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IICRC: Four Tips to Extend Carpet Life, Reduce Environmental Footprint

In honor of World Environment Day on Thursday, June 5, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has highlighted four strategies for proper carpet maintenance

June 5, 2014
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IICRC_FTEach year, approximately 4.7 billion pounds of carpet ends up in landfills, taking an estimated 1,000 years to degrade. In honor of World Environment Day on Thursday, June 5, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has highlighted four strategies for proper carpet maintenance. These strategies will help facility managers reduce their building’s environmental footprint by extending the life of carpets and keeping them out of landfills prematurely.

“Regular maintenance is a key to preserving any asset, such as your carpet,” said Tony Wheelwright, Chairman of the IICRC. “There are many ‘green’ cleaning methods out there, but in fact, the number one way to make sure your carpet lasts at long time is to make sure it’s cleaned correctly and on a regular basis.”

To help reduce your facility’s environmental footprint, the IICRC recommends the following carpet maintenance strategies to extend the life of carpet:

1. Use entryway matting: When it comes to entryway matting, the bigger the better. There must be room for at least two steps with each foot, preferably three, to sufficiently wipe soil from feet before encountering the installed carpet. A mat with a nylon face and vinyl back is best for moisture and oils absorption, combined with the resiliency necessary to collect a quantity of particle soil. The IICRC suggests a rental mat be considered, since that guarantees frequent maintenance. Place entry mats on hard surfaces rather than on carpet where they can trap moisture or cause plasticizer migration.

2. Clean spots immediately: To get the most out of carpet, make sure to remove spots and spills immediately, reducing the likelihood of a permanent stain. When selecting a cleaning solution, consider using an environmentally friendly cleaning chemical. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), choosing less hazardous products with positive attributes such as low water use, biodegradability, low toxicity, reduced packaging, low lifecycle energy use and low volatile organic compound (VOC) content can minimize the impact on the environment and contribute to improved air quality.

3. Vacuum daily: The sooner you collect soils from the surface, the easier it is to remove them. Regular vacuuming also contributes to improved air quality by keeping particulates, such as dust and allergens, out of the air we breathe. Vacuuming effectively sucks up these particulates and keeps them from being recirculated back into the air.

4. Conduct periodic deep cleans: In addition to frequent vacuuming, periodic deep cleans on a semi-annual basis help restore carpet to its original condition and maintain peak performance. Pay greater attention to entry-way areas, deep cleaning these areas on a quarterly basis at a minimum.

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