Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Question

We are implementing a carpet maintenance program for our county buildings. What type of carpet extractor would you advise (drying time is crucial) and how often should carpet be cleaned per year? All work would be done during the non occupied time, either evenings or weekend.


Answer

There are many excellent extractors that will meet your needs, so do some on-line research and speak with your Jan-San supplier about their recommendations, remembering that salespeople often present only those things to which they have easy access and not necessarily what may be your best option.
Your first line of defense for carpet preservation is daily vacuuming, so make certain that thus part of the maintenance program is in place. Next, you will want to set up a spotting program that gets rid of spills and slobber very soon after this disfigurement appears. Rapid response here will maintain appearance and prevent soil attraction to sticky stuff.
There are other cleaning options that apply less water than a shampoo & rinse extraction and these will mean shorter drying times. Consider encapsulation or bonnet cleaning as useful for even traffic lane maintenance between heavy cleaning attempts.
Carpet needs to be cleaned often enough that traffic lanes do not show and overall appearance is maintained. That frequency will differ from even one part of the building to the next, so you will have to gauge the needed frequency by careful tracking. Any public access areas will resoil quickly compared to the higher floors and lesser used rooms. Take notes and set up a maintenance frequency that fits your usage. Never waste resources by scheduling “Clean all carpeting every three months.” You well know that some carpet can go a year without wet cleaning and some areas need attention every other week. Work accordingly.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com