The Smart Facility Manager’s Guide To Selecting Floor And Carpet Care Equipment

By Austin Robertson, Marketing, at Mytee, LLC

For Facility Managers, maintaining clean and presentable floors is crucial. Whether it’s the lobbies of commercial buildings, halls and auditoriums of schools, or carpeting in hospitality venues — choosing the right hard floor and carpet care equipment can significantly impact efficiency, effectiveness, and costs. Here are some key considerations for facility managers when selecting equipment.

Assess The Facility’s Needs

Before shopping for specific equipment, conduct a thorough assessment of the facility. Ask the following questions:

  • What types of flooring are present? Hard floors, carpets, or a mix of both?
  • What is the total square footage of the area needing care? Larger spaces likely require more robust, high-capacity machines.
  • What is the level of foot traffic? High-traffic areas might need more frequent and intensive cleaning.
  • Are there any unique challenges? For example, does the facility experience frequent spills or have flooring materials with special requirements?

By starting with the specific needs of the facility in mind, we can enter the selection process knowing what qualifies equipment as suitable for the job.

Types of Equipment

For Hard Floors:

  • Automatic Scrubbers: Ideal for large, open areas, automatic scrubbers save time and labor though they generally have a higher sticker price. They come in various sizes and configurations, including walk-behind, ride-on, and even fully programmable models.
  • Floor Scrubbers/Polishers: Similar to automatic scrubbers but operated manually, floor machines are used to maintain the shine and appearance of hard floors. These machines are essential for periodic deep cleaning, restoring, and polishing.
  • Sweepers: Effective for sweeping large debris and dust from hard floors, sweepers are essential for maintaining cleanliness in warehouses and similar environments.

For Carpets:

  • Carpet Extractors: These powerful machines deep clean carpets by spraying down heated water to flush away soil, and then extracting the dirty solution away. They are ideal for periodic deep cleans and restoring the carpet beyond dry vacuuming alone.
  • Upright Vacuum Cleaners: For regular maintenance, high-efficiency vacuum cleaners are crucial. Consider models with HEPA filters for improved air quality.
  • Backpack Vacuum Cleaners: Ideal for maintenance cleaning in larger facilities, backpack vacuums offer an even more portable option than standard upright vacuums. Corded and battery options are available.
  • Encapsulation Machines: These are used for interim carpet maintenance, encapsulating soil in the carpet fibers with a special class of cleaning chemical, which is then vacuumed away. This technique is dubbed “VLM” or very low moisture cleaning, and can be performed by rotary, orbital pad (OP), or counter-rotating brush machines.

Key Features To Look For

When evaluating different models and types of floor and carpet care equipment, certain features can significantly enhance performance and user experience:

  • Ease of Use: Equipment should be user-friendly with intuitive controls. This reduces the training time required for staff and increases operational efficiency.
  • Durability and Reliability: Invest in machines built to last. Consider the reputation of the manufacturer and read reviews or seek recommendations from peers in the industry.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Regular maintenance is crucial for the longevity of any machine, so consider models with accessible parts and straightforward service procedures.
  • Energy Efficiency: Energy-efficient models can reduce operational costs and are better for the environment.
  • Noise Levels: In environments like hotels or offices where noise can be disruptive, consider equipment designed to operate quietly.

Cost Considerations

While the initial purchase price is important, it’s crucial to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) to make a more wholistic decision. This includes:

  • Maintenance and Repair Costs: Research the availability and cost of replacement parts, and the ease of obtaining service.
  • Operational Costs: Factor in the costs of consumables like detergents, as well as energy usage.
  • Lifespan and Warranty: A higher upfront cost might be justified by a longer lifespan and a comprehensive warranty.

Vendor Support And Training

Proper training ensures that your staff can use the equipment effectively and safely, maximizing the benefits of your investment. Good vendor support can also mean faster response times for repairs, and better overall service. This tends to be an often over-looked factor that can make all the difference to your operation down the road.

Wrap Up

Selecting the right equipment is a critical decision for facility managers in the jan/san industry, and should be approached with care to make the most informed decisions. By assessing the facility’s needs, fully understanding the types of equipment available, and considering key features and cost implications, managers can make the best choices — knowledge is power!

In the constantly evolving landscape of janitorial and sanitation services, staying up-to-date and making strategic equipment choices will ensure your facility remains at the forefront of cleanliness and operational excellence.

For 30 years, Mytee has exceeded the expectations of professionals in the Automotive, Carpet, and Facility Maintenance industries by providing innovative, high-quality machines, and premier customer service. Visit mytee.com.

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