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

 

 

So how do you make green work for you?

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The use of green cleaning solutions will matter to most professional carpet cleaners when they make it matter in their marketing and advertising. I know of carpet cleaning companies that have grown to several million dollars in annual revenue within a few years of their inception emphasizing green concepts in cleaning and learning how to market it properly. I would argue that it was not the fact they were using green concepts that fueled their growth. It was that they found effective ways to make the fact matter that they were using green concepts to their potential customers and clients. In fact, other cleaners in their same towns who emphasized green have already disappeared. It is much like IICRC or other industry certifications, or belonging to industry trade associations, or just about any other expensive exercise a company undergoes to professionalize itself. It matters to the customer when you make it matter to the customer. It comes back to the ages old sales and marketing concept – answering the question of what is in it for them? Then, your company has to proceed to assuring them that your company is reputable and will stand behind its claims. Before you make the investment of time and money to add “green” or “eco” or “environment’ into your company name and cleaning procedures, put together a marketing plan where you can identify to your potential customers why that should matter to them.

CleanMaster has a complete line of products that are manufactured utilizing ingredients recognized as “green.” These include products that have earned our prestigious SafeClean designation, which was initiated back in 1991 long before Green became a buzzword. SafeClean™ is HydraMaster’s long time trusted designation for cleaning solutions formulated with the latest technology in environmentally preferable “green” technology. SafeClean designated formulations meet or exceed industry ingredient guidelines for green cleaning solutions. The SafeClean designation goes well beyond traditional definitions of what a green formula should be like. It takes into consideration utilizing sustainable and renewable ingredients, environmental and health impact footprints on the indoor and outdoor environment, and perhaps the most important consideration of all- removing and extracting the soil from the surface being cleaned.

These products include Release with OxyBreak Carpet Prespray, RinseFree with OxyBreak Carpet Extraction DetergentHydraFree DFC Carpet Cleaning Solution, and ZipDri Encap TS Encapsulation Cleaner.

What other incentives are there for cleaners to “go green?”

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I would make the case that many professional cleaners employ the use of an extremely green concept every day in their cleaning. One of the most overlooked ‘green” contributions that carpet cleaners make is in the use of heated cleaning solutions with their truckmount or high performance portable extractors. Several independent and peer reviewed scientific studies have confirmed the value of heat in the carpet cleaning process. Yet this remains one area of carpet cleaning where gross misconceptions still exist. Hotter cleaning solution increases the chemical molecular activity of the cleaning chemical you are using (including water). This basic chemistry concept can be confirmed in basic science concepts by the Argonne National labs (http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/gen01/gen01759.htm) . Increased chemical activity means you will need to use less chemical to clean. Dr. Michael Berry, author of the book Protecting the Built Environment: Cleaning for Health, found that heat simply improves cleaning’s effectiveness. “Even without soap, small amounts of grease will dissolve in water, [but] the amount increases in hot water, sometimes ten-fold,” he says. There is nothing “greener” than a reduction in overall chemical usage.

Hotter cleaning solution contributes to a healthier indoor environment.  Dr. Michael Berry and his associates, on behalf of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, did two groundbreaking studies measuring the impact of deep restorative carpet cleaning (utilizing hotter cleaning solution) in 1991 and 1994. The “Denver” Study in 1991 and the “Frank Porter Graham” Study in 1994 greatly advanced our understanding of the interaction between cleaning and the indoor environment. The “Denver” Study mainly looked at whether they could actually even measure particulates, gas phase organics, and biological contamination in carpeting before, during, and after carpet cleaning. The “Frank Porter Graham” Study was a collaborative effort that involved participants from the cleaning industry utilizing “best industry practices” and deep cleaning methods for on-going cleaning and maintenance in a Child Development Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Airborne dust contaminants were reduced by 52%. Total Volatile Organic Compounds decreased by 49%. Total bacterial was reduced by 40%, and total fungi declined by 61%. If the measurement of “green” includes making the indoor environment “healthier,” the contributions of hot water in the cleaning process cannot be overstated.

One of the points that I brought up with one third party certification group  that seems to get completely overlooked by organizations writing policy that affect our industry has to do with the way that most modern truckmounts work. The fuel consumption used to power a truckmounted carpet cleaning machine, whether it be a slide-in or direct drive unit is going to exist in order to operate that unit. In most cases, it runs on gasoline. The heating of the water in a heat exchanger truckmount works by capturing heat from other sources (engine, blower, radiator, etc…) that are being powered anyway. The hot water created by a truckmount does not require the use of any additional resources beyond those required to run the truckmount. Using the fuel source for dual benefits – what could be greener than that?

