While most commercial office buildings vacuum on a daily basis, some choose to vacuum every few days or even once a week. Weekly vacuuming is “pretty useless, but not uncommon in some places,” especially where facility executives are trying to cut costs, says Griffin. But even offices with low levels of foot traffic should receive vacuuming at least multiple times a week.

“During the recession we saw facilities trying to save money be reducing maintenance,” says Jennings. “It sounds good in the short term, but missing vacuuming can harm the life and look of the carpet.”

For those facilities that choose to vacuum several times a week or once a week, the same guidelines apply: BSCs should focus on high-traffic areas and visible soil. 

“If you’re vacuuming once a week, you’re going to hit traffic patterns and visible debris and try to do a wall-to-wall vacuuming once a month,” says Mandelstam. “If you’re vacuuming a few times a week, you want to spend the majority of your time in lobbies, corridors and stairs, and less time in the traffic areas in offices.”

As vacuuming frequencies decrease, the focus on spot vacuuming should increase.

“A lot of BSCs will strap on a backpack, catch those high-traffic areas, and then walk around and look for visible soil and debris,” says Merkt. “You have to SIR clean — see, inspect, remove — but you can only get away with that for so long before you’re going to have to vacuum the carpet thoroughly.”

As with daily cleaning, BSCs can alternate sections and floors to maximize vacuuming time on a weekly schedule.

“The first week of the month you can full-vacuum everything on the first floor,” says Merkt. “The second week you can full-vacuum everything on the second floor and spot clean the first floor.”

There are variables that have to be taken into account, and what works for one facility may not work for another. However, regardless of how frequently or infrequently vacuuming occurs, BSCs should schedule time for detailed vacuuming to improve health.

“Under desks and furnishings, corners, edges, and hard-to-reach areas are often overlooked and if left unchecked can affect the health of the indoor environment,” says Merkt. “So once a year you should address those areas — tiny gaps between the credenza and the wall, under the desk, behind the cabinets. These are going to be dust laden if they’re not take care of.”

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