|Carpet Cleaning Tips|
Carpet Maintenance Guidelines
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:
Removal of dry soil
Vacuuming is the most significant element in the maintenance of carpet and the overall appearance of the facility. Research has shown that 85% of the soil tracked into a building is dry, and the other 15% is oily. Vacuums are designed to control this dry soil. Frequent vacuuming removes particulate soil from the surface before it works down into the pile where it is more difficult to remove. Walking on the carpet accelerates the rate at which the particles get deep into the pile. Heavily trafficked areas, such as entrances and major corridors, should be vacuumed at least once a day. Areas with less traffic, such as offices, should be vacuumed every other day depending upon conditions.
Even with thorough vacuuming, cleaning is necessary to remove the 15% of soil which is the oily type material. In order to maintain a good appearance, the carpet must be cleaned on a periodic basis to prevent its becoming so dirty that it can no longer be cleaned satisfactorily. The frequency of cleaning must be adjusted to the rate at which soil accumulates; therefore, heavily trafficked areas typically require more frequent cleaning , as do areas with less traffic but more soil.
The Cleaning System
When choosing a proper cleaning system, it is necessary to consider how effectively it cleans and how well it enhances the appearance retention of the carpet texture without leaving a heavy residue. The recommendations of Shaw Contract Group are more than just a list of available cleaning methods; they are based on much effort in the laboratory and information from the field. Shaw recommends the hot water extraction system, which research indicates provides the best capability for cleaning. This system is commonly referred to as ‘steam cleaning’ although no steam is actually generated. The process consists of spraying a solution of water and cleaning agent into the pile and recovering the used solution and soil with a powerful vacuum into a holding tank. This can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the facility with only the hose and wand brought into the facility.