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Advice Every Strata Should Know About Carpet Cleaning

Commercial carpet Patcraft Paseo

At least once a year we visit a strata getting a quote on new carpet and find out that the dirty, severely stained, unkempt carpet underfoot is only a few years old! Even high-quality commercial carpets can end up looking old well before their time simply because they were not properly cleaned. While there are many reasons building are not maintained properly, with carpets often the council doesn’t think carpet cleaning and maintenance is necessary or they don’t understand what maintenance is expected.

Picking a good quality, stain-resistant carpet is not a substitute for regular maintenance. All carpets require maintenance suitable for their traffic areas. Since strata common hallways experience high traffic and are often victim to mystery stains, they require more cleaning than the carpet in your home.

What happens when regular carpet maintenance is not performed

  1. Lifespan of the carpet is shortened and results in the a higher replacement costs in the long run.
  2. Manufacturer refuses to warranty coverage on your investment.
  3. Stains and soiling create negative impression of the building for both residents and visitors.
  4. Old worn carpet suggests that the strata doesn’t take care of the building and residents shouldn’t either.

It’s clear that regular carpet maintenance is important, but let’s face it – few people are excited to spend the time researching and planning it. That’s why we’ve broken down your commercial carpet maintenance into four easy-to-follow steps. No more excuses for prematurely uglied-out carpet!

4 easy steps to a commercial carpet maintenance plan

Carpet maintenance works best with a deliberate scheduled program instead of reacting to stains and soiling. The manufacturer of your carpet can provide an in-depth guide to planning your scheduled maintenance plan. We always recommended reading the manufacturer’s guide to follow any manufacturer specific guidelines. See the links at the bottom of the post for maintenance guides from popular carpet manufacturers. If MIRA Floors has recently completed flooring for your strata, either the property manager or strata will receive warranty and maintenance info in the mail, so keep an eye out for it.

This advice is for carpets with synthetic, man-made fibres (e.g. nylon or olefin). If the carpet is wool/wool-blend carpet or printed, please contact the carpet manufacturer directly for specific cleaning instructions.

1. Prevent dirt/soil from getting on the carpet

Various studies have shown that the cost of removing a pound of soil from a building ranges up to $500 or more. It’s much cheaper to keep the soil outside than remove it!

To keep the soil out, manufacturers recommend using a combination of walk off mats. A course textured walk off mat to trap grit and dirt should come first, followed by a mat designed to absorb water. Using both mats is essential at preventing soiling; one type of mat alone is not good enough. Mats should be placed at all entrances where residents could track in dirt and soil.

To be effective at keeping dirt and water out, mats need to be cleaned even more often than the carpets. It is worth investing in high-quality commercial grade mats that do a great job of trapping soil and have a longer lifespan.

2. Remove dry soil by vacuuming

Most dirt and grim that accumulates in a strata building is dry soil. The best way to remove dry soil is by vacuuming. Walking pushes soil particles deep into the carpet pile, where they are harder to remove. Frequent vacuuming removes the soil particles before they are trapped in the carpet fibres. In entrances, elevators and hallways daily vacuuming is recommended to maintain the appearance and longevity of the carpet. Areas with less traffic can be vacuumed 2-3 times a week.

Investing in a good vacuum for the strata is key to keep the carpet looking great. Vacuuming only helps when he vacuum can effectively remove soil from the pile. For vacuum cleaners, we only recommend ones certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) Seal of Approval program. Their seven part program tests how well vacuums clean carpet, only recommending the best products for maintaining your carpets. For carpet tiles and broadloom carpet glued to the subfloor, most manufacturers do not recommend using a vacuum with a beater bar as it may damage the carpet pile.

3. Remove spots and stains by spot cleaning

Spots and stains are the one unplanned part of the maintenance program. Be prepared by having a spot cleaning solutions available to use immediately. Check for spots daily and if there is one, act quickly. Even if it has stain-resistant treatments, no carpet is completely stain-proof.

If you can identify the type of stain, we recommend checking out the Carpet and Rug Institute Spot Solver website. Search for the type of stain and they will provide feedback on the cleaning products and methods to use. The carpet manufacturer’s Technical Service department is another great resource to call for cleaning advice. Please use the methods recommended by professionals – home remedies or mixtures can cause more damage to the carpet than the stain did.

General spot cleaning tips

  • Scoop up solids gently with a spoon or dull knife.
  • Absorb by blotting (never scrubbing or rubbing) with white paper towel or cloth.
  • Clean by working from the edges to the centre to prevent the spill from spreading further.
  • Use patience. Complete removal of a stain may require repeat spot cleaning.

