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The Altro system compared with carpet tiles / carpets

Do your current surfaces meet your hygiene requirements and give the reassurance you need?

The recent global pandemic has thrown the spotlight on the hygienic properties of diverse materials and how they can contribute to maintaining safe premises for all users. You may well currently have carpet or carpet tiles installed, let’s take a close look at the hygienic properties of these surfaces and Altro alternatives.

The issues caused by carpet tiles / carpets

  • Carpet tiles / carpets are usually made of materials such as nylon polypropylene or organic porous materials including wool and jute; all of these are highly absorbent and are designed to trap dust and dirt, therefore make cleaning more difficult
  • Carpet tiles are frequently cleaned with a wet extraction unit and tend not to be impervious; the result is that the water from the wet clean can go through the carpet tile and its backing, reaching the subfloor and affecting not just the subfloor itself, but also the adhesives and services underneath, for example electrics and data cabling
  • Some carpet tile manufacturers advise that pile soft carpet tiles / carpets can only be cleaned at up to 50o C max; viruses are killed at 56° C according to US National Library of Medicine
  • Carpet tiles / carpets are designed to be vacuumed and not cleaned daily with the detergent required to clean viruses– you cannot vacuum up bacteria and viruses
  • Having vacuumed, in order to kill any virus you need to wet clean the carpet /carpet tiles with detergent daily at 56° C. This daily process is required because the virus remains active for 24 hours on this surface. Cleaning therefore becomes more costly in terms of time and money, while requiring a long time, possibly several hours, to dry; this means your surface can remain damp for hours each day after cleaning, providing the potential for yet more ideal conditions for the growth of microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses
  • Over-wetting, compared with recommended wetting amounts in the cleaning process, can cause carpet tiles to curl, be prone to fast re-soiling, the growth of mildew and the occurrence of odours
  • Detergents can stain carpet tiles / carpet easily and need to penetrate properly to clean fully
  • Cleaners who may be inexperienced with detergents may over-apply them, potentially leading to a residue remaining on the fibres attracting fast re-soiling
  • Some carpet tiles can take 12-24 hours to dry fully when steam cleaned, during which time they cannot be walked on; if you absolutely have to walk on them, it is recommended that you wear plastic bags on your feet

Some carpets / carpet tiles feature impervious PVC-backing to offer protection in care homes against incontinence. While this backing can help protect the subfloor from becoming contaminated from any spillages, it can have the negative affect of the carpet / carpet tiles retaining dampness, requiring a stringent cleaning process

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