Carpet Care for Winter Wear: Maintaining Your Floors

Ice melt is very important for your facility, but it can wreak havoc on your carpeted floors. Ice melt can be abrasive to carpet fibers, causing your carpets to wear down faster. According to ISSA, most experts agree that cleaning carpets only when they appear soiled is ineffective because the damage to the carpet is already done. Carpets can hide soiling, and those hidden soils can result in premature wear, loss of color and loss of fiber material.

It takes a proactive approach to protect your carpets from the extra soiling the winter weather can bring. In order to protect your carpets, it’s important to develop an effective winter carpet care maintenance plan. Here are some tips from ISSA on how to have effective carpet care for winter wear:

Decide on a Plan: A maintenance plan is important to help ensure the work actually gets done. A plan should be created with collaboration from facility managers, cleaning professionals and building users in order to create a plan that works best for your facility.

Reevaluate the Benefits of Matting: Matting isn’t just for preventing slips and falls on hard floors. Effective matting systems can “keep as much as 80 percent of moisture and soil from entering a facility” (Cuddy). At least 15 feet of matting is recommended for all building entrances.

Increase Outdoor Cleaning Frequencies: Outdoor areas such as sidewalks, plazas, etc. should be cleaned more frequently during winter months.

Increase Vacuuming Frequencies: Vacuuming is “probably the single most important component of a winter carpet care maintenance program.” All high-traffic areas, entrance mats and walkways should be vacuumed on a daily basis.

Pay Attention to Special Vacuuming Needs: Certain carpeted areas, such as inside elevators, carpeted areas directly outside elevators and around escalators, and transition areas where hard floors meet carpeting should receive more cleaning attention during winter months.

Lift the Carpet: Raking carpets can help break up soils so they can be vacuumed easily and reduce carpet wear. Carpets should be raked much more frequently during winter months when soils are more present.

Apply Simple Spotting Techniques: Spots should be cleaned immediately after they happen. Carpets should be spotted daily so that spots and stains do not reappear or tarnish the carpet. During winter months, consider using a hot-water extractor to follow up spotting.

Consider Using Hot-Water Extraction: Carpets should be extracted more often during winter months. Hot-water extraction provides a deeper clean and leaves less chemical residue in the carpet after cleaning, helping to prevent rapid resoiling.

When ice melt and other soils get into carpet, they can become abrasive and cause your carpets to wear down faster. Taking a proactive approach and developing a winter carpet care maintenance program for your facility can extend the life of your carpets. For help developing a winter carpet care maintenance program that works for your facility, contact us at 301-739-3069.

Cuddy, M. (2018).  Winter Carpet Care Calls for a Plan. ISSA. Retrieved from