Buildings Buzz

Where did all the carpet go?

I have a rich friend.  Just one really.  Whenever I ride in his car, I love the sound the doors make when they close. Unlike the tinny “clank” when the doors of my elegantly rusty SUV slam, his doors have a deep, reassuring, “clomp” sound.  Inside, you are cocooned, secure, padded, and hermetically sealed.

More and more often, our buildings are “sealed” like my friend’s car and that isn’t necessarily a good thing. Modern building techniques and materials have given us an almost airtight environment to live and work in, which means the dust we generate or track in from outside, stays inside.  It’s no surprise that allergies in developed countries are on the rise.  When I was a kid allergies were a rarity but nowadays we’re all clamoring for the Benadryl, Claritin, or something like it.

Because of this, hard surface floors in homes and businesses are increasingly commonplace, while carpet sales decline.  Hard surface floors are generally easier and quicker to clean and maintain while the majority of us view a carpeted floor as one giant stain and dust trap.  While recent studies suggest that properly cleaned and maintained carpet can improve air quality, the commitment necessary is a costly one and carried out less frequently.

Smart businesses look at their total annual cost for facility cleaning and find the labor cost attached to carpet cleaning far outweighs the cost of cleaning VCT, marble or hardwood floor maintenance.  What it will cost to clean your floors properly, how often you will need to clean them, and how long they will last are all important factors to consider.  And don’t forget that the cost of cleaning products for maintaining floors is but a fraction of the total cost of the job. The real cost is in the equipment, mops, brooms, machinery, vacuums, and most of all, labor.

Floors have a lot to do with image and businesses know that so it’s important to have the right products that not only keep hard surface floors shiny and clean, but that don’t damage or diminish the finish.  A cheap floor finish dries too slowly requiring more coats and labor for a good shine.

Greg Hill is a product manager for Zep Sales and Service.

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