January 10, 2020
Snow, ice, salt – repeat. This is all too common for Midwest winters, and during this season, carpets are impacted from all of the wear and tear. While you may think it’s best to postpone cleaning during the winter, it’s an important aspect of your building’s maintenance.
Maintaining carpets during colder months is slightly different from caring for them in the spring and summer months. Here are a few tips to keep carpets healthy:
Clean carpets before winter weather arrives.
The goal is to start with a clean slate in order to keep carpets looking clean and fresh throughout the winter.
Put more emphasis on first floor areas.
While these should be a year-round activity, vacuuming and cleaning first floor areas are much more critical during the winter months. Keeping the first floor clean reduces the amount of slush and contaminants carried to the upper floors.
Select high-performance matting.
Many facilities rent their mats. While rental mats can be adequate in some situations, installing high-quality matting tends to be much more effective at preventing soil and moisture from being carried onto carpets and floors.
Increase vacuuming frequency.
If your carpets are cleaned only once per day, this probably should be increased to twice per day on lower floors and increased even further in or near lobby areas.
Use and service high-efficiency vacuum cleaners.
High-efficiency vacuum cleaners should be used during the winter months. The start of colder weather should also be a reminder for administrators and housekeeping departments to inspect their vacuum cleaners – which means checking belts, beater bars, brush agitators, etc. Taking a proactive approach to vacuum care can help delay or prevent bigger service problems later in the season.
Pay closer attention to transition areas.
A transition area is a place where a carpeted floor meets a hard surface, such as a walkway from a cafeteria or storage area to a carpeted area or elevator banks. Transition areas tend to be more heavily trafficked and, as a result, become more waterlogged—especially during the winter months. Those areas need more frequent vacuuming.
Double up efforts to remove spots.
The longer a spot sits on carpet fibers, the more difficult it can be to remove. In addition, spots are typically water- or oil-based, which means they can collect on shoe bottoms and spread to other areas of a facility.