5 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Commercial Carpet
In most commercial buildings, carpet is one of the most significant interior design investments; it’s also one of the most abused. Causing companies to replace their carpet after only a few years of use is a big hit to the budget and the landfill, as carpet takes over 100 years to decompose.
Commercial carpets can last way beyond their expected lifespan if cared for properly by performing a few simple actions.
1. Choose the right carpet for your commercial space
The flooring in corporate buildings takes a beating daily. People walk on your carpet with pointy stilettos that can tear at the fibers and shoes that track in dirt and grime from the street.
Nobody likes a worn or dirty-looking carpet, but sometimes, it’s difficult to avoid!
With such high traffic levels in a building, carpet can sometimes feel like a risky choice for commercial spaces. However, the carpet’s warmth, comfort, and sound reduction qualities are still a choice that many corporate and commercial spaces desire.
You must choose your carpet wisely. Consider the following:
- Consider the traffic of your building – which areas need the highest durability?
- What type of carpet are you looking for, broadloom or carpet tiles – there are pros and cons to each type.
- Choose a color/pattern that reflects the aesthetics of the buildings as well as the amount of traffic you expect the carpet to endure.
- Do you intend to have the same color of carpet everywhere, or will you opt for darker shades in areas that might be more susceptible to dirt?
- Pay attention to the quality of the carpet’s components; fiber type, face weight/pile weight, density, backing, and padding – these all contribute to longevity and durability.
- Read through the manufactures recommended maintenance information:
- Is sound reduction needed in certain areas?
- Will you have carpet near a kitchenette making it more likely to receive liquid and food spills and stains?
- Is your office pet friendly?
Pro Tip: Consult with manufacturers but keep in mind that they will only tell you about their product line as they are salespeople with a defined marketing message. On the other hand, independent commercial carpet installation companies have insight across different manufacturers and product lines. They are more likely to give you objective, honest advice about installation ease or difficulty, carpet performance, and durability.
2. Keep on top of deep cleaning your commercial carpet
Most commercial buildings will already have janitorial services to maintain the appearance and cleanliness of the space. This work is usually carried out after hours and can include vacuuming and cleaning each room in your building.
While these duties are essential for maintaining the overall presentation of your carpet, deeper cleaning is vital for ensuring that your carpet lasts longer. Scheduling annual or biannual deep cleans will help your carpet reach its maximum life expectancy (this can vary between 12 and 25 years).
Ordinary vacuuming and surface cleaning won’t be enough to reach deep down into the fibers of your carpet and ensure that all dirt and harmful bacteria are removed. And that’s why deep cleaning is so necessary. Harmful substances that settle into the fibers of your carpet can result in the fibers breaking down and changing in texture. So to prolong the life of your carpet, you’ll need to keep on top of more than just surface-level vacuuming.
If you find a reputable carpet cleaning service (we know a good one!) that you like working with, ask them to schedule you for regular services. You can also ask them to send you reminders about your upcoming bookings. A good service company is one that you don’t have to manage. They proactively communicate with you and take care of business, making your life easier.
3. Don’t use bonnet carpet cleaning
Following on from our previous point, it’s essential to know that not all carpet cleaning methods offer the same level of benefits. Bonnet carpet cleaning is one particular method that definitely doesn’t live up to the hype.
Bonnet carpet cleaning essentially involves buffing the surface of your carpet and soaking some detergent into the fibers. While this sounds like it might actually do something, unfortunately, it often does more bad than good. We affectionately call this machine the “grinder.”
Bonnet carpet cleaning can leave residue in your carpet that only serves to collect even more dirt than usual. While some “professional” carpet cleaning services will claim that bonnet carpet cleaning is a great way to go, the truth is that it’s a lazy option that provides largely ineffective results.
Instead of using bonnet cleaning services, look for IICRC®-certified carpet cleaning technicians to carry out professional-level service.
4. Offer regular training to your cleaning staff
While this point might seem obvious, you’d be surprised at how many employers overlook their cleaning staff when it comes to updating their skill set and offering additional training.
With the direction of commercial cleaning moving in a more environmentally conscious direction, and new cleaning technology being released all the time, it’s essential that you consider your cleaning staff worthy of the opportunity to upskill.
Additionally, many cleaners who have been in their jobs for years become comfortable with their methods and don’t pay attention to changes in the industry. And then there are the high turnover rates of many janitorial companies, are they even trained at all?
Your cleaning crew must know how to care for your carpet type and be appropriately educated on the types of cleaning materials and methods that can reduce your carpet’s useful life.
5. Protect the carpet from heavy furniture
One of the biggest culprits for damaging the lifespan of carpets is heavy office furniture. Think about it, how many times has a filing cabinet or desk been moved around an office, and the first thing you notice are the lines and dents in the fibers where the furniture sat?
While this might not seem like the worst problem in the world, many of these dents won't disappear and will be visible if you rearrange the furniture. Any heavy furniture you place on carpet must have some buffer between it and the carpet.
For this, you can use:
- Furniture coasters / sliders
- Pieces of old carpet (perfect for underneath filing cabinets)
- Foam placed underneath thin or sharp edges
You can also opt to regularly move your office furniture around so that it doesn’t settle in the same place for too long.
Before you go!
Overall, the most important thing to remember when it comes to extending your carpet's lifespan is to treat it with care, vacuuming is not enough, and periodic deep cleaning is a must.
You shouldn’t put up with meh or good enough carpet care companies when you can have a self-managed, proactive team to support your goals of improved appearance, performance, and longevity of all the surfaces in the buildings you manage.
To make testing a new partner easy, we have created a series of Makeover Services that do not require a maintenance plan commitment; they are all one-off services. Reach out to learn more about our Carpet Refresh service, get a free quote, or schedule a demo.
Replacing your carpet may seem like your only option. It is not – call us!
About Corporate Care – A sustainability company
Corporate Care exists to improve the appearance, performance, and longevity of every surface in the commercial buildings you manage – reducing capital expenditures, stress, and management burden on facility managers from coast to coast.
As true surface care experts, we understand the unique properties and cleaning protocols every surface needs (or doesn’t) to look amazing and comply with manufacturer warranties. We’re here to support your existing janitorial crew with cadenced deep restorative cleaning and tailored maintenance protocols – performed by IICRC®-certified cleaning technicians.
We are firm believers in restoration over replacement. Let’s reduce waste together!