Carpet Maintenance Program

Posted on June 12, 2020 in Cleaning

Daily vacuuming is vital but is not enough on its own to preserve the life of carpets.

carpet maintenance

There is nothing quite like the fresh appearance and smell of a newly laid carpet, providing brightness, texture and a sense of comfort. Of course, this can’t survive the almost relentless onslaught of dirt and spills without some much-needed care, attention and carpet maintenance program.

But that pristine quality can be revived. An interim carpet maintenance program or and at least annual deep clean are essential to restore that lost bright freshness and safeguard the investment. The frequency of these cleaning methods depends upon the intensity of traffic and type, and the level of wear and tear.

Appropriate cleaning and treatment make economic sense too, as it will lengthen the serviceable life of the carpet, which means less money spent on replacement or refurbishment in the long run. Improving the performance and lifespan of flooring will also provide a healthier environment for staff, helping reduce work absenteeism.

Interim Cleaning

The most efficient way to incorporate interim cleaning of both carpets and upholstery is by using an all-in-one spray extraction machine. These inject solution and extract dirt with a powerful vacuum. The operator sprays a low-foaming shampoo diluted in water from a solution tank at pressure, using a handle-mounted control. This breaks down and loosens oily and greasy soils sticking to the pile or fabric, and a powerful built in rotary brush lifts dirt from deep within the carpet before it is suctioned away. A second pass of dry vacuuming completes the process and reduces the drying time. As this is a low-moisture process, a carpet can be walked on after cleaning. Two spray cleaning passes may be required to lift heavier soiling.

For localised stains, a specialised pre-spotting solution is recommended extremely dirty carpets will benefit from spraying in advance and allowing the detergent 5-15 minutes to emulsify the dirt before vacuuming. Afterwards it is advisable to spray with clean warm water (without detergent) to minimise dirt and chemical residues.

Deep cleanliness

If the carpet is heavily soiled it will require deep cleaning. Encapsulation provides the answers by combining polymeric chemistry and scrubbing technology.

These solutions work by releasing sticky soil from fibres, and then ‘trapping’ or ‘encapsulating’ the soil as it dries. Our cleaning system uses this process to restore deep cleanliness, brightness and texture to even the most heavily soiled carpets. This involves a simple four-step process. Firstly, thorough vacuuming removes all the dry dirt, clearing the way for the polymeric solution to attack that sticky/oily residue. Secondly, carpet fibres are coated with this diluted solution without saturating the carpet by using a triple-head machine. It scrubs the carpet with pad drives and pads or shampoo brushes. As the solution dries, it loosens the sticky soil and encapsulates it. In the final stage, vacuuming easily removes this material, leaving a revitalised carpet. Guiding the machine at a quick walking pace, the specialist cleaning technician needs to apply only enough solution to dampen the surface, by ‘feathering’ a release lever or adjusting a control valve.

The dampness is sufficient for the polymeric chemistry to begin working, and the effect can be almost instant. Carpets look cleaner as the solution releases the sticky dirt bonded to the fibres. This low-moisture system allows carpets to dry quickly. It may take as little as 45 minutes to be touch-dry, or at most two hours. Walking on the damp carpet causes no problems. Where practicable, letting the carpet dry overnight before vacuuming ensures the soil is fully encapsulated. Where there are more embedded oily soils, a ‘dry’ pass – agitating the pile without dispensing solution – will ensure the solution is dispersed even more thoroughly. Multiple dry passes should only be necessary for the most heavily soiled carpets, reducing output to around 100m2 per hour. If some areas are severely soiled, they can be pre-sprayed with the polymeric solution to break down the bond with the carpet fibres. The sprayed area is left for a short time before the wet/dry pass procedure is followed.

Using the right equipment

Today’s carpet cleaning machinery can help the cleaning team achieve great results. However, if one piece of equipment is expected to become ‘the total solution’ instead of being one part of a multi-step cleaning programme, this is bad practice.

For example, there may be a particular cleaning method, perhaps for the absorbent pad system on a carpet where the manufacturer only recommends hot water extraction. Specific methods might be required for different types of carpet, for example if tiles are used rather than woven or tufted carpet.

Both methods – spray extraction and encapsulation – should be preceded by thorough vacuuming to remove the particulate grit and soil. It is worthwhile for facility managers and their cleaning teams to talk with manufacturers and suppliers. Sometimes they will benefit not so much from embracing the latest technology, but from matching the specifications of services and machinery such as their cleaning fleet more closely to their needs and priorities.

For more information on our carpet cleaning services please call one of our friendly team on 0845 604 1288 or visit Protech Carpet Maintenance Program.