carpet maintenance guide for broadloom and carpet tile
We appreciate your choice and we will continually strive to earn your business through service after the sale. One of the ways we do that is by providing you with the best possible information regarding the care and maintenance of your carpet. We want you to have an enjoyable experience with your carpet throughout its life on your floor. With this guide, we want to help you maximize your carpet investment by showing you how to implement an effective carpet maintenance program right from the start. A comprehensive maintenance program will extend your carpet’s performance, appearance and life. The longer your carpet lasts, the less it costs.
PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCEKEEP THE DIRT OUt
An often overlooked, but vitally important part of a maintenance program is preventive maintenance, which prevents soil from being deposited into the carpet. The best way to do this is with proper and adequate walk-off systems at all entrances and other sources of soil.
Proper walk-off material is able to scrape and hold large amounts of dry soil as well as absorb water or oil-based moisture.
Adequate walk-off material should capture five or six footsteps (roughly 10-15 feet). This amount has been shown to trap 80% of the soil and moisture that would have migrated into your facility.
Along with placing walk-off material at all entrances to your facility, you can use mats at other sources of soil, such as break rooms, water fountains and coolers, to prevent soil from being deposited into the carpet. For walk-off material to be effective, we recommend daily vacuuming, just as with your other surfaces. Actually, walk-off material requires more frequent cleaning because it is your first line of defense and accumulates soil much more quickly. If this accumulated soil is not removed, the walk-off material will become saturated with soil and lose its ability to prevent soil from entering your facility.
THOROUGH PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE INCLUDES
Keeping sidewalks and parking areas clean using chair pads to prevent casters from grinding soil into the carpet placing trashcans in easily accessible areas.
PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE FACTS
A 15 ft. walk-off tile area effectively removes about 80% of soil and moisture before it reaches the carpet. Removing a pound of dirt once it is inside a building is estimated to cost more than $500. It is estimated that up to 24 lbs. of dirt can be tracked in by 1,000 people entering a building over a 20-day work period.
VACUUMING: THE MOST IMPORTANT MAINTENANCE TASK
Frequent and thorough vacuuming is the single most important component of a carpet maintenance program. Studies of the soil composition in a facility show that roughly 80% is dry, insoluble soil, or what most of us refer to as dirt.
The most efficient way to remove this dry, insoluble soil is with frequent and thorough vacuuming. Soil accumulation is inevitable if vacuuming isn’t planned at routine intervals. The best way to plan your vacuuming is to identify high-, medium- and low-traffic areas. Continually monitor these areas for changes in carpet performance and make adjustments to the maintenance schedule as needed. It is important to note that carpet is a three-dimensional product. Unlike hard, two-dimensional flooring, carpet has depth and the ability to hide soiling. Carpet can trap and hold up to one pound of dirt per square foot before it appears dirty, which is a major advantage that carpet has over other flooring types. Even though it may not appear dirty, carpet requires routine maintenance, particularly vacuuming, to remove soiling and keep it looking beautiful for years.
Vacuum with slow, deliberate passes in length and width for maximum effectiveness. Heavy traffic areas require multiple passes back and forth to sufficiently extract embedded soil. A vacuum with a brush roller will provide agitation to help with soil removal. Slow movement allows time for air to circulate through the face yarn and extract soil.
To adequately remove dry soil with routine vacuuming, you will need to ensure that you use the proper equipment. Venture recommends: An upright, dual-motor vacuum with a brush roller and high-efficiency filtration for the bulk of your vacuuming needs. Dual-motor vacuums have one motor for the vacuum suction and one for the brush roller. A wide-area vacuum for large corridors and other wide-open areas. A backpack or canister vacuum for stairs.
Just as you maintain the floor, you need to perform routine maintenance on your vacuums. The crucial parts to pay special attention to are the bags, belts and brush rollers. Bags should not get more than two-thirds full before being replaced. The vacuum loses suction significantly and will not pick up much dirt when the bag is too full. Vacuum belts stretch out over time and become loose. They need to be changed regularly to keep the vacuum in good working condition. Check the brush roller periodically for a build-up of loose items, such as strings or hair, which could impair its function. Monitor the brush roller to make sure that it hasn’t worn down to the point that it is no longer making contact with the carpet face fibers. You can easily check by running a straight edge, such as a driver’s license or a credit card, across the vacuum suction opening to make sure it makes contact with the brush roller.
Dry soil often hides within the carpet pile, but spots and spills can stand out, depending upon the carpet’s color and pattern. Therefore, to keep your carpet looking as good as possible it’s essential that spot cleaning become an important part of your maintenance program. Since most carpet manufactured today has mill-applied stain blockers and soil-resist treatments, your chances for success with spot cleaning are greatly improved if you act quickly and use the proper products, tools and techniques.
