It is critical to make an excellent first impression when it comes to floor care. Presentation matters; and shiny and clean floors are a physical representation of your company. Studies have shown that a terrible initial impression of floor shine can reduce facility aesthetic evaluations by up to 75%. In contrast, clean finished floors give off a great impression on customers and employees alike. A study by Cintas Corporation found that 89% of respondents said they would not return to a business if they had a negative experience due to the cleanliness.
The key to having clean, appealing floors is to maintain them on a regular basis and to use the proper cleaning and maintenance supplies, especially in high-traffic areas. Again, the secret is that maintaining a floor finish is less expensive than repairing or replacing an entire floor which is why it is critical to understand the best way to care for your floors.
Here are some maintenance tips to keep your floors in pristine condition:
The Basics of Proper Floor Care
Facility managers must make daily judgments on facility maintenance, cleanliness, staffing, and operating costs. Hence, implementing a floor maintenance program that protects your floor investment and your bottom line is part of that mix of duties. For instance, adopting and adhering to a daily maintenance schedule, and utilizing materials that require the least amount of labor is the most efficient approach to maintaining the appearance of any finished floor whilst also reducing costs.
Simple tips and smart cleaning solutions can add years of longevity to your flooring’s lifespan, as proven and tested by countless floor-care companies in the market.
There is a good rule of thumb for quick cleanup guides across any kind of flooring material out there--from removing stains to seasonal cleaning procedures, which we will explore in the section below.
The key to a long life for your floor is to prevent any permanent stain or damage that may leave it undesirable or prone to any other damage.
Quick fact: for a typical 22-day work month, you can gain more than 26 pounds of dirt for every 1,000 individuals who are walking through an entrance track inside a facility. You can help limit the quantity of soil, filth, and moisture that enters the facility by implementing a floor matting program.
A general thing to do when preventing any kind of permanent damage or untidiness is to implement a floor matting program to limit the amount of soil, dirt, and moisture entering the building.
Every floor care system begins at the entrance of your establishment. The first step in keeping dirt and wetness off the floor is through proper matting through:
- Outside Matting - For gross soil/moisture knock-offs
- Foyer/Entryway - Additional dirt knock-off
- Inside Matting - Final moisture removal
Mats should be placed in high-traffic locations both inside and outside the building, such as the main entrance and the entryway or foyer. Additionally, install mats throughout the building - near the steps, the elevator shaft, or other important spots - to capture incoming dirt. Generally, the more mats you have, the longer the floor will last.
There are a variety of ways that you can keep your floor clean and tidy, but one of the most important things to do is to remove any stains as soon as possible. The best way to do this is to blot the spill with a clean, dry cloth and then use a mild detergent or soap to scrub the area.
If you have a tougher stain, you may need to use a stronger cleaning solution. There are a variety of commercial cleaners on the market that are specifically designed for different types of flooring, so be sure to read the labels carefully before purchasing anything.
Sometimes, you may need to call in professional help to get rid of tough stains. If this is the case, be sure to ask around for recommendations or look for reviews online before hiring anyone.
For general cleaning, you can make a paste from baking soda and water. This is a great way to quickly clean up spills and stains and remove any build-up of dirt or grime.
To use this method, simply mix equal parts of baking soda and water in a bowl. Then, apply the paste to the stain let it sit for a few minutes. For tough stains, let it sit overnight for spot cleaning. After a few minutes have passed, use a damp cloth to scrub the area clean.
Another great way to clean your floor is with vinegar. This method is especially effective on tile flooring or linoleum floors.
To use this method:
- Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a bowl.
- Apply the solution to the floor with a mop or cloth.
- Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing the area clean with a damp cloth.
You can also use this method to clean up tough stains. Apply the vinegar solution to the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, and then scrub it clean with a brush or cloth.
Lemon juice is another great natural cleaning solution that can be used on all types of flooring. This method is especially effective on hardwood floors or laminate floors.
To use this method, mix together equal parts of water and lemon juice in a bowl. Then, apply the solution to the floor with a mop or cloth.
While prevention is a long-term solution that is done in a short-term manner, regular maintenance is done to prolong your floor’s life by doing rounds of cleaning routines that are done over a long period of time to keep your floor shiny and hygienic.
BuildingHub has specific maintenance care ideas that can help you reduce extra efforts in maintaining a smooth shine and finish of your floors.
