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Senior Living Facility Carpet Care

What is the standard of care for textile floor coverings in senior living facilities?

Senior living facility carpet care protocols are all over the board. It is time to standardize carpet & upholstery cleaning specifications for all those who reside in assisted living health care facilities. Clean pro-actively instead of re-actively.

Senior Living Facility Carpet Care
Dirty Damp Living Condition

As a practicing Senior Carpet Inspector, a Master Cleaner and an industry cleaning consultant I decided dig into this. I have spent years watching different parties try to take the lead in this subject only to see it kicked around by state & government regulators, carpet manufacturers, cleaning franchises, private businesses, real estate investment trusts (REIT’S) and cleaning associations. Who really is responsible for senior living facility carpet care? Are the carpets, upholstery and floors being maintained in a healthy responsible way so that the residents can live comfortably in their most trying years.

None of us are getting any younger and I bet you or someone you know right now is residing in a nursing home, retirement home or assisted living community. With the last of the 28 million “silent generation” (1925-1945) and nearly 72 million “baby boomers” (1945-1964) approaching or past 65, senior living facilities are in demand. No matter if you have an in house cleaning staff or hire an outside service specific cleaning procedures and frequencies should be specified and followed for the health of everyone working or living in that facility.

So why focus on carpet and upholstery maintenance? Simple, because it is one of the things most overlooked when dealing with the sick, disabled or elderly population. Carpet is a very cleanable surface that can provide:

  • insulating warmth,
  • acoustic comfort,
  • slip and fall protection, and
  • assistance in trapping contaminates, soil and spills until they are removed

The problems occur when trapped soil, spills and moisture from food, drinks, tracked in dirt, incontinence issues or bathroom moisture track-off are not properly extracted and dried. This can present many of the components necessary that can cause allergic reactions and enhance the spread of infectious disease. It also can lead to intensify potential health issues in individuals harboring Chronic Immune Disorders, Autoimmune Disease or any number of other debilitating health issues present in occupants in nursing home communities.

There are three types of carpet cleanings that can occur in senior living facilities:

  1. Emergency carpet cleanings from spills or accidents
  2. Customized carpet maintenance of individual rooms requiring higher cleaning frequencies
  3. Scheduled carpet cleanings designed to maintain general appearance & health of common areas

    Carpet Care
    Chemical Dilution Machines

Each of these may require very different carpet cleaning procedures, cleaning solutions and/or cleaning equipment. Many in house staff cleaners wear many hats. Carpet and upholstery cleaning training is often not sufficient. Most would not be able to tell you the difference between sanitizing a surface and disinfecting it, what the dilution ratio is for a cleaning agent or how to properly use the equipment provided.

Often;

  • facility service technicians are supplied with a product(s) and a piece of equipment and are asked to “clean it up”.
  • no maintenance schedule or plan exists.
  • no formal training has occurred, opening up the opportunity for unhealthy biofilm build up.

A carpet and upholstery maintenance plan is usually not in place because many assume you should not clean until it looks dirty. Most property managers have never seen a carpet maintenance plan and have little knowledge of what the manufacture cleaning guidelines specify. This is only the beginning of the problem.

Carpet Care
Hot Water Extraction
Carpet Care
Encapsulation/Dry Compound

Why does carpet fail in nursing homes prematurely?

  • vacuuming frequency and/or type of vacuum is not sufficient
  • there is no maintenance program
  • the funds to carpet clean proactively is not budgeted
  • the expertise to do it right is not available on site
  • the equipment is not working or on site
  • carpet cleaning frequency is not specified
  • proper carpet cleaning systems are not specified

Proper maintenance and care for anything requires a plan of action. With no plan, problems can escalate increasing costs and decreasing use life. With no training or “standard of care”, failure is inevitable. The elderly, disabled and those who can not clean for themselves need professional facility cleaners that follow proper cleaning specifications so that the health of the occupants are not negatively effected. Look for future posts on Standards for senior living facility carpet care.

