Highlighting the importance of care and maintenance programmes to increase carpet lifespan and benefit the health of the users of this company’s carpets.

Too many facilities managers and their clients are unaware of – or apathetic towards – the importance of a proper maintenance programme for carpets, cautions leading South African carpet supplier Kevin Bates Albert Carpets (KBAC).

Celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, KBAC emphasises that there is an alarming ignorance regarding important aspects such as appointing competent installers, choosing the right type of carpet for specific areas and applications, selecting experienced and professional cleaning specialists, and the correct scheduling of carpet installation in building contracts.

Three key members of the KBAC sales team, Ian Duncan and Werner Gouws (Senior Contracts Managers) and Dave Keefer (Business Development Manager), voiced their concern about the negative effects as a result of neglect in carpet maintenance.

“With proper cleaning and maintenance, carpets can last 10 years or longer,” states Ian. “Neglecting carpet cleaning can also adversely affect working conditions and the health of employees. By regularly extracting pollutants from carpets through proper maintenance, the quality of the indoor environment is improved and staff exposure to fungi, mites and bacteria vastly reduced.”

Competent installation is another important factor in prolonging a carpet’s life. Roughly 80% of the carpets supplied by KBAC are laid by the company’s own installers who are provided with experiential training mentorship for at least two years. “Laying carpet tiles is generally within the scope of most installers but installing carpet in roll form calls for optimum joins, edging and pattern matching,” says Dave Keefer.

Werner Gouws says another major challenge to carpet durability is the almost complete disregard for correct scheduling of carpet installation in building programmes.

“It has become the norm for carpet fitting to take place in the midst of dry-wall installation, painting, wallpapering and electrical installations, to name but a few of the finishing trades,” he explains. “Building contractors, keen to stay on schedule to avoid penalties, display carpeted offices as a token of completion – despite the fact that other internal installations may be incomplete. The dust generated by subcontractors’ heavy foot traffic on new carpets and the debris from the cutting of dry walling, for example, can ruin new carpets.

“Carpet installation should be the final phase of a building project but, after eight years in this business, I can recall only two instances when the carpet installation actually took place after a building project had been signed off,” he laments.

For more information visit www.kbacflooring.co.za