Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Ditch the Dust Mop: Clean Fast and Breathe Easy with a Backpack Vacuum

July 10, 2012

ProTeam

If clean is a condition free of unwanted matter, then custodial work shouldn’t be about what you bring into the environment - like cleaning agents, tools, and equipment. What matters is how effectively those agents, tools, and equipment remove unwanted matter from the environment.

Dust mops are dirt pushers, not dirt removers. They relocate dirt and dust particles within the environment, often causing them to become airborne in the process. Microscopic particles can stay airborne for up to 12 hours.

By the time the dust settles onto the closest surface, usually the flooring, the cleaning crews are long gone. Foot traffic the next day causes the dust and dirt to be kicked up into the air, and then, eight to 12 more hours airborne. It’s a vicious cycle.

A ProTeam® high-efficiency backpack vacuum can replace dust mops and become an important tool to fight indoor pollution and begin cleaning for health instead of appearance. Gene Lawson, Assistant Director of Buildings and Grounds at Monroe-Woodbury Central School District, participated in the district’s transition from dust mopping to using the Super CoachVac® and Super QuarterVac®.

It once took Lawson’s staff seven to eight minutes to dust mop an 892-square foot classroom. It takes them only four minutes with a backpack vacuum. In addition to shorter cleaning times, Lawson reports a noticeable improvement in Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). ProTeam is partnered with the American Lung Association in efforts to educate businesses about creating healthier indoor environments.

"Dust mops left behind a lot of dust on the floors and in the air. We wanted to get away from that so we went to the backpack vacuum," said Lawson. "It is a night and day difference. The air quality is unbelievable."

The only way to trap dust in a vacuum is with an advanced, multi-stage filtration system, one that includes a micro filter to capture microscopic pollutants and allergens that trigger asthma and allergies. ProTeam’s Four Level® Filtration system can capture and contain 99.9 percent of particles measuring 1 micron and larger. Both the Super CoachVac and Super QuarterVac are available with the addition of HEPA filtration, which captures 99.97 percent of particles down to .3 microns in size. (For reference, a human hair is about 70 microns wide.)

A multi-surface suction-only backpack vacuum not only moves faster through a space but also eliminates unnecessary stops and starts. Guy Robarge, District Manager at FBG Service Corporation, oversees a district that spans several states. His workers use over 50 ProTeam backpack vacuums of various models to clean all types of commercial facilities: financial, educational, manufacturing, healthcare, and retail. "I can transition from carpeting to hard flooring without making an extra trip to the janitor''s closet. I can vacuum an entire restroom floor in mere minutes instead of sweeping the dirt from one end of the floor to another," said Robarge. "Most of our facilities don''t even have a broom and dust pan." Robarge chooses a vacuum based on the employee who will wear it. For power and capacity, he likes the 10-quart Super CoachVac. But if he is buying a vacuum for a custodian of smaller stature, the 6-quart Super QuarterVac is more compact and weighs only 10 pounds.

His employees used to knock dust off vents with a broom, then wait for the dust to settle before it could be swept up. Now using the lightweight aluminum wand with a brush attachment, his employees can quickly vacuum the vents and capture the dust. The task is done once instead of twice. The dirt is captured. "Everyone is looking to save money. The backpack vacuum is one of the tools we have to accomplish that goal," said Robarge. "Cleaning a large area in a small time frame translates to cost savings for the customer. That''s the greatest value."


ProTeam® celebrates 25 years with the Scholarship Essay Contest. From May 1 to June 30, a cleaning professional or dependent can enter to win one of three $1,000 scholarships. Compose an original 300- to 500-word essay on the topic "Why I Want to be the Recipient of a ProTeam Scholarship" and submit it along with a name and email address to the ProTeam Facebook contest page www.facebook.com/ProTeamVacuums or to pt.contest@emerson.com. Full contest details and rules are www.pro-team.com/contest.