The winter season creates a whole new challenge when it comes to carpet care.
The dirt build-up from the summer and fall seasons, can wear out the carpet as it it becomes ingrained into the fibers from heavy traffic. However, the build-up is mostly dry during this time of year, meaning it can usually be vacuumed or removed without causing too much damage.
Once this build-up of dirt and debris is mixed with moisture and ice melter, the clean-up job becomes increasingly more difficult. The main components of ice melter , sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and magnesium are primarily designed to form a liquid when mixed with ice. When this solution of ice melter and moisture builds up on the carpet however, it leaves a crusty residue that destroys the carpet fibers and in turn reduces the carpet lifespan. It also creates the perfect environment for mold, mildew and germs to be trapped, potentially impacting facility health.
Another issue is that the dirt build-up can reach up to a pound before being noticed. With a reactive cleaning approach,the carpet may not be cleaned until this dirt becomes noticeable. At this point, the damage from the build-up and moisture may have permanently destroyed the carpet fibers and reduced the lifetime of carpet.
Fortunately, there are preventative steps managers and cleaning professionals can take to prevent this from happening. The following are some necessary steps to initiate a proactive winter carpet care program:
- Note down carpeted areas most likely to be soiled during the winter months to avoid soil and moisture from spreading throughout the facility.
- Consider that the challenges of winter carpet care differ on a case-by-case basis. As an example, carpets on lower floors of offices are generally the most soiled due to higher traffic, but traffic patterns are different for each building. You may need to plan a different approach for each building you are managing.
- Making use of entry mats and indoor floor mats to help preserve carpet. A matting system that is effective year-round, will include 3 different types of entry mats:
- Scraper mats installed outside building entrances. These mats will remove larger pieces of debris from the bottom of shoes.
- Wiper/scraper mats installed directly inside the building. These mats will continue the scraping process, as well as removing moisture from the bottom of shoes.
- Install wipers after the wiper/scrapers positioned in the major facility walkways, as a final line of defense.
By ensuring that you have between 5-10 feet of mat at building entries, up to 85 per cent of moisture and dirt can be trapped before it has the chance to spread throughout the building.
- Prepare a thorough carpet cleaning program, that will keep up the health of the facility, preserve the carpet, and lower the cost of winter carpet cleaning. Take for example, a large facility with carpeted floors. For a period of 2 months, a shampoo or bonnet system is used to clean all carpets, which quickly removes top level soil. In the third month, an extractor is used, which takes more time, but it will remove soil from deep inside the carpet fibers. Following this three-step procedure, will greatly improve carpet longevity.
- Ensure you use a professional cleaner. Building maintenance can bring about many complexities, and there is often a lot of experimental purchasing to get the best results.
Working with janitorial distributors that have experience can bring about faster solutions to building needs as well as saving money.
Janitorial distributors are trained in cleaning, as that is their livelihood. Furthermore, if they are part of a distributorship network, they will have access to training programs as well as the latest skills and technologies to assist their customers in keep their buildings in excellent condition year-round.
Shop Kwikcare’s range of floor care products: Extractors, Vacuums , Floor Mats , Salt Stain Remover or arrange a site visit with one of our reps to formulate a winter carpet care program: 1-800-267-4757