4. Clean with hot-water extraction

Vacuuming alone is not enough to keep your carpet clean. The vacuum cannot pick up the oily soil that is also tracked into the building. Carpet manufacturer’s recommend a hot water extraction 2-4 per year for entrances, elevators and hallways, depending on how much traffic your building gets. Hot water extraction (also called steam cleaning) should use high-performance commercial equipment for the best possible clean. Self-contained walk-behind hot water extraction systems are a good interim solution for cleaning but are not a substitute for professional cleaning equipment.

Carpet manufacturer’s actively advise against bonnet system cleaners. They only clean the surface and do not extract the soil deep in the carpet. In some cases, the bonnet system leaves detergent behind and may damage the edges of carpet tiles. Check that your carpet cleaners are doing a hot-water extraction and not using a bonnet system.

Maintenance guides from commercial carpet manufacturers

Shaw Commercial carpet maintenance videos

Patcraft Commercial carpet maintenance guide

Shaw Contract commercial carpet maintenance guide

 

Trendspotting with Shaw Floors: Waterproof LVP and Grey Tones

Last week we visited the Shaw Floors Market Show here in Vancouver. As one of the world’s largest flooring manufacturers, Shaw Floors stays on top of the latest flooring trends. The market is an opportunity for us to peruse new samples and discover the next big things in flooring for 2015.

Waterproof Luxury Vinyl Plank (LVP) Floorté

This innovative new product from Shaw has the potential to change the luxury vinyl plank marketplace. Why is the vinyl plank so revolutionary?

  • It’s completely waterproof. Floorté is made from an EVP polymer plastic that can withstand being submerged in water. Most vinyl plank flooring on the market is just water-resistant.
  • A new locking system similar to a Tupperware lid. Thanks to the locking system, it’s easy to install and keeps water out of the joints for up to 48 hours.
  • Unmatched realism. Since Floorté is more rigid than glue-down LVP, it feels more like hardwood underfoot. The bevelled edges add to the realism.
  • No underpad is needed for Floorté.
  • Wear layer features durable Armourbead nano-ceramic particle finish.

Shaw Floorte Classico waterproof luxury vinyl plank
Shaw Floors Floorté Classico LVP colour Colori

 

Grey tones taking over

Grey is the trendy neutral colour in interior design right now. Flooring colour palettes are changing to keep up with the trends. Colours with names like sand, honey and coffee are being replaced with new colours names like fog, silver and concrete. Expect to see even more grey options available in carpet, laminate and hardwood. Here’s a few of our favourite grey options from the show:

Castlewood Oak Hardwood
The Castlewood Oak collection exudes old world charm. The natural beauty of the wood shines through with knots, mineral streaks and natural splits. Four rich grey-toned options give the grey-lover plenty of options to choose from.

Shaw Castlewood Oak hardwood colour Armory
Shaw Castlewood Oak Hardwood colour Armory

Shaw Castlewood Oak hardwood colour Hearth
Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak colour Hearth

Shaw Castlewood Oak hardwood colour Drawbridge
Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak colour Drawbridge

Shaw Castlewood Oak hardwood colour Tower
Shaw Floors Castlewood Oak colour Tower

 

Truly Relaxed Carpet
This luxurious nylon loop carpet is the redesigned sibling to one of our best-selling carpets. With many grey options to choose from, you can find the perfect shade to compliment your decor.

Shaw Truly Relaxed Loop carpet
Shaw Truly Relaxed loop carpet

Make your own rug: 9 broadloom carpets to turn into area rugs

Area rugs are great for creating high impact change on a tight budget or keeping your feet warm on colder hard surfaces. Turning broadloom carpet into an area rug is a good option for those who are looking for a custom size area rug or have a carpet remnant they like. The carpet is cut to size and the edges are bound to prevent fraying.  We have rounded up our favourite high quality broadloom carpets that would make great area rugs.

1. This Moroccan quatrefoil design is a classic.

Tuftex Carpet Taza in colour in Silverado

2. Classic herringbone is a sure winner.

Tuftex Carpet Only Natural in colour Violet

3. This floral print creates an air of elegance.

Shaw Carpet Cascade Garden in colour Cloud Burst

4. Subtle squares add a hint of visual interest to any space.

Tuftex Carpet Crystal Visions II in colour After Dark

5. Get the cozy rustic look with plaid.

Shaw Carpet Cozy Escape in colour Edinburgh

6. Create the calming feeling of natural waves.

Tuftex Carpet Twist in colour Starfish

7. Zebra print is only for the truly bold.

Shaw Carpet Zebra in colour Call of the Wild

8. Bright yarn adds shimmering highlights to the textured wool carpet.

Unique Carpets Illumination in colour Golden Sand

9. Thick and thin bands of colour create a uniformed and balanced pattern in this wool carpet.

Unique Carpets Vintage Stripe in colour Boardwalk

 

Guide to picking carpet for strata complexes

Strata commercial carpet

Common areas of a strata complex are part of the first impression for residents and visitors. When it comes time to replace flooring in the common area, many residents will be invested in the decision because they are passionate about creating a great first impression for their building. Getting all these passionate residents to agree on a new carpet for the common area can often be challenging.