If any senior living facilities are in need of assistance with in house training or customizing carpet and upholstery maintenance plans we are willing to help. We care about all of these residents. Call Eco Interior Maintenance for a free consultation 410-647-2800. We will travel up and down East Coast if needed.

-published by Doug Bradford CEO, LEED AP, SCI

Doug Bradford is one of the founders of Eco Interior Maintenance (DC, N. VA, MD) and Strategic Restoration & Maintenance (Central Florida). With over 30 years experience, some of his accreditation include: USGBC LEED AP, Chairing for 10 years the writing of the ANSI IICRC S100 International Textile Floor Covering Cleaning Standard, Content contributor for the Carpet & Rug Institute, RIA CR, Senior Carpet Inspector, Resilient Inspector and Mold Remediation Technician. He has developed cleaning products that clean, disinfect and protect textiles and hard surfaces for the cleaning industry, has been an instructor, an industry speaker, industry consultant to major corporations & textile manufacturers and has published articles in nationally recognized cleaning magazines.

Wet or Dry Carpet Cleaning

What is best? Wet or Dry Carpet Cleaning

You may ask, Is wet or dry carpet cleaning better? First there is no such thing as totally dry carpet cleaning unless you are just using a vacuum to extract the soil. About 79 % of all the soil that builds up in you carpet can be removed that way. The other soil, that is left after vacuuming, is either tacky, sticky, oily or a stain. Vacuuming is recommended prior to any cleaning, wet or dry.

Regarding vacuuming, most of the time there is:

  • no frequency chart or schedule   Wet or Dry Carpet Cleaning
  • only spot vacuuming or vacuuming as necessary taking place
  • a vacuum in poor condition (bag or canister not emptied or too full)
  • the wrong type of vacuum cleaner is being employed for carpet being maintained

After spending over 9 years chairing the writing of the International Carpet Cleaning Standard, the ANSI IICRC S100, I learned a few things. There are many variables that go into what is the most appropriate cleaning system/method to use.

Lets name a few.

  • What type of fiber, backing or sub-floor are you cleaning over (Wool vs nylon) (Raised Floor or Concrete)
  • What is the frequency of cleaning? The more you clean the easier it is to maintain appearance and building health levels.
  • Is it a requirement to use only Safer Choice, Low Environmental Impact (LEED), Woolsafe or CRI approved cleaning chemicals?
  • Not all eco friendly cleaning agents are efficient or effective cleaners.
  • Building/home usage & number of occupants can often determine systems/methods of cleaning ?
  • What is the carpet cleaning turn over time? (Different in a hospital or hotel than a office building or home.)
  • What is the desired use life and appearance level of the carpet?
  • Are you cleaning wall to wall or just open traffic areas? (It can be hard to get up close to walls & under desks using dry compound)
  • What is your budget? (Dry compound is typically more expensive that hot water extraction..Low moisture or encapsulation is the least expensive)

We learned that with out a doubt you could clean carpets safely, effectively and efficiently using 95% wet or dry environmentally friendly cleaning agents.  About 5% of the spills or stains can not be removed using a 100% eco friendly product. Specialty spot cleaning products are often necessary to get rid of spots and stains of unknown origin.

Wet vs Dry Carpet Cleaning

Regarding wet cleaning, we learned that you could clean carpet faster and more thoroughly if you use a CRI (Carpet & Rug Institute) approved hot water extraction system. Rinsing the carpet fiber with hot water can free it from contaminates and also assist in the health of the indoor building environment. Drying can be enhanced using air movers, fans and/or building HVAC. Typically commercial carpets will dry in a 1/2 hr to 8 hrs and residential can take up to 12. Residential carpets take longer because the pile or loops are thicker and more plush. In my opinion commercial carpets today will dry in less than 2 hours if properly cleaned and adequate air movement exists. For restoration carpet cleaning, when the carpet looks dirty or only cleaning one time per year, use a hot water extraction system/method and you will remove soil and odor causing pollutants easier.

