Providing carpet maintenance services to your current commercial janitorial customer base is a great way to add an additional income stream to your business.
By marketing additional services to your existing customers, you already have your foot in the door.
They trust your company and are obviously pleased with the quality of your service.
This should make it much easier to introduce them to carpet maintenance services.
The opportunities to generate good profits from commercial carpet maintenance are huge.
Nearly every commercial building has carpet in some or all of their space.
This carpet represents a large dollar investment to your customer, and providing regular maintenance can actually save them money in the long run by extending the life of the carpet.
Additionally, a regularly maintained carpet provides a more pleasing appearance.
Furthermore, a well-maintained carpet provides for a healthier indoor environment, reducing health-related lost work time.
In order to provide the best possible solutions to your customers’ needs, it’s important to have a good understanding of the types of carpet you will be working on, as well as the various processes used in maintaining them.
There are numerous courses available to teach you the technical aspects of providing these services; the Internet can also be a good source of information.
Remember not to overlook your local supplier, as they can often be a great source of information and training.
Whatever route you take, just remember to educate yourself.
Doing so will make you appear more knowledgeable and professional.
Consider The Basics
One thing to consider when contemplating an additional service line is how it will impact your current production.
- Do you have the additional man-hours available to complete this new service?
- What additional equipment and supplies will you need?
- What additional training and knowledge will this require?
- Will you need additional insurance coverage?
By asking yourself these questions and analyzing the results, you will know whether or not a new service line will be a good fit into your current company.
The good news is that you can add carpet maintenance in three ways.
- Subcontract the work to a carpet cleaning and repair professional
- Train your staff to perform the services
- Use a mixture of both.
The type of carpet found in commercial settings is typically a low-loop synthetic fiber installed by gluing the carpet directly to the sub-floor, which is generally concrete.
Commercial carpet is designed to withstand the rigors of constant use and will respond nicely to a regular maintenance routine.
The commercial environment exposes the carpet to soiling situations that are unique.
The main soiling issue will be dry particulate soil that, left in place, can quickly damage a carpet.
The rest of the soiling will likely be spills from soft drinks, tea and coffee along with some unidentifiable spots of unknown origin.
The majority of spot cleaning can easily be incorporated into your regular janitorial routine by simply training your staff in the proper spotting techniques and ensuring they have the appropriate spotting solutions on hand.
Simple carpet repairs can easily be performed by the regular janitorial crew as well.
The most common repair needed on commercial carpet is loose threads appearing at seams or other locations that were damaged by a snag.
It’s important to address these as they are discovered because they are not only unsightly, but will pose a slip, trip and fall hazard and can further damage the carpet.
A very simple repair can be performed using duckbill scissors and snipping the lose seam at its base.
So far, we have covered situations that can easily be performed by your current staff with a very small investment of time and materials.
Now, let’s get into larger carpet care and repair issues.
The Relativity Of Frequency
Periodic cleaning of the carpet will be necessary.
The frequency and intensity level will greatly depend on the soiling conditions that exist within the building.
Carpets that are farther away from main entrances or that get little use can often get by with an annual or biannual cleaning, but carpets exposed to heavy soiling and traffic conditions will need a far greater frequency of cleaning.
There are three basic types of cleaning when it comes to carpet:
- Vacuuming — Dry soil removal is important as the first step to cleaning carpet
- Bonnet cleaning — This is a great method to use when the carpets must be dry quickly and can be employed on a regular basis
- Encapsulation — The benefits of this method are high production rates and quick dry times, as well as a deeper cleaning than bonnet cleaning provides
- Hot water extraction — This method provides the deepest level of flushing out soils and is valuable to all commercial carpet cleaners.
In covering cleaning methods, I only mentioned the three basic types.
Each method is a tool available to the professional cleaner, and having a variety of methods available will be of great use.
As mentioned above, many repairs are simple and can be performed with little training.
But, some of them — acid burns where the carpet has actually dissolved, for example — are complex and require more tools and training.
It is recommended that training be pursued for those wanting to provide in-depth carpet maintenance, as a lack of knowledge can actually cause more damage.
If you did not previously, you should now have a good grasp of what’s involved in commercial carpet maintenance and be able to choose the best route for you and your company.
I wish you all the luck and know you will find this additional service a benefit to your company.
Rodrick Peddycoart is the owner of White Bear Lake, Minnesota-based Summit Interior Care and Restoration and an Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Master Textile Cleaner. Peddycoart is also a co-owner of River City Diamond Coating, which provides high-performance concrete floor finishes, and a consultant through his company Appearance Management Solutions Inc. He can be reached at AMShelps@Gmail.com.