Asset Preservation: Carpet & Hard Surface Floors

Asset Preservation: Carpet & Hard Surface Floors

Buildings are financial assets that impact companies’ balance sheets, making it worthwhile to preserve their value and reduce added maintenance or refurbishment costs.  Cleaning plays a significant role in extending asset life cycles and increasing return on investment.  Reduced cleaning to meet short-term operational budgets can actually result in a lower ROI as life cycles are shortened and more expensive replacements are needed to maintain building image, facility functionality and aforementioned customer satisfaction levels. Surfaces such as flooring, especially in high impression or high traffic areas, play a large role in asset preservation strategies.

It is widely acknowledged by the leading carpet mills, the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) that a planned maintenance program extends a carpet’s life. By increasing the annual cost of cleaning a carpet by 10 percent, a facility manager can extend the carpet’s useful life well beyond the manufacturer’s estimated life cycle, ultimately paying for itself in deferred replacement costs.

The formula to calculate life cycle cost encompasses more than the initial capital expenditure of the carpet (Equation 1).

Equation 1: Asset Life Cycle Cost Calculation FormulaEquation 1 Asset Life Cycle Cost Calculation Formula

The Asset Life Cycle Cost Calculation Formula includes the following inputs:

  • Initial cost of carpet: The price of carpet includes the cost of the carpet and installation.
  • Removal and disposal cost: In a renovation, removing existing carpet and disposal cost should also be included along with additional costs such as work disruption due to renovations or area shut-downs.
  • Cost of cleaning over the carpet’s life: Cleaning costs include an estimate for time, labor, materials, and equipment repairs incurred by a facility while performing its routine program.
  • Carpet life in years is determined by the number of years the carpet will be on the floor.

Studies have proven that properly maintained commercial carpets have enhanced appearance levels and extended durability.  At many commercial sites with high foot traffic, a planned carpet maintenance program may extend the life cycle of carpet by two to three times over that of carpets that have unplanned or low frequencies of cleaning.

CRI-LogoThe Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) Carpet Maintenance Guidelines for Commercial Applications (Carpet & Rug Institute, 2012) along with the carpet manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations are the best tools for evaluating whether an existing maintenance program is maximizing a carpet’s life.

CRI describes carpet as having five levels of appearance: new, good, fair, poor and unacceptable (replacement needed).  If a carpet’s use-life is at least 10 years, having a good maintenance plan can lead to a carpet’s appearance level as still being “good” in ten years.  An unplanned maintenance program can result in a carpet’s appearance level dropping to fair in 3-4 years, poor in 4-5 years, and replacement in 6-7 years.  With neglected maintenance, new carpet can go from new to poor in as little as 1-3 years before replacement is necessary.

According to CRI, a customized comprehensive carpet care program consists of five elements:

  1. Soil Containment – isolation of soil entering the building using mats at entrances
  2. Vacuuming – scheduled frequency for removal of dry soil using a CRI-approved vacuum
  3. Spot and Spill Removal System – using professional spot removal techniques
  4. Interim Cleaning – scheduled frequency appearance cleaning for all traffic areas
  5. Restorative Cleaning – scheduled frequency deep cleaning to remove residues and trapped soils.

CRI, IICRC and the leading carpet mills have established minimum cleaning frequency guidelines.  Carpet mills publish cleaning guidebooks with recommended cleaning procedures and prescribed cleaning frequencies.  These procedures and frequencies are based on traffic conditions and variables that may cause excessive wear.

Many carpet warranties are based on a documented carpet cleaning program that includes the four cornerstones of carpet maintenance:  preventive, daily, interim, and restorative procedures.  Property owners and facility managers should refer to warranty agreements and carpet mill recommendations to establish a cost-effective carpet care program that will extend the life cycle of their investment.

One of the most important considerations when planning any cleaning program is its financial impact.  Most carpet care programs have a strong ROI, and precisely determining the cost helps build a stronger business case.  Calculating the annual cost of a carpet care program is straightforward.  The ISSA Smart Staffing guidebook details the methodology of workloading, and InfoClean™[1] provides easy-to-use software to calculate the annual cost of carpet cleaning to meet budget requirements (issa.com/workload).

