Worship The Ground You Walk On: How Facilities Managers Keep Floors Healthy In The Winter
Managing wear and tear on floors in the winter is equal parts corrective and preventative maintenance. Ice and snow are inevitably tracked inside and onto the floor where it turns right into moisture. And then there’s the rock salt…oh, the rock salt… what punisher that rock salt is. And sometimes mud likes to join the party.
Keeping a process for floor maintenance is key to protecting your most used asset—the ground!
Save the strain and turn snow into rain. I don’t know a single person who likes shoveling snow or scraping ice off of sidewalks. Make sure that you have a dedicated person on your team that is keeping an eye on inclement weather and deploying preventative actions to fend off ice and snow accumulations in your walkways. Weather patterns shift all the time, and sometimes the snow and ice never arrive. But as the saying goes—better safe than shoveling snow all day! Sweeping or washing away unused salt is much easier on your back!
Do The Mats!
On top of using mats to prevent slips and falls, a good matting system for your entrances and interior floors will pay off in long-term protection. Sidewalk scraper mats, doorway transition mats, and absorbent entry mats make for a holy trinity of floor and pedestrian protection. Think of the mats as a drop off points for salt, ice, and slush. And keeping those mats clean is not just for looks. The longer you let them absorb moisture and debris, the heavier they become and the harder it is to move and clean them. Don’t be afraid to put that Wet-Vac to good use!
Don’t Make Tracks!
Winter shoes and boots are made with all sorts of little pathways where dirt and soil accumulate and leave your mark on the floor. And when it’s cold and wet outside, that dirt and soil converts to mud, which likes to leave its mark long after you’ve stepped indoors. Having sufficient space for kicking off dirt and debris (especially BEFORE it comes inside) will save your floors from another ingredient for wear and probably make the task of cleaning the floors a little easier. And if you know there’s an area where heavy-duty foot traffic is going on—perhaps renovations or construction teams passing through—don’t be shy with the mats. Just remember to not let too much accumulate on them.
Put A Coat On!
Adding a protective coat before snow season arrives is another great way to prolong the life of your floors. Adding additional wear-away coats is another great solution for avoiding damage—especially for vinyl flooring. Assuming that the floors will be a mess anyways is correct, but it doesn’t account for accumulative wear and tear that could be avoided with coating.
The Bottom Line
Hard floors live a hard life and the winter wear shows no mercy. Since the floors of your facilities are the asset that will see the most use all year long, it follows that your floors will require lots of TLC and maintenance to make them thrive and stay alive in the winter
P.S. If you don’t live in a wintry climate this time of year, please invite us over for a sunny, tropical getaway! We’ll make the mojitos!