Years ago, carpet was the preferred flooring for most facilities. You could find it in hospitals, schools, offices, etc. It was a clear sign that business was good and that you cared about your customers enough to provide them with a premium source of real estate to walk on. Every corridor, and even the cafeterias, were covered, alluding to success.
Little did we know that same carpet would fade when exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time and be difficult to clean and maintain. It was as if those who designed the facilities did not enlist the opinions of those responsible for the maintenance.
Now if you still have carpet, hang in there. It’s possible to clean and maintain it, if your facility wants the carpet to remain. Regardless of how short or long the length, there are three main ways to keep carpet in tiptop shape.
1. Vacuum Regularly
Carpet acts as a filter, collecting soil, fluids, contaminants, dust and grime, germs, and anything else that settles on the floor from the air. Vacuuming allows us to clean the filter and helps decrease possible exposure to those airborne contaminants inside the facility. Vacuuming also lends to the aesthetics of the carpet, making it look nice and keeping the fibers strong. Overall, vacuuming can prolong the life of any carpet by not only removing any loose dirt and soil on the surface, but also removing soil that may have fallen deeper in the carpet.
2. Deep Clean
Extraction goes beyond vacuuming by cleaning all the fibers and extending the life of the carpet. Once the carpet has been vacuumed thoroughly, remove heavy soil and other stains with hot water extraction. Use a high-pressure extractor that forces hot water down into the carpet to break up and soil and rinse stains. Once this is complete, use a high-powered vacuum to pull the water, soil, and stains back up through the carpet and away in a tank. Adding chemical solutions designed to clean the carpet, removing allergens and pollutants, will also improve the overall air quality in the facility.
3. Clean for Cosmetic Purposes
Bonnet cleaning uses a single disk machine—commonly referred to as a side-by-side—and a bonnet pad. When using this method, prespray the carpet with the proper solution or soak the bonnet pad in the solution prior to use. Next, place the bonnet under the side-by-side, and just as if you were scrubbing a floor, slowly go from left to right, overlapping on each pass so you touch each area at least three times. Because this method is mostly cosmetic, it is sometimes used after the carpet has already been extracted and is still wet. The bonnet method helps dry the carpet by pulling the remaining water and soil off the surface.
Another option is encapsulation. Today, many commercial facilities use this method, which involves using a detergent to crystallize soil within the carpet fibers. After agitating the solution into the carpet with the encapsulation machine, wait for the carpet to dry, then vacuum up the crystals that have formed from the solution. More information about this process is available at: https://www.cmmonline.com/articles/a-step-by-step-guide-to-encapsulation
No matter which method you use, or equipment you purchase, you are in a much better position to extend the life of your carpets than you were years ago. I know I can breathe easier knowing carpet is still on the job.