The budget shrinks and the carpet is cleaned less frequently. Labor and therefore money is saved, and the main downside is there are a few more complaints. Right?
Well, no. Carpet and floor care is difficult to cut without downstream effects that can greatly exceed expected savings. Here are four ways cutting back on carpet care includes downstream expenses:
- Less frequent vacuuming of entries and traffic lanes allows more soil into the rest of the building. The further soil spreads inside, the more time consuming it is to remove.
- Less frequent vacuuming allows dirt and grit to wear carpeting and floor finishes. The abrasion wears carpet fibers faster and scratches protective coatings on hard floors, requiring more frequent hard surface restoration.
- Less frequent vacuuming allows soils deeper into carpet where vacuum suction is significantly reduced. Once off the surface and into the lower layers of the carpet structure, dirt accumulates.
- Less frequent carpet extraction and floor scrubbing allows stains to set up. More chemistry and moisture are necessary to revitalize heavily traveled areas.
So, the long-term costs of cutting back are considerable. But the immediate budget still needs to be dealt with. Here are some ideas to dial into your response:
Vacuum at the former appropriate frequency, but vacuum 80% less area. Concentrate on entryways and the top 10% of traffic zones. You still cut back on time/labor.
Now, add this wrinkle: Make a list of the lower priority areas. Every day, throw in one of these areas. If the lowest of these can be serviced every two weeks, divide your additional zones into 14. If a week is as long as vacuuming can wait in low-traffic areas, divide your additional zones into seven assigned areas. Post the schedule.
Use encapsulation carpet care to reduce extensive extraction. Encapsulation chemistry bonds with dirt, bringing more out. Following extraction, more encapsulated soil comes out with subsequent vacuuming. Less chemistry and moisture are required during extraction to clean well.
Invest in 3-stage, lengthy, high-quality entryway matting to save replacement of your overall carpeting and spread out restorations of your hard surface flooring.
Review your traffic patterns and if appropriate invest in customized pieces that angle where needed. If your heavy traffic patterns are not straight, your permanent floor coverings will thank you for protecting them with longer life.
Get started early. A long piece of outdoor carpeting designed to capture gritty soils, rocks, mud and snow can make the indoor stages of entryway matting work much better.
Train a rapid-response team member for handling entrance matting on muddy or snowy days. These are the times floors can take a beating and slip-fall liability is greatest. Have backup matting sections to substitute during inclement weather, and a separate area for cleaning-in-place on those days.
If you are renting mats, consider the quality, length and cost-saving improvements you can make with clean-in-place matting. When a simple 3x5 mat can run as much as $150 per year, the impact on your budget is worth looking into.
Make sure your staff is spot-on when it comes to stain and spill spotting. Cleaning up the little messes rapidly keeps them from setting and spreading.