The floor is one of the first things customers and visitors notice when entering a building, and a dirty or damaged floor will most certainly catch their unwanted attention. To ensure a positive first impression at all times, facility managers need to develop and implement a comprehensive floor care strategy that enhances a building’s appearance while also providing safety benefits.
The first step of establishing a floor care strategy includes an audit to ensure that problem areas are identified. Upon completion, management can then select the best products and processes to address any issues, incorporating both immediate and long-term floor care solutions.
The preliminary facility audit should not only pinpoint current issues, but also look for potential future problem areas. Specifically, facility managers should consider:
In addition, managers should review current products and processes to determine if they are effective in preventing and repairing damage. Audits should take place on a regular basis to ensure issues are being addressed in a timely manner and that there are no new problem areas.
Once the initial audit is completed, facility managers can select the best products and processes for their floor care needs. A comprehensive plan should include floor protection, cleaning chemicals, dusting tools and materials, floor pads, mops, equipment, matting and slip resistant treads.
Although it may be tempting to select products based just on initial cost, be sure to consider the long-term investment and labour implications as well. For example, 3M™ Floor Protection Systems reduces long-term product and labour costs by extending a floor’s maintenance cycle, ultimately leading to a lower total cost of ownership. Additionally, consider products with third-party certifications, such as Scotchgard™ Stone Floor Protector and Scotchgard™ Resilient Floor Protector (only available in New Zealand) from 3M, which have been certified by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) as providing high traction.
In addition to selecting the right floor care products, it’s important to ensure they are used safely and correctly for maximum impact. For example, accurate dilution is key when using cleaning chemical concentrates; too little solution will not clean effectively, and too much could damage floors. A chemical management system is a cost-effective solution for a facility that requires a large variety of products across multiple spaces. Easy reference wall charts can also ensure that cleaning staff know what chemical to use for each job.
Any floor care plan should include cleaning tasks that are completed on a routine basis, and processes that are designed for long-term benefit.
Most flooring, regardless of material, requires daily and weekly cleaning to maintain safety and appearance. Dusting should be completed daily, and experts recommend dusting high surfaces first and working down to the floor, so that no surface is missed. Dusting tools that trap dirt and debris will be more effective than those that just redistribute it. Most facilities will also require daily cleaning of floors with floor pads. Burnishing the floor regularly will help provide a visually appealing shine.
When it comes to long-term floor protection, facility managers should strongly consider installing mats to keep dirt and debris from entering a facility, as well as slip-resistant treads to mitigate trips and falls. To find the correct mat for a facility, managers must first determine where dirt and debris are being brought into the facility. Once trouble spots are identified, a matting product that addresses facility-specific weather and environmental hazards such as dirt, water or sand should be implemented; to provide safety benefits for customers and employees.
Although it may seem daunting to establish a comprehensive floor care plan for your facility, it can be achieved with a few strategic steps. By choosing floor care products that take a systems-based approach and are both efficient and effective, facility managers can enjoy the benefits of safe and beautiful flooring for years to come.
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