Although we cannot predict what old man winter will bring us this year, we should prepare for the worst. Inclement weather can wreak havoc on floors and carpet and if left unaddressed can cause irreversible damage to coatings and fibers. Every time someone enters a facility and leaves a trail of snow, ice melt, salt or sand melting off their boots you are at risk of a slippery floor. Workplace falls total $11.2 billion annually in worker’s compensation costs for U.S. employees.
Fortunately, with some preparation and a maintenance plan, we can keep the weather outside where it belongs.
A good interior and exterior matting system will work 24/7 and can dramatically reduce how much dirt, salt, sand, and other types of debris that enter the building. By utilizing high performance entrance matting of at least 10' to 15' (as recommended by the U.S. Green Building Council) you can capture as much as 85% to 95% of contaminants that enter the building, saving maintenance dollars and protecting building assets, thus, decreasing slip and fall incidents. Be sure that you maintain mats by vacuuming them regularly and cleaning them with an entrance mat cleaner.
Look to Your Dust Mops
Pushing around a 72” dust mop that is loaded with dirt and dust doesn’t do much good for the floor. Newer technologies like microfiber dust mops pick up significantly more grit and can be cleaned out much more easily. Grab the center of a floor pad and scrape out the dust mop over a garbage can as often as possible to keep them working at their best.
Floor coatings can be damaged by strong acids or bases and are best in a neutral state. Select a chemical that can cleanse and protect your floor without altering its pH dramatically. If you run into tough marks and scuffs, be sure that you do not use a chemical that removes the coating with the mark. This will leave dull spots and create more work down the road.
Above the Floor
Floors can be badly damaged by overspray from chemicals used to disinfect, clean desktops, or remove graffiti. Utilizing a low toxicity disinfectant applied with a low- pressure sprayer can prevent the above-the-floor cleaners from damaging your floors. It will also help you implement a full green cleaning system!
- Vacuums: Essential for dust removal, a commercial vacuum with the proper filtration will remove and contain dust and dry soil from carpet, hard floors, walls, and ceilings.
- Mopping Systems: Hard floors like tile and wood should be dust mopped, swept, or vacuumed daily to remove loose, dry soil that can abrade the floor surface and/ or finish-seal. Wet cleaning using microfiber technology will remove the soil left behind and will enhance and maintain the surface.
- Automatic scrubbers: Large areas may require daily or weekly deep cleaning to keep floors looking their best. Maintaining VCT and other hard floor surfaces with the proper equipment such as an automatic scrubber will help extend the life of the floor coating. These units are designed to scrub, clean, rinse, remove the soil, and dry the floor in one, easy step.
- High speed burnishers: For floors treated with floor finish, a high speed burnisher, using the correct pad and maintenance products, will keep the floors at an optimum gloss while helping to remove surface scratches, scuffs, swirls, and residues.
A little preparation and a good maintenance program will keep floors and carpet looking their best this winter, provide a cleaner facility and secure a safer environment. Action Unlimited Resources is here to help with any floor care needs. Our expert staff can answer any questions you may have.