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Tips and Tricks: Carpet Care

At APEX Surface Care, we help our clients extend the life of their carpets through regular deep cleanings. But while our experienced carpet technicians do an excellent job, we will be the first to admit that quarterly, semi-annual or annual deep cleanings aren’t enough to protect your investment.

To truly keep your carpet looking new as long as possible (and protect your warranty), you need to care for your carpets every single day.

Here are four tips to help you keep your carpet looking and performing at its best.

1. Vacuum your carpet regularly.

Proper vacuuming can increase the longevity of your carpet by 7–10 years. But that doesn’t mean you have to vacuum the carpet in your facility every day. Your janitorial provider should be vacuuming your carpet regularly according to its use as follows:

  • High-traffic areas (lobbies, hallways): daily
  • Medium-traffic areas (boardrooms, conference rooms): twice a week
  • Low-traffic areas (individual offices): weekly

It’s important to establish a vacuuming schedule and stick to it even if your carpets look spotless to the naked eye. Dirt, dust and other debris can work their way into the fibers of a carpet where they can’t be seen, and as people walk on the carpet, their shoes only push the dirt in even deeper. 

Carpets are also a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. One study found that a carpet can contain up to 200,000 bacteria per square inch. That means your carpet may be 4,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat! Ready to set that vacuuming schedule now?

2. Use the proper equipment.

Today’s facility managers are frequently being asked to do more with less, but vacuums are one area you do not want to cheap out on. A vacuum needs to be powerful enough to remove dirt and contaminants completely, not just move them around.

When selecting a vacuum, look for one that:

  • Is upright. Upright vacuums sit directly over the surface, making them more effective at sucking out dirt and debris.
  • Comes equipped with a beater bar brush. The brush will agitate the carpet fibers, allowing dirt to be lifted away. 
  • Has a dual motor. One motor is dedicated to creating the suction while the other motor is dedicated to turning the brush, resulting in a more thorough vacuum in a single pass. 
  • Uses a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration system. HEPA filters trap dust, allergens and pathogens—including viruses—instead of releasing them back into the air. 

With the right vacuum, you can remove 80–90% of soil from your carpet as well as airborne contaminants, creating a cleaner, healthier work environment.

3. Invest in entry mats.

Entryways don’t just experience high traffic; they often experience non-stop traffic. Your tenants, employees and visitors are bringing a lot of dirt inside with them every time they walk through your door. In fact, research shows that 1,000 people can track in up to 24 pounds of dirt through an entrance over the course of 20 days.

A proper entry mat system can stop dirt at the door. Entry mats can prevent 90% of dirt from making its way into your building. Without a mat, that dirt will be tracked through your building and wind up in your carpet.

When considering your entry mat options, keep in mind that most people won’t wipe their feet when they come inside. You need a mat that’s long enough to remove dirt and soil from shoes before they come in contact with your carpet and other flooring. According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, mats that extend for 9 to 15 feet inside the entrance will trap 80 percent of soil and moisture within the first five or six steps. Your entry mat system should stretch at least 20 feet to meet LEED standards.

4. Remove spots immediately.

Accidents happen. If someone spills coffee or drops their lunch on your carpet, the first step is not to panic. The second step is to remove the resulting spot immediately.

Your janitorial staff should have an established spotting program so they can quickly respond to spills and other messes. That includes having the right product on hand and knowing how to use it. Without the proper chemistry and techniques, spots can turn into stains in no time.

Unfortunately, not all spills are reported right away. It’s a good idea for facility managers to conduct weekly inspections of the carpet to ensure quality is maintained. If you find any issues, just give us a call! We’re happy to come out between your regularly scheduled deep cleanings to remove stubborn stains or train your janitors (in English or Spanish) on proper spot and stain removal. Contact APEX Surface Care to schedule a cleaning or free assessment today.