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Expert provides tips on caring for office carpets

Millions of square metres of carpeting are sold in South Africa each year and the floor covering is a major investment businesses make to ensure their work environments are comfortable and appear professional.

It is also a popular choice for noise insulation.

Carpet care is a complicated part of commercial cleaning and facility management, especially in high-traffic areas.

Longevity and ease of care are, therefore, the “top considerations” when choosing a commercial carpet, says Industroclean managing director Emma Corder.

“Whatever you choose, make sure it’s rated for commercial use. Commercial carpeting is usually denser and tougher, so it would have a greater lifespan than that of carpeting solutions for homes.”

Creating a thorough maintenance plan is key to extending the life of carpeting, and plays a role in ensuring a healthy environment for employees.

Corder has the following tips for cleaning and maintaining commercial carpets:

Keep dirt out

Preventing dirt from spreading throughout the office should start at the entrance. This can be done by using matting or walk-off tiles. This, she says, is one of the most important maintenance tasks. It could be as simple as placing a welcome mat in the doorway. Bigger mats are, however, more efficient at getting rid of dirt from shoes before people enter a building.

“Traditional matting is said to be suited to offices with designated cleaning staff, who monitor and maintain it to prevent accidents, while walk-offs might be better for an office with no supervision in place.”

Soil wicking

Soil wicking occurs when water evaporates, but the dirt in it remains on a carpet. Using too many chemicals and too much water increases the chance of soil wicking occurring. It is important be armed with efficient spot removal and carpet cleaning techniques.

“Managers have to provide cleaning staff with the correct chemicals and equipment to tackle stains and spillage. Using the wrong product can be disastrous, while the proper machine can easily save the day.

“The use of a solvent-based product before a water-based product is recommended when it is unclear what has caused a stain.

“Remember, the wrong chemical will seal in the stain,” Corder says.

Different options for easier maintenance

Experts recommend carpet tiles for offices as they are easy to replace. Textured carpets, on the other hand, can be treated for further stain resistance during the manufacturing process and are considered perfect for high-traffic areas. The texture allows for easy stain removal, hides imperfections caused by wear and tear, and is less likely to trap odours because dirt isn’t easily absorbed.

Treat spots, stains and spills with urgency

“Take immediate action when there has been spillage on carpets to reduce permanent damage. Find the correct cleaning solution that will remove the spot effectively without discolouration,” Corder says.

Vacuuming every day makes a difference

Vacuuming on a daily basis, especially in areas where traffic volumes are high, will keep carpets looking fresh.

“Draw up a schedule for this if you don’t have a daily office cleaner. This will be more efficient than leaving it for a monthly or weekly clean. Identify the most suitable vacuum cleaner for your carpet type and business space, and make sure staff members know how to use it correctly.”

Deep cleaning is essential

Coder advises companies to schedule a deep clean at least twice a year.

“A vacuum cleaner only sucks dirt on the surface, so you’re only getting to a small fraction of the dust trapped. By deep cleaning your carpets, you can remove the allergens and stains a vacuum cleaner isn’t able to get to. This helps to restore the carpet to its original condition and extend its life. This should be left to professionals. if you don’t have in-house maintenance facilitators, book your deep-cleaning sessions with a carpet-cleaning company.”

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