Most industry professionals consider Dry cleaning to be mostly associated with the employment of a dry compound extraction system/method. A dry granular or powdered compound infused with an absorbent or adsorbent medium containing cleaning surfactants and solvents. They can be can be sprinkled out by hand or mechanically spread out and agitated into the carpet followed by either immediate removal or vacuuming after 10-20 minutes. Typically dry compound cleaning is used on commercial carpet. If dry compounds are used with the right frequency water rinse extraction systems may not need to be employed as often. (Dry compounds work great as a spotting agent in your home or business. (See Capture® or Host® in Carpet /Hardware Stores) In some situations it may be necessary to use only a dry cleaning system/method due to the carpet construction, air circulation problem or hard surface transition areas (trip & fall hazards can be created if carpet is moist near a hard surface where there is no way to restrict traffic. ie: carpeted elevator in office building with marble lobby)

Many manufacturers of encapsulating low moisture cleaning solutions attempt to pass their cleaning systems/methods off as a dry cleaning method but they are not. These low moisture products are not totally dry however they are widely used as an interim cleaning systems/methods (interim means between restoration cleaning) in commercial buildings. *Most of the time dry compound or low moisture carpet cleaning systems/methods need intermittent hot water extraction to rinsing all foriegn particulate out. Encapsulant and dry compounds are excellent for extending the need to use a water restoration system/method.

Whether you choose to use an encapsulant or a dry compound, vacuuming up excess or residual particulate is extremely important. Suspended soil, compound or encapsulant build up can cause performance issues that reduced use life, ugly out carpet or cause health related issues.

So when choosing wet or dry carpet cleaning consider a maintenance program that employs the use of each as needed. Do not fall prey to those who bash a wet cleaning or dry cleaning system.

  • When wet or dry carpet cleaning is performed professionally, using water will not create mold or shrink a rug or carpet.
  • Mold does not grow on plastic (carpet fibers) , it needs a food source. Vacuum, Clean & Dry 1-12 hrs.
  • Dry compounds and encapsulants have their place and are effective and efficient when used properly in a maintenance program
  • Make sure your professional cleaner has the training, experience and equipment to use all types of cleaning systems/methods.

** Always follow manufactures recommendations to protect any warranties available

-Doug Bradford, CEO

Eco Interior Maintenance – DC, N. VA, Maryland

Strategic Maintenance Services – Orlando & Central Florida

Flooring Problem

A flooring problem can be a big headache

If you purchased a new carpet, wood (manufactured wood) or vinyl floor for your home or business and have a flooring problem you may need some professional help. Consumers of all types of floor surfaces can have failures. There are multiple causes for failures and often they can be due to a combination of events. Warranties and installation grace periods can be vague and time sensitive. Installation guidelines may or may not have been followed. Typically you end up with everyone pointing a finger at someone else and all you want is it fixed. Flooring Problem

Often a flooring problem can be blamed on the consumer or end user. Here are a few things to consider in order to protect yourself from that happening. Make sure:Flooring Problem

  1.  the installation guidelines are followed. (Get a copy prior to installation & have someone observe the installation for short time, if possible.)
  2.  the carpet, wood or vinyl flooring is acclimated to the environment. (Office: delivery 24-48 hrs prior to the installation-Home: Stored in a conditioned warehouse prior to installation)
  3.  the sub-floor is debris free and flat prior to the installation. (Concrete should be tested by contractor prior to commercial installations in new buildings & all sub-floor imperfections should be leveled and repaired)
  4.  maintenance guidelines are followed to protect warranty. (A commercial maintenance plan should be instituted immediately. Homes should be cleaned at least every 12-18 months)
  5.  a floor problem with seams, curling edges, adhesive, possible manufacturing defects or installation is reported to the retailer as soon as possible. (within the first year max.)

Flooring problem can not always be avoided because sometimes they are manufacture related defects. It takes an expert usually to identify these issues and assist in getting them resolved. You may think the easiest thing to do is try to clean it out, cut it out or replace it. Get an expert opinion before you do anything. Hire an accredited inspector/cleaner/installer. Why waste any more time! Call a flooring Inspector/Repair expert today!

For questions call Eco Interior Maintenance 410-647-2800 or email helpdesk@ecointeriormaintenance.com

Seam Sealing

Seam sealing is a must for all new broadloom carpet installations.

