Winter in Alberta comes with some unique challenges. Starting your car thirty minutes before you have to leave, dodging ice on the sidewalk, and keeping every square inch of skin covered so as to avoid the dreaded frostbite are just a few of the special perks we experience living this far north. With all of that snow and ice comes salt and sludge. Your once immaculate commercial flooring is suddenly overwhelmed with wet boots, tiny rocks, and ice melt residue. If you want your floors to last until spring, you’ll need to pay special attention to these 4 important care tips.
Prep the Floors
Even before the deep freeze happens, you should get your flooring ready for winter. The best way to do this for hard floors is to reseal them. Strip, scrub, and recoat to provide a new layer of finish that will keep the elements out of your floorboards. Make sure to do this before the cold weather fully hits. This is because freezing temperatures could affect how the finish dries, resulting in cracking and peeling.
For those of you whose facility is outfitted with carpets, refinishing isn’t an option. Instead, perform a deep clean at the beginning of the season. This will give your carpets a facelift, as well as clear out any inconspicuous debris within the fibres. You should also take this opportunity to assess for any damage or deep stains. Torn fibres can create a pathway for moisture to travel beneath the carpet. At best it is unsightly, at worst mould will start to grow and more of the carpet will be compromised.
Protect Your Assets
Once your floors are looking fresh, implement an effective entryway matting program to protect them. Placed strategically, mats can work to remove up to 90% of soil from shoes and boots coming in from the cold. Scraper mats should be placed outside of your entryway. These are designed for guests to scrape debris off their shoes before they even enter the building. As you move inside, matting should continue for about 15 feet, giving the opportunity for moisture and remaining debris to slough off the wearer’s shoes and onto the mats. Water dam borders and vinyl backings ensure that all the water, snow, ice, and dirt being collected doesn’t trickle over the edges and onto the floor the mat is trying to protect.
Keep Them Clean
In addition to an effective matting system, cleaning will ensure that whatever is on the bottom of your customers’ shoes is removed promptly and not left to spill over onto your floors. Simple brooms aren’t cut out for this type of work. Wet vacuums and mops are great allies in the fight against salt and moisture. To manage ice melt residue and avoid it being tracked through your store – those patchy white marks don’t look good on any floors – you’ll need to bring in the big guns. Regular floor cleaners can actually damage floors if used to remove ice melt stains. This is because the pH balance of the residue is so high. The solution: use a floor neutralizer cleaner.
Lastly, winter floor care requires consistency. The more foot traffic you experience, the more debris is dragged in through the front doors. That means cleaning at least once a day, if not more! Neglected floors experience severe damage from snow, ice, ice melt residue, dirt, and gravel. This results in frequent repair or even replacement costs. Preserving your flooring is always in your best interest.
When these cleaning tasks cannot be performed by your own staff, it’s time to call in the experts for a little extra support. Our team of friendly and efficient cleaners know just how to maintain your carpets and hard floors alike. We do what we do best on your flooring so that you have the time and energy to do what you do best for your business. Contact us today to request a free quote!