By Allen Halstead
It’s that time of year again–time for your floors to get seriously messed up by the winter weather. Up here in Canada we know a thing or two about winter weather and the damage it can do to floors. That’s why we’ve put so much time and effort into finding the right products and processes to help our customers keep their floors clean, shiny and safe all year round. Here are our top three tips to help get you and your facility ahead of this winter weather.
Combat ice melt with a specialized product
Ice melt is one of the more pernicious substances that will be tracked into your facilities. It is a necessary evil in the winter, because it helps keep your outside walkways safe. However, it can erode away at your floor surfaces, leave streaks and a film everywhere on your hard floor, matting and carpeting. What’s more, the ice melt film attracts water and poses a serious slip hazard indoors. That is why it’s so important to treat ice melt residue head-on. Haze Away (ES83) is a Ecologo UL certified product designed to remove the white film left by ice melt chemicals. It works by demineralizing salt deposits on the floor. Always use a double bucket system when possible.
It’s important to use a double bucket system like the Nufiber systems we often recommend to our customers. This is because you will be removing substances that can be particularly damaging to floors in the winter, such as ice melt, dirty ice and snow and other chemicals used outdoors to combat the winter weather. If you do not have a process that focuses on residue removal, then you may wind up spreading these chemicals and substances even further into your facility, rather than removing them. A two-bucket system will improve your cleaning results and preserve your floor surfaces. You will also want to change out your soiled water frequently, and change and wash your microfiber mops routinely. It is very important to pay extra close attention to the frequency that you change water and clean mop heads during the winter because those floors are just more soiled and more difficult to keep clean this time of year.
Never skimp on preventive matting
Check your facility entrances and make sure you have at least 15 feet of matting inside and outside at each one. The matting is your single best line of defense when you are up against winter weather. It is what will stop most of the snow, ice and chemicals from entering your buildings and doing damage to your floors in the first place.
You will want to vacuum your preventive matting more than once a day and wash it frequently during the winter months. There are many different types of matting you can consider, including:
- Scraper mats: Heavy duty mats made of rubber can be placed outside of buildings
- Entrance Wiper mats: Made from tough fibers ideally with a bi-level design to trap and hold soils and moisture below the top surface for safety and appearance
- Walk off mats: Made from nylon and a blend of materials and the most common type of mat used in buildings.
Increase your cleaning frequencies
Each facility has its own procedures and frequencies when it comes to floor care. In the winter, you will likely need to increase your frequencies if you want to combat the elements and protect your facility’s floors. At a minimum, you will sweep, dust mop and vacuum your floors once a day to remove all soil from the floors. Ideally you will also damp mop or use an auto scrubber on your floors once a day. In the winter, consider doing this twice or more, depending on the traffic inside your building.
The winter months can be tough on your facilities, but they are also a happy time when we celebrate holidays and gather together. Make sure your facility is looking its very best and is safe and healthy for all who gather there by tweaking your winter floor care routine to get the best results. If you have more questions about how to maximize your winter floor care routine, reach out to an expert at Charlotte.