When it comes to developing a floor maintenance program, facility service providers (FSPs) should ask themselves how much the floor is worth.
This can refer to the actual cost of the floor, as well as how much the appearance of the floor means to the facility.
For instance, the Reliance Building, Chicago, is a 110-year-old building with a unique lobby floor. Although relatively small, it still cost more than $1 million to restore the floor, using thousands of marble chips to replicate the original design. Floor care for this facility means not only keeping the floor clean and shiny, but protecting an expensive investment as well.
Once the value of the floor is determined, FSPs can better determine what type of chemicals and equipment are necessary to maintain the floor.
The two major components to a floor maintenance program are:Floor care chemicals
Many floor finishes and chemicals are made of powerful cleaning agents that can be toxic. More environmentally preferable products are now available and are recommended by independent agencies such as Green Seal®.Floor care equipment
Floor care is labor-intensive. As a result, FSPs should consider mechanizing the process as much as possible and selecting equipment that is easy to use. Studies have proved that larger floor machines, although they will cost more initially, quickly pay for themselves in reduced labor costs and improved productivity.
In addition, new floor equipment technologies — such as cylindrical brush machines — are easier to use than rotary machines and require considerably less training.
David Stainislaw is an engineer with Chicago-based Tornado® Industries, a manufacturer of floor and carpet care equipment.