Elbow Grease

Per our decorating committee, we have 21 floors where the hallway carpeting is stained or damaged beyond repair. These floors are 5, 8, 10, 15, 17, 20, 21, 27 through 35, 41, 42, 43, 44 and 49. We've budgeted $617,400 to replace our hallway carpeting. That comes to a little over $11,000 per floor.

Some months ago, I noticed carpet stains on my hallway floor, near the service area door and in front of my own unit. Several of them looked like dried adhesive, probably from a unit remodeling project. I had some carpet cleaner and a scrub brush handy from removing stains from my own carpeting. With the application of a little elbow grease and the tools just mentioned, I was able to remove those stains without a whole lot of effort. More recently, as a proof of concept, I did the same thing on floors 28 and 34, which required even less effort.

Emboldened by that success, I did the same on floors 5, 15, 21, 27, 29, 32, 33, 35 and 42 with encouraging results. Several of the stains I found were paint stains, which I discovered are not all that hard to remove. This totals 11 floors, more than half of the floors alleged to be "beyond repair".

Now think about that for a moment. Our maintenance crew uses a commercial floor scrubbing machine to clean our hallway carpeting. Sure, they can apply extra effort to a given area, but they cannot apply a laser like focus, engaging a little TLC and some targeted scraping to remove the more stubborn stains, which is what I did, where needed. The effort expended on all of these floors was minimal, not more than half an hour per floor, and in some cases more like 15 minutes.

We can save ourselves a lot of money by addressing our hallway carpeting issues on an as needed basis, rather than replacing all our carpeting at once. Our board is clearly overzealous in regards to this issue. Replacing all of our hallway carpeting at this time is foolish, a waste of money, and not in the best interest of our association.