Getting The Most Life From Commercial Carpet

Dear Mr. RNB,

We  have a large commercial building that you have just put new carpet in. As much as we liked having you and the installers around, we really would like to maximize the life of the flooring. Can you help?

Signed, Mr. Corporate Client

Dear Mr. Client:

Maintenance of your new floors is simple. Here are four steps to get you in the right direction.

1.Use entryway matting. When it comes to entryway matting, the bigger the better. There must be room for at least two steps with each foot, preferably three, to sufficiently wipe soil from feet before encountering the installed carpet. A mat with a nylon face and vinyl back is best for moisture and oils absorption, combined with the resiliency necessary to collect a quantity of particle soil. The IICRC (http://www.iicrc.org)  suggests a rental mat be considered, since that guarantees frequent maintenance. Place entry mats on hard surfaces rather than on carpet where they can trap moisture or cause plasticizer migration.

2. Clean spots immediately. Although this seems like a common sense, you would be surprised how many carpets are being replaced when all they needed was to be cleaned. To get the most out of your carpet, make sure to remove spots and spills immediately, reducing the likelihood of a permanent stain. When selecting a cleaning solution, consider using an environmentally friendly cleaning chemical. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), choosing less hazardous products with positive attributes such as low water use, biodegradability, low toxicity, reduced packaging, low lifecycle energy use and low volatile organic compound (VOC) content can minimize the impact on the environment and contribute to improved air quality.

3. Vacuum daily. Really? Yes, really. The sooner you collect soils from the surface, the easier it is to remove them, so make sure you vacuum daily. For most carpet you should use an upright vacuum with brush agitation, unless your canister vacuum is particularly well designed. The wider the head, the more efficient. Proper and consistent vacuuming is the single most effective means of keeping carpet clean. By following a routine vacuuming schedule, 90 to 95 percent of all dry soil by weight can be removed effectively. See http://rnbflooring.com/the-carpet-and-rug-institutes-top-rated-vacuums/ for more info.
Regular vacuuming also contributes to improved air quality by keeping particulates, such as dust and allergens, out of the air we breathe. Vacuuming effectively sucks up these particulates and keeps them from being re-circulated back into the air.

4. Conduct periodic deep cleans. In addition to frequent vacuuming, your facility should also conduct periodic deep cleans on a semi-annual basis to help restore your carpet to its original condition and maintain peak performance. If your facility does not own professional floor cleaning equipment, consider hiring a professional cleaner to do the job for you. Deep cleans involve an extraction method that removes the accumulation of deep-down soil and residue left behind by other cleaning methods. Pay greater attention to entry-way areas, deep cleaning these areas on a quarterly basis at a minimum.
When the time comes to replace your carpet, consider recycling it instead of throwing it away. There are many options when it comes to recycling your carpet and depending on its condition, it may even be able to be reused. The Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) is a great resource when your facility is ready to get rid of its carpet. In 2012, its members diverted 351 million pounds of post-consumer carpet from landfills and recycled 294 million pounds of that carpet.

See you later than you think,

Mr. RNB

 

P.S. The IICRC is a standard-development organization that establishes best practices and offers certification for commercial carpet care professionals.