10 Tips to Protect Floors Before and During Winter

Floor Care

10 Tips to Protect Facility Floors Before and During Winter

Flooring is one of the most important and expensive assets of a building, and winter is the most costly season for floor maintenance. Dirt, small pebbles in slush, and harsh alkaline residue from ice melting compounds in wintertime can take a serious toll on floors and cause additional strain on building budgets. As winter approaches, it is time to be sure you have a plan in place to take care of your floors and protect them from the effects of snow, ice melting compounds and the dirt that’s tracked in with both.

When ice melt is applied outside of your facility the melted residue will be tracked into your building and begin to attack floors, causing excessive wear and damage. Protection is cheaper than restoration, so it’s only smart to take steps to preserve your expensive floors from the hazards of this impending winter.

Here are 10 proactive suggestions to take care of your floors, before winter takes care of them.

  1. Do a light scrub and recoat of floors with a quality floor finish before the first snow. An early protective coat will help you get through the winter months and avoid a deep stain in all coats of the finish.
  2. Put extra matting at all entryways. This will help keep ice melt compounds and moisture from being tracked into other parts of your building.   
  3. Wet vacuum your matting on harsh winter days to avoid tracking in salt and moisture. It will also help reduce slips and falls and eliminate foul odors from moisture building up below the matting. Floor squeegees can also come to the rescue on snowy wet days.
  4. Go over your exterior and interior matting with a winter ice melt neutralizer solution in an automatic scrubber or carpet extractor. This will help get rid of the white haze on matting and should prevent ice melt residue from being tracked into your building. Trax-Buster Ice Melt Film Dissolver works well for this.
  5. On winter days when ice melt is applied outside, switch your daily neutral cleaner solution to a winter floor neutralizing solution. Neutral cleaners are not as effective as neutralizing solutions in removing ice melt compounds.
  6. For best results, keep the mopping solution clean and change out your winter  neutralizing solution frequently on the roughest of days.  
  7. Increase the frequency of your mopping and auto scrubbing on those harsh days.
  8. Clean out your automatic scrubbers frequently so ice melt residue does not damage your machine or allow bacteria the chance to build up in the machine.
  9. Rinse and wring out wet mops to extend their life.
  10. Clean out and rinse mop buckets frequently. If foul odors begin to occur, rinse with a disinfecting solution. 

By putting into practice some or all of the above tips, your floors should come out of winter with less damage, saving you money and hassle in spring remediation. Depending on the severity of winter, you may even avoid a full strip and recoat!

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Finish Strong: How to Choose the Right Floor Finish for a Champion Caliber Program

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