Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Floor care basics: How to clean to protect your bottom line

May 22, 2013

When it comes to floor care, it’s important to make a good first impression. Shiny floors are literally a reflection of your business. In fact, it has been shown that facility appearance ratings can drop by as much as 75 percent if floor shine makes a bad first impression.

The truth is it’s less expensive to maintain a finish than to repair or replace a floor. So, why not heed those words and create a floor care program that shines favorably on your business and protects your bottom line?

The key to achieving clean, attractive looking floors is regular maintenance and choosing the right cleaning products. The following best practices can help keep finished floors looking great year round.

4 Pillars of Floor Care

1) Prevention – Put a floor matting program into place to reduce the amount of soil, dirt and moisture that enters the building. Mats should be located inside and outside the building in high-traffic areas, such as the main entrance to the building and the entryway or foyer. Also, place mats throughout the building – near the steps, the elevator shaft or other strategic areas – to continue to capture incoming dirt. Typically, the more mats you have, the longer the life of the floor will be.

2) Daily Routine/Maintenance – The second pillar in protecting your floors should include these steps, depending on your facility/equipment.

  • Dust Mopping – Always begin your daily routine with dust mopping to help clear away large debris. Make sure the mop is clean before you get started.
  • Damp Mopping – This step helps remove particles and oily soil. Damp mopping also prevents the floor’s finish from darkening or yellowing from embedded soil. A couple of tips: Use a clean mop head, start with clean water and follow a manufacturer’s recommended dilution.
  • Auto Scrubbing – This may not be feasible for all facilities, but using this type of equipment can be more effective and efficient. It removes soil better than damp mopping and uses less chemicals. Don’t forget to follow the manufacturer’s recommended dilution and choose the appropriate pad for cleaning.
  • Low Speed Buffing – This procedure helps repair the finish to a smooth shine and delay the need for a recoat. It’s a great option if your budget doesn’t allow for a burnisher. For durable finishes use a spray buff to aid “repair,” a mop-on maintainer for efficiency and choose the pad appropriate for spray buffing.
  • High Speed Burnishing – It’s much more efficient than low speed buffing. High speed burnishing helps repair the finish to a smooth shine and delays the need for a recoat. You’ll want to select a finish that matches your burnish frequency and, of course, choose the appropriate pad.

3) Interim Maintenance – This step involves a deep scrub and recoat. First, remove surface damage, then apply floor finish for a fresh new look. This provides shine restoration when buffing/burnishing is not enough.

4) Restorative care – Why strip and refinish? When the floor has darkened or yellowed and when a scrub and recoat will not give a new appearance, restorative care is the next step, which involves stripping, sealing and refinishing. Be sure to use a high quality stripper and choose the right finish for your floors.

A high quality floor care program can help protect your floor investment and make a great impression with customers. Commercial facilities should consider an end-to-end maintenance solution. The proper system ensures the stripper, finish and cleaner are all formulated to work in conjunction with each other to deliver superior results and extend the length of time between maintenance cycles.