Piling on the care 28 Oct, 2016
The challenge with carpet care is not just keeping up appearances, but also safeguarding this flooring asset. Fortunately, efficient and cost-effective carpet care has never been easier, says Stephen Pinhorne, UK National Sales Manager at Truvox International
Most of us have a soft spot for carpet. Whether it’s the colour, cushioned impact under foot, or hush on ambient noise around us, there’s something reassuring and relaxing about carpet.
Facility and cleaning managers, of course, daren’t take these qualities for granted. Carpets are an asset to be maintained and managed over their life.
The main risks are premature wear due to inadequate routine cleaning, failure to deal properly with spillages that cause stains, or the creeping dullness that steals over a carpet if we’re complacent or cut corners when it comes to deep cleaning.
Fortunately, the cleaning technology now available is so efficient and cost-effective that there is no real excuse for neglecting carpet care.
Vacuuming, usually daily in commercial environments, is the mainstay of the carpet care routine. Removing dust and grit not only leaves the carpet looking presentable, it also limits the wearing effect of feet and other traffic on the pile. But, like every other element of the cleaning regime, it should be performed efficiently.
Ageing equipment or the wrong type or mix of machines can compromise performance through breakdowns or low productivity. The size of carpeted areas, layout and accessibility have to be taken into account in any review, which should be carried out periodically.
For example, running a team of tub or upright vacs for long periods to clean large areas will shorten their service life and increase maintenance costs. With a cleaning path of 70cm, a Truvox Wide Area Vac allows one operator to do the work of three or four using smaller machines. When a client responsible for a large office building made the switch, staff could be redeployed to deep cleaning and other duties, making far better use of the cleaning budget.
In other situations, vacuum backpacks or cordless battery-powered models may realise efficiencies. It pays to consider the options and take expert advice.
Similarly, the right equipment can streamline interim maintenance cleaning. A specialist spray extractor can tackle stains in carpets and upholstery rapidly and more effectively. Our Hydromist range – which caters for all situations, from small to large venues – inject cleaning solution and extract dirt with a powerful vacuum. These machines are used both as an emergency response and to ‘touch up’ areas so they look fresh and clean between deep cleans.
Deep cleaning is an essential element of the cleaning schedule. Around 20% of the soil in carpets is sticky or oily and immune to even the most thorough vacuuming. Embedded deep in the pile, it degrades the carpet over time. Again, technology comes to the rescue, this time in the form of polymer chemistry and encapsulation cleaning systems.
Scrubbing carpet with the polymeric solution using a triple-head Cimex Cyclone machine – equipped with pad drives and pads or shampoo brushes – is the most reliable method for restoring cleanliness and brightness to even the most heavily soiled commercial carpets. It also helps keep the carpet looking cleaner for longer.
The solution releases sticky soil from carpet fibres and then ‘traps’ or ‘encapsulates’ the soil as it dries. Then vacuuming completes the process by removing the dried, encapsulated dirt from the carpet.
This low-moisture Cimex-Encap system allows carpets to dry quickly. It may take as little as 45 minutes for the surface to be touch-dry, or at most two hours. And walking on the damp carpet will cause no problems.
It is highly productive as well as cost-effective. About 200m2 of carpet can be deep-cleaned per tank-full of solution, depending on the level of soiling and type of carpet. An area of around 300m2 can be treated in an hour if the soiling is reasonably light.
In some situations deep, restorative cleaning will be quarterly, but the frequency depends on the level of traffic and soiling. The best advice is to schedule the work so that it’s not continually put off, to the detriment of the carpet.
And if deep cleaning has been neglected, even the most heavily soiled carpets can usually be rejuvenated. The transformation is truly impressive when the right process and equipment are used as a carpet’s brightness, colour, texture are restored, along with our fondness.