A good carpet maintenance plan requires a system-wide approach, meaning it should consider space and usage issues like building layout, traffic flow, and daily and special activities as well as cleaning and maintenance techniques. Areas like entryways, main corridors, elevators and break rooms experience the heaviest foot traffic, while private offices and cubicles will normally be light traffic areas. Of course, traffic patterns will be extremely heavy in the very public spaces found in most retail locations.
Once you identify the different traffic areas, it’s a good idea to map them out in a color-coded chart to help organize the cleaning schedule. As a general rule, you can expect to focus 80% of your efforts maintaining the roughly 20% of your carpeted area that sees the heaviest use.
Step Two: Preventive Maintenance
Prevention is the foundation of every comprehensive carpet maintenance plan. Soil is the natural-born enemy of carpet, so it stands to reason that the best way to control dirt inside a facility is to keep it from entering in the first place. Dirt is everywhere – sand, grease, and even red clay get tracked into a building, while soot, smoke, and car exhaust deposit their own grime over surfaces everywhere. To stop dirt at the door, preventive maintenance begins outside, with sidewalks that are swept clean and parking lots that are kept relatively free from grease and oil buildup.
A system of walk off mats, either removable or built into a building’s entrance, are very effective at removing dry soil, water, and other debris before they hit the interior space. Adequate length is important – mat systems designed to be six to 15 feet long will normally trap a full 80 percent or more of all soil and moisture – think of the cost savings of this simple preventative step. A mat system should include rugged outside mats to scrape off mud and dirt first, then inside mats with their relatively smoother texture to absorb water and other liquids and trap small particles of dirt. Vacuum mats often to keep them from getting too saturated with dirt to work effectively.
The judicious use of mats throughout the interior of a building, at elevators, water coolers, and stair thresholds, for example, will help control dirt, as well as increase safety. Limiting food consumption to specified areas is a good idea, and checking the weather strippingat exits and exterior doors will stop grime and lower energy bills.
Finally, nothing cuts down on dust accumulating on surfaces and floors better than checkingthe filters in a facility’s heating and air conditioning system and changing the filters according to schedule.