Joe Tehan

By: Joe Tehan on October 13th, 2021

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Winter Commercial Floor Maintenance: 4 Products to Protect Your Floors

You’re probably familiar with the increased cleaning demands of winter, and you might be wondering how you’re going to keep up this year. 

The best way to prevent damage from winter weather is preparation.

There are several different products designed to help you prepare for winter and combat the harsh effects on your floors so you don’t have to spend a lot of time on costly and labor-intensive restorative maintenance. 

Dull and dirty floors caused by salt and ice melt residue can be unsightly and moisture can damage the finish on your hard floors.

If that damage isn’t prevented or quickly corrected, you risk needing to replace your floors because of the lasting effects. Replacing your floors can be a costly and time-consuming process, which is why it’s critical to prepare your facility’s floors for the harsh effects of winter.

In this article and video, we’ll review some of these products and how adding them to your winter floor maintenance routine can help you safeguard the flooring in your building from the harsh effects of winter.

4 Products Designed to Protect Your Floors During the Winter

  1. Commercial Entry Mats
  2. Floor Neutralizer
  3. Automatic Floor Scrubbers
  4. Wet Floor Signs

1. Commercial Entry Mats

EBP Entry Way MatFloor mats are designed to protect your floor from damage caused by moisture and dirt. 

When used correctly, entry mats are a powerful floor maintenance tool. The right entryway matting system can stop up to 85% of dirt from entering your facility.  

Since entrance mats remove most of the outside dirt and moisture from people’s shoes before they make contact with your facility’s flooring, you’ll spend less on removing dirt from your floors. In fact, it has been estimated that it costs around $600 to remove one pound of dirt. Proper entryway matting could eliminate that cost.

Whether you have hard floors or carpeting, adopting a three-part commercial entry mat system can help protect and extend the life of your floors as well as lower the necessary maintenance required by your staff. 

The three parts of a commercial entryway mat system are:

  1. Scraper Mats
  2. Transition Mats 
  3. Wiper Mats

Using a three-part entry mat system together creates the safest entryway for both your floors and the people entering your building. Not only do entry mats protect your facility’s floors from harsh contaminants, but they can also protect your guests from slips and falls.

2. Floor Neutralizer

CERTO Floor Neutralizer-1Ever have those pesky white streaks and swirls during the winter months? 

Ice melt residue can leave white streaks on hard floors, negatively impacting your floor’s appearance and damaging the finish if not properly removed. Using a floor neutralizer solves this problem.

Most ice melts contain salt, which has a high pH level. A regular cleaning solution can react with salt, causing white streaks on your floors and potentially damaging your floor finish.

Unlike other cleaning solutions, a floor neutralizer can neutralize and remove the alkaline salt residues without the risk of chemical reactions or damage to your floor finish.

A floor neutralizer cleans your floors while removing the alkaline substances that cause white staining. This means you don’t have to perform two separate floor care procedures to effectively clean your facility’s floors.

When cleaning hard floors, you can apply a floor neutralizer with a mop and bucket or an automatic floor scrubber.

Floor neutralizer can also be used with a carpet extractor to remove salt and ice melt residues from entryway mats. 

3. Automatic Floor Scrubber

Advance SC1500 auto floor scrubber Cleaning hard floors during the winter can become a time-consuming task.

Ice melt can be swirled around on the floor instead of being removed when cleaned using the mop and bucket method. This can lead to damaged floors because ice melt residue is harsh on your floor finish.

Automatic floor scrubbers save your staff time and make sure that your facility’s floors are being cleaned properly in just one pass. With an autoscrubber, your janitorial team can achieve more during their shift because of the reduced floor cleaning times.

Using a mop and bucket to clean your floors during the winter requires you to work in small sections, exchange your water between sections, and rinse your mop and floors. 

However, using an autoscrubber doesn’t require any additional steps for cleaning your floors. Your staff only needs to thoroughly clean your auto scrubber after use to make sure that no excess salt is left inside, which could otherwise damage your machine.

Unlike with mop and bucket cleaning, an automatic floor scrubber offers a consistent clean which means you can expect the same level of cleanliness every time you clean your floors. An autoscrubber also greatly reduces the dry time of your floors, so areas of your floors are not closed to foot traffic for extended periods of time. 

4. Wet Floor Signs

Rubbermaid Floor Sign with 'Caution Wet Floor' imprint, 2 sidedThe safety of your building’s guests is a top priority. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you’re using appropriate floor signs during your floor maintenance routine.

Winter floor maintenance calls for more frequent cleaning of your facility’s floor because of tracked-in snow, ice melt, and other dirt and debris. This means that sometimes your floors will be wet during high traffic times.

Caution signs indicate to your staff and guests that they should be alert when walking in a specific area.

Caution Floor Signs

Caution signs, such as wet floor signs and hazard signs, should be put out to let your guests know that there’s a possible hazard present. 

When using a caution sign, it should be placed around the site of the hazard where it can be seen by anyone passing the potentially hazardous area. Standing caution signs are usually placed around the hazard to alert guests that they need to be careful in a certain area. These signs are usually used for smaller hazardous areas.

Caution signs are commonly yellow with black lettering and made of durable material, like rigid plastic.

Yellow caution barriers can be used to close off an area for cleaning or floor drying. These barriers can be used if a larger area in your facility requires care when walking on the floors. 

When floor signs are used correctly, the people in your building are safer and you can avoid potential injuries in your facility.

With less slip and fall injuries, the number of insurance and workers’ compensation claims your building experiences is reduced. Your business can avoid lawsuits related to slip and fall injuries, as well.


Final Thoughts

Getting ahead of the effects of winter is key to protecting your floors from damage and costly repairs.

The right floor care products can help you and your staff prevent damage while increasing productivity and preserving the safety of your guests.

Floor mats can minimize the amount of dirt that makes it into your facility. They can also trap and reduce the amount of moisture that’s tracked onto your floors.

Not only can moisture damage your floors, but salt and ice melt can damage your floors, too. You should use a floor neutralizer to safely remove salt and ice melt from your matting and flooring. 

Removing ice melt residue from your floor can be made easier with an autoscrubber or carpet extractor on floor mats. An autoscrubber can ensure that you’re getting a consistent clean without the additional steps of cleaning with a mop and bucket.

And using floor signs as a regular part of your floor maintenance program can increase the safety of your buildings’ guests. With floor signs, you can also protect your floors from excessive traffic when completing a floor maintenance procedure.

As winter draws closer and closer, EBP can help your facility get ready with winter floor care products, tools, and equipment. If you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Caribbean, EBP and other Imperial Dade locations can help you with your janitorial needs. Contact an EBP specialist for a review of your winter maintenance program today!

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About Joe Tehan

Joe Tehan is the Vice President of Services and Training for EBP Supply Solutions, with over 20 years of experience in the Chemical and Janitorial Industries. During the first part of his career, he primarily focused on helping customers solve their toughest warewash and laundry challenges. He specialized in developing effective warewashing and laundry programs that utilize one-pass washing, sustainable products & processes, and staff training to help customers achieve increased safety, improved cleanliness, cost-savings, & maximum operational efficiency. Today, Joe, who is an ISSA-CMI certified instructor, helps customers optimize their cleaning operation with innovative solutions, customized cleaning programs, and staff training.