Industrial carpet cleaning is different than residential because the carpeting is usually different. Most carpet used for industrial or commercial applications is higher strength, with a tighter weave and lower pile. It is typically glued directly to the under flooring, as opposed to being stretched over padding. Because it sees much more traffic than residential, it must be more durable and easier to clean. It is also usually cleaned much more frequently, so it must hold up to the repeated cleanings.
The most popular methods are the same as for residential. They are steam, dry, and encapsulation. However, the machines may be higher powered and the chemicals harsher.
Steam cleaning involves using a machine to force hot water and detergent into the carpet and then extracting the excess water. There will be a dry time involved, which makes it unsuitable for some industrial carpet cleaning uses when the facility cannot be closed to traffic until the carpeting is dry.
The dry method is not totally dry, but it uses very little water in the process. Chemicals and a machine are used to extract the dirt, and the carpet is ready for traffic in a very short time.
The encapsulation method has only been available since the 1990’s but has been growing in popularity. It is especially well suited for industrial carpet cleaning, since there is virtually no drying time involved. Synthetic crystals are applied, usually by a machine, which bind with dirt and allow it to be instantly vacuumed. Since there is no dry time involved, it is well suited for industrial carpet cleaning, particularly in operations that are open twenty-four hours a day, such as hotels or some restaurants.
Many industrial carpet cleaning companies have begun using “green” products that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Much of this has to do with allowing the company utilizing the industrial carpet cleaning service to advertise this fact and gain points in public perception. The chemicals, and therefore the service, tend to be a bit more expensive, but the products work about the same as traditional cleansers.
Industrial carpet cleaning services must be prepared to work odd hours. Most of their work is done at night, when the business is either closed or experiencing light traffic. For example, most 24-hour restaurants have their carpets cleaned around 3 am on a weeknight. Customers are few, and sections can be closed off in rotation so that the whole carpet is cleaned without disturbing diners. Retail stores try to schedule industrial carpet cleaning services between closing and re-opening, and if they have a day when they are closed, they will likely want the cleaning performed the night before.
Carpets in commercial settings are subject to wear and tear that far exceeds that in the home. Frequent cleanings are needed to keep it looking attractive. The inconvenience and expense involved have led many businesses to forego carpeting and install vinyl tile instead. It is easier to keep clean, and will not need to be replaced as often. Carpet, on the other hand, will need to be replaced frequently, and such replacement is even more difficult to arrange than cleaning.