As buildings reopen, cleaning professionals may have to create a post-pandemic shutdown carpet care plan.

“I expect most buildings that have stagnated over the last year will require some sort of opening plan for their flooring,” says Tole. “This will greatly improve the overall quality of the indoor environment.”

According to Perez, now would be a good time to check the integrity of carpet and for the presence of mold. A thorough vacuuming with devices equipped with HEPA filtration is also a good idea.

The benefits of a robust, comprehensive carpet care program are clear. The downsides that come with letting that program slide are also obvious. Yet, building service contractors may still have to work hard to sell carpet care service in a post-pandemic world.

It has been a difficult time for facility managers. Budget cuts and layoffs have them wondering how to best spend their maintenance dollars. But shifting advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may move their focus from cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting touchpoints to better indoor air quality and air filtration.

“Companies lost a lot during COVID,” says Marrazzo. “Facility managers are usually experienced. They know what it takes to keep a property maintained. But if the budget is not there...”

Experts suggest acknowledging these realities at the start of the conversation. Then, gently remind facility managers about the health benefits of carpet care. Maybe even bring up how well-maintained carpet can help lure workers out of their homes and back to the office.

“Focus on the respiratory side of things and keep your conversations health focused,” suggests Selkow. “Carpet maintenance conversations may have been more cosmetic-focused in the past, but that has shifted to improving indoor air quality.”

If that is not enough, building service contractors can always talk about the bottom line.

“One of the biggest points is that proper carpet cleaning and maintenance saves money in the long term,” says Tucker. “By keeping carpet well maintained, the carpeting will last for its useful life and not have to be replaced early.”

Going point by point might help, but the conversation should really encompass it all.

“Without a return to good maintenance programs, flooring materials will fail and indoor air quality will likely decline quickly. In a post-pandemic economy, this will not be acceptable for businesses returning to work,” says Tole. “A dramatic increase in employee pressure for a sanitary workplace should be expected by businesses and ultimately by the building that houses the personnel for hours at a time.”

Amy Milshtein is a freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon.

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Keeping a Carpet Cleaning Schedule