Cleaning & Maintaining Building Carpets

A building is an asset. Company owned buildings influence their balance sheets. That means it’s well worth their time and effort to maintain them, and to keep the costs down. Proper cleaning can significantly extend the life of these assets, which increases the company’s ROI on their buildings. Cutting back on cleaning in order to stay within short-term operational budgets, actually lowers the ROI and adds to cost in various ways. Some of the ways that costs may increase, are through furniture and carpet replacements, facility functionality, customer satisfaction, and other areas that affect the overall building image. All buildings of operation have high traffic areas. The flooring in these areas plays a key role in determining the perception that visitors and prospective clients will have concerning the company. A good first impression is crucial to business, and these areas need to be a priority in a company’s asset preservation strategies.

The experts on carpet, like the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration) and the CRI (Carpet & Rug Institute), state that a well-planned maintenance program will definitely extend the life of your carpet. If a company will increase their annual cleaning costs by as little as 10%, they can easily extend the life of their carpets far beyond its manufacturer’s estimated life-cycle. That saves money on carpet replacement.

There is a formula for calculating the life-cycle costs, and it involved more than simply knowing the initial expenses involved in the purchase and installation.

Equation 1 – Formula For Asset Life-Cycle Cost Calculation

(a). Initial Carpet Cost – This price includes both purchase price and installation.

(b). Removal and Disposal Costs – During renovation, the removal of the existing carpet along with disposal costs need to be included alongside all additional costs caused by work disruptions of any kind.

(c). Cleaning Costs – These costs cover the life of the carpet and include time, labor, and materials, as well as any equipment repairs a facility may incur during its regular cleaning program.

(d). Carpet Life – This figure is determined by knowing how many years the carpet will remain on the floor.

Studies show that commercial carpets that have been properly maintained experience higher levels of durability and fresh appearance. Good carpet cleaning plans, particularly on high traffic areas, may actually extend the carpet life by as much as 2 to 3 times longer than those with lower frequencies of cleaning.

The CRI guidelines and recommendations along with the suggested care from the manufacturer, are the best tools to use in evaluating the maintenance program that is currently in place, and whether or not it is maximizing carpet life.

The CRI has stated that a carpet consists of 5 different levels of appearance, and they are New condition, good condition, fair condition, poor condition, and finally unacceptable condition. Once a carpet reaches the ‘unacceptable’ level, it needs to be replaced. If a carpet has a life expectancy of ten years, then it should, with the right maintenance program, still be at the level of ‘good’ after ten years. Without the right maintenance program, that carpet could drop down to the ‘fair’ level in only three to four years, or to the ‘poor’ level in just four to five years, and even to the ‘unacceptable’ level within six to seven years. If a carpet is mostly neglected, then it can go from ‘new’ to ‘unacceptable’ in as little as one to three years.

According to the CRI, a proper well-planned and comprehensive maintenance program will contain 5 key elements –

(1). Soil Containment – This means isolating the soil that gets tracked into the building by utilizing mats at all the entrances.

(2). Vacuuming – Frequent and regular vacuuming should be scheduled to remove dry soil. It should be done with a CRI-approved vacuum.

(3). Spot/Spill Removal System – These are techniques for removing spots and spills frm the carpet.

(4). Interim Cleaning – This is a schedule of frequent cleaning that puts an emphasis on heavily trafficked areas.

(5). Restorative Cleaning – This cleaning is scheduled to do deep carpet cleaning for removing trapped soils and residues that have been ground deep down into the carpet.
The IICRC and the CRI, as well as other leading carpet mills, put out some established minimum frequency guidelines for carpet cleaning. They publish guidebooks full of recommendations and cleaning techniques and procedures for cleaning carpets. All the recommendations are based on traffic conditions and excessive wearing of carpet.

Many of today’s carpet warranties have been created based on a specifically documented cleaning program, which includes the 4 main keys to proper carpet maintenance –

1. Daily Maintenance
2. Interim Maintenance
3. Restorative Maintenance
4. Preventive Maintenance

One vitally important aspect of developing a good cleaning plan, is the financial impact it carries. Most all carpet care programs carry a fairly strong ROI. Being able to accurately estimate this costs is good for building a stronger case for the program. Annual cost calculations are pretty much straightforward. There is a guidebook put out by the ISSA that details the methodology behind workloading. There is a company called ‘Infoclean’ that provides a software that is easy to use, and helps to calculate annual carpet cleaning costs for meeting budget requirements. You can find out about it at issa.com/workload.

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Asset Preservation

Floor With Hard Surfaces – The carpet calculations for hard surface flooring can be a bit more complex. When evaluating the life-cycle in these instances, there is a broad range of various new innovations and flooring material types that have been recently developed for commercial use. The cleaning of these surfaces today have become part of the value in the whole engineering process. Building owners and architects now make calculations in regard to what the annual costs of cleaning a specific floor surface will be, and how it might impact the costs in relation to the floor’s life-cycle and the cleaning tasks involved in the maintenance.

The trends in North America for commercial building installations tend to favor porcelain or ceramic tiles over the past decade. The North American Tile Council took the life-cycle costs of various flooring surfaces, and did an economic analysis, by doing a thorough examination of the installation costs, life expectancy, cost per square foot a year, and material costs. They did this for a very broad range of flooring types (Tile Council of North America 2011). They also came to the conclusion that ceramic tile holds the lowest life-cycle, in terms of ‘cost per square foot’, due to its longer product life as well as the overall lifetime maintenance costs.

They conclude that ceramic tile cleaning is substantially less than cleaning sheet vinyl, vinyl composition tile (VCT), or terrazzona surfaces. Workloading the floor program using ISSA’s Infoclean software is the best way of determining an accurate cleaning cost.

Analyzing product consumption side by side to annual labor, will give managers and owners an opportunity to choose the best flooring type that will give them the lowest annual cleaning costs, and also lower any negative consequences from restoration techniques. Cleaning program costs need to always be factored into the choice of surface, due to how it will impact the life-cycle savings. Many organizations choose their surfaces because of manufacturer recommendations, and already have that figured into their life-cycle estimates. However, they sometimes fail to coordinate with certain crucial departments to make sure that their estimates are feasible to be carried out, or if other considerations should come into play. Sunburst LED Signs is a LED display sign manufacturer in North Texas. Or if you just need a taxi to DFW airports check out Las Colinas Taxi.  Or, if you are looking for a moving company in Fort Worth then visit Hawk Movers.

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