Winter weather – with all its rain, snow, sleet, and slush – has arrived. This means ice-encrusted boots, drippy umbrellas, soaked overcoats, and plenty of tracked-in road salts and sand. This dreaded mix of soils makes its way into buildings and leaves its ugly mark all over floors. That’s why a comprehensive commercial entryway cleaning program is so vital during these months.
Floors are, “the first asset visitors notice when they walk in,” writes Cintas Corporation’s John Engel, in this article for Cleaning & Maintenance Management. In other words, the state of the floors directly reflects the state of the business – at least in visitors’ minds. Wet, gritty, or icy floors will (rightly) read as unsafe, unpleasant, and unwelcoming.
To be fair, keeping up with changeable winter weather is hard. Cleaning supervisors and staff should think ahead and anticipate the challenges they will face. Adopting good commercial entryway cleaning strategies now will keep buildings safe, attractive, and welcoming all season long.
Dry Entryway Floors are Safe Floors
To be welcoming, the entrance, foyer, and reception area need to be safe. But standing water from rain-soaked clothes or melting snow and ice presents a serious slip-and-fall hazard. These accidents are no joke. The National Safety Council estimates that slips and falls are the number two cause of nonfatal disabling injuries in the workplace. Falls cost over $10.6 billion in 2017 according to the Liberty Mutual Insurance Workplace Safety Index.
Avoid costly mishaps by implementing a quick-response plan to remove standing water and melting ice. This plan should include alerting cleaning crew members about any potentially dangerous moisture on the floor and arming them with the best tools for complete removal.
Some people might reach for a bucket and mop to clean up standing water, but mops cannot fully remove moisture. After cleaning, entryways stay wet, slippery, and dangerous while they air dry. Fortunately, there is more advanced technology for commercial entryway cleaning. The AutoVac Stretch™ quickly removes moisture, leaving entrance floors clean, dry, and safe for visitors to walk on right away.
Floor Mats: A Little Protection Goes a Long Way
The experts agree, entranceway matting takes the first step toward protecting hard surface and carpeted floors throughout a building. When used correctly, mat systems capture the bulk of soils and moisture from boots and shoes, drastically reducing the amount of mess that makes it to the flooring. A complete entryway matting system should include:
- Scraper mats placed outside the building to remove heavy soils, sand, and ice melt.
- Wiper/scraper mats in the vestibule to capture more soils and some moisture.
- Wiper mats inside the facility to remove remaining dust and moisture.
Choose mats that are easy to maintain. Some exterior scraper mats feature large holes that allow dirt and moisture to fall through onto the ground. The combination of soil buildup and foot traffic will chew the mats up if you do not move and clean them.
Interior wiper mats used to be considered a necessary eyesore, but savvy organizations elevated the product by branding them with company colors and logos. Customization promotes an organization right at the door, but dirty logos will not help build brand loyalty. Vacuum often to keep wiper mats looking good. Switch out mats if they become fully saturated with rain or snow.
Road Salt and Ice Melt Clean Up
Road salts and ice melt are common chemicals used to keep streets, sidewalks, and parking lots safe. Smithsonian Magazine estimates that more than 22 million tons of Sodium chloride, aka rock salt, is spread on U.S. roads every year. Ice melt, made up of a variety of other chemical compounds, is also used. (This articledoes a great job of explaining the differences between available products.)
No matter which chemical you choose, some residue will make its way from the entrance into the facility. That’s bad news for floors. Rock salt dries into a powdery white residue while ice melt dissolves into an oily mess. More than just ugly, unwelcoming, and, in the case of ice melt, slippery and dangerous, both products damage flooring.
Protect your assets and keep your lobby and entranceway inviting by fully removing that chemical residue every day. Choose an advanced tool powered by vacuum removal to completely capture soil and chemical residue making the job easy, fast, and efficient.
Pros know that good first impressions start with exceptional commercial entryway cleaning. Wow customers with effective, efficient solutions that keep entryways, and the rest of the facility, safe and looking great all winter long.