Services & Maintenance: Carpet Care Procedures

Orig Post – | Re-Post 6/4/15

After nearly 10 years of revisions, the ANSI/IICRC S100 Standard and IICRC R100 Reference Guide for Professional Cleaning of Textile Floor Coverings were published in March 2015. When the process began in 2005, the goal of the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) was to create a standard for manufacturers, facility management professionals, technicians, and small businesses alike that could simplify and outline the proper procedures and best practices in textile floor covering cleaning and maintenance. What the IICRC has done with the newly revised S100 is focus not only on the science of cleaning, but the business of cleaning.

One of the mistakes that many facility professionals and business owners make is that they do not view their carpet as an asset. Carpets need to be properly maintained to maximize return on investment, and with standards like the S100, there is a process in place to facilitate. When spending money on renovations, facility managers should make sure they have a budget for carpet maintenance. An investment in carpet maintenance program with proper cleaning frequencies can optimize the useful life of this asset.

Carpet is the largest filter in any building. Not having it properly cleaned and maintained can put building occupants in danger. Therefore, facility managers should focus on cleaning carpets for health as well as appearance. The U.S. EPA recently found that, on average, the air in a building is two to five times more polluted than outside air. When one takes into consideration the vast amount of time that most people spend indoors, that is a scary statistic.

What Is The S100?

The ANSI/IICRC S100 describes the procedures, methods, and systems to be followed when performing professional commercial and residential textile floor covering maintenance and cleaning. This Standard does not specifically address the protocols and procedures for restoration or remediation of contaminated textile floor coverings, and no attempt is made to evaluate the strengths or weaknesses of individual cleaning methods or to compare or contrast one method with another.

There are many procedure variations used to build a comprehensive carpet cleaning maintenance system. The S100 provides the tools necessary to understand these separate procedures and their sequential importance in the development of a maintenance plan. The Standard also has a blend of technical and tactical information, including the fundamentals of cleaning chemistry, state of matter, and polarity.

Development Of S100

When the last revision was published in 2011, the Standard was withdrawn shortly after its release by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) due to insufficient documentation. To address this feedback, a new consensus body was developed in February 2013 based on ANSI’s guidelines for a “balanced” committee.

According to ANSI, a balanced committee is made up of materially interested parties (MIPs) within the following three categories.

Producers. These are those individuals or organizations who produce, manufacture, or supply goods and/or services covered in the S100, such as carpet, cushion, and adhesive manufacturers, and cleaning tool, chemical, and equipment manufacturers and retailers.

Users. These are the individuals who will be using the Standard and/or performing the services covered by the Standard such as carpet installers, carpet retailers, architects, and various consumers, such as carpet cleaning firms and facility service providers.

General interest. These parties are those individuals or organizations directly and materially affected by the Standard and otherwise interested in goods and services covered by the Standard, such as academia and government representatives. Once the committee was established, a meeting was convened in February 2013 with these priorities.

What’s New?

One of the first things that is obviously different with S100, is that the Standard and Reference Guide have been separated. The ANSI Standard includes all trigger language (“shall,” “should”, and in some instances “recommended”) requirements, while the IICRC Reference Guide provides more detail, examples, images, and explanation.

In the past—and unlike any other standards writing body, the IICRC would submit both the Standard and Reference Guide to ANSI for approval. Because ANSI requires all documents to be publicly reviewed, this often added unnecessary time to the review process. Therefore, after consideration and approval by the IICRC Board, all IICRC Standards and Reference Guides will now be separate documents and receive a new nomenclature: “S” for the Standard (S100) and “R” for the Reference Guides (R100).

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