Ensuring the life of carpet with proper maintenance

Carpet is a beautiful and sustainable flooring choice for homes, offices, schools, and commercial spaces. It provides a comfortable place to sit, work, learn, and play. It also cushions the impact of slips and falls, reduces noise, and makes it easier to learn and concentrate.

But carpet requires maintenance to keep it looking great and lasting long. Vacuuming is the simplest and most efficient way to maintain and clean carpet, prolonging its useful life and supporting healthier spaces for living, working, and learning.

Vacuuming carpet is just as important as changing the oil in a car. Both actions keep their respective assets operating at peak performance and reduce the possibility of expensive maintenance down the road. Here are some ways that regular vacuuming can benefit your facility, as well as best practices for maintaining your equipment.

Maintaining a Clean Environment

Vacuuming should be at the forefront of every facility manager’s carpet maintenance plan. Approximately 95 percent of all dry soil is removed from carpet by vacuuming carpet regularly. Not only does this improve the cleanliness of the carpet, but scientific research shows that properly cleaned carpet helps to maintain indoor air quality.

Preserving a Facility’s Assets

Regular vacuuming extends the life of carpet by removing dirt that damages carpet fiber. When custodial staff do not consistently vacuum carpet, it can become worn, tattered, or damaged before its time, leading to premature and costly carpet replacement.

In poor economic times, some facilities may choose to reduce vacuuming to cut operating costs. While this saves money in the short term, the long-term financial impact of poor carpet maintenance is less pronounced, as it leads to more extensive cleaning or expensive carpet replacement.

The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) recently worked with LGM and Associates to study the long-term financial impact of improper carpet maintenance in commercial spaces, including department stores, hotels, libraries, and condominium complexes. Research showed that without the benefits of regular vacuuming, carpet became prematurely worn and damaged, and had to be replaced. The average cost to replace the worn carpet in these facilities was just under US$60,000.

Vacuuming 101

Keeping carpet in its best shape through vacuuming requires you to keep your vacuum in its best shape. Here are some tips for how to keep your equipment and carpet in tip-top shape, so you can keep your floors looking great for as long as possible.

  1. Learn the operation of vacuums. Vacuums today come with many features and functions. Taking the time to learn about them will play a major part in your maintenance plan and improve the appearance of your facility’s carpet.
  2. Ensure the vacuum is in proper working order. Maintaining your vacuum is essential to keeping it and your carpet in proper condition. Regularly checking your vacuum to ensure it is running properly will keep it cleaning effectively and efficiently.
  3. Institute a cleaning regimen that includes a scheduled, wall-to-wall vacuuming of each room in addition to daily vacuuming of heavy-traffic areas. High-traffic areas require more attention, as more traffic means more dirt.

Carpet Cleaning Recommendations

Decision-makers should consider the type of carpet they need to maintain when purchasing a vacuum. Different carpet fibers, pile density, and carpet styles may require different vacuums to keep the carpet in optimal condition.

The beauty and lifecycle of carpet depends on the care it receives. Proper vacuuming will keep carpet in ideal condition for its full lifetime, maintain indoor air quality, and keep carpet warranties intact.

History of the Vacuum Cleaner

  • The first non-electric vacuum cleaner was a sweeping machine and was invented in Chicago in 1869. It had a crank for the operator to turn with one hand while pushing the machine with the other hand.
  • The concept of today’s electric vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901 by H.C. Booth, and took the form of a large, horse-drawn, petrol-driven unit, which was parked outside the building. The unit fed long hoses through the windows of the room that needed to be cleaned.
  • In 1913, a new vacuum came in six different models and had attachments for bare floors, walls, upholstery, and crevices.
  • In 1950, the marketplace saw the first convertible upright line of vacuums.
  • In the late 1970s, James Dyson started to develop a vacuum cleaner that didn’t require bags.
  • In 2005, The Carpet and Rug Institute established the Seal of Approval program to certify carpet cleaning solutions and equipment, including vacuums, to help consumers take the best care of their carpet.