You may not know, but according to the Carpet and Rug Institutes Commercial and Residential Carpet Installation Guidelines all broadloom seams have to be seam sealed during installation. This installation step protects the freshly cut carpet backing from unraveling at the seams. The backing is a weave. When that weave is cut it creates a weak point if not sealed. seam sealingseam sealing

Yes, you have seen this. You or the night time facility service provider vacuum over a seam and a carpet yarn gets tangled up in a vacuum brush, often leaving a very obvious missing row of loops or tufts.  The thing is, whether this is a direct glue down or stretch in over pad, this should not have happened if professional seam sealing had been done by the installer in the first place.

Often people think that a good seam is one that is invisible. Not necessary true. Most seams are visible however the bigger the loops, the heavier the carpet density and/or the longer the carpet pile is, the easier it is to hide the seam. Sometimes patterns, high/low loops/tufts creating texture or long runs of carpet can make it hard to hide seams.seam sealing

With any seaming method, according to the Carpet & Rug Institute, a properly constructed seam:

  • has cleanly trimmed edges properly secured with edge/seam sealer
  • has tightly abutted edges without gaps or overlaps
  • maintains reasonable pattern match where applicable
  • will not be invisible

For do it yourself installers seam sealer can be found at all places where carpet is sold. Many seam sealers contain tracers that can be detected using a black light. Save yourself from future carpet performance failures by making sure seam sealing is performed during your next installation. Call ECO Interior Maintenance for repairs.

 

Carpet, Upholstery, Tile, Grout

Carpet & Rug Institute Approved Service Provider

Residential Carpet, Upholstery, Tile & Grout Cleaning

Want the best residential carpet upholstery tile grout cleaning value in Anne Arundel County.  ECO Interior Maintenance is most recommended by carpet manufacturers. ECO Interior Maintenance has been providing residential and commercial cleaning services to Maryland, DC and Va for over 30 years.

Call 410-647-2800 Today

Carpet Upholstery Tile Grout

  • Appointments available tomorrow
  • Prompt, Professional & Courteous (no subcontractors)
  • Fresh & Clean Guarantee *
  • Most Technologically advanced equipment
  • “ECO SAFE” Quick Drying. Safe for all Pets & Children
  • Allergenic Free cleaning system
  • Carpet Manufacture recommended Solutions and Equipment

With the corporate headquarters is located conveniently in Arnold Maryland across from the Golf Center & Anne Arundel Community College, ECO services the Arnold/Annapolis, Severna Park/Millersville, Crownsville/Crofton corridor daily with premier carpet upholstery tile grout wood and stone cleaning services daily.

Eco Interior MaintenanceEco Interior Maintenance

 

 

 

Commercial Carpet Maintenance

Carpet doesn’t clean itself!

Spots, soil and grease in commercial carpet do not just magically appear. It is spilled on, tracked on and/or grinded in. It is easy to get caught up in the blame game of whose fault the spots are. Bottom line it is often a little of everyone’s fault and, in most cases, it is so simple to fix. Maintain it with a professionally custom designed commercial carpet maintenance program and your most likely going to be happy with your textile floor-covering for years to come.

commercial carpet maintenance

There are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • Commercial Carpet Warranty’s require a cleaning maintenance program. No program…No Warranty.
  • Depending on use, each program may vary in frequency and in the specification of cleaning solution/system employed. (water extraction, encapsulation or dry compound)
  • Vacuuming needs to be scheduled regularly using the proper type of vacuum. Pile needs to be lifted to remove in-bedded soils. (Back pack vacuums are not always effective if heavy soil is deposited)
  • If you are allowing “desk dining” then use chair mats to protect the carpet from some spills and premature crushing from chairs.
  • Protect the entrance ways and transition areas with strategically placed walk off mats.
  • Finally cleaning experience, education, choice of cleaning solution/system and type/style of commercial carpet are important factors to consider before accepting lowest price bidder. visit: The Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval Service Providers.

