According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people spend approximately 40 hours a week in an indoor location during the winter season, where according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) basic information on indoor air quality, indoor air pollutant levels can reach at least five or a hundred times higher than outdoors.
Carpet is one of the biggest contributors to indoor air quality because carpet can hold up to twice its weight in dirt. During the winter season, slush, salt and snow can easily trail into the facility. Once the carpet becomes agitated with foot-traffic or with any sort of activity, particulates and contaminants can re-suspend into the air, spreading throughout the building.
Vacuuming is the best preventative maintenance to keep your carpets clean and contaminant free. Vacuuming routine should be based on:
- Traffic level and areas of activity. Plan an effective vacuuming route, for example, that maximizes vacuuming frequency in high traffic areas and minimizes vacuuming frequency in low traffic areas
- Distance from entrances. The closer to the entrance, the higher the activity level is. Similar to the first rule, areas near the entrances will require a higher vacuuming frequency. Also be sure to vacuum and clean entrance mats regularly as these are your first line of defense. Check out the Soil Containment blog for more information about walk-off matting
- Choose an appropriate vacuum and chemical cleaner for the area. For high traffic areas, a high-performance vacuum is required for embedded dry soil removal. For low traffic areas, a riding or back-pack vacuum can be used, and for matted carpet, a pile lifter should be used. Allocating different vacuums for different areas can significantly cut down on time and cost. Also be sure to use HPEA vacuums and filters to reduce air pollutant levels