If clients don’t maintain their new carpet properly, it could come back to bite you, the installer. In the worst case, you could be called on to repair or replace the carpet at your own cost. So think of a maintenance plan as your insurance plan against this scenario. You have let them know what they need to do to maintain their carpet, in writing, and if they don’t follow up then it’s not you who is liable.
As you know, proper, consistent carpet maintenance is vital to extending the life of carpet and to sustaining an optimum performance and appearance level and a healthy indoor environment. Be sure your client knows this also.
Preparing a Maintenance Plan
Before installation it’s advisable to prepare a maintenance plan to ensure that factors requiring particular attention are carefully taken into consideration. It’s especially important to identify any areas which will be impacted by heavy soiling and mark them on your plan:
These are areas where a carpet collects tracked-in soil from the outside or from hard-surfaced floors. Track off areas average 90 square feet (6 x 15 metres) at building entrances, 10 square feet (2 x 5 metres) at internal doorways, and 40 square feet (5 x 8 metres) in corridors that are six feet wide.
A concentrated channel of foot traffic, such as doorways, stairwells and around drinking fountains is called a congested channel. A congested channel averages three feet (0.9 metres) around doorways and 10 feet (three metres) around elevators.
These are the areas with the highest concentration of foot traffic.
A complete and effective program should include three maintenance categories: preventive, daily and periodic maintenance.
During planning, it’s important to establish preventive measures to prevent soiling of the carpet and automatically reduce the costs of additional cleaning. These can include:
Mats should be placed in entrances and elevators to collect dirt before it reaches any carpeted area. For optimum effect, make sure the mats are large enough to cover the distance of several footsteps.
Selecting the right colours for traffic areas can assist greatly in maintaining carpet appearance in these areas. Medium colours, tweeds and patterned carpets hide soil, while lighter colours mask fading. To maintain an acceptable visual appearance and cleaning standard, light and uni-coloured carpets need to be cleaned on a more frequent basis than dark, patterned carpets.
Vacuum cleaning is one of the most important and cost-effective elements of an efficient maintenance program. Daily vacuuming can remove more than 80 of all dry soil accumulated in the carpet during use. Vacuum cleaning should be scheduled according to the amount of potential soil build-up in the area in question.
The general recommendations for vacuuming frequency are:
- Heavy traffic areas: Daily
- Medium traffic areas: Twice a week
- Light traffic areas: Once or twice a week
The client’s maintenance team should use a heavy-duty wide track machine for wide, open areas, equipped with adjustable cylindrical brushes to whip embedded soil to the surface, as well as an industrial version of the domestic upright vacuum cleaner to tighter areas.
Periodic pile brushing with a pile lifter vacuum preconditions the carpet and removes dry, deeply embedded soil from high traffic areas. This can be especially helpful prior to carpet cleaning.
Vacuum cleaners should have a good and efficient HEPA micro-filter system in order to remove fine dust and maintain a good indoor climate. The HEPA filter system extracts 99.997 of pollen, dust, animal scales and other particles from carpet.
Periodically scheduled extraction cleaning removes accumulated soil which has not been removed by regular vacuum cleaning and spot removal. Cleaning of transition areas, track-off area and congested channels will be required according to localised use and conditions.
The Chem-Dry method
With the Chem-Dry method, a hot (60-75 degrees) Ph-neutral, heavy carbon dioxiding aqueous solution is brushed on the carpet and is subsequently absorbed and then dried with a cotton disc.
This method is extremely efficient, uses small quantities of water, there is no use of chemicals and no soaking of the backing. Dirt is mopped from the carpet pile and the drying time is typically short (one to two hours).
Alternative systems such as absorbent compound (Host Dry Extraction) may be used if there is no time allowed for the carpet to dry before it needs to be walked on again.
After the carpet has been cleaned the carpet should be checked for possible remaining stains and these marks should be treated. The carpet should not be walked on until it is completely dry. It also has to be dry before furniture is put back in place.
Damage from spills should be minimised by taking immediate action. As soon as a spill occurs, it should be blotted with a clean, white, absorbent towel and this process repeated until the spill is fully absorbed. A professional spot removal kit, such as Chem-Dry Spot Remover, should be kept on hand at all times.
Lightweight portable extractors are also available for efficient removal of spills. These portable extractors assist in thoroughly removing spills and you should encourage the client to keep one available.
The first time a cleaning agent or stain remover is used on a carpet it should be examined to determine whether it could be harmful to the carpet. Damages can occur as a result of colour bleed, discolouration, bleaching and dissolution. Recommend to the client that any cleaning agents or stain removers should be tested in an inconspicuous area.
For even more information regarding carpet maintenance we recommend our complete Carpet Service and Maintenance guide.
Finally, assure the client that a well-cared for carpet will keep looking good for many years and it could be quite a while before your services are required again!
We hope that you have found this guide enjoyable, helpful and informative and we wish you many a smooth and profitable carpet installation project in the future!
Are you interested in having a chat with ege carpets about your next carpet project? Reach out to us here.