Why do strata complexes experience challenges picking new flooring?

  1. Design is subjective. While Mrs. Smith in Unit 306 may love leopard print patterned carpet, others in the building may not. Each person added to the decision making process brings a new set of interior design ideas to accommodate.
  2. There are an overwhelming number of commercial carpet choices. There are thousands of styles and patterns, each with many different colour choices. It is challenging for one person to pick from all these samples, let alone a whole group of people.

Don’t endure multiple strata meetings and get into arguments over shades of blue and carpet fibres. Here are a few simple tips we recommend to make the process of picking commercial carpet easier:

  1. Only have a small group responsible for picking the carpet. Designate one or two people as the carpet selection committee. They will work with the salesperson to find a carpet that fits your building’s needs and works with the colour scheme.
  2. Narrow down the options before you show them to the whole strata. Pick a few favourite carpet samples and leave the rest in the showroom. Limiting the options makes it easy for the strata to vote. After a quick “majority rules” vote, the carpet will be picked.
  3. Ensure all decision makers have the same knowledge about carpet. Not all carpets are created equally. Colour and patterns are only two of many important factors to consider. Invite your salesperson to spend 5-10 minutes at your meeting educating all decision makers on factors to consider when picking commercial carpet. Once everyone has the same knowledge about carpet, they will be more confident when making their decision.
  4. Get the full picture with the big samples. Commercial carpet sample books often have tiny swatches – think 1 inch by 1 inch. Your salesperson can order larger samples to help you better visualize what the carpet will look like in your common area. Manufacturers such as Patcraft have tools on their website to show what your carpet will look like in a larger space and using different carpet tile installation methods.
  5. Consider using a designer. If interior design isn’t your forté or the strata is planning a renovation with many components (carpet, tiles, paint etc), a designer will help with the decision making process. The designer will provide great advice on interior design trends and put together visual representations of the components of the design. A visual representation is helpful for working around any language barriers you may have.

While there’s no guarantee of pleasing everyone when making a decision with a large group of people, following these steps will help you come to a fair decision, quickly and easily.

7 things to do with leftover carpet

Often the biggest challenge after a new carpet installation is what to do with the leftover carpet scraps. There are many environmentally-friendly options for the both the used and new carpet scraps including recycling, donating, or re-purposing. Here are 7 of our favourite things to do with leftover carpet.

1. Turn it into a walk off mat

If you have large cuts of new carpet leftover at the end of the job, the best use for them is to turn them into a walk-off mat. The mats will create a cohesive look in your home or can be put over the existing carpet to keep it looking good in high traffic entrance areas. To avoid fraying edges from DIY cutting, bring it in to Mira to have the edges professionally bound.

2. Muffle noisy washer or dryer

Quiet down washer and dryers that shake and rattle by putting a leftover piece of carpet under it to help muffle the noise of the machine moving against the floor.

3. Use it as knee pads

Small scraps of carpet make great knee pads for gardening, solo canoeing, or to store in the trunk for changing a flat tire.

4. Move heavy furniture

Put leftover pieces under the feet of heavy furniture and appliances to protect floors from scratches.

5. Make a carpet pet house

Carpet Pet House

Smaller pieces of carpet can be re-purposed into this innovative pet house. This simple DIY project only has two steps once the carpet has been cut down to size. Instructions are can be found here: http://www.amplesample.net/site/library/img/winners08/CarpetPetHouse.pdf

6. Recycle it

Carpet recycling is the best option for large quantities of leftover used carpet. By choosing to recycle the carpet instead of taking it to the landfill, the carpet fibres can be used to create new carpet or other products that use polypropylene and nylon such as bearings, plastic pipes, and patio furniture. MIRA Floors offers free carpet recycling for all our residential customers. Learn more about the carpet recycling process on our carpet recycling page.

7. Take on a carpet furniture making project
Get inspired by past winners of Ample Sample, an annual contest showcasing innovative ways of re-using the thousands of carpet tile samples leftover each year. Projects vary in difficulty and number of carpet tiles needed.

Ample Sample Winners

 

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