The fall and winter seasons — and the weather and holidays that come with them — pose extraordinary challenges for facilities managers and cleaning contractors. Don’t get caught off guard. With proper planning and the right mix of equipment, you can handle anything either nature or your building occupants throw at you.
If you’re in a northern or mountain state, falling leaves, snow, ice and slush come with the territory. Factor them into your staffing and equipment planning. Some days will require longer working hours and equipment to dry floors, vacuum and remove stains. If you’re a cleaning contractor, build these scenarios into your annual bid or arrange with your client to get paid for out-of-the-ordinary cleaning.
Because there’s more dirt, dust, leaf matter and even mold coming in, you’ll need to vacuum carpeted floors more frequently during winter months, perhaps several times during the day. To help reduce allergens and irritants and create an exceptionally clean environment, rely on the CRI Gold certified Sanitaire® EON™ ALLERGEN upright, the first commercial vacuum certified asthma & allergy friendly® by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Install mats at all building entries to minimize the tracking of leaves, water, sand and salt through corridors, offices, and meeting rooms. The longer the mat, the better. According to ISSA data, facilities with foot traffic of up to 1,000 people per day will track in approximately 24 pounds of soil during a 20-day period. Six feet of matting at a facility’s entrance will remove 40 percent of soil, 12 feet of matting will remove 80 percent of soil, and 36 feet of matting will remove 99 percent of soil. Vacuum entry mats at least once per day and send them out for professional cleaning as often as once per week, depending upon foot traffic.
Dry wet floors as quickly as possible to prevent falls on hard surface floors, mold formation and stains in carpet. The versatile Sanitaire® DRY TIME™ air mover is ideal for the task. It has three speed settings, four operating positions, and the ability to daisy-chain up to four machines to a single 15-amp circuit for drying large areas.
For areas with a mix of carpet, tile, or wood flooring, consider the Sanitaire® MULTI-SURFACE QuietClean® upright. This two-motor upright is built to clean a variety of flooring surfaces. You can switch on the brushroll to clean carpet and switch it off to clean hard-surface floors. The versatile Sanitaire® TRANSPORT™ QuietClean® backpack is also a good choice for cleaning both hard-surface and carpeted floors, if you need more flexibility for your space.
You’ll undoubtedly run into mud during inclement weather and food and beverage spills during holiday season potlucks and office parties, so it’s vital to have extraction equipment like the Sanitaire® RESTORE™ Carpet Extractor ready to tackle these problems. The Carpet and Rug Institute’s Carpet and Rug Care Guide is a helpful resource, and spells out the steps to remove almost any stain from carpet. Stain removal may seem simple, but lots of stains, especially difficult food and beverage stains, may require multiple cleaning steps.
By Brad Hoare, Product Marketing Manager, Sanitaire