ESD Carpet Tile: Maintenance
Staticworx® products are quality engineered to provide a long useful life and enhance the working environment. Carpet tile offers many advantages over other flooring systems, such as sound absorption, reduced fatigue, and lower maintenance costs. From the start, the maintenance program should be considered part of the buying decision. If proper maintenance is neglected, the carpet's appearance and performance will suffer, shortening the carpet's useful life and raising long-term costs.
A comprehensive carpet care program* consists of four elements:
- Reduction of soil entering the building
- Removal of dry soil
- Removal of spots and spills
- Cleaning by hot water extraction
The Importance of Planning
Carpet maintenance must be established as a scheduled program, rather than being a random series of reactions to soiling conditions and infrequent cleaning. Virtually every complaint of poor appearance, rapid soiling, pile crushing and many times poor performance has been shown to be related to a lack of planning and control for the maintenance program.
The most important consideration when planning a maintenance program is the budget. Like other expensive furnishings or equipment, advanced static controlled carpet represents a substantial investment for any facility and deserves adequate care to prolong its effective life. If the carpet maintenance budget is set unrealistically low, the carpet will need to be replaced prematurely. Other items to consider are the amount of traffic and type of soiling, which will vary by area. Due to the higher traffic level, entrance lobbies, and hallways will need more care than offices. Production line areas and outside entrances will require more effort due to the more difficult soiling conditions.
Recommended Maintenance Frequency
Light Traffic: Private Offices & Cubicles, Computer Rooms and Test Areas
Medium Traffic: Shared Offices, Interior Hallways, Conference Rooms and Light Assembly
Heavy Traffic: Entrances, Elevators, Main Hallways, Break Rooms, Work/Copy Rooms, Mailrooms, Light Assembly and Manufacturing, Command Centers, Data Centers and Call Centers
Severe Conditions: Entries to Main Lobbies, Areas Surrounding Surface Mount, Wave Solder or Aqueous Cleaners
*(Extra Heavy Traffic & Excessive Soiling Require Frequent Attention). For these areas ESD Rubber tile is recommended.
Reduction of Soiling
The use of walk-off mats at transition areas from the outside or hard surface to carpet is important. Walk-off mats can greatly reduce the amount of soil entering a facility by normal traffic. There are two types of mats which should be used: soil removal mats and water absorbent mats.
- Good soil removal mats have a coarse texture and are able to brush soil from shoes and hold large amounts in the pile.
- The water absorbent mat must be used inside, either full time or at least during wet weather. When both types of mats are used in combination, they should always be placed so that incoming traffic passes over the soil removal mat first, because the absorbent types have very little soil holding ability. For mats to continue to trap soil, they should be cleaned on a regular basis.
Removal of Dry Soil
Vacuuming is the most significant element in the maintenance of carpet and in the overall appearance of the facility. Research has shown that 85% of the soil tracked into a building is dry, and the other 15% is oily. Vacuums are designed to control this dry soil. Frequent vacuuming removes particulate soil from the surface before it works down in to the pile where it is more difficult to remove. Walking on the carpet accelerates the rate at which the particles settle deep into the pile. Areas with heavy traffic, such as entrances and major corridors, assembly or manufacturing, should be vacuumed at least once a day. Areas with less traffic, such as offices, computer rooms, engineering labs, should be vacuumed every other day depending upon conditions.
Vacuum Cleaner Recommendations:
- Vacuums should have dual motors - one to drive the source of agitation or vibration which loosens the soil, and one to drive the vacuum fan which creates the suction that picks up the particles. This prevents the vacuum from losing efficiency as the beater bar/brush becomes slowed by excessive debris or as the bag fills. Dual motor vacuums also survive the demands of a commercial location and last longer than single motor vacuums.
- Bags that fill from the top are preferred over those that fill from the bottom. As the bag fills, it does not add to the load on the vacuum motor. Bags should be checked frequently and replaced when 1/2 to 2/3 full. When changing bags, also check the belt and replace if loose or worn.
Between cleanings, regular use of a pile lifter can remove deeply imbedded dry sand and soil, help stand up the pile and renew the appearance of the carpet in high traffic areas. A pile lifter is an upright two motor vacuum with a large, adjustable, gentle bristle brush with a motor, a high suction vacuum motor, and a sand trap. Using a pile lifter in traffic lanes just prior to cleaning will remove the deeply embedded soil and open up the pile so the hot water extraction can be more effective. Another good use of a pile lifter is for post-construction cleanup. Vacuum first to pick up the larger sized chunks of dried mud, dirt, and construction debris. Then use a pile lifter to remove the fine particulates, such as dry wall dust, which are deep in the pile. After using a pile lifter, the final step - cleaning by hot water extraction to remove the residual soil - will be less difficult.