SPOT CLEANING IS ESSENTIAL
Spot cleaning is often regarded as a cumbersome chore and very often the same large equipment used to perform deep cleanings of a large areas end up being used to clean spots that should be attended to sooner. Don’t delay cleaning spots until your regularly scheduled cleaning. The best time to treat a spot is when you see it, and a simple way to extract it is by blotting it with a plain, white absorbent towel. If your cleaning staff has towels at their disposal, they can quickly blot up as much of a fresh spill as possible. If the spot has dried, blot it with a towel that has been dampened with plain water or a general-purpose spotter. This is a great first step to get as much of the contaminant out of the carpet as possible, and it can remove many common waterborne spots. If a residue remains, a spot extractor can be used at a more appropriate time and the spot will disappear with much less effort.
Another simple but effective option for spot cleaning is through the use of an absorbent compound. This method, often called dry extraction, uses an absorbent material that is applied to the affected area. The compound absorbs and dislodges the soil and is then easily vacuumed away. This cleaning method has the advantage of no drying time since little water is used.
TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION
Spill and spot cleaning instructions
Blot or scrape up the substance (DO NOT SCRUB)
Use a water moistened towel to blot up remaining spill
Apply cleaning solution or absorbent compound to the affected area
SPILL AND SPOT CLEANING
Deep Cleaning is restoring the carpet’s appearance by extracting soil and substances that can damage your carpet. Venture Carpets recommends hot water extraction as the most effective method to give restorative deep cleaning results. Soil is abrasive and will cause premature wear of the fibers if it is not properly removed and hot water extraction is the only method that can remove the soil and residue from deep down in the fibers.
Hot Water extraction, performed with truck-mount, portable, or self-contained equipment, uses the high-pressure force of water injected into the carpet followed by powerful vacuum suction to remove suspended soil. The process happens almost instantaneously and does not allow cleaning agents to have adequate dwell time. Therefore, the only cleaning agent you should use in the machine’s tank is an acidic rinse agent to help return the pH to neutral, or a de-foamier to cut down on the accumulation of detergent foam in the machine. Instead, use your cleaning agent as a pre-spray, agitate, and then rinse with your extractor using plain water.
HOT WATER EXTRACTION CLEANING METHOD
Vacuum thoroughly to remove as much dry soil as possible
Pre-spray with cleaning agent
Agitate with a counter rotating brush or carpet rake to work the pre-spray throughout the carpet pile and suspend the soil
Rinse with plain water
NOTE: During extraction, it is essential to extract as much moisture as possible with dry passes (3 to 4 dry passes per each wet pass). Enhance the drying time by using air movers allowing three to four hours drying time after the last extraction before traffic is allowed on the carpet.
HOT WATER EXTRACTION PROCESS
In addition to preventive maintenance, proper vacuuming and spot cleaning, a planned program of both interim and deep cleaning is the best approach to maintain your carpet’s appearance by extracting soil and substances that can damage your carpet.
When deciding on the right carpet for your business, it was necessary to consider many factors unique to your own needs. The same is true when considering the most appropriate cleaning method for your carpet. Just as there is no “one-size-fits-all” carpet, there is no “one-size-fits-all” maintenance program. However, there are cleaning principles that apply across the spectrum, and apply to carpet the same way they apply to cleaning any other object.
BEYOND VACUUMING AND ROUTINE SPOT CLEANING
TIME is for dwell time, allowing the cleaning agent to do its work in breaking the bond between the soil and fiber and either dissolving it, absorbing or encapsulating it. Just as we don’t apply toothpaste to our teeth and immediately spit it out, we can’t expect good results if we apply cleaning agents to the carpet and then immediately remove them.
AGITATION is for mechanical agitation, which serves to work the cleaning agent throughout the carpet pile and to help break the bond between the soil and the carpet fibers.
CHEMISTRY is any carpet-appropriate cleaning agent that is used to remove soil. Different types of soiling require different types of cleaning agents. We use chemistry in cleaning every day of our lives and should not be afraid to use it appropriately when cleaning carpet.
TEMPERATURE means using the appropriate temperature for the type of soiling. This mainly applies to wet extraction and does not always mean heat. Heat is a catalyst that speeds up chemical reactions and aids in the cleaning process by helping to lower surface tension and loosen most soiling bonds.
These principles apply regardless of the cleaning method you employ. Optimal cleaning results will be achieved when using all of these principles together. Should you find that one of the principles is not available to you such as lack of hot water, you will need to increase the use of the other principles, i.e., more agitation or dwell time to achieve equitable results.
WARNING! Do not use these cleaning products on any Venture carpet:
• Chlorinated cleaning solutions
• Quarternary solutions
• Oil-based de-foamers
• Petroleum distillates
• Toxic or flammable solvent-based cleaners
Cleaning products should have a pH level below 10 for nylon carpet. Water temperature should never exceed 160 degrees.