Can You REALLY Save Cleaning Costs by Cutting Services?
This idea of cutting services to save money is regularly considered by Facility Managers everywhere, especially when “cost cutting” is being hung over their heads. One area frequently considered is cutting the janitorial cleaning services from 5 days to 3 days; or from 3 days to 1 day. This is a grave error of consideration on the part of the Facility Manager.
One such small example is reducing the vacuuming of a facility’s carpets. Perhaps Janitors are urged to vacuum every other day, instead of every day. What effects does this cause? Does it really keep pennies in the piggy bank?
The intended consequence of reducing vacuuming lays hidden in the carpet pile. As the frequencies are reduced, so are the carpet’s appearance and its life.
What Is Happening To Your Carpet! Ugh!
Commercial carpet is a textile. The most popular commercial carpet is made of synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers don’t usually wear out (except on stairs); instead they “gray out”. Graying out is when a carpet shows visible signs of graying in traffic areas, heavily walked on areas or points where turns are made that grind dirt, soil and grit into the carpet. This graying occurs when the fibers are crushed, matted down or flattened out.
The carpet fibers themselves may also be scratched and damaged. Carpet may be more stain-resistant and resilient than in the past, but it is still susceptible to this damage. All these factors which cause graying out are brought on by improper maintenance.
Carpets will show wear over time and without the proper maintenance. Infrequent vacuuming and poor matting are the main reasons carpets show signs of premature wear. Major traffic lanes need to be vacuumed daily.
Carpet Wear and Prevention
When vacuuming is skipped, dirt, grit and soil become embedded in the carpet. It will be harder to remove them later. Embedded soil particles are abrasive like sandpaper. Dirt and grit damage the carpet fiber by rubbing the carpet fiber. The fiber becomes pitted and scratched creating a dull, faded appearance; the carpet looks worn. Regular vacuuming prevents the deep abrasion that ruins carpet.
Dulling is caused by all types of soils and will actually change the original carpet color’s appearance. The original color isn’t lost; it’s hidden under a layer of soil. It’s important to note some carpet may actually absorb the soil causing the carpet color to permanently change. Frequently, this happens with oil soils.
Entry mats can trap soil, and combined with routine vacuuming, this problem can be avoided. The pile beneath the carpet fibers will break down if the dirt is left in. It also makes a wonderful breeding ground for dust mites and bacteria.
Effects to Indoor Air Quality
Reducing vacuuming frequencies hurts a carpet’s life and appearance, but these cuts can also adversely impact a facility’s indoor air quality. How does this happen? The largest source of indoor air pollution is from the common dust mite. Carpets may benefit indoor air quality by acting as a filter for indoor air, trapping and holding dust mites, pollutants, and allergens. The key to maintaining good indoor air quality in a building is to clean this filter regularly…remove these pollutants through vacuuming.
Frequent vacuuming not only keeps the carpet cleaner, it significantly reduces wear and tear especially in traffic areas. Reducing frequencies will ultimately cost facilities more money in the future. It’s easier to skip some tasks over others, but reduced vacuuming isn’t one of them. To ensure longer life and maintain appearance, carpet requires regular vacuuming.
Thinking of re-evaluating your current cleaning services? Do you have graying areas in your carpet?
Contact Sayyah’s Cleaning in the Tampa Bay Area for your free evaluation.
Call TODAY! 813 961 1445
Exerpts for this article were taken from Contracting Profits, April 2012, “Reducing Vacuuming Ruins Carpets” by BJ Mandelstam.