Carpet offers many advantages over other flooring systems, such as reduced fatigue, sound absorption, and lower life cycle costs. From the start, the carpet maintenance program should be considered part of the carpet buying decision. If proper maintenance is neglected, the carpet’s appearance will suffer, shortening the carpet’s useful life and raising long-term costs. A comprehensive carpet care program* consists of four elements: |
Reduction of soil entering the building Removal of dry soil Removal of spots and spills Cleaning by hot water extraction
The importance of planning Carpet maintenance must be established as a scheduled program, rather than being a random series of reactions to soiling conditions and infrequent cleaning. Virtually every complaint of poor appearance, rapid soiling, and many times poor performance has been shown to be related to a lack of planning and control for the maintenance program.
The most important consideration when planning a maintenance program is the budget. Like other expensive furnishings or equipment, carpet represents a substantial investment for any facility and deserves adequate care to prolong its effective life. If the carpet maintenance budget is set unrealistically low, the carpet will need to be replaced prematurely. Other items to consider are the amount of traffic and type of soiling, which will vary by area. Due to the higher traffic level, entrance lobbies, elevators, and hallways will need more care than offices. Food service areas and outside entrances will require more effort due to the more difficult soiling conditions.
Please note that the information in this booklet pertains to most carpets made of synthetic or man-made fibers for commercial installations. However, it may not be suitable for wool and wool-blend carpets or custom-printed carpets. For these carpets, please refer to the appropriate brochure.
Reduction of soiling The use of walk-off mats at transition areas from hard surface to carpet is important. Walk-off mats can greatly reduce the amount of soil entering a facility by normal traffic. They are also necessary at service entrances with direct contact to the outside, from the hard surface area in a kitchen to the carpet dining area in a restaurant, or at entrances from plant facilities into the offices.
The choice of mats is important because, although cheaper mats may initially do the job, they will not stand up to the demands of a commercial location and are a poor investment. Walk-off mats fall into two categories, those designed to remove and trap gritty soil and those intended to absorb water during wet weather.
Good soil removal mats have a coarse texture and are able to brush soil from shoes and hold large amounts in the pile. "Waterhog" brand mats produced by Anderson are an excellent example of this type of mat. They have the added ability to accept logos and insignias as inlays in the mats.
The water absorbent mat must be used inside, either full time or at least during wet weather, to prevent the moisture from getting to the carpet. A wet carpet acts like a giant shoe cleaner, so it soils more rapidly. When both types of mats are used in combination, they should always be placed so that incoming traffic passes over the soil removal mat first, because the absorbent types have very little soil holding ability.
For mats to continue to trap soil, they should be cleaned on a regular basis more frequently than the carpet. If the accumulation of soil is not removed, the mat will become overloaded and be unable to prevent soil from entering the building. When a building is new or still under construction, soil may be tracked in from unfinished grounds so that mats need to be cleaned more often.
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