Many office carpets are closed loop and tight to where the use of a backpack vacuum system is ideal. The pile is so close and low that an upright vacuum cleaner with a beater bar does not really accomplish much. Plush type carpets can benefit from beater bars or pile lifting since it helps to lift the fibers and keep them from being crushed. This crushed look makes the carpet look aged and worn which oftentimes encourages unnecessary replacement when grooming can be used at a much lower cost. Only certain types of carpet fibers benefit from grooming.

Pile grooming is an often overlooked step in professional carpet maintenance. This step combs the pile, lifting and separating it, so the vacuuming and cleaning can be more effective. With normal foot traffic and soiling, the face yarns can become crushed and tangled. On small areas, using a pile rake, the technician rakes back and forth over the face yarns to prepare them for vacuuming. This step can be skipped if the carpet is a level loop with a short face yarn. The longer the pile, the more important this step becomes.

For large areas, this step can be done with a specialized machine known as a pile lifter. Many people assert that it is senseless to use a pile lifter on level loop commercial carpet. However, from our discussion on carpet fiber, we know that polypropylene is subject to crushing. Crushing tends to give the fiber the appearance of being more worn.  This is particularly true when it is installed directly on a concrete surface with no padding. This is known as a glue down installation. Regular use of a pile lifter can retard this natural tendency of polypropylene to crush.

Using the right equipment to maintain carpet is crucial to extending its design life. Knowing the different fibers and their characteristics is just as important. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or