Vinyl and Upholstery has a lifespan.
This information is rarely spoken about by manufacturers of Pilates, medical, chiropractic, and fitness equipment. The manufacturers realize the installed fabric can look presentable for many years. They would like you to think that replacing upholstery on your equipment is rare. The truth is most manufacturers have a separate division which can sell you new pads, and the "parts" division is often as lucrative as their sales division.
It's often difficult to make the decision to reupholster when the majority of your pads look "ok". Consider the liability of having old or worn upholstery which has exceeded it's warranty.
Pilates Studios, chiropractic offices, wellness centers, physical therapy offices, and fitness training facilities all have similar pads and upholstery - standard upholstery and premium grade upholstery has different lifespans depending on the practical use of the equipment. The lifespan of upholstery does not always affect the look of the fabric. You should consider the age of the fabric you are considering to reupholster.
Although the color looks good and there is very little damage, the age of the material plays a big part in determining if it's time to reupholster your pads. Different vinyls and upholstery can look presentable for 10 to 15 years with limited use. In commercial settings it's important to remember the age of the upholstery matters significantly.
The outer layer of most upholstery used for Pilates, medical, chiropractic, and fitness upholstery has a coating to not only protect against bacteria but to also protect the porosity of the material. Studies have shown up to a 78 % loss of the protective coating and has become nearly 39 % more porous within the first 4 years. Additionally, for liability reasons manufacturers rarely warranty an upholstery coating for over 5 years. If your upholstery is over 5 years old your facility is at a much higher risk of infections.
If your upholstery is over 5 years old, it is most likely not under warranty and your facility's risk of infection is much greater. This means your risk of spreading infection and your facilities risk of a lawsuit becomes your responsibility.
Increased Risk of Infection
If you read "Reason 1" then it's understood that when your upholstery is cracking, has worn to the point of discoloration, and or the stitching has begun coming apart, your upholstery has most likely lost its protective coating.
Having old, cracked, or worn upholstery may not look very impressive in your facility, and might make for bad reviews online, but it's actually worse than you think. The spreading of germs and viruses increases tremendiously. As soon as the protective layer has worn to the point of cracking, the protective layer is compromised.
Once the protective layer is compromised, the foam will begin to show signs of deterioration (image below.)
Bacteria and fungal microorganisms in your facility is an imminent problem as soon as the protective layer has worn through.
The protective layer is not visable. The layer is an invisable coating that is applied to the vinyl during manufacturing. Daily cleaning of the fabric is a necessity, but it also wears down the protective layer.
Most commercial cleaners have drying chemicals and abbrassive cleaners which can lead to premature aging, wear and cracking of vinyl and upholstery. Studies have shown, even using proper cleaning wipes designed for vinyl will also wear off the invisable coating over a period of 3 to 5 years.
Iccentric knows the most important part of your facility are your patients, members, and staff. Take care of your clients by taking care of your upholstery. If it's time to reupholser your equipment, contact iccentric for a free estimate.
Appearance - Your upholstery is a reflection of your facility
If you've considered reupholstery then you know the expense of reupholstery is MUCH LESS than replacement pads, or replacing your existing equipment. Now it's time to consider how worn upholstery effects your business.
You have seen your upholstery age over the years and you have gotten use to it. It doesnt seem that bad to you because it has happened gradually.
Below you can see screen shots from Google reviews. These patients were so bothered by the worn out upholstery they posted about it. This is definitely not a good "look" for your facility or your reputation.
You've given excuses for your worn, punctured, or cracked upholstery for too long. Don't wait so long that it affects your business. Additionally if you have been looking for a company that makes it easy to have your pads reupholstered, your search is over.
Contact iccentric today before you're business is affected by negative client reviews.
Worn upholstery can cause foam deterioration.
Once your upholstery is excessively worn or cracked, substances such as sweat, body oils, dirt and bacteria seep through the upholstery and are trapped in the foam.
The lighter color yellow on the bottom piece of the foam shown on the left is the original color of the foam.
As the upholstery becomes worn, the foam begins absorbing the dirt, bacteria, sweat and other substances causing a discoloration of the foam, stains on the back of the vinyl and also causes the thread to rot (pictured on the right.) Additionally, the foam begins to harden and break down.Schedule an Estimate
Your clients, patients and members are the bases of your business.Keeping your upholstery up-to-date and looking great is important for your business to thrive. You want to show your clients that you care about their health and comfort. That you know what is important.
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