Maintenance Guidelines

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Maintenance Planning

Carpet Selection

CM carpets are quality engineered to provide a long and functional life and remain attractive long after it is installed. The carpet maintenance program should be part of the buying decision. If proper maintenance is neglected, the carpets appearance will suffer, minimizing the carpets performance and increasing long term cost.

A comprehensive carpet maintenance program consists of four elements:

  • Reduction of soil entering the building
  • Removing dry soil
  • Removing spots and spills
  • Cleaning with high performance hot water extraction

Please not that the information in these guidelines pertain to most carpets made with synthetic “man-made” fibers in commercial applications. Some methods may not be suitable for wool or wool blend carpets.

A successful maintenance program starts with the selection that meets specific performance requirements and attributes. Selecting the best carpet for the installation involves not only choosing a carpet that is aesthetically pleasing and appropriate for the specific end use but also one that is engineered to withstand the rigors of that particular installation. Attributes also include color and pattern; they are major factors in the perception of a successful maintenance program. Colors and patterns have the ability to hide soil and stains. The best soil hiding colors are usually medium to dark shades. These shades are best specified for areas with heavy traffic and soil.

Texture and construction are key factors in carpet performance. Many elements, including the fiber, fiber denier and twist, pile height and density, carpet style, as well as soil/stain-resistant treatments contribute to the performance and life expectancy of commercial carpet. Density of construction provides resistance to crushing and matting of the pile. If carpet is manufactured with a loose construction, soil is able to penetrate around the face fibers and become more difficult to remove. A tightly tufted carpet better enables tracked-in soil to stay on the surface of the carpet, where it can be vacuumed away more easily.

Traffic Conditions

Effective maintenance planning includes the evaluation of the traffic conditions to which the carpet will be subjected. Calculating the number of employees and visitors per day helps a facility manager ascertain whether the facility requires a product which will perform in moderate traffic, heavy traffic, or extra-heavy traffic. A carpet designed to withstand extra-heavy traffic is required in the corridors and entryways, while perhaps a moderate-traffic product would be suitable for the boardroom and administrative areas. An evaluation of traffic conditions helps in the carpet selection process and in maintenance planning.

Proper Vacuuming

A systematic vacuuming maintenance program is a schedule that specifies the type of equipment, the day, and the area of the building that is to receive vacuuming. Vacuuming frequency and duration should match the traffic and soil conditions. The chart below suggests a vacuuming routine relative to traffic patterns.

Traffic Level Vacuum Spot Cleaning Hot Water Extraction
Light 2-3 times a week As needed Annually
Medium Daily As needed Twice a year
Heavy 1 or more times a day As needed Quarterly
Extra Heavy 1 or more times a day As needed Minimum monthly

 

  • Light Traffic = Private offices and cubicles
  • Medium Traffic = Secondary hallways, conference rooms and shared office space
  • Heavy Traffic = Entrances, main hallways, break rooms, malls, theaters, copy rooms and mailrooms
  • Extra Heavy Traffic = Entrances to malls, theaters and airports

Site Specific Carpet Conditions

Although CM’s carpets are engineered for specific applications and are tested to withstand the heavy foot traffic it can receive in some uses, these are conditions where appearance change will take place. If oily material from asphalt is tracked onto carpet of other flooring, it may become yellow over time. It may be impossible to remove all of this material once it has penetrated the fiber of any carpet. Walk off mats are periodic cleaning can reduce the amount of oily material that penetrates the carpet fibers. A good quality sealer on the asphalt is the best way to keep this from occurring.

Areas where large amounts of sand are in the soil and enters the building may cause the carpet to become dull in appearance. This is due to abrasion of the fibers, reducing the reflection of the light. This can be minimized by frequent vacuuming.

Reduction of Soiling Entering the Building

Walk-off mats at the entrances of the buildings are one of the most important aspects of proper maintenance. Walk-off mats greatly reduce the amount of soil carried into the building by foot traffic.

Other areas to consider using mats are from the kitchen to carpeted areas, entrances from plant facilities to office areas. As with any product some mats will perform better than others, lower quality mats will trap less dirt and soil and have a shorter life span.

