Sporadic vacuuming is typically done in conjunction with a routine vacuuming program. A seldom-used conference room, for example, may require infrequent vacuuming whereas offices in the same building may require daily vacuuming. But if BSCs are only vacuuming sporadically, the focus shifts considerably. 

“Sporadic vacuuming would involve removing visible soil,” says Griffin. “So if I walk through a building and I see it and it needs it, I do it. But if I don’t see it, and it doesn’t look dirty, I don’t clean it. If you only vacuum sporadically, soil builds up and it isn’t good for the surface, but it does keep the cost down sometimes.”

Regardless of whether a carpet maintenance program calls for daily, weekly or infrequent vacuuming, removing visible debris is a must, say the experts — even when it falls outside of the regular scope of work.

“If the spec said thoroughly vacuum offices once a week, and someone dropped popcorn all over the floor outside of the regularly scheduled vacuuming, you would have staff step in and take care of it,” says Griffin. “If you don’t, it gets ground into the carpet and tracked around, and you’re likely to get complaints.”

This type of vacuuming on an as-needed basis can also set BSCs apart from their competitors. Recently, Merkt was training an employee when he walked into a cubicle and encountered a chair covered in cat hair.

“The lady who worked there obviously had cats at home,” he says.
Merkt instructed his worker to pull the hose off the vacuum and extract the chair.

“It wasn’t part of the contract,” he says, “but I could do it in about 30 seconds.”

After vacuuming the chair Merkt left a note for the lady informing her that her chair had been cleaned.

“It’s what we call value-added service,” he says. “And it makes us look like the hero.”

Kassandra Kania is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a frequent contributor to Contracting Profits.

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Spot Vacuuming An Option For Cost Cutters