shoes. All potted plants need to have plastic protectors placed under them to prevent stains on the carpet.

2. Daily Maintenance: Most areas need to be vacuumed daily and check for spots.

3. Interim Maintenance Cleaning: This is the carpet cleaning that is done in between corrective or restorative cleaning. This is accomplished by low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning or surface hot water extraction cleaning. Other methods employed may be absorbent pad, absorbent compound, or dry foam shampoo carpet cleaning. This is done on an as needed basis.

4. Restorative or Corrective Cleaning: This is accomplished using a truck-mounted or high performance portable hot water extraction machine. In some severe cases the carpet can be cleaned with a shampoo system first which gives superior agitation and then followed with a HWE to insure complete removal of the detergents.

Recommended Cleaning Frequencies

Soil and Traffic Level Vacuum Spot Removal Appearance Maintenance

Cleaning

Restorative Cleaning
Light

Private offices, cubicles

 

2+ times

per week

As needed 2-4 times

per year

1 times

per year

Medium

Interior hallways, shared offices, conference rooms

 

3+ times

per week

As needed 4 times

per year

2 times

per year

Heavy

General entrances, lobbies, main hallways

 

1+ times

per day

As needed 4-6 times

per year

2-4 times

per year

Severe

Severe climate general entrances, food service

1+ times

per day

As needed N.A. 12+ times

per year

 

Assign Area Designations

Each area of the building needs to be assigned a category based upon the amount of traffic it receives or type of area it is. Then a maintenance program can be established based upon each area. Always consider the profile (high-medium-low) of the area by understanding the usage and importance of an area: areas that customers go; VIP offices, conference rooms, etc…

Note that in your cleaning schedule, all procedures that are in red and underlined are the variables in method and frequency which may be employed. This also can be used to customize to the specific equipment and brand being employed.Blue  print 2

Putting the Plan on Paper

  • Prepare and use drawings. Color code each room of carpet to the category it fits best.
  • You can use a word processing program such as Microsoft Word® to customize procedures
  • You can use a graphics program (Microsoft Publisher®, Adobe InDesign) or even a painting program to make the color coded map.
  • You will note in each section below that the terms and words that are italicized are those that are variable to your specific client and to your company. These are the areas where you customize the quote to fit your company and the facility you are bidding on.

Category 1:  Severe Traffic Areas:

Examples: Airports, Entries to Hospitals, Malls & Theaters

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider use of a pile lifter monthly. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended.
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a weekly basis using a low moisture encapsulation cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed on a monthly basis to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

 

Category 2:  Heavy Traffic Areas:

Examples: entrances, showrooms, lobbies, corridors, stairs, hallways, retail sales floors, executive offices, clerical office areas, food service areas, elevators, channeled traffic flow areas, break rooms, mail rooms

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider the use of a pile lifter on a monthly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended. .
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a weekly basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed on a quarterly basis to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Category 3:  Medium Traffic Areas:

Examples: some hallways, shared offices, conference rooms

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider the use of a pile lifter on a quarterly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended.
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a monthly basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed every six months to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air 1uality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Category 4:  Light Traffic Areas:

Examples: Private Offices & Cubicles

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a weekly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended. .
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on an as needed basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed every six months to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Each Customized Program Should Include:

  • Color Coded Map
  • Written Procedures Plan
  • Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annual Procedures
  • Follow-Up On Every Job
  • Emergency Response Plan
  • Water Damage and Intrusion Plan