U.S. Products Offers Tips to Keep Carpet Installation Healthy
Mukilteo, WA - Believe it or not, the first official recorded incident of “sick building syndrome” occurred at the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1988.*
This ironic turn of events happened shortly after new carpeting was installed in the facility. Health experts believed that the newly installed carpeting was probably releasing high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), causing illness among the agency’s staff.
Although there have been many advances, carpet installation can still pose a risk to human health more than 20 years after that incident. And as spring approaches, many facility managers face two choices when it comes to their older carpets: whether to clean them or replace them.
If the carpeting in question is more than seven years old, it may very well be time to replace it. U.S. Products, a leading manufacturer of professional carpet cleaning equipment, offers the following suggestions to help facility managers reduce or eliminate any health-related problems associated with installing new carpeting:
· Select carpeting certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label and Green Label Plus programs; these carpets have very low VOC emissions.
· Make sure the installation technician carefully follows the Carpet and Rug Institute’s carpet installation standards and guidelines.
· If possible, unroll and air out the carpet a week prior to installation; this step is especially important if the carpet is to be installed in a school or health care facility.
· Try to schedule the installation on the weekend if possible to allow the carpet to release any gasses it may be holding when no one is in the building; typically, carpets release the most VOCs into the air during the first 48 hours after installation.
· Open doors and windows during installation to increase ventilation.
· Vacuum the carpet shortly after installation; continue to vacuum frequently thereafter using HEPA or high-air-filtration vacuum cleaners.
“Be sure to establish regularly scheduled cleanings using hot-water extractors as well,” adds Mark Baxter, an engineer with U.S. Products. “Carpets stay both cleaner and healthier when they are cleaned two or more times per year.”
*The term "sick building syndrome" describes situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort issues that appear to be linked to time spent in a particular building; generally, the specific illness or cause of the symptoms cannot be identified. (EPA)
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About U.S. Products
U.S. Products is a leading manufacturer of carpet, upholstery, drapery, stone, concrete, & tile cleaning and restoration equipment, tools and chemicals for the floor care professional. In manufacturing, quality, reliability and innovation are words that are frequently advertised. At U.S. Products, we have the track record to demonstrate we have put them into action.