One of the first things someone sees when entering your facility are your floors, which can help shape their perceptions of how clean the entire building is. Hard flooring that looks dirty, scuffed or dull can give the impression that the facility’s cleanliness standards are lacking. By developing a maintenance program which includes cleaning and polishing techniques and products, you can create an environment that is inviting and safe for those who walk through your doors.
Tips to maintain floors for looks and budget:
Vacuum with a head for hard floors, dust mop, or sweep the floors on a daily or weekly basis to minimize abrasive grit and dirt so it doesn’t become embedded into the finish. Avoid oil-based dust mop treatments, which can cause streaking and may even leave a haze on the floor that attracts even more dirt. The more dirt that remains, the more dull and scratched the floors will get when walked on.
Spot clean spills immediately to lengthen the time you can go between mopping. When mopping floors use a mild detergent or restorative care product. Use a clean mop head and don’t overpour on the cleaning solution, too much cleaning product can leave a haze or make the floors sticky. If the floors are really dirty and more solution is needed, be sure to rinse the floors with clean water.
To restore the shine to high traffic areas use low speed buffing and a high quality wax-based or acrylic spray buff product designed to extend the life of the floor finish. This can delay the need for a recoat which can be costly and time consuming.
High speed burnishing can be used in larger facilities. It is more efficient than low speed buffing. The higher rotation speeds can help to quickly bring a dull finish to a smooth shine.
Floor finish is used to provide a renewable, restorable wear layer on hard flooring. Maintaining that sacrificial wear layer is important to protecting the floor itself so that it will look its best for the longest time possible.
Safety is an important factor in maintaining your floors. Water, grease and other fluids can make walking surfaces slippery. Dirt, grit, and grime can also become a tripping hazard which can lead to fall injuries and perhaps even expensive legal action. Make sure you have walk off mats that are large enough for the area and clean them frequently. You will save on floor cleaning and prevent wear in high traffic and dirt prone areas.
Thinking about new floors?
Consider maintenance when choosing materials.
Vinyl and other resilient flooring typically need sweeping, dust mop or vacuum and damp mopping. Protective finishes, once applied, can be maintained with proper cleaners and polishes to extend the time between when they need to be re-done.
Newer types of resilient flooring like cork and bamboo are laminated with a hard finish, so maintenance is similar to other resilient floors. Manufacturers recommend staying away from wax-based finishes, and instead using an acrylic finish when needed.
Terrazzo floors are relatively easy to maintain with daily sweeping and weekly damp mopping with a neutral cleaner.
Granite and marble care are basically the same: high maintenance. To keep them looking good, manufacturers recommend dust mopping at least two or three times a day in high traffic areas and spot mop with a rayon mop head.
Choosing the right flooring material for your facility can be a huge step in the right direction for the look you want and the care schedule you can maintain.