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Hard Floor Care

Floor Care Procedures

March 23, 2011
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The number one priority of having great maintenance levels is to prioritize the procedures into a comprehensive plan of action.

It all begins with preventing soils from accumulating in the building.

These procedures will include designating walk-off areas to control soils from entering the structure, followed by using sturdy walk-off matting both inside and outside the entrance doors.

The plan should also include using a strong maintenance presence in the outdoor spaces adjacent to the building.

This will limit the amount of particulate soils that enter the structure.

Limiting or controlling soils will help keep the flooring looking its best for longer periods of time; it will make routine and interim procedures more effective and prolong the gap between restoration procedures.

Minutia Of Mopping

Dust mopping removes any dry particulate soils and can be the backbone of a routine maintenance program.

It is the first line of defense on the intrusion of dust, debris and abrasive soils that can damage flooring and floor finish surfaces.

When using a dust mop, push the mop over the flooring, never lifting the mop from the flooring surface.

On turns of the mop, overlap the turn area to ensure the soils stay in front of the mop as it is pushed across the floor.

When finishing the dust mopping procedure, place the mop end first into a trashcan with a liner and carefully brush the accumulated soil into the receptacle.

A handheld vacuum cleaner can be used in place of the brush and trashcan unloading method.

Under no circumstances should the mop be shaken, either indoors or outdoors; this just places the soil back on the areas just cleaned.

Any soil accumulation in the stopping point should be swept up or vacuumed from the floor.

Broom sweeping is better for smaller areas or areas that are uneven or grouted.

Remember, dust mopping is not always the most effective method for grouted flooring, which includes ceramic tile or natural stone tile.

Make sure the bristling on the broom is compatible with the type and smoothness, or lack thereof, of the flooring surface.

A smooth surface will require a fine sweeping broom, whereas a rough textured surface will require a coarser bristling or a combination of fine and rough bristling.

Soils collected during the process should be picked up with a dustpan or lobby pan.

Vivacious Vacuuming

Although mopping will work, vacuuming the collection area will give the best results.

Vacuuming is generally the most effective way to remove dry, particulate soils, although not the most efficient from a productivity point of view.

A suction-only vacuum is probably the most useful, as a vacuum with a beater brush or bar could cause scratching of the floor, depending on its type.

Make sure the floor tool is free from burrs or cuts that could also scratch softer flooring types.

A good filtration system should be employed to minimize any residual accumulation of collected soils and dust.

Use good evaluation processes in making the proper determination of the correct dry soil removal technique for each floor encountered.

In certain large areas, it may be best to use a combination of all three methods for the most efficient and effective removal of damaging soil.

Careful evaluation with customer input can be invaluable in making sure all avenues are explored.

Customers have great expectations on what the most cost effective measures are, but do not always understand the most effective methods for long-term care and maintenance issues.

Forthcoming monthly columns will continue this in-depth look at the maintenance process.

Dane Gregory is the commercial sales manager for Bridgewater Corporation, which owns Interlink Supply. He works with commercial cleaners to help them build their businesses by adding services without a lot of additional cost. He also helps them with technical aspects of cleaning carpet, tile and grout and stone surfaces. Gregory instructs classes for each floor surface as well as the Commercial Cleaning Initiative, which covers all these floor surfaces. He may be reached at

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