Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Monday's Ask the Experts: Procedure specification

September 26, 2011

Monday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: We have a newly constructed facility--opened 1 Aug 10. The custodial agreement reads "The dry foam cleaning method shall be used when it will thoroughly remove all streaks, stains, and spots. When the dry foam method is not sufficient or appropriate, the water extraction method shall be used. Also, the contractor shall use the water extraction method after a carpet or rug has been dry foam cleaned three consecutive times". I went to the site yesterday to observe the carpet cleaning and saw that they were using the extractor type machine with water being sprayed on the carpets. Just would like to make sure that this is ok..... My understanding of the contract was that they would use an extractor ONLY if the foam method did not take out the stains. This is a new building and the carpet looks brand new...

The answer:

This is a case of specifying product or procedure rather than end result. Not usually a wise way to go. The loophole is in the phrase, "When…not sufficient or appropriate…" In whose judgment, the contractor’s, an experienced dry foamer''s, or yours? Basically, this spec says, "Use one carpet cleaning method, but if that doesn''t work, try another." Duh! However, there may be a reason dry foam is specified. Using a low moisture method, such as dry foam... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor

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