Doing the job right the first time can save big dollars by increasing the longevity, health and appearance of you carpeted commercial facility. Do not wait to design your maintenance program till it is too late. Save yourself the aggravation, time and costly replacement costs.

Written by Doug Bradford, CEO Eco Interior Maintenance, Inc. 

Commercial Carpet Maintenance

Commercial Carpet Maintenancecommercial carpet maintenance

commercial carpet maintenance

Cleaning Commercial Floors, Carpet and Upholstery

Cleaning commercial floors, carpet and upholstery are all services that require professional expertise.

Whether it is stone, wood, carpet or textile covered office furnishings these detail cleaning procedures need to be done correctly the first time. Many things can be effected by skipping an important procedure just to cut the cost or get it done quicker.Cleaning commercial floors

Often, people who are not qualified or trained properly to perform the work try to quickly fix commercial maintenance problems without implementing the correct procedures, equipment or cleaning solutions. This can cost the building owner, GM, GC, office coordinator or facility manager big dollars. Outsourcing or hiring trained professionals to take care of detailed cleaning makes sense when the in house staff neither has the time or equipment to get it done efficiently & effectively.

Cleaning Conmmercial Floors

These are daily commercial floor & upholstery cleaning challenges;

  • Irreversible damage to floors and furnishings due to poor maintenance
  • Wasted money trying to re-clean or fix maintenance mess ups
  • Improper product specification for use
  • Cleaning frequency that does not meet traffic load or use
  • No maintenance plan until it looks dirty (damage already done)
  • Just do not have the budget to clean properly
  • Take the cheapest bid to save money

Cleaning is too important!. Proper cleaning procedures, solutions and equipment: Cleaning Commercial Floors

  • Remove unwanted contaminates.
  • Makes the building healthier.
  • Saves replacement dollars
  • Extends use life of all flooring,textiles and equipment in building
  • Enhances work environment/production levels

Tips for choosing the right cleaning contractor:

  • References, references, references
  • Is contractor recommended by the manufactures of products they maintain
  • Is vendor involved in the industry associations
  • Does the bid/proposal describe cleaning procedures in detail
  • Is prompt, professional, courteous & timely service provided from the start

Cleaning Commercial FloorsCleaning Commercial    Cleaning Commercial Floors Get it right the first time!

 ECO Interior Maintenance

Call 301-261-1966 Today

Cleaning Commercial Floors

 

How often should I clean my Upholstery

We are frequently asked, “How often should I clean upholstery?”. This is a great question. You disinfect and clean your sinks, bathrooms and counter tops weekly yet years may pass before your couch is cleaned properly. With all of the talk about germs, bacteria and indoor air quality issues that can arise from poor maintenance, upholstery somehow slips by undetected until it looks so dirty that you can not stand looking at it anymore.

  • Family room couch and upholstered furniture      –  Yearly
  • Dining room chairs, oversized chairs & ottomans –  Every other Year
  • Leather recondition & clean                                      –   Every other year
  • Basement furniture (dehumidify in summer)       –   Yearly depending on use

* Scotchguard® or teflon® treatments may help to protect from spills and soiling after cleaning

A good fried of mine, Dr. Bernazzani,  a long time cleaning & restoration professional did his thesis paper for his doctorate on 100 clean homes. A “clean home” was a home that had never had an issue with mold or water damage.

Each home owner was asked where they thought the highest bacterial count was in their house. Most answered their bathroom toilet or the kitchen sink. Fact is, these were some of the cleanest spots due to daily or weekly cleaning and disinfection practices.

Dr. Bernazzani did bacteria and mold collections tests in all of these areas including on the family room couch. What was the dirtiest? The family room couch was off the charts. Full of soil, mold and bacteria. Think about it! It is where you eat, nap when you are sick, plop down on after a workout or cuddle next to your dog or kids.  Upholstery gets dirty faster and stays dirty longer because you clean it less. It is kind of disgusting when you think about it.

So next time you are getting your carpets cleaned or are cleaning your foyer floors don’t forget to schedule a time to  your clean upholstery. Your upholstery and your family may be healthier for it.