The second most crucial step is dust mopping, which keeps floors free of dirt particles that might damage the finish and dull the shine. Always start your day with a dust mopping routine. Dust mopping will assist in removing surface debris so that it does not become lodged in the finish and cause harm. Make sure the mop is clean before you begin for the best results.
Dust mopping should be done regularly to keep grit off the floor. Here are some tips and reminders to help you dust mop:
- Larger debris should be removed.
- Improve the effectiveness of damp mopping
- Before moist mopping or auto scrubbing, always dust mop.
- Make use of a clean dust mop.
- DO NOT APPLY OIL-BASED DUST MOP TREATMENTS TO YOUR DUSK MOP because they might leave a haze on the floor, attracting even more dirt.
Damp Mopping or Auto-Scrubbing
Damp mopping helps remove more particulates as well as oily soil. It also prevents the floor’s finish from darkening or yellowing from embedded soil.
Be sure to use a clean mop head, start with clean water, and follow the manufacturer’s recommended dilution ratio for the floor cleaning product. And, be wary of overly wet mops. These can leave floors too wet with the cleaner, leaving soil behind, too. Finally, some products recommend rinsing with clean water. Consider using a no-rinse cleaner, which may help improve efficiency by eliminating that extra rinse step.
Here are specific tips to aid you in damp mopping:
1) If an auto-scrubber is available, cleaning floors using an auto-scrubber is a more effective way. Because auto-scrubbing is more effective and vigorous, half the amount of floor cleaning is required. Auto-scrubbing is more efficient for two main reasons:
- Agitation using pads or brushes is more vigorous.
- Cleaning solution and soil are vacuumed up, akin to an "extraction" from the pores of the hard surface floor. This is a significant advantage over moist mopping.
2) To remove soil, dampen and mop the area with a clean mop on a daily basis. When the water in the mop is dirty, it should be changed. Damp mopping removes the fine soil that wreaks the most havoc on a finish. Try to:
- Dilute according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Use a fresh mop head.
- Begin with clean water and adjust the solution as needed.
3) Spills should be cleaned up as quickly as possible to prevent liquids from standing on the floor and damaging the finish.
Buffing and Burnishing
Buffing helps maintain the shine, polish, and finish of your floor. It is divided into two divisions, both of which have specific uses for specific maintenance needs.
Low-speed buffing restores the finish to a flawless shine and postpones the need for a recoat. If your budget does not allow for a burnisher, this is an excellent alternative. For long-lasting finishes, utilize a spray buff to facilitate "repair," a mop-on maintenance for efficiency, and a spray buffing pad. Also, remember to clean the floors well before polishing. If dirt is not removed from the floor before using the buffer pad, it might become embedded in the finish.
Here are other tips to help you out:
- Always start by cleaning the floor.
- Use a spray buff to help with the 'repair’ of durable finishes. This aids in the filling of scratches and abrasion marks, resulting in a smooth surface.
- Use an efficient mop-on maintainer for durable finishes. The same "fill-in" benefit is provided, but applying the spray buff is a more efficient technique.
- Select a suitable spray buffing pad.
Because these machines have faster rotation speeds and rougher pads, high-speed burnishing is far more efficient than low-speed buffing. High- speed burnishing also aids in restoring the finish to a smooth shine and postpones the need for a recoat. If you intend to burnish, you should first choose a floor finish that suits your burnish frequency, followed by the right burnishing pad.
Normal burnishing eliminates one-twentieth of a layer of finish by "shaving" off enough finish to smooth and remove minor scratches that may be the source of a "dull" looking floor. Always remember to:
- Always start by cleaning the floor.
- The frequency of burnishing should correspond to the needs of the finish you have chosen for your facility.
- Select an appropriate pad
Interim Floor Maintenance
When buffing or burnishing no longer produces the desired floor sheen, it may be time for some interim maintenance. This phase is a thorough scrub and re-coat. It's best to use an auto-scrubber to get a nice deep scrub, eliminate soil buildup, and then rinse with fresh water. To get the best results, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
You need to apply three to five thin layers of protective finish for the re-coat after your rigorous scrub. Thin, even coats allow for optimal finish formation, increased strength, and increased durability. The frequency of re-coating is determined by the quantity of foot traffic and the amount of routine maintenance that can be performed.
A high-quality floor care and maintenance program may assist in maintaining your floor investment while also leaving a positive impression on clients. A complete maintenance system should be considered for commercial use and is also applicable for industrial establishments. Overall, this approach ensures that the stripper, finish, and cleaning is all designed to work together to give greater results and lengthen the time between long-term floor maintenance cycles in your establishment.