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Floor Care in High Traffic Areas

High traffic areas add extra challenges to the cleaning process in any type or size building. Every facility has some areas that need special attention. In your building it could include one or more of the following area; stairways, lobbies, throughways, entrance and exists and primary and secondary hallways, restrooms, cafeterias, elevators and excessively busy and soiled work and manufacturing areas. Sounds like the entire building and some cases it is. These areas are where high levels of soil are tracked into a building and if not removed result in soiling and aggressive wear of surfaces and finishes.

What Works in High Traffic Areas:
When planning tasks and scheduling service in high traffic areas, here are a few tips to help you get the job done quickly and safely:

Capture soil at entrances and exits with 12- 15 ft. of matting, regular vacuuming and frequent dust and damp mopping of hard surface floor with in 25 ft. of entrances and exits. Protect hard floors with additional matting during inclement weather. (more…)

Cold Weather Carpet Care

When seasons change and the wet and cold weather come your way, it’s time to alter your carpet care program to meet the changing needs that ice, snow and moisture bring with them. Regardless of the weather, season or type of facility, ongoing carpet care is critical to extending the useful life of building surfaces as well as maintaining acceptable standards related to appearance, safety, health, and cost control. Cleaning and maintenance programs or a lack there of have a direct impact on surfaces and are under the control and responsibility of custodial and maintenance departments. (more…)

Self-Cleaning Carpet, Fabrics and Surfaces

The first time I heard the term self-cleaning was in 1995 at an Indoor Air Quality symposium in Seattle. One of the speakers mentioned the self-cleaning of air, as it passed through an air duct. Being I had never heard of self-cleaning I cornered the guy after the talk and hit him up with a few questions which lead to my writing an article on Self-Cleaning Surfaces in the Sept/Oct issue of CleanFax in 1996.

Over the last 6 months I have come across at least six different practical applications of self-cleaning technology and my guess is that within the next year or two, you will see the release and marketing of self-cleaning carpeting and other fabrics. In fact, I believe we are already seeing manufactures edging closer to the marketing of self-cleaning carpeting. An example of this is the warranties for PET fibers. Shaw Industries now warrants the PET product they sell, against basically all common household stains, including pet urine. Another indicator is the recent development of self-cleaning fabric for use as tenting material, roofing and military uniforms. Lastly, the carpet and fiber manufacturers are desperate for a new and flashy innovation that their marketing departments can use to revive what has been a 10 plus year slide in the sales of wall to wall carpeting.

Emerging Floor Care Trends 2013 and Beyond

When it comes to excitement in the cleaning industry, floor care is center stage for cutting edge innovation and technology. Everything about floor care is in flux, from the products and equipment we buy, to the processes we use and the surfaces we clean and maintain. The speed and depth of change is creating turbulence and uncertainty for manufacturers, business owners and department managers as the industry transitions from the familiar ground of “how things have been done in the past” to the uncertainty of an unknown future that is rapidly evolving.

Cleaning in the USA – Hard Floor Care Trends

Hard Floor Care Trends
You can expect to see more pre-finished floor coverings on the market in the future. It started with laminates, moved over to wood and is now finding its way into resilient flooring. The use of aluminum oxide/mineral based coatings that do more than provide a shine will see wide spread use and application. Examples include wear and scratch resistance, anti-microbial protection and anti-slip characteristics. One example is a recently introduced wood floor by Mohawk Industries that incorporates 3M ScotchGard advanced repel technology to protect against staining. (more…)

Good Bye Sales Pitch, Hello Science

One of the major changes that have taken place over the last 10 years in the cleaning industry is that science is slowing replacing seat of the pants. It’s used to be enough to go thorough the motions, sweat a little and say that we cleaned a floor, wall or carpet. As long as there was no visible soil on the surface, the job was done and everybody was happy. Now we know that what we can’t see (bacteria, viruses, micron size particulate) can be more dangerous, hazardous and damaging to our health and surfaces than the soil that we can see.

Even today sales pitches and marketing literature often contain wild and unsubstantiated claims of effectiveness or results. Removes 98% of the moisture, kills all the harmful germs, get’s your dirtiest carpets clean, neutralizes all household odors, it’s magic. Over the years, I think I’ve heard every claim imaginable. (more…)

Cleaning in the USA

The Impact of Mold on Human Health
I was headed to South Dakota to go fishing for a week and to spend some time with my parents. But when an opportunity arose to attend a two-day symposium on mold at the Harvard School of Public Health, I let the fish live and my parents wait a couple more days. I flew into Sioux Falls, So. Dakota had lunch with my parents and got back on a plane three hours later for Boston. It’s not every day you get a chance to attend a cutting edge symposium on mold at Harvard, so how could I say no.

As for symposium on June 7 & 8th, about 200 people were in attendance from around the world and a tremendous amount of information was presented. Nearly all the speakers had PhD’s and are involved in research related to wet environments, fungi and its impact on human health. Quite frankly, I didn’t hear anything earth shattering, although some new information was presented. What was most important is that what we have been saying and teaching over the last 10 or 15 years is now being validated by independent studies and scientific research. One theme that I heard repeated throughout the program is that there is more about mold and fungi and it’s impact on human health that we don’t know, than we do know. (more…)

Commercial Carpet Cleaning: An Opportunity for Profit and Prestige

How do the carpets look in your accounts? If they look clean and are free of spots, you’re obviously doing a good job. However, if they don’t look so good, those accounts are at risk of being cancelled. You’re leaving the door wide open for another contractor or a professional carpet cleaner to walk in and take that business away from you.

I’m sure that in your mind you have plenty of good reasons why, the carpets are dirty or spotted. But it doesn’t solve the customer’s problem. And it doesn’t do anything to keep a competitor from using those same dirty carpets as a selling point and as an opportunity to get in the door and put you out in the street. (more…)

Carpet Cleaning Chemicals

The Cleaning Process

A systems approach to carpet cleaning is the most cost effective maintenance method. This involves starting with the mildest cleaning chemicals and process and working progressively toward more aggressive cleaning methods. As an example, a systems approach to vacuuming could involve several pieces of equipment. This should include the use of a suction only vacuum on a daily basis in traffic areas, a beater bar vacuum used weekly in traffic areas, and preferably the use of a pile lifter vacuum on a monthly or quarterly basis to lift the pile and remove deep down grit and soil that are difficult to get out during wet cleaning processes. The importance of regular vacuuming for dry soil removal cannot be over emphasized and should be an important part of every carpet maintenance program. (more…)

Certified Carpet and Floor Covering Inspection and Correction Services

When a floor covering, carpet or rug doesn’t turn out as expected or as specified one or more of the parties involved are going to be unhappy. And that’s when a certified carpet or floor covering inspector is called in. The inspector’s job is to sort out the facts, figure out what went wrong, file a written report, and in some cases correct the problem if possible.

Some companies still handle claims internally; however, the trend is toward more widespread use of independent third-party inspectors. When hired by a manufacturer, the inspector’s role is to be the on-site eyes and ears of the company–to look, test, take samples if needed, and write a report which may include opinions and possible solutions. (more…)