3 Steps to Keep Your Business Floors Clean During the Winter

Snowy Footprints
When I was thinking of writing on this topic, I realized that this may only benefit a small number of our subscribers.  A number of our customers are either in a warm climate, in the southern hemisphere (where it is currently summer), or you just don't have that much snow.  Where we are in South Carolina, snow comes maybe once or twice a year.  However, the principles of caring for your floors in the winter time can apply in any setting. Here are the tried-and-true commercial floor cleaning tips we recommend:

1. Entrance Floor Mats
This tip is pretty intuitive but incredibly important to emphasize. Snow, rain, slush, and ice can be a huge headache for your business, not only from a safety perspective but also from a floor wear perspective. Salt melt that is tracked into your home or business can be detrimental to your floors.  A manageable solution is ensuring that you have proper matting at your entrance.  Have a good floor mat at your place of entry captures a majority of the salt granules, dirt, and moisture that is tracked in from people's shoes.  It has been recommended to have at least 15 feet of matting to stop most of the contaminants from ever reaching your floors.

Viper ShovelNose Wet/Dry Vacuum
2. Eliminate Moisture
In order to ensure the longevity of your flooring, it’s important to remove moisture as soon as it accumulates. Mops are one solution to this issue, but they aren't able to effectively sop up all of the wetness, and your floors are left slick. If you’re looking to reduce manual labor and increase efficiency, a better option is using an industrial vacuum to suck up puddles and cover a greater surface area. We suggest our New Viper ShovelNose Vacuum—it comes mounted with a 2-foot-long squeegee attachment.

3. Routine Maintenance
Entrance matting is only the first line of defense for protecting your floors.  Most of those in colder climates use some sort of ice melt in their parking lots.  Ice melt is composed of sodium chloride which is very harmful to floors.  Sodium chloride deposits can harm floor finish and create a slippery film.  The best way to combat the salt build up on your floors is regular cleaning with a neutral cleaner.  Neutralizing excess calcium chloride buildup should be near the top of your “to-do” list in order to ensure salt does not fester and become difficult to remove. If you’re looking for a DIY neutralizer, channel your inner chemist and mix vinegar with water.

For a more effective solution, we suggest selecting one of our neutral ph cleaners—they’re specifically designed to lower calcium chloride pH to the base level of 7. After melt chemical residue is removed, apply an industrial strength degreaser to eliminate all remaining traces. If you’re consistent in repeating this process every few days, you can avoid the stress of tackling this daunting project all at once. The neutral cleaner will keep the floor clear of salt and prevent damage to your floors. Keep an eye on the “shine” of your floors. If you start to notice a dullness in your floors, increase the frequency of your floor care routine or burnish if necessary.  A word of warning, be sure your floor is completely clean of salt and dirt before you buff your floors.  If you burnish while there is any residual build-up, irreversible damage could occur.

Caring for your floors in the winter takes a lot of time and energy. Just by taking a few simple steps you can save future costs and labor in repairing or replacing your floors.

Do you have any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting, emailing or give us a call!

About the Author:

Dave Abercrombie started out with Southeastern Equipment in 2002 as an equipment technician and rejoined in March of 2016 to manage their e-commerce.


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