Do you manage a department in an office building? Has a soda spilled or an ink cartridge leaked onto the floor there, and are you thinking of renting a carpet shampooer or bringing in your at-home shampooer to clean it up? Read on to learn why this could be a very bad idea that costs your company a lot of money.
Understanding Raised Floors
There are a lot of cords and cables that need to be hooked up to the computers in your office building. If these cables were all strung across the floors and along the walls and ceilings, the office would look aesthetically unappealing, and your employees and customers would be at high risk of experiencing trip and fall accidents.
To gather all of these cords and cables up in a tidy, safe location, many modern office buildings are built with raised floors. Raised floors are floors that are anchored anywhere from between 2 inches to 4 feet or more above concrete slabs, allowing plenty of space between the floors and the slabs to store computer cable clutter. The surface of the floor (the part you walk on) can be covered with carpet or laminate, thus allowing them to look just like any other floor.
How Carpet Shampooers Work
Carpet shampooers take the hot water and cleaning solution you put in them and push it deep into the carpet, loosening soil that has settled deep into the carpet's fibers. They then suck the water and cleaning solution back up, bringing the soil along with it. If you don't have a lot of experience with carpet shampooers, you could allow too much water to penetrate the carpet, or you could accidentally forget to suck the water from a section of shampooed carpet back up.
The Repercussions Of A Wet Carpet
At home, it may not be a big deal if your carpet stays damp for a little while after shampooing. In office buildings with raised floors, however, the consequences could be huge. With all of the computer cables located beneath the raised floor, water could seep down onto them and cause circuit shorts, computer damage, or even an electrical fire.
Raised floors usually have vents positioned throughout the building that allow air to circulate over the computer cables. Since the area is only occasionally accessed by computer technicians, the spaces between raised floors and slabs tend to get pretty dirty as debris falls through the vents and settles in the voids. When you add moisture to a dark cool place with plenty of crumbs and bits of paper, you get mold -- a serious health risk when shampooing the carpet in an office building that has a raised floor.
A Better Solution
The best way to clean a carpet in an office building that has a raised floor is encapsulation cleaning. During an encapsulation cleaning, trained professionals will scrub the carpet with polymer compounds that turn soil into crystals on contact. The crystals can then be vacuumed right up -- no water required. Most carpet cleaning companies charge a minimum of $75-$109, so it may be in your best interest to have all the carpet in your office cleaned at the time of stain removal; 1,700 square feet of carpet can be cleaned using the encapsulation method for $323–$600, depending on where you're located.
Instead of lugging your at-home carpet shampooer into work and potentially causing an office shut-down, play it safe. Contact your employer's IT department and ask if your office's computer cables are stored in a raised floor. If they are, phone a carpet cleaning company like 5 Star Carpet Cleaning and schedule an appointment for carpet encapsulation cleaning.