Floors are the heart and soul of every building, and they’re one of the first things a visitor will notice when they walk through the door. A well-kept floor in your building can immediately signal to your occupants that the building is clean and maintained with care, which can create a lasting impression. But because they take a beating every day, it’s critical to exercise proper floor care and maintenance.
Below are seven cost-effective tips that building managers must consider for keeping their floors clean, safe and attractive.
- Consider using automated equipment. While using mops to clean hallways and open areas is tried and true, it’s incredibly time consuming. Using an Auto Scrubber as small as 20 inches reduces mopping floors by 75 percent and keeps your floors cleaner and safer because there is no standing water to cause potential slip and fall accidents.
- Cut the cord. Upright, backpack and wide area vacuums or sweepers can more than double productivity when using battery-operated equipment. Today’s batteries have a considerably longer run life than even a few years ago and purchase prices have dropped significantly. It really can pay to “cut the cord.”
- Go orbital. The most significant floor care innovation of the past 20 years has been the use of orbital scrubbers and specialized floor pads to effectively remove the top layers of soil and old finish from a worn floor that would typically be stripped and recoated. Orbital scrubbers reduce time, chemical usage and manpower more than 50 percent.
- Check out new floor designs and innovations. When your Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT) is worn out and needs replacing, consider opting for Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT), sheet vinyl, polished concrete or “poured” replacement flooring. Such options will extend the life of an old floor with lots of color and require less maintenance than traditional VCTs.
- Switch to brush methods. When floors with some texture or grout seem difficult to effectively clean, try a brush on your scrubber—it can make a remarkable difference. A soft to medium synthetic fiber brush or a rectangular pad/brush will penetrate surfaces deeper and remove embedded soil that a pad would just “glide” over.
- Keep the dirt off your floors. Simple as it might sound, keeping dirt off your floors is critically important. The easiest and least expensive way to efficiently improve floor care is by installing properly designed (bi-level) entrance matting to trap up to 85 percent of any debris and soil that gets tracked into your building and wears down your carpets and floor coatings in the process.
- Keep good records. Every property manager knows that keeping good records in your building is critical to cost efficiencies. While day-to-day building management may hinder you from regularly updating records, it will pay off in the long run. By incorporating the tips above and keeping a record of it, you will be able to recognize how these efforts can impact floor appearance and safety precautions while reducing labor hours. Evaluate what new finishes and floor protection methods are working well and look for extended life of your floors. After a few months of recording floor plans (color-coded with different maintenance methods), it will be clear what new products and systems are really working.
Replacing flooring can be a huge capital expense and a major impact to your bottom line. By following these seven preventive floor maintenance tips, you can save significant time, money and labor costs, allowing you and your staff to focus on properly cleaning other areas in your building.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Scapparone has been in product management at Staples for 10 years and is director of Product Management for the Facilities Category. She leads a cross-functional team responsible for launching new chemical solutions and cleaning tools and played a key role introducing the Coastwide Professional™ J-Series line of paper and soap dispensers and refills for the modern restroom.