CleanMaster has a complete line of products that are manufactured utilizing ingredients recognized as “green.” These include products that have earned our prestigious SafeClean designation, which was initiated back in 1991 long before Green became a buzzword. SafeClean™ is HydraMaster’s long time trusted designation for cleaning solutions formulated with the latest technology in environmentally preferable “green” technology. SafeClean designated formulations meet or exceed industry ingredient guidelines for green cleaning solutions. The SafeClean designation goes well beyond traditional definitions of what a green formula should be like. It takes into consideration utilizing sustainable and renewable ingredients, environmental and health impact footprints on the indoor and outdoor environment, and perhaps the most important consideration of all- removing and extracting the soil from the surface being cleaned.

These products include Release with OxyBreak Carpet Prespray, RinseFree with OxyBreak Carpet Extraction DetergentHydraFree DFC Carpet Cleaning Solution, and ZipDri Encap TS Encapsulation Cleaner.

Are “green” chemicals more expensive? If so, why should cleaners invest in these?

When green ingredients were first being introduced, there is no doubt that they made some products more expensive. As their use has expanded greatly, most green ingredients are very competitive today with their “non-green” counterparts. In our relatively small industry, much of the cost of some green products is to pay for the expensive third party certification. Believe me, getting those certifications is a lengthy and expensive process. The manufacturer who gets a product certified is going to most likely pass along that cost to the customers who use it.

So what should a cleaner do? If they have a need for third party green certified products, they should expect to pay more. We have already defined in a previous question when those times might be. If they are simply wanting to use products that are “totally” green or contain a large percentage of “green rated” ingredients, there are lots of great performing, competitively priced products to choose from.

ImageCleanMaster has a complete line of products that are manufactured utilizing ingredients recognized as “green.” These include products that have earned our prestigious SafeClean designation, which was initiated back in 1991 long before Green became a buzzword. SafeClean™ is HydraMaster’s long time trusted designation for cleaning solutions formulated with the latest technology in environmentally preferable “green” technology. SafeClean designated formulations meet or exceed industry ingredient guidelines for green cleaning solutions. The SafeClean designation goes well beyond traditional definitions of what a green formula should be like. It takes into consideration utilizing sustainable and renewable ingredients, environmental and health impact footprints on the indoor and outdoor environment, and perhaps the most important consideration of all- removing and extracting the soil from the surface being cleaned.

These products include Release with OxyBreak Carpet Prespray, RinseFree with OxyBreak Carpet Extraction DetergentHydraFree DFC Carpet Cleaning Solution, and ZipDri Encap TS Encapsulation Cleaner.

Do you brush, jiggle, or swirl? – Encapsulation carpet cleaning

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According to a recent survey published in Cleanfax Magazine, 4% of the respondents identified low moisture encapsulation cleaning as their primary carpet cleaning method. 54% said that they offer encapsulation as part of their carpet cleaning offerings, with truckmounted or portable hot water extraction cleaning usually being their primary method. There is no doubt that in a relatively short amount of time, encapsulation cleaning has gained tremendous market share. While the appearance improvement attributes of encapsulation cleaning are important, there are still huge opportunities for those 58% who offer the service, and the 42% who do not, to expand their reach in the commercial carpet cleaning world.

In order to accomplish that goal, we need to start with a great understanding of exactly what the cleaning method is all about.

Encapsulation carpet cleaning summary
A non-resoiling shampoo (crystallizer dry down)or an encapsulating cleaning surfactant (brittle dry down) is fortified with non-resoiling polymers to create a low moisture carpet cleaning solution. Some solutions contain additional ingredients for improved cleaning power. The encapsulating surfactant encapsulates  and surrounds soils that have been dislodged from the carpet surface and holds them in suspension for removal by subsequent vacuuming.

