ICS Magazine

Pasco County Schools Release Floor Care Study Results

March 13, 2009
Pasco County School District (PCSD) recently released the results of a comprehensive study conducted to determine the best long-term, sustainable floor care maintenance strategy for its district.

LAND O' LAKES, FL – [March 9, 2009] – Pasco County School District (PCSD) today released the results of a comprehensive study conducted to determine the best long-term, sustainable floor care maintenance strategy for its district. Full detail of the results will be presented at the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists International Conference, March 10 – 12, 2009.

The study, conducted by the Pasco County Steering Committee (PCSC),tested five cleaning methods at one of its elementary schools. Each methodwas conducted by a manufacturer representative. Methods tested includedhigh-flow wet extraction, portable wet extraction, low-moistureencapsulation, low-moisture dry extraction (absorption) and truck-mount wetextraction.

At the conclusion of the four-week testing period, Pasco County Schools'representatives determined the low-moisture, dry-extraction absorptionsystem best accommodated the school system's maintenance program. Thesystem was selected based on its reduced cost, the immediate availability ofcarpet, limited time and resources required, its positive contribution to indoorair quality and its ease of training and operation.

"Some schools are implementing vinyl-composition tile (VCT) and alternativehard floor surface coverings because it is believed hard floor surfaces have abetter impact on IAQ and cost less to maintain over the life of the floor," saidEdward Flicker, Custodial Services Coordinator at PCSD. "Our study foundthat by using the HOST Dry Carpet Cleaning System, we were able to retainthe carpet and maintain an optimal learning environment for students withoutcompromising appearance, cost-or IAQ."

Using low-moisture, dry-extraction absorption maintenance methods, thePCSC was able to restore its 10-year-old, vinyl-backed, nylon-faced carpetto like-new appearance levels, eliminating replacement costs and enabling theschool to retain its carpet rather than replace it with alternative floorcoverings such as VCT.

Considering that initial purchase costs of carpet with installation are typicallyhigher than VCT, the PCSC still found that the savings from the system werea better value. Overall costs of the low-moisture, dry-extraction maintenancestrategy resulted in the following savings:
  • In a new school construction setting, it would take 4.3 years to recover thecost difference from savings on carpet maintenance compared to VCTmaintenance. It would take 9.2 years to recover the total lifecycle cost ofcarpet with maintenance savings alone compared to VCT.
  • In a school renovation setting, it would take an estimated 5.28 years torecover the cost difference from savings on carpet maintenance compared toVCT maintenance. It would take 11.7 years to recover the total lifecycle costof carpet with maintenance savings alone compared to VCT.

"Carpet is the primary floor covering in 45 schools throughout our schoolsystem," added Flicker. "Inadequate maintenance practices resulted incompromises to the appearance of the carpet, downtime, training andbudget. With the results from this study, we have been able to find the bestfloor surface covering and maintenance program to fit our needs."