** different types of upholstery fabrics may need professional care. DIY be careful of fine fabrics. Always follow cleaning label directions.

 

Cleaning Hotel Carpets

Cleaning hotel carpets can be challenging. Most often special cleaning processes need to be considered prior to attempting to improve their appearance. Too often, people who are not qualified or properly trained and try every spot cleaning product available. 95% of the time this approach will set a spot or stain making it permanent. At this time, repairing becomes costly.Cleaning Hotel Carpets

What is the difference between a spot and a stain?
  • A spill can quickly become a spot or a stain if not removed quickly.
  • A spot is typically foreign matter on the surface of a carpet fiber. Usually can be removed easily.
  • A stain is the addition of color to a carpet fiber. Usually in the form of a dye or pigment. More difficult to remove.
  • Color loss is the removal of color typically due to high pH chemicals, oxidizers, reducers (bleach) or acids. Cleaning Hotel Carpets -Stain

“Making smart carpet care decisions right after you take over the management or install new carpet in a luxury hotel, convention center, motel or boutique hotel is very important. At a minimum, carpet maintenance personnel should be trained by a carpet maintenance specialist to follow manufactures maintenance guidelines and should have access or be provided with the proper cleaning solutions and equipment to do their job properly. ” See suggestions from the Carpet & Rug Institute.

What type of carpet is being cleaned?Cleaning Hotel Carpets- Ballroom
  • Woven Wool Carpet (Administers) – Natural fibers
  • Nylon, Olefin or Polyester Carpet – Synthetic Fibers
  • Broadloom or Carpet Tiles – Different Backing systems
  • Inlays or Area Rugs – surrounded by other flooring surfaces
What areas are you cleaning?
  • Guest rooms & Suites
  • Hallways, Lobbies & Dining rooms (Restaurants)
  • Meeting rooms, Ballrooms & Convention areas
What does cleaning hotel carpets the right way cost?

The cost of cleaning hotel carpets the right way will include a carefully designed maintenance plan that takes into consideration:

  • LEED-eco-friendly equipment & cleaning solutions
  • square footage of carpet being cleaned
  • location of the carpet
  • turn around for rooms (drying times necessary)
  • type of carpet and installation (stretch in, glue down or double stick)
  • frequency of cleaning and
  • the carpet cleaning procedures necessary to do get the job done right.

Typically this can be between 12-20 cents (DC-Baltimore-N.Virginia) a square foot but this rough estimate varies across the nation. Per guest room costs can vary… but typically without moving furniture you can be anywhere from $25-$60 per average room with 2 queens, a couch, desk and bathroom. Budget appropriate funds if you intend to get the expected use life from your investment in floor coverings!

For any Additional Information please call Doug, Justin or Aaron at:
Eco Interior Maintenance
301-261-1966 or 410-647-2800

 

 

Choosing the right Commercial Carpet

Making a decision on what type or whose carpet to buy is difficult. With many manufacturers pushing their latest and greatest choosing the right commercial carpet or flooring is many times left up to an interior design firm. Designers may be great with color schemes, suggestions for eco friendly furnishings, office layout and aesthetic appeal but when it comes down to functionality, ease & cost of maintenance and use life this may be best left to an experienced building maintenance consultant.choosing the right commercial carpet

Eco Interior Maintenance has built a reputation taking care of all types of interior furnishings and floor coverings. Each usually have their own set of manufacturers recommended maintenance guidelines or cleaning specifications. If these are not followed…Ops.. there goes the warranty. This can be an expensive lesson to learn for any facilities director, building owner or office/general manager.

Here is a great resource to review if you intend to buy commercial carpet soon. Even if you have a design firm or product specifier, know what questions to ask before you sign on the dotted line. This news letter was written by a friend of mine Lew Migliore who owns LGM Enterprises in Dalton GA. He is one of the leading forensic flooring problem solving/inspectors in the county. Upload this report to learn more or call us here at Eco Interior Maintenance.

http://lgmandassociates.com/wp-content/uploads/2013-09-CFR-Volume-63-CRI-Commercial-Model-Specifications.pdf