Try as I may to block the last couple of winters out (I am so not a snow and ice fan), it left a lasting impression. And I believe it did the same for many of our facilities managers and BSCs. We couldn’t keep the sidewalks and entrance ways clean enough. Our lobbies looked like hot messes. And regular maintenance projects? Who had time for those between shoveling, scattering ice melt and shoveling some more?!
I remember one of my customers called in a panic because people were slipping and falling in her lobby, hallways on the first floor and even some rooms on the second floor. “The floors are dry, I don’t know what is going on,” I remember her saying. The problem was debris from ice melters and rock salt. Even dried, once it is ground into the floor, it makes a slippery mess. She needed a solution and she needed it fast.
We’ve got plenty of info on matting and what they can do to protect your floors here. I highly suggest you check it out if you have less than 30’ of matting in your entrance ways. However, mats can only do so much, especially once we get in the groove of winter where we get one storm after another.
To care for your floors through the winter, you need to be vacuuming regularly. This means that if you are able to, you should be vacuuming entrance ways during business hours. Vacuum whenever you get a chance. Obviously, this isn’t always feasible, so if you have to wait until business is closed for the day, vacuum as soon as you can start.
After your floors are vacuumed, you should neutralize the floor. You can do this with an auto scrubber or a mop. Once that is done, flood the floor with cold water and dry. Be sure to check the floor with a microfiber rag for residue. If your rag is clean, you have done an awesome job of saving your floor for another day. If residue remains, your floor needs to be neutralized again. Repeat the process until all of the residue is removed.
Here is a chart and reference page for you to print about how to properly remove salt residue from floors: FLOOR CARE salt residue cleaning
If you have any questions about neutralizers or how to best serve your facility’s floors this winter, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.