Rolling back the years 16 Sep, 2015
Our soft spot for the creature comfort of carpets and upholstery has endured through the centuries, even into the age of minimalist interiors with sharp lines and shining hard surfaces.
The challenge is to maintain this appeal while prolonging the service life of these flooring and furnishing assets that welcome the visitor, soothe the eye with colour, and cushion our step, or seat – and our ears from background noise.
At Truvox we advocate a whole-life approach to carpet care, designed to maximise the return on investment through a cost-effective cleaning and maintenance regime.
The logical place to begin is with the material – be it natural or man-made; nylon, polyester or polypropylene – and the manufacturers’ recommendations. Where there’s any doubt, long experience from specifying the full range of cleaning equipment means we can advise the building manager or cleaning team.
When planning the cleaning frequency, methods, and equipment, it’s also crucial to consider the pattern and type of use – from the heavy traffic in corridors and open areas to the less pounded deep pile of the boardroom.
By measuring up the floor space and the cleaning time required it should be possible to gauge the payback from automating cleaning tasks and specify the most cost-effective equipment mix.
Depending on the situation, the cleaning regime is likely to involve daily vacuuming, interim maintenance cleaning every week or fortnight, and deep restorative cleaning, perhaps quarterly, though this can be carried out progressively.
With vacuuming it’s worth taking advice to identify the optimal combination. Upright vacuums are still the machine of choice in many applications. The Truvox Valet Single Motor Upright is easy to operate, highly manouevrable and its brush head automatically adjusts to the carpet pile height, saving operatives time and the effort. The Upright is also versatile, with an onboard crevice tool and dusting brush for upholstery and curtains.
Tub vacs are highly popular too, not least the Valet Tub Vac. An important feature is its full bag indicator light, which helps ensure performance is not compromised.
Cleaning managers, sticking with what they know to be a reliable workhorse, can make the mistake of running a team of tub or upright vacs for long periods to clean large areas, shortening their service life and increasing maintenance costs. With the Valet Wide Area Vac, one operator can do the work of three or four cleaners, saving labour costs.
The staff thus freed up can enhance the cleaning service, for example, through more frequent interim cleaning or progressive deep cleaning. Investment in a Valet Wide Area Vac recently obviated the need for an £8,000 weekend deep clean in a landmark office block in London, which had been put off for years.
Another option, sometimes overlooked, is the backpack vacuum. Lightweight and ergonomic, the recently enhanced Valet Backpack II increases productivity while reducing operator fatigue – not just in difficult-to-clean situations such as stairs and between theatre seats. The Valet Backpack II eases the task of surface dusting and cleaning of both high and low areas, avoiding the need for squatting and bending.
As well as the comfort of the user, we advise buyers to promote indoor air quality through high-efficiency filtration when specifying any vacuum. High-efficiency filtration will ensure vacuuming does not exacerbate the allergies of employees or customers.
Every cleaning regime needs to cater for interim and spot cleaning as well as regular deep cleaning. This will remove any residue from these activities, but its main aim is to extract the embedded soil and refresh the texture of the carpet, restoring that pristine look.
Here it pays to consider the wider cleaning regime, including hard floors. The versatility of a scrubber-dryer machine – like the Multiwash – that can wash, mop scrub and dry different floor types in one pass may be invaluable. Now cable-free, the flagship Multiwash 340/Pump Battery leaves even low-pile carpets ready to walk on in minutes.
Where a dedicated machine is required for cleaning upholstery and carpeted areas subject to daily traffic, spills and stains, the Hydromist range of spray extractors cater for all situations, from small to large venues. These machines inject cleaning solution and extract dirt with a powerful vacuum. It is a fast and effective way to remove embedded dirt and stains, leaving carpets and upholstery fresh and clean.
But when it comes to deep cleaning the ultimate option is to combine use of a polymeric carpet cleaning solution with the Truvox Cimex range of three-brush multi-purpose floor cleaning machines. The cleaning solution encapsulates the soil as it dries, and this is then extracted by vacuuming, revitalising the pile and appearance of the flooring.
Drawing on these techniques and technology, the annual maintenance plan should ensure that carpets and upholstery look their best for longer.