The first asset visitors notice when they walk in to any facility, is the floor. Day to day foot traffic plays a significant role in the deterioration of floors, especially during the winter months. When snow, ice, salt, and sand are brought in a facility on the bottom of shoes, they create scratches and worn areas on the floor – Which can affect the image of a business negatively. Each business have different types of floors, which are all uniquely affected by debris from inclement weather conditions. Frequent maintenance will protect the beauty and increase the longevity of floors.
A significant, yet overlooked, step to help secure the health of your floors, is the implementation of proper matting. According to ISSA, It’s critical to implement preventative measures such as comprehensive matting program as 85% of dirt won’t enter a building if mats are properly placed and maintained. Although 85% of debris may be prevented from entering the facility, it’s also important to implement reactive measures to account for any dirt and debris that may its way into your facility. This should include a floor cleaning program that incorporates periodic deep cleans to keep floors in excellent conditions during the winter.
Comprehensive Matting Programs
A comprehensive matting program is a highly effective preventative measure for protecting floors, especially hardwood floors. According to 3M, without adequate matting, 42% of a floor’s finish can be removed within the first six feet of an entrance after only 1,500 people have walked in. Implementing matting such as scraper mats that feature active blades or various heights to scrape grime and debris off shoes outside front entryways. This feature helps to prevent snow, ice, salt, and other debris from entering your building and creating unwanted messes. Installing mats with drainage holes will drain moisture outside and decrease the soil accumulation on the mat as well.
While high-performance mats can help facilities combat winter floor care problems, it’s also critical to care for each mat with special attention on mats near front entryways. As facilities experience high foot traffic, especially during inclement weather conditions, mats can become over saturated if they aren’t consistently maintained. If mats aren’t consistently cared for, they become over saturated which then will cause an overflow and visitors will track more dirt and debris throughout facilities. Proper mat maintenance is critical for it to remain effective in keeping out 85% of dirt and debris from entering a facility.
Floor Maintenance Practices
While a matting program is an effective way to keep debris from entering a facility, regular floor maintenance is also important. Here are four of the best practices to help protect your floors:
- Increase mopping frequency: A staff member should regularly mop entryways and other floor surfaces throughout the facility. This can remove salt lines from ice melt and reduce water accumulation from heavy snow and freezing rain. Use heavy-duty wet mops and microfiber mops that capture and remove moisture from floors. For spot cleaning or picking up small spills, consider a pulse mop that doesn’t require prepping a mop bucket.
- Cleaning tools: As floors become dirtier, cleaning tools will too. Cleaning staff members must regularly change mop water and use dual-chamber mop buckets to reduce the cross-contamination of dirty water and cleaning chemicals.
- Cleaning out the chemical closet: The type of cleaning chemicals used can impact the floor care program’s efficacy. Use cleaning chemicals that will remove salt residue effectively while also cleaning the floor surface.
- Maintaining periodic deep cleaning: Keeping up with regular deep cleans, especially during the winter months, can minimize the burden of daily cleaning and extend the life of floors. Deep cleaning can also restore facility floors to “like new” condition, resulting in a favorable customer outlook.