For mats to continue to perform properly, they need to be cleaned more frequently than the carpet. They can become a source for soil entering the building if not cleaned often.

Removal of Dry Soil

Vacuuming is the single most important factor in the maintenance of carpet. Research has shown that 85% of soil tracked into a building is dry, and the other 15% is oily. Vacuums are designed to remove the dry soil. Frequent vacuuming removes the soil particles before they are walked down into the carpet fibers where they are difficult to remove. Areas such as hallways and entrances should be vacuumed at least once a day. Areas with less traffic should be vacuumed every other day.

Vacuum Cleaner Recommendations

For carpet that is glued directly to the floor without a cushion, a vacuum with a rotating cylinder brush should be used to agitate the pile yarns and loosen the soil. A vacuum with a beater bar can damage the pile of the carpet that is glued directly to the floor, if the vacuum height adjustment is set too low.

Vacuums with either a rotating cylinder or a beater bar can be used on carpet installed over a cushion, with attached cushion backings and with the double stick installations.

Check rotating cylinders and beater brushes for wear. For maximum efficiency, change or empty the bag when it is 75% full.

A good vacuum is vital to prolonging the life of the carpet. A vacuum of lesser quality will only remove the surface soil but may not effectively remove the hidden particles embedded in the base of the pile yarns. This can lead to poor appearance of the face pile and poor product performance.

A pile lifter can be used to remove deeply embedded dry soil and sand, help stand up the face pile and renew the appearance of the carpet in high traffic areas. Using a pile lifter in traffic areas just prior to cleaning removes the deeply embedded soil and opens up the pile so the hot water extraction can be more effective.

Removing Spots and Spills

The maintenance procedures up to this point have been pro-active, removing spots and spills is the re-active part of a quality maintenance program. Spot removal kits should be readily available when an incident occurs.

Respond to a spill immediately!

Scoop up any solids gently with a spoon or dull knife. Absorb wet spills as quickly as possible by blotting with white paper or cloth towels. Always blot, never scrub or rub abrasively, this may create a fuzzy area. When blotting, always work from the other area into the center of the spot to avoid spreading the spill and enlarging the issue. Removing the stain material and the detergent residue is vital to prevent re-soiling. Water extraction is the best way to accomplish this.

Place several layers of white towels on the spot to draw out any remaining moisture. Weigh them down with an object that will not transfer color onto the carpet.

Water Soluble Stains

Water soluble stains can be removed by absorbing as much as possible with white towels, blot the area again with towels dampened with cold water until no more color transfers to the towel. If any of the stain remains, use a detergent solution of 1/2 teaspoon of clear liquid hand dishwashing detergent to a quart of water in a clean spray bottle. Do not use a detergent containing lanolin or hand lotions. You may use a general spot cleaner with a pH less than 10.

Grease

Blot as much as possible with white towels. Apply a solvent designed for grease removal to a towel and blot. Use the solvent sparingly and do not spray or pour directly on the carpet pile yarns, this may result in damage to the backing and/or the adhesive underneath. A gel solvent may be used. Use towels to transfer the solvent to the carpet. Repeat until no more color transfers to the towel. Do not use flammable solvents! Rince thoroughly by spraying with clean water, then blot or extract.

Below are some common spills and ways to clean them:

Adhesive Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Alcoholic Beverages Clean with general purpose cleaner.
Betadine Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Blood Clean with general purpose cleaner. If blood is dry, an ammonia solution may be used.
Butter Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Chewing Gum Freeze, then shatter and vacuum. Clean with a solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Chocolate Clean with ammonia solution. Follow general purpose cleaner.
Coffee Clean with a white vinegar solution or acidic spot cleaner. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Cola Clean with general purpose cleaner.
Cosmetics Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Crayon Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Food Clean with general purpose cleaner.
Furniture Polish Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Grease Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Ink Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Lipstick Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Milk Clean with general purpose cleaner.
Mustard Clean with general purpose cleaner.
Nail Polish Clean with polish remover. Then clean with general purpose cleaner.
Paint Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Rust Contact a professional.
Tea Clean with a white vinegar solution or acidic spot cleaner. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Toner Vacuum, and then clean with general purpose cleaner.
Unknown Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Urine or Vomit Clean with a white vinegar solution or acidic spot cleaner. Follow with general purpose cleaner.
Wax Freeze, then shatter and vacuum. Clean with a solvent designed for grease removal. Then clean with general purpose cleaner.
Wine Clean with solvent designed for grease removal. Follow with general purpose cleaner.

