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Thursday, September 03, 2015


I have two questions: (1) What is the best way to clean the carpet on a raised, carpet tiled floor, to ensure liquids do not get onto the cabling and equipment below the floor, and (2) Is the application of an anti-static chemical after carpet cleaning effective in preventing static discharge from disrupting/damaging computers located in carpeted facilities? Is there a more economical, yet effective method?


Answer #1:
(1) I would recommend this procedure: 1) pretreat spots using a general purpose spotter; followed by 2) an encapsulation cleaning. Encapsulation is the low-moisture process preferred by most carpet mills today. It involves prespraying a polymer-detergent solution followed by mechanical agitation using a dual-cylindrical brush machine.

(2) Most, if not all carpet tile, is made using nylon yarn. Nylon carpet yarn has built-in static resistance. Unless there is a problem that you are aware of, I don't think you need to do anything. If there is a problem, I would recommend you contact the technical services department of the carpet manufacturer for help. Unless the chemistry of anti-static treatments has changed recently without my knowledge, the anti-static
chemical will damage the anti-soil/anti-stain treatment built into the nylon yarn. That's why I suggest you talk to the mill technical people first and find out what they recommend you do.

John Downey, President.
Downey's Carpet Care of Granville
Founder, Cleanfax Magazine

(1) Unless a technician falls asleep at the end of the wand or a bucket or tank of solution is spilled/dumped on the floor, none of the current carpet cleaning systems would cause over wetting of the subfloor or cabling. However, to eliminate the risk completely, a low moisture process would be your best choice. This could be bonnet, encapsulation, powders, or other such processes that use limited amounts of moisture.
Excessive moisture above the floor in a computer or cleanroom is not acceptable either, so the issue is not only what might get below the floor.
(2) Most people prefer to avoid applying topical coatings or anti stats to carpet. An encapsulant cleaner may actually help eliminate the static as well. I'd also check with the person responsible for the room to see what the humidity and temperature are set at because sometimes a change of a degree or two will solve or lessen a static problem.
Lastly, check with the carpet manufacturer to see what they suggest for maintenance, and, before applying any treatment, check with the tech support line of the
chemical manufacturer. Plus, it's always a good idea to get everything in writing and then run it by your contact for the facility and room just to make sure that they are comfortable and willing to sign off on what you plan to do. That way, if something goes wrong down the road, you aren't left standing alone holding the proverbial bag.

Bill Griffin, President