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Commercial Flooring V Domestic Flooring

Paul Pearce on carpet cleaning: Commercial vs domestic

THE first thing to consider when cleaning commercial carpets is the amount of foot traffic they are subjected to compared with domestic carpets. This traffic can range from a few hundred pairs of feet to several thousand pairs every day, varying from building to building.
The type, and amount, of soil found in a building where the company’s sole business is serving food would be very different from that found in a five-star hotel, a solicitor’s office or a factory or car showroom.
Even weather conditions, and the area of the country in which the building is situated, can have a major impact on the carpet and type of soiling to be removed as well as the cleaning process that is to be used.
The amount of traffic (and therefore soiling) in most commercial buildings will mean that a regular maintenance programme is required to improve the appearance and extend the life of the carpet.
The programme should include routine interim maintenance with thorough daily vacuuming and spotting procedures (this is sometimes carried out by in-house staff or by a contract cleaning firm, or sometimes a combination of the two) as well as regular professional appearance-retention cleaning and periodic deep cleaning. In this instance, the professional cleaning undertaken is known as restorative cleaning.
This is, of course, is a very different approach to most domestic carpet cleaning. Most home owners do not organise a regular cleaning maintenance programme and often you are only called in after an accident or in readiness for an upcoming event.
The type of carpet in commercial buildings is also usually different from that found in a domestic situation. Commercial carpet will often be of a higher quality and perhaps a synthetic fibre. It is often a denser carpet and in many cases is of loop pile construction.
The wear warranties on some commercial carpets can be as long as 20 years; this is because it is generally more wear-resistant.
The amount of carpet in commercial properties can be considerably greater than in domestic dwellings, depending on the type of building, or facility, you have been asked to clean.
The amount of carpet in commercial buildings can range from just a few metres in smaller properties to thousands of metres in bigger buildings such as large hotels, airports and high-rise offices.
Unfortunately, despite our advice that a commercial carpet should be subject to regular maintenance, in reality you are often only asked to come in and clean it when it reaches an appearance level that is no longer acceptable to the image and look of the environment it is installed in.
The construction of a commercial carpet is designed to hide soil, so by the time it ‘looks’ dirty it is, in fact, absolutely filthy. Then it is obviously much harder to restore the carpet’s appearance to an acceptable level.
If you are thinking of branching out to include commercial carpet maintenance in your list of services, it is important to convince your potential clients of the necessity of regular planned maintenance if they want to prolong the life of their flooring.
Commercial carpet maintenance takes practice to plan and administer and is very different to domestic carpet cleaning, but it can also be very rewarding and providing this service can be an excellent addition to your existing business.
Training courses:
If you think you would like to learn more, why not join me on IICRC commercial carpet maintenance technician courses (hosted by the National Carpet Cleaners Association).
This two-day course teaches entry-level commercial carpet cleaning techniques to individuals engaged in the maintenance of commercial facilities.
In addition to the basics of carpet construction, emphasis will be placed on teaching the IICRC S100 carpet cleaning methodologies, safety procedures, and proactive techniques to individuals who will perform these procedures in the field.
Course graduates should have a basic understanding of the importance of preventative, interim, restorative and salvage cleaning and how they contribute to the overall success of the commercial carpet maintenance programme.
The courses are usually held at NSPCC Training Centre in Leicester. The dates of upcoming courses appear in this magazine in the training section, with regular updates on the NCCA website. n T: 0116 271 9550
Paul Pearce is technnical director of the NCCA and an instructor for carpet cleaning technician, commercial carpet maintenance technician, and upholstery & fabric cleaning technician. Paul is also a cleaning consultant and conducts carpet inspections for both the Cleantrust and Woolsafe. He is a director and past chair of the British Cleaning Council.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal. You can find them at