HardFloorsAsset Preservation: Hard Surface Floors

Hard surface flooring presents a more complex calculation than carpet when evaluating the life cycle cost because of the wide variety of substrate types and ongoing innovations in flooring materials developed for commercial use.  As part of the value engineering process, innovative architects and building owners calculate the annual cost of cleaning a surface and the impact that cleaning tasks may have on the floor’s life cycle cost.

Commercial building installation trends in North America have favored ceramic and porcelain tile for the last 10 years.  The Tile Council of North America performed an economic analysis of the life cycle costs of different floor surfaces by examining life expectancy, installation cost, material costs, and cost per sq. ft. per year for a range of flooring types (Tile Council of North America, 2011).  The Tile Council concluded that ceramic tile has the lowest life cycle cost per square foot as a result of longer product life and lifetime maintenance costs.

They found the cost of cleaning ceramic tile can be significantly less than that of VCT (vinyl composition tile), sheet vinyl, or terrazzo surfaces.  The most accurate way to determine the annual cleaning cost is to workload the floor care program.  This can be performed by using ISSA’s InfoClean™ software or other leading software programs on the market (issa.com/workload).

A side-by-side analysis of annual labor and product consumption gives building owners and managers the opportunity to select a flooring type that has the lowest annual cost of cleaning and may reduce any negative impact caused by restoration techniques. The cost of the cleaning program should always be factored into surface selection because it plays such a large role in the floor’s life cycle savings.  This is especially important given the fact that many organizations select surfaces with manufacturer recommended maintenance factored into their life cycle estimates but don’t coordinate with facility departments to ensure those estimates are feasible to carry out or to determine if other factors should be considered.

 


[1] InfoClean is a trademark of KnowledgeWorx, LLC.


About ISSA

The leading trade association for the cleaning industry worldwide, ISSA has a membership that includes more than 6,100 distributors, manufacturers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, and others interested in the cleaning industry. ISSA helps its members and their employees make valuable contacts through the industry’s largest cleaning shows, produced in conjunction with Amsterdam RAI, under the brand name ISSA/INTERCLEAN®.

ISSA also helps increase professionalism and networking opportunities through its global Web site, ISSA.com, and by offering business tools, industry standards – including the popular CIMS/CIMS-GB program – and legislative and regulatory services. It is through these initiatives that ISSA increases awareness of the true value of clean and its impact on human health, the environment, and a better bottom line. The association is headquartered in Lincolnwood, IL, USA. For more information, visit www.issa.com.

 

Dan Wagner

Dan Wagner is ISSA's Director of Facility Service Programs and has been with ISSA since November of 1999. He is primarily responsible for leading the association's sustainability and facility service programs, including the Cleaning Industry Management Standard & CIMS-Green Building Certification Program and Transpare. Dan has published numerous articles and spoken at various conferences, workshops and seminars on CIMS, standardization, management principles, and the true value of clean.

Dan is also a noted "subject matter expert" on green cleaning and a sought after speaker on environmental preferability, sustainability and green operations and maintenance. He has served as an SME for the International Facility Management Association and IFMA Foundation and is a co-author of the Foundation's "Global Guide on Green Cleaning," as well as a primary contributor to the "Business of Green Cleaning" manual.

Dan is also the association's Director of Facility Service Legislative Affairs and in-house legal counsel, having received his Juris Doctor degree from DePaul University in 1998. He is also a licensed attorney in the State of Illinois; a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, the American Society of Association Executives; and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Floor Safety Institute.

About ISSA

The leading trade association for the cleaning industry worldwide, ISSA has a membership that includes more than 6,100 distributors, manufacturers, building service contractors, in-house service providers, and others interested in the cleaning industry. ISSA helps its members and their employees make valuable contacts through the industry’s largest cleaning shows, produced in conjunction with Amsterdam RAI, under the brand name ISSA/INTERCLEAN®.

ISSA also helps increase professionalism and networking opportunities through its global Web site, ISSA.com, and by offering business tools, industry standards – including the popular CIMS/CIMS-GB program - and legislative and regulatory services. It is through these initiatives that ISSA increases awareness of the true value of clean and its impact on human health, the environment, and a better bottom line. The association is headquartered in Lincolnwood, IL, USA. For more information, visit www.issa.com.

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