Many employers focus on keeping keyboards, desktops, and other high-touch surfaces clean, but what about your office carpets? The carpets in an average home contain about 200,000 bacteria per square inch. That’s 4,000 times dirtier than most toilet seats! And that’s in a house with a limited number of people coming in and out. Just imagine what it’s like in your office, with people wearing their shoes all over in public places and tracking it all into your building.
If you think your office is clean, think again. Here’s what might be lurking in the carpets in your office.
Bacteria and Pathogens
Every time someone in your office coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets settle into the carpet. These drops can contain germs, bacteria, and even viruses which can cause illness to spread quickly between employees. Here’s what could happen: an employee sneezes or coughs, expelling germ-containing droplets onto the carpet. Another employee then walks through the area, picking up the germs on the bottom of their shoes and tracking them home to where their kids are playing on the floor. Before you know it, those kids and that employee are all sick.
So if you’ve had a lot of sick people in your office recently coughing up a storm, it may be time to have your carpets professionally cleaned.
Other pathogens can easily find their way into the carpets in your office on the bottom of employees’ shoes. Perhaps someone steps in dog poop on their way to work. They scrape their shoes through the grass, but residue remains, and they track it onto the carpet. All sorts of bacteria and pathogens get into your office this way, which is why it’s vital to have your carpets cleaned regularly.
Food and Drink
Food and drink pose a severe problem to office carpets, but how can you tell employees they aren’t allowed to have food at their desks? Many people take a working lunch and just eat while still seated at their computer. Unless you have a ban on food and drink in your office, your carpets are likely covered in crumbs and spills. This can become a significant problem for bacteria and mold growth, especially if spills are left unattended. Gathering crumbs can quickly attract pests when left uncleaned, and even regular vacuuming might not get it all picked up. You might even find dust mites in carpet that hasn’t been cleaned in a while. Imagine trying to explain that to your employees.
Mold can grow anywhere exposed to moisture, and your office is no exception. Boots dripping in rainwater or a spilled can of soda easily cause mold and mildew to grow in the carpet. Other common mold-causing culprits include dripping pipes, water jugs, and drinking fountains.
Mold can cause respiratory and health issues for you and your employees and cause serious damage to your flooring, so it’s essential to clean up spills immediately to stop mold dead in its tracks.
Some things will slip by, so pay attention to your floors and watch for any signs of mold.
Dark stains or musty odors coming from your carpets are sure signs that mold is present, so if you notice it, you should have your carpets cleaned by a professional right away.
Dust and Dirt
Just like bacteria can find its way into your office on employees’ shoes, so can regular dust and dirt. They might seem harmless at first glance, but ordinary dust can create severe respiratory problems for your employees when it settles in the carpet and circulates through the air ducts.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, sick building syndrome is a genuine concern for office buildings. Caused by contaminated carpets, upholstery, and other materials, the syndrome may cause any of the following symptoms among employees:
- Nose and throat irritation.
- Dry cough.
- Itchy skin.
- Dizziness and nausea.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Sensitivity to odors.
One of the easiest ways to identify if sick building syndrome impacts your employees is to ask when symptoms go away. Most people will report relief soon after leaving the building. If this is a concern in your office, there are a few ways you can help improve the situation. First, see what you can do about improving ventilation. Are there windows you can open or air ducts you can clean? Do you need to replace your HVAC system? Next, a thorough office cleaning is in order. Get the carpets and upholstery shampooed. Get the windows washed and the desks and all surfaces sanitized. Eliminating the contaminants should seriously improve any negative symptoms your employees are experiencing.
The average human sheds close to 500 million dead skin cells per day. In one year, that adds up to about eight pounds. Think of every person in your office and how many skin cells fall into your office floors daily. If they remain there, this can be a huge source of dust and allergens and contributes to poor air quality in your office. Regular vacuuming can help reduce the number of skin cells ruminating in your carpets, but you should also consider professional carpet cleaning at least once a year.
Town & Country Office Cleaning Can Help
The best way to keep your office a safe place for your employees is to have your office carpets cleaned at least once a year. If it’s time to have the floors in your office professionally cleaned, Town & Country Office Cleaning can help!
We understand that maintaining clean carpets for your office can be time-consuming. That’s why we offer commercial office cleaning, carpet cleaning, medical office cleaning, and janitorial services in Salt Lake City, Utah. Our professional and courteous staff will work hard to keep your office sparkling clean all year long. Contact us today to get started!