 

Cleaning

The frequency of cleaning must be adjusted to the rate at which soil accumulates. Therefore, heavily trafficked areas typically require more frequent cleaning, as do areas with less traffic by more soil.

When the color of the carpet begins to look dull, it is time to clean the carpet. If the carpet is cleaned before it becomes excessively soiled, the cleaning will be more successful and a much easier task. This is very important in areas where oily soil is present, such as entrances to the building from asphalt parking lots, kitchens and dining areas. Oil will oxidize slowly, leaving a sticky residue that becomes nearly impossible to remove as it ages.

Salt and ice melt products also present challenges for carpet maintenance, they will accumulate in the carpet over the winter. Salt pulls moisture our of the air and slows down the drying process of the carpet. We carpet cleans the bottom of the shoes walking on it and collects soil faster. This creates a dark discoloration of the carpet and may require a pretreatment with a traffic lane cleaner to break up the soil and hot water to dissolve the salt and soil. Salt is an abrasive substance which can cause discoloration and damage to the pile fibers.

When choosing a cleaning system, you will need to consider the following:

  • The carpet needs to be cleaned effectively.
  • Care must be given to avoid damage to the fibers.
  • Do not leave excessive residues of cleaning materials on the carpet.

High Performance Hot Water Extraction

CM Hospitality recommendations are based on extensive laboratory testing and years of experience in the field. CM recommends the high performance hot water extraction system to be used to properly clean their carpets.

Research indicates that the high performance hot water extraction provides the best capability for cleaning carpet.

The hot water extraction system, using high performance equipment should be the primary scheduled method to clean carpet. The process consists of applying a cleaning agent onto the pile yarns and using hot water to extract the solution and soil. This can be done using a truck mounted unit or a portable unit brought into the building.

If a pre-spray is needed to address spots prior to deep cleaning, use a product that specifically formulated to remove detergent residue and mineral deposits.

There are self-contained walk behind extraction units that are commonly used by in house maintenance staffs. These machines cannot match the performance of a “high performance” extractor unit. They do serve as a process to help enhance the carpets appearance between deep cleanings.

Low Moisture Cleaning

This method can be used for interim cleaning. An effective low moisture cleaning system consists of a cleaning substance that is applied to heavy soiled areas and brushed into the carpet. The cleaning substance dissolves and absorbs soil, the solution and soil is removed by vacuuming. It is vital that the proper vacuum is utilized to remove all of the cleaning solution.

CM HOSPITALITY DOES NOT RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING CLEANING SYSTEMS! THE USE OF THESE CLEANING METHODS WILL VOID APPLICABLE WARRANTIES!

Bonnet Cleaning

A detergent is applied to the carpet then a bonnet of terry cloth or another absorbent material is placed on a rotary floor polisher. The floor polisher then rotates the bonnet and scrubs the carpet in a circular motion. In can only extract soil and detergent from the top of the fibers, leaving most of the detergent in the fibers. This method may distort the fibers and leave swirl marks in the carpet.

Water Recycling

CM Hospitality does not recommend any cleaning systems that continually recycle the cleaning solution. This method may redistribute the soluble materials and detergents over the whole area being cleaned. This can cause rapid resoiling.

A professional carpet cleaner should be used to properly maintain your carpet. You can locate a professional carpet cleaner that uses a High Performance Hot Water extraction Unit by contacting the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration Certification at 800-835-4624 or www.iicrc.org.

Chair Pads

CM Hospitality recommends the use of chair pads under chairs with roller caster wheels to ensure that you receive maximum performance from your carpeting. Without the protection of chair pads, you run the risk of accelerated wear to the face of the carpet, and they will prevent soil from being ground into carpet pile as well as protecting it from friction abuse.

Please contact Technical Services with any questions.