During the winter season, roads and walkways are peppered with salt and ice melting products. These products work well for what they are designed to do – keep people safe during the winter season. Unfortunately, the salt does create some issues for your shiny floors. So, as a facility manager or a business owner, how can you care for your floor in winter?
Foot traffic tracks in salt, and all kind so gritty dirt into your facility all day long. Nothing you can do about it, or can you? This ‘potent’ mixture can eat away steadily at your floors finish and then your floor itself if you don’t take consistence preventative measures.
The good news is that there are definite ways to care for your floor in winter and keep it looking shiny. Read on to find out what these critical components of floor care are.
- Use a mat at all the entrance ways
- Sweep and mop the floors with regular frequency, especially the entrance areas
- Avoid using too much salt immediately outside the entrance area
- Invest in proper cleaning equipment
- Have a regular cleaning and maintenance program in place
How To Care For Your Floors In Winter
It is important to plan a winter maintenance schedule to make sure the floors are clean and presentable as well as safe to walk on. A preventative maintenance schedule will also help to reduce floor care and replacement costs.
Industry experts estimate 75 percent of the cleaning budget goes into floor care which is why its necessary to spend it wisely.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Reduce about 75-80% of the ice-salt and dirt right at the front door.
- Keep the parking lot swept and clear of dirt and debri
- Use a mat at the entrance which should be as long as space allows
- Protect the floor with the recommended floor finish based on foot traffic at your facility
- Clear the snow regularly from the parking area
Maintain The Floor Regularly
Needless to say, routine maintenance of your floor is essential. This can mean regular sweeping, even daily. If the floor needs to be mopped as well, it is better to use products that will reduce the time and cost to get this accomplished. Microfibre mops are recommended as they use less water and materials. If the area is large, then you may need to invest in motorized equipment such as an auto scrubber.
The cleaning solution you select to clean the floor is vital. It should be based on the type of floor, type of dirt and soil tracked in and when it comes to winter maintenance of the floor you need to get something that will neutralize the salt residue and revitalize the floor finish.
For the best recommendations, you can connect with janitorial product distributors and cleaning companies in the area for the floor care product that will meet your needs best.
Periodic Restoration Of Your Floor
From time to time, you can use a few restorative techniques to bring back the floor close to its original condition. Some of these are:
- Spray buffing and burnishing
- Recoating the floor
Spray the solution on the floor and buff it with a high-speed burnisher to bring back the shine. This also removes the dirt and skid marks from the floor which may not have come up with the regular maintenance schedule.
At times, the floor coating may have eroded in places and patches and may need to be removed locally and reapplied. This helps to reduce costs and keep the floor looking good till a full restoration is imminent.
Restore Your Floor
When its time, its time. Complete floor restoration often requires the suspension of activities. At times, it may be localized to the area. The process involves completely stripping the floor of the old finish and reapplying new coats of wax. The finish used should be of good quality and in line with the foot traffic and requirements of your facility.
It is also very important to use a sealer to create a foundation for the wax. The sealer bonds to the stripped and cleaned floor to create a protective layer that protects the floor from the salt and dirt. It also prevents the stains from reaching the actual flooring material and helps the wax to show its shine.
As in most things, you get what you pay for. Invest in good quality products and reap the rewards for a longer period which at often times is saving yourself from the disruption of regular business activities in your facility which means a lot more revenue than the savings achieved with the use of cheaper materials.
A Final Word – Care For Your Floor In Winter
If you keep the above pointers in mind you can look forward to safe and well maintained, high gloss floors throughout the winter season – at the envy of other facility managers across the city. Care for your floor in winter and it promises to care for you back.
Author: Z Dharamsey