Carpets can have a huge impact on how your facility is perceived. If your facility’s carpets are worn, stained, or dirty, people will notice and get a negative impression of your business.

Commercial carpeting, especially in high traffic areas, become noticeably worn and damaged if not properly maintained. Once it’s damaged, you cannot hide it. Unlike in homes, you cannot just slide a sofa or table over the damaged areas.

Carpets are easily damaged by soils and require preventative, routine, and thorough cleaning to protect them from the effects of liquids and abrasive soils.

The best way to preserve the appearance, extend the life of-, and protect your commercial carpet investment is to have a comprehensive commercial carpet maintenance program that is inclusive of preventative care as well as regular cleaning- and maintenance procedures.

The four essential components of a comprehensive carpet care program are discussed below

Soil Prevention

The best way to protect your floors is to prevent soil from entering the building in the first place.

Soils like salt and sand are abrasive and can cut the carpet fibres, causing the carpet to lose lustre and cause permanent damage.

Entrance mats are cheaper and easier to replace than carpet. Entrance mats are used to trap dirt and prevent it from being carried beyond the entrance of your building. A visitor should be able to take about 8 to 10 steps on the entrance mat before reaching your carpeted floor. This usually requires around 4.5m of mats outside and another 4.5m inside your building.

Proper entrance mats remove and retain 95% of the dirt from visitors’ shoes. However, entrance mats can only hold a certain amount of dirt. To prevent dirt build-up, mats should be vacuumed daily. In extremely high traffic areas entrance mats should be vacuumed more than once a day.

Routine Vacuuming

Vacuuming is the most important component of carpet maintenance.

Routine vacuuming removes the dirt that has made it across the entrance mat. By preventing dirt build-up, the impact on the carpet’s appearance is minimized.

There are different types of vacuum cleaners that can help you remove dirt from your floor. Which vacuum cleaner is best depends on the area, soil, and the amount of traffic you are dealing with.

Commercial vacuum cleaners, such as the IPC GS 2/78 wet and dry vacuum cleaner, are ideal for professional cleaners and contract cleaning companies working in environments with wide surfaces.

Routine stain and spill removal.

Carpets are affected by spills and stains. It is important for the life and appearance of your carpet to identify and remove spills and stains as soon as possible.

Spills and stains that are not removed in a timely manner will result in permanent stains in the carpet that will require deep cleaning.

The first step in removing a stain is to identify the type of stain. If you are not told what type of stain it is, you can determine the type based on the location, appearance, and smell. Determining the type of stain is crucial in choosing the best industrial carpet cleaner. The second and most important step in removing a carpet stain is to balance the pH of the stain with the selected commercial carpet cleaner.

After identifying the source of the stain, you will likely know if it is acidic soils, like soda, or alkaline soils, like rust. Acidic soils require alkaline commercial carpet cleaners. Alkaline soils require acidic carpet cleaners.

Once you have identified the stain and selected the right commercial carpet cleaner, it’s time to remove the dirt.

Carpet extraction (deep cleaning)

Carpet extraction removes the most embedded soils but is also the most time and labour intensive. Carpet extraction is performed to restore the appearance of your carpet and remove deeply embedded stains, which was not possible with carpet spot cleaning.

In high traffic areas, this procedure should be performed at least four times a year. In moderately busy areas, you should do this once or twice a year.

Prior to carpet extraction, you should always vacuum first. If you do not remove dry soils with a vacuum before using a carpet extractor, the carpet extractor will create a muddy solution. This muddy solution is then difficult to remove. As the carpet begins to dry, the soils that were not removed will experience a “wicking” from the carpet backing.

Wicking is the result of an improperly cleaned stain. As the carpet begins to dry, the wet soil that was not completely removed from the carpet backing during extraction can be pulled up to the top of the carpet fibres. This “wicking” action causes recurring stains.

It is critical to the appearance of the carpet to remove as much soap and water residue as possible. Any soap left behind will attract dirt, causing your carpet to get dirtier faster. By preventing the attraction and accumulation of dirt, you can extend the time between deep cleanings.

After any cleaning that requires you to wet the carpet (with water or chemicals), make sure the carpet is completely dry before placing furniture or walking on the surface.

Choosing a powerful carpet extractor can increase cleaning efficiency and produce better cleaning results. Tennant carpet extractors range from the 1610 which is well suited for large areas. The Tennant E5 can be used in smaller areas that require deep cleaning, or the R3, which is ideal for interim cleaning.

Final Thoughts

Every component of a complete commercial carpet care program is essential to keep your carpet looking great, extending its life, and protecting your facility’s investment.

Using proper cleaning techniques and best practices will ensure that your program produces the best results. A clean and well-maintained carpet makes for happy guests and tenants.