Preserve the Life of your Office Carpet, and your Health

Preserve the Life of Your Office Carpet blogWhen office carpeting is poorly maintained, it can become dirty and make the office look unkempt overall. Dirt and debris collect in carpets, staining them and creating damage and wear over time.

The way an office looks sets an impression about how professional the business is.

Moreover, unclean carpeting is unhealthy for workers. In fact, according to Philip Tierno Jr., Ph.D., a microbiologist and immunologist at New York University Langone Medical Center and the author of The Secret Life of Germs: What They Are, Why We Need Them, and How We Can Protect Ourselves Against Them, wall-to-wall carpeting probably contains about 200,000 bacteria per square inch, making it 4,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat!

What’s in there?

A rug accumulates numerous particles over time, including millions of germs. The average office carpeting can hold soil, food particles, pollen, and human skin cells. In his book, Tierno says that within the carpet fibers, infectious germs can easily find food and shelter. He states that because it covers so much surface area, wall-to-wall carpeting found in many office spaces transforms a floor

into one extensive fomite*”.

Health factors

The American Lung Association reminds that unclean carpeting can affect health. “Carpets may trap pollutants like dust mites, cockroach allergens, particle pollution, lead, mold spores, pesticides, dirt and dust. This is a concern particularly for employee satisfaction and absenteeism, due to the high amount of allergies to these particles. Additionally, toxic gases in the air can stick to small particles that settle into carpets.”

In her book, Clean Design: Wellness for your Lifestyle, author Robin Wilson says,

“indoor air quality can be eight to ten times worse than outdoor air quality, if you don’t”:

  1. clean your flooring
  2. clean your drapes
  3. let air inside regularly

Suck it up

Vacuuming on a regular basis helps manage these bacteria and their effects. TLC’s How Stuff Works recommends vacuuming once a week to prolong the life of a carpet. High traffic areas should be vacuumed more often to prevent a buildup of particles that can eventually cut the fibers of the carpeting.

Vacuuming isn’t the best clean there can be. Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of Environmental Microbiology at the University of Arizona, studied what shoes actually pick up and track inside. He identified microbial species that can cause intestinal, urinary, eye, lung, blood, and wound infections! Because a vacuum cleaner’s suction and rotating beater brush don’t usually reach the bottom of the carpet, germs such as E. coli, salmonella, staphylococcus stay inside the fibers.

Carpet cleaning

Having office carpet professionally cleaned works to eliminate the accumulation of germs and helps make the office healthier. Professional commercial carpet cleaners can effectively remove even the most deeply-embedded debris

Additionally, what many businesses may not know is that almost all carpet companies require customers professionally steam clean their carpeting every 18 to 24 months in order to keep the carpet’s warranty valid. Protect the investment you’ve made in your business’ carpeting by hiring professionals to do the cleaning.

 

*Tierno defines “fomite” as the technical name for a contaminated object that can transmit illness.