What is Eating Your Corners? – Cord Drags & Corner Damage

Maybe you noticed, maybe you didn’t.  (But I do… because that’s part of my job, fans)  The corners in your office (or even your home if you aren’t careful) are getting chewed up by something!IMG95201405229521221095642

The corners from the floor to about three feet up the wall, the paint is being eaten away, there is a mysterious black line forming right along the very point or peak of the drywall, there may even be some small (or large) chunks of the drywall broken out or missing.  Door jambs are not immune.  In fact, many door jambs have been infected on both sides of the frame!   Makes it UGLY folks!!


Why is this happening?

It’s actually simple, and frustrating.  It’s one of the BIG reasons that I am so particular (read “anal”) about cord handling and cord management while on the job.

Machines used by people cleaning in the office (or your home), like vacuum cleaners, carpet spotters, floor cleaners, etc. all have one thing in common.  They run off electricity and they all have cords!!

The cord on your vacuum… seems so safe and unassuming doesn’t it?  Well, I’m here to tell you that, in the wrong hands, that cord can do a lot of damage!  You witness that damage when you look at the corners of your walls and door frames.  No, not the “far-back in the corner”, corners.  The ones around nearly every turn in the main traffic ways!  The ones out in the open, the ones everyone walks by on their way to the restroom, break room, or assembly area.  These are the high visibility corners that VIP’s walk past as well.


You don’t want your nice finished wall surfaces to be marked by ugly black marks and cord damage on your corners!

When the people doing the cleaning start to vacuum, they plug their cord into the outlet, drop it on the floor and start to go.  As they do, the cord trails behind them dragging on the carpet (or floor), picking up some of that ever-present soil (especially in the high traffic areas where you would expect vacuuming to be going on).  As the cord follows them around the corners and door jambs, it drags across that single point out there on the edge of the corner and transfers some of the dirt it’s been carrying onto the edges of your walls, corners and jambs.

“No biggie”, you say?  Doesn’t seem like much?   Well, that’s only the first part…

Part two is friction.  Heat my friend.  Heat created by friction of the cord being pulled around the corner.

Remember that pile of cord back there where we plugged in our Vacuum?  Well, it’s still sitting there, five feet down the other corridor.  That means when we head a different direction, most of our cord is around the corner and we have to drag it closer to make the vacuuming easier.  We don’t even think about the corner.  That cord dragging on that corner, is like a rope burn from friction on your hands!!  OUCHIE!!!

IMG952014052895122013045IMG_20140528_122158221                                IMG952014052895121943869 IMG_20140528_122214203

Yes, enough heat is generated in cord drags that paint is burned off, drywall is chipped, and dirt is embedded into the corner creating that nasty black mark on all of your corners.  It melts carpet fibers together at the bottom of carpeted base (that’s the three inch high piece of carpet that surrounds the office right at the ‘Base” of the wall).  It burns holes through the rubber base (that’s the black or brown trim in the same place)

IMG_20140528_104414568 IMG952014052895104401849

As the cleaner proceeds, the cord dutifully follows, everywhere, obediently traveling around the office like a new puppy exploring the world.

What many of us simply fail to realize is that the cord is doing damage in our wake.  To make matters worse, it does it three feet up the wall.  That’s because the cord is only on the ground back behind us about four to six feet.  When we turn the corner, the cord, where it hooks into the vacuum (or machine), drags around the corner at a higher level above the floor.  As we move away, it slowly works itself down to the floor tearing up the wall as you go.

Don’t believe me??  Just watch behind you as you vacuum at your home.  Better yet, watch as your kids or your spouse perform their chores and see for yourself.  It’s happening.  I guarantee it.

The solution is simple, I train my guys that “we do not change directions with our equipment and proceed down a different path UNTIL we have positioned the cord in such a way that it will NOT hit the corner as we change course”.  That’s the serious gospel around here.

It takes a little more time to complete a job this way, but we do not contribute to the damage caused by cord drags, period.  More than one member of our staff has commented about how crazy I am about cords.  How they’re stored, how they’re rolled, how they’re handled and managed on the job makes a huge difference in the quality, appearance, service performance and overall customer satisfaction with the job.

It’s one of the differences between us and our competition.  We actually care more for your offices and this is one specific way that we can show it.  It may not be a huge selling feature, but we mean it and we watch out for it on EVERY job.

Carpet Kev,

The “crazy cord guy”