• 20
  • Sep

It’s Not “Just” Vacuuming

Vacuuming is the best way to remove dirt, dust and other foreign matter from carpet and hard floors. If vacuuming isn’t performed on a regular basis it will start to show rather quickly. Over time, dirt and dust will become deeply ingrained in carpet and will act as “sandpaper” to damage carpet fibers with even moderate foot traffic. Much of this dirt is not seen on the surface. The carpet may not look like it needs to be vacuumed, but the unseen dirt is present below the surface. The following lists some complications that can arise with improperly maintained carpets:

1. Premature Wear and Tear on Carpet

This “sandpaper” effect will take its toll on carpet fibers if not vacuumed on a regular basis. This is especially true in high traffic areas which are more susceptible to wear and tear because of the volume of traffic. It is important to vacuum carpeted areas “wall to wall” on a weekly basis. High traffic areas would benefit from more frequent vacuuming to remove the soils being tracked in and worked into these areas. In addition to vacuuming, the use of chair mats in work areas and walk off entry mats can also be beneficial for prolonging the life of carpets.

2. Germs & Bacteria Can Hide in Carpets

Studies confirm that people spend an average of 90% of their time indoors. Carpets can be deceptively unclean if not properly maintained. Any contaminants present in carpets can transfer on the soles of shoes from one area to another.

The most perilous germs, bacteria and contaminates in carpets can include:
• Campylobacter: Favored by moisture, can cause diarrhea, fevers, and cramps in stomach.
• Norovirus: It can cause stomach flu.
• MRSA: Generally, these are found in hospitals, athletic facilities or schools. It can cause aching red bumps, rashes and fever.
• Fungi and Mold: Favored by moisture like Campylobacter, they can cause allergy and in rare cases can lead to death of the affected person.
• Micrococcus: It causes skin infections and meningitis. It is particularly risky for those with weak immune systems.
• Enterococci: It causes severe infections such as UTI, bacteremia, diverticulitis, and meningitis.
• Mycotoxins: They are produced by various kinds of molds and are a serious threat to the immune system. Thus, they can cause a myriad of health issues.

3. Dirty Carpet contributes to Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)

In 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) coined this term to describe harmful elements in an indoor environment. In this condition, building occupants are susceptible to cough, chills, rashes, headache, pain in chest and muscles, fatigue, and fever. SBS is caused from inadequate building ventilation as well as specific biological and chemical contaminants. The symptoms can often go away if the carpets are deep cleaned (or in the worst cases removed), indoor air quality is improved, or the occupants discontinue to live or visit the facility.

4. A Source of Polluted Indoor Air

Carpets are produced of synthetic materials, i.e., nylon, acrylic, and PVC, which outgases toxic chemicals, commonly known as volatile organic compounds (VOC) into indoor air. In addition, carpeting traps chemicals such as cleaning agents, smoke, fumes, deodorizers, and other contaminates. Once these chemicals come in contact with carpet, they can linger, and are slowly released from the carpet fibers into the air for a sustained period of time. This can cause indoor air pollution and is a major contributor to SBS.
• The contaminated indoor air can aggravate the symptoms for asthma and allergy sufferers and can cause sudden and severe asthmatic and allergy attacks.
• Generally, indoor air pollutants cause headaches, lethargy, and irritation in eyes and nose.
• Long-term exposure can cause respiratory and heart diseases.
• In worst cases, the chemically contaminated air can lead to the onset on certain types of cancer.

5. Can Lead to Weak Immune System

Our immune system constantly protects us from harmful toxins, viruses, germs and bacteria every day to keep us in great health. However, a sustained unhygienic atmosphere can compromise our immune system and risk our health. Bottom line: staying in a facility with contaminated carpets, can compromise our immune system and make us more susceptible to illness.

6. Can Lead to Respiratory Issues

Mold mainly grows in moist carpets and can attract different sorts of bacteria and allergens. When the occupants inhale indoor air contaminated with mold, it can cause flu-like symptoms and respiratory issues. This condition is even more of an issue for asthma patients. A proper carpet cleaning is required to remove these contaminants so that occupants can continue to work without negative effect.

7. Can Lead to Skin Issues

Walking barefoot on carpets may feel nice to the feet, but it can invite serious skin issues too. When we are on carpets barefoot, the germs and bacteria can find way to penetrate our skin through cuts, wounds, and pores. They mainly cause athlete’s foot and skin asthma. For skin asthma patients, these germs and bacteria can cause skin asthma attacks.
Appearances Matter – Maintaining a Clean Environment

A clean office space can be quite appealing and welcoming to your business prospects. The moment they enter your clean and tidy office, it sends a positive signal by showing them a level of efficiency and attention to detail of whom they may be doing business with.

Conversely, an unkept office space with dirty or unvacuumed floors can potentially have the opposite effect on your prospects. If your office space fails to make a positive first impression, it could ultimately jeopardize an important business opportunity. Consider vacuuming your office space on a regular basis or budget for a professional office cleaning service to help provide the cleaning for a good first impression for potential clients. If prospects or customers regularly visit your offices, a clean and vacuumed office can be an effective marketing tool that makes that positive statement about your business.

Vacuuming 101

Not all commercial cleaning vacuums are “created equally”. Some are more efficient than others. Backpack vacuums are replacing upright vacuums for several reasons: 1) Low profile carpeting in commercial buildings is more commonly used and reduces the need for a “beater bar” 2) backpacks are physically easier to operate than upright vacuums 3) backpacks can save time. It is important to use a vacuum containing HEPA filters to more effectively remove microscopic particles.

Vacuum the Hard Floors Pleasevacuuming

With the use of the correct attachment tool, backpack vacuums clean all types of hard floors considerably faster than a dust mop. This is especially true in crowded classrooms or congested areas. Vacuuming is generally a faster, healthier and more efficient way to clean hard floors compared to traditional dust mopping methods. With a HEPA filter vacuum, dust and dirt are immediately contained within the vacuum filtration system. Dust mopping on the other hand continually redistributes dirt and fine particulates on and into the floor, potentially leaving scratches and dulling a high gloss finish. Also, dust bunnies reappear more quickly when a floor has been dust mopped as compared to cleaning with a backpack vacuum.

Team Cleaning and the Role of the Vacuum Specialist

Team Cleaning utilizes an approach consisting of a team of professionals that systematically work together through each area of a facility at the same time. Each professional is trained and assigned to one function as a “specialist” and the team moves together throughout the building to complete the cleaning routine. A typical team includes the following specialist:

1. Light Duty Specialist
2. Vacuum Specialist
3. Restroom Specialist
4. Utility Specialist

The Vacuum Specialist is responsible for doublechecking the trash cans are emptied in each office when vacuuming under them, vacuuming all traffic areas, spot vacuuming all other areas including crumbs and dry spills on furniture, repositioning all furniture correctly, turning out lights upon competition of a room and securing all interior areas as required.

It is important that the Vacuum Specialist be properly trained to perform all tasks and provided with the proper tools to perform these duties.

Any cleaning issues noticed should always be handled immediately and proficiently by your janitorial cleaning company. If this is not the case, it might be time to consider the services of another janitorial service. Does your cleaning service get back to you in a timely fashion if not the same day? They should be.

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Triad is here to handle all your janitorial needs!  Contact us today for your free no-obligation quote.



Jeff Scales administrator