How to keep the “breathing zone” healthy
Thoroughly and regularly cleaning your carpeting is the key to keeping your building healthy. Many companies claim to clean your carpets thoroughly and regularly, but most fail to deliver. The result is that contaminants build up in your facility’s carpeting – and are released into the “breathing zone.”
The “breathing zone”
The “breathing zone” is the area 5 feet above the carpet, where people breathe when they are working at a desk. Even if carpeting looks clean, beneath the surface, it can contain hundreds of allergens and pathogens from dust mites, mold spores and bacteria. Improper or infrequent vacuuming can lead to those trapped contaminants being released into the breathing zone, where they can affect people’s health.
Sick Building Syndrome
Back in 1980, the World Health Organization (WHO) coined the term Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) to refer to unhealthy environmental factors in the workplace that affect the health of employees.
According to Dr. Berry Michael, Deputy Director of the Environmental Criteria and Assessment Office, soiled and filthy carpets are one of the main perpetrators of SBS, contributing to indoor air pollution and threatening the health of workers.
Clean carpets before they look dirty
If you wait to clean carpeting until you can see actual dirt, a buildup of soil and allergens remains within the pile of the carpet. Contaminants are released into the breathing zone when the carpet is holding all the allergens and dust particles it can hold. So it’s important to clean carpeting before the holding threshold has been reached.
A well-designed carpet cleaning program helps
A well-designed carpet cleaning program can help improve your facility’s indoor air quality and tenants’ health. The right type of vacuum being used is key. Make sure the vacuums are approved by the Rugs and Carpet Institute (CRI) and are equipped with HEPA filters to capture dust particles and allergens instead of releasing them back into the area.
There are many carpet cleaning companies around, and a lot of janitorial companies that attempt to do the job. But most fail to keep a set schedule and/or to use the right vacuums and vacuuming techniques to do the job thoroughly. They may not know proper vacuuming and cleaning techniques. They may be understaffed. Or they may not be using the proper vacuums to do the job. The result: You don’t get the service you pay for.
Consult a carpet cleaning specialist
Make sure the carpet cleaning company you hire has the best credentials. Choose company that’s certified by IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration) and that uses chemicals approved by the CRI (Carpet and Rug Institute). They will use the proper vacuums and procedures and will follow manufacturers’ specifications to make sure you keep your carpeting warranties in force.
If you need help
If you have any questions about professional carpet cleaning, please feel free to give us a call at (913) 622-3200. We’ll be glad to talk with you.
Mo Bashar, I.C.E. GB
Facility Care Specialist
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