How to Maintain Safe and Appealing Carpets in Commercial Spaces
Commercial carpets (the type you see in offices, retail spaces, and other business and industrial settings) often last up to 15 years. However, their lifespan can become shorter or longer, depending on how they are cleaned and maintained.
Additionally, the quality and look of commercial carpets depend greatly on how well they are cared for.
Proper maintenance and cleaning, therefore, are crucial in preserving and prolonging the quality and look of commercial carpets.
However, cleaning and maintaining carpets also serve another key purpose: They help keep your floor covering safe and healthy.
Health Risks of Dirty and Poorly Maintained Carpets
With employees staying in your workplace or commercial space for several hours five days a week, and customers or guests visiting regularly, keeping them safe and healthy in your premises should be a priority.
Dirty, poorly maintained carpets in workplaces and commercial spaces can cause several health issues, which include:
Dust mites, bed bugs, and other microscopic pests love living in dirty carpets. These insects can cause allergic reactions or aggravate the symptoms of persons who already have allergies.
Molds, which can also be found in damp and dirty carpets, can trigger allergic reactions as well.
2. Respiratory illnesses
Aside from molds, mildew and bacteria also thrive in dirty carpets. When inhaled, a person can develop flu-like symptoms and other respiratory problems.
These substances in the carpet and the presence of dust mites can also trigger asthma attacks.
3. Skin problems
Bacteria and fungi, which are often found in dirty, poorly maintained carpets, can cause skin irritations and infections. These include rashes, skin asthma, and severe itching.
4. Poor immune system
Unclean carpets can expose individuals to harmful bacteria. Examples of these substances are mycotoxins or microbes made up of various types of molds.
Constant exposure to these unhealthy particles can weaken the immune system which, in turn, can cause persons to become more susceptible to diseases.
Tips for Keeping Commercial Carpets Safe, Healthy, and Appealing
Below are the six best tips for cleaning and maintaining carpets so you can have safe and attractive features in your commercial space:
1. Vacuum carpets regularly.
Have your cleaning staff vacuum the carpets at least once a week. They have to do this more frequently for high-traffic areas.
Make sure your staff implements the correct vacuuming practices. These include spending several minutes going over the carpet in different directions, following crisscross patterns, and using overlapping strokes several times.
It is also worth investing in a HEPA vacuum for your commercial carpets. This type of cleaning equipment has a High-Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA filter, which removes more dust, dust mites, and other allergens from your floor covering.
Another cleaning tip worth telling your staff to follow is to sprinkle some baking soda on the carpets and let it stand for around 15 minutes before vacuuming to eliminate bad smells.
2. Minimize dirt, dust, and debris from settling on the carpets.
Invest in good-quality door mats or area rugs to be placed on entry areas.
This simple tip helps prevent dirt, dust, and other particles from settling on your carpets, which can make cleaning more difficult and lead to the spread of molds, dust mites, and other harmful microbes.
Make sure the entryways outside are also regularly swept or vacuumed to help prevent people from tracking dirt, pollen, and other debris into your premises.
3. Be vigilant against stains.
Failing to deal with spills and stains immediately can cause your carpets to lose their appeal and, at the same time, encourage mold growth. Because of this, you have to take precautionary measures to protect your floor covering from spillages.
Start by getting a stain protection product suitable for the type of carpets you have. The right product will coat the fibers and prevent spills and dirt from sticking to them.
Ensure your cleaning staff knows how to deal with spills and stains. They should pick up or remove any solids immediately and dry the wet spot with a kitchen towel.
Your staff should also use baking soda to remove greasy stains. If they are a bit hard to remove, they can try blotting the blemish with a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water.
If your staff are using spot cleaners, make sure they follow the directions on the label.
4. Always keep carpets dry.
When having your carpets shampooed or steam cleaned, always make sure they are thoroughly dry afterward.
These cleaning processes can leave moisture behind that may attract pests. The dampness can also lead to molds in the carpet or carpet padding. Because of this, it is important to open the windows or use fans to dry out the freshly washed floor covering completely.
If the cleaning process happens on a humid day, turn on the air conditioner or use a dehumidifier to dry the carpets.
5. Know when to replace old commercial carpets.
Although you may want your commercial carpets to last for years, there will come a time when you have to finally replace them.
If your commercial carpets already have plenty of water stains and molds, you have to replace them as soon as possible. Molds can trigger asthma, cause allergies, and other respiratory illnesses.
Additionally, if you observe that you and your employees are exhibiting increased allergy symptoms while within the premises, your carpets may already have dust, pet dander, and pollen deeply embedded in the carpet fibers. In such instances, it would be best to have the carpets replaced.
Also, if you notice that foul odors are not going away, even if you have your carpets shampooed or deep cleaned, your floor covering may already have problems in the padding or matting. A musty smell, in particular, can mean you have some water or mold problems.
In this case, a carpet replacement may be your only option.
6. Choose a non-toxic carpet replacement.
If you want to replace old carpets to have a safer and healthier floor covering and workplace, you will do well to buy new ones made of sustainable, eco-friendly materials. Examples of these are organic cotton, coir, wool, and sisal.
Also, look for carpets with jute or natural backing that are sewn on instead of glued with toxic adhesives.
Lastly, always choose carpets that are not treated with harsh chemicals since they can also pose dangers to your health.
With the right cleaning and maintenance practices, your carpets can be wonderful and comfy features of your commercial space. More importantly, they won’t cause any health problems for you, your employees, customers or clients, and guests.
AUTHOR BIO: James Prathap is the General Manager at NGC Nafees, one of the leading distributors of wallpapers, floorings, and fabrics in the Middle East and South Asia. Formed three decades ago, the business also offers high-quality panoramics, coordinated fabrics, and creative stickers for residential and commercial projects.