Top 3 Commercial Carpet Cleaning Mistakes

Carpeting—we walk all over it. Both literally and figuratively.

The commercial carpeting in facilities gets pummeled on a daily basis by boots, heels and wheels. It sees more action and impact than probably any other aspect of a building.

And yet, carpet cleaning and preventative maintenance efforts typically fall short. In fact, mistakes are often made in the area of carpet care that can reduce the life cycle of commercial carpeting.

If you want to buck this trend and give your carpet the beneficial treatment it both needs and deserves, take action today to avoid these all-too-common carpet care mistakes.

The Most Common Commercial Carpet Cleaning Mistakes

These are the costly mistakes too many facility managers make:

1. Not cleaning carpet because it doesn’t look dirty

Most people think that if the carpet looks clean, it is clean. In reality, soils that lurk below the surface will cause permanent damage if not removed on a routine basis. The same is true for organics (allergens, mold spores, etc.) that can affect indoor air quality.

 2. Over-wetting the carpet

Many managers still think that hot water extraction is the best way to clean carpet. For some situations that’s true, but that only represents about 2-3% of the jobs we see yearly. This is a very small number when compared to those who clean with high-volume extractors 100% of the time.

When a carpet takes longer than four hours to dry, it will begin to regrow allergens and other odor causing organisms. To clean properly, it usually takes more than one pass (especially if the carpet is heavily soiled). When this happens you can bet the carpet will take well over four hours to dry. In some cases, we have seen carpets stay wet for 24 hours—which brings about the issue with over-wetting.

Permanent damage can occur when the roll carpet is over-wet or excessive heat is used for an extended period of time. In this situation, the latex in the carpet backing breaks down and the carpet begins to lose tuft bind. Eventually the carpet delaminates and seams ravel, potentially creating a tripping hazard.

3. Using chemicals that can damage the carpet

Most cleaners use chemicals purchased from a local janitorial distributor. Local distributors are focused on selling products, not testing them to ensure they work or to train on their use. For this reason, they carry multiple products from many different manufactures.

How do you know a chemical works? Was it tested using the equipment being used? What are the long-term effects on the carpet?

These are questions that most often cannot be answered because the distributor does not have the time or resources to be the subject matter expert on every product they sell (which can number in the thousands). Many times the testing occurs on your carpet, which can lead to damage.

How Facility Managers Can Prevent These Mistakes

If you want to clean your carpet in-house, take these steps:

1. Find the right system

Look for a manufacturer that provides a complete system (chemical and equipment) and speak to the factory representative. The factory rep will be well versed on their products and can provide a demo.

2. Consult your carpet manufacturer

Before purchasing the equipment, consult the manufacturer of the carpeting to ensure that your equipment and chemicals will not void any warranties. For example, a popular method of cleaning with janitorial teams is bonnet buffing. The Bonnet carpet cleaning method will void most, if not all, manufacturers warranties.

3. Train your staff

Once you find a system that best suits your needs, train your staff on how to use it. Without a well trained staff, even the best systems can damage your carpet or negatively impact your air quality. Your staff should also be trained on carpet construction so they understand what they are cleaning and how they could potentially damage it.

*If you want to outsource your carpet cleaning, make sure the vendor you choose:

  • Can meet all the criteria listed above
  • Is a CRI Certified Service Provider
  • Uses a process that will not void any manufacturer warranties
  • Provides valid and verifiable references

Get the Right Equipment, Chemistry, and Training to Clean Your Carpet Effectively

With over 20 years of research and development and countless field tests, DPM Care has developed one of the only vertically integrated systems in the industry. We view this as the three-legged stool: Equipment, Chemistry, and Training. If one leg is removed or done improperly, the stool will fall.

DPM incorporates all three of these elements in our low moisture cleaning method with proven, industry-leading results:

  • Chemistry – Our chemistry is certified by the Carpet & Rug Institute for cleaning effectiveness and has the Green Seal for indoor health.
  • Equipment – Our equipment is designed exclusively by our engineering team to apply our chemistry (patent pending), to remove soils/stains from carpeting without excessive moisture (dries in 30-45 minutes), and to be user friendly.
  • Training – Lastly and probably most importantly is the training our staff receives through DPM University. Most programs fail due to lack of training. Our staff receives training weekly on chemistry, processes, carpet construction, and equipment operation.

Need help cleaning your commercial carpeting? Request your free demo from DPM today.