The cleaning and soil removing power of the encapsulation cleaner is intensified by very aggressive agitation – counter rotating cylindrical brush machine (e.g; Host Liberator®, Whittaker®, Windsor Procaps/ICapsul®, Hydro-Force Brush Pro®, EnviroDri®, Duplex®, Matrix Encap-Pro TM4®); or an orbital oscillating agitator with pad (e.g., Trinity®, Hruby®, SquareScrub®), triple planetary rotary brush (Cimex®); rotary shampoo brush, or bonnet pad. Most encapsulation cleaning is done by cylindrical brush or Cimex. An obvious oversimplification of your encapsulation equipment choices – do you brush, jiggle, or twirl? As you might guess, each machine has “encappers” who think it is the best mechanism to do the job. Whatever your favorite agitation method, it is the cleaning solution that is the key to successful encapsulation cleaning. The “magic” of this appearance improvement method is in the cleaning solution.

This agitation helps separate ground in soils from the carpet and makes the carpet look much better. Encapsulation is generally seen by carpet mills and many carpet cleaners as the best way to clean as fast as bonnet cleaning and most believe it provides superior appearance improvement results without the residue issues with many bonnet cleaners that lead to rapid resoiling. Shaw Contract Flooring® was one of the first commercial carpet manufacturers to recognize encapsulation cleaning as the best interim/appearance maintenance cleaning method for commercial carpet. Tandus® was also an early “adopter” to the value of encapsulation.

It is relatively easy to do and easy to train. You spray down your encapsulation cleaner on the carpet (through usually a battery or electric sprayer, pump up sprayer, or autospray mechanism on the machine) and moisten the pad (if applicable). You then agitate it in with the machine and then allow the carpet to dry. This should be followed by vacuuming at the next scheduled interval. Cleaning rates for encapsulation are generally in the 1500 – 3000 square feet per hour range, but can reach as high as 5000 square feet per hour for one technician with the right equipment and set-up. The carpet is dry to the touch often within minutes and “usable” usually within the hour.

The polymers left behind by the cleaning process do not allow the carpet to re-soil faster (a common problem with bonnet cleaning), and actually help the carpet’s appearance by keeping soils from becoming deeply embedded into the carpet pile. They also prevent or reduce the occurrence of spills or soiling wicking to the surface following cleaning. A good rule of thumb in a commercial carpet appearance maintenance program is 3 encapsulation cleanings followed by 1 hot water extraction cleaning with the intervals to be influenced by the type of carpet and soiling conditions is it exposed to. There are many carpets that actually look better following encapsulation cleaning than after cleaning with a truckmount, especially neglected commercial low level loop glue down carpets.

Summary of the summary – encapsulation cleaning –

  • eliminates wicking and reoccurring spills;
  • triples cleaning productivity rates;
  • extends the carpet life-cycle,
  • greatly reduces area downtime;
  • positive appearance management;
  • and keeps carpet looking its very best with less effort.

 ZipDri Encap TS is the most ultra-concentrated encapsulation cleaner on the market, utilizing only 2 to 4 ounces of solution per gallon of water. It is the only encapsulation cleaner with Tritanol™ – you will experience faster, deep restorative cleaning in high definition, and the carpet will stay cleaner longer. Perhaps the most important attribute of ZipDri Encap TS, is that it is formulated so that it can be effectively used with virtually any low moisture agitation system – CRCB (Counter-rotating cylindrical brush); triple planetary rotary brush; oscillating or orbital brush or pad; and with absorbent bonnet pads. In other words, whatever your favorite agitation method, ZipDri Encap TS is the right encapsulation solution for you. ZipDri Encap TS will work wonders on commercial glue down carpets, but can be safely and effectively used on synthetic and wool commercial and residential carpet. Best of all, ZipDri Encap TS leaves the room smelling clean and refreshed, and qualifies as a SafeClean formula.

CleanMaster makes another versatile cleaning solution that you can use effectively for encapsulation cleaning. Especially if you are cleaning a lot of dull looking commercial carpets, or cleaning commercial carpets that have been exposed to a large amount of coffee spills. Release with OxyBreak™ also works extremely effectively as a low moisture encapsulation or bonnet carpet cleaning solution when used as directed. The encapsulating polymers surround, bond to, and encapsulate soil allowing it to be removed from the carpet in subsequent vacuuming. The OxyBreak™ additive makes it an extremely effective encapsulation cleaner on carpets subjected to a high amount of coffee and beverage spills. Release is effective to use and meets the standards of cleaning and care for all synthetic carpet, including warranted stain resistant carpet. Release with OxyBreak™ can also be used as a spotting solution to effectively remove many beverage spills and stains, including coffee and tea.

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