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Carpet Maintenance

In a green maintenance program for carpets, the primary effort should be a pollution prevention strategy or one that minimises the need to extract a carpet. Thus, a specific focus should be on preventative measures, as described earlier, such as:

  • Frequently vacuuming entryway mats and entry grating systems.
  • Frequently dust mopping or vacuuming hard floors, especially close to entryways and other sources of particles (e.g., near copier rooms) to reduce tracked soiling on surrounding carpeted areas.
  • Establishing a specific daily routine for vacuuming and spotting carpets.
  • Establishing an interim cleaning process to address the needs of high traffic areas.
  • Minimising the need for large-scale extraction or deep cleaning of carpet.

For routine carpet maintenance, the cleaning staff should:

  • Vacuum carpets on a predetermined schedule of frequency, and as needed, to keep them clean and restore appearance. At a minimum, the schedule for vacuuming should be:
    • Daily: heavy traffic areas, including entrances, corridors, community rooms, break areas, congested areas, main passageways, and primary work or office areas.
    • Scheduled, as appropriate, to maintain cleanliness: light traffic areas including conference rooms, administrative offices, limited access areas, and other areas or spaces with limited or periodic use.

Periodic light carpet cleaning is necessary to clean the tops of carpet fibres and maintain the appearance of carpeted floors. Restorative deep carpet cleaning is needed to extract embedded and sticky soils.

For periodic and restorative cleaning, the building manager should:

  • Provide reasonable notice to building occupants prior to the commencement of non-routine carpet cleaning operations. The timing and method of the notice should be established by building management in consultation with the cleaning crew.
  • Perform carpet extraction (see below) on an as-needed basis, rather than according to a rigid schedule.
  • Remove sufficient water from the carpet and provide sufficient airflow (e.g., use of blowers, increased outdoor air exchange) so that the carpet will dry in less than 12 hours when interim cleaning carpets or performing carpet extraction.
  • Schedule carpet extraction to coincide with a period of minimum building occupancy.

When carpets require spot cleaning, apply solutions from a sprayer in a stream or coarse spray, not a fine mist. This minimises the amount of material that is atomised and potentially inhaled, as well as over-spray.

It is preferable to conduct major cleaning activities when common area occupancy is low. This allows maximum time for the building to be ventilated (flushed with fresh air) prior to the return of the majority of occupants.

See Products Section and Appendices for more information about:

  • Carpet cleaners
  • Solvent spot removers
  • Equipment

Action Items

  • Select appropriate vacuums and ensure they are in good working order by changing belts as needed, having the vacuums professionally serviced by authorised repair centres at regular intervals, and using and maintaining the correct bags and/or filters.
  • Empty or replace vacuum bags when half-full or less to maintain vacuum airflow. Dispose of dust and bags properly. Bagless vacuums also have filters that need cleaning or changing to maintain performance. Consult the supplier for assistance.
  • Clean up spills while they are still fresh.
  • Minimise the amount of moisture used during cleaning

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