How to Protect Your Workplace Floors for Winter
Winter is hard on our flooring. People track in salt, snow and ice as they enter your building or office. Salt and water can stain, scratch, and wear away at the flooring you invested in. Replacing flooring is never fun, and it can cost a significant amount of money, especially if your property has a high-end or specific aesthetic.
Further, wet workplace floors can contribute to slip and fall accidents, harming employees or customers and potentially starting a lawsuit against the company. It’s everyone’s responsibility to try to limit these accidents, and in the winter that means keeping flooring as dry as possible.
For both the safety of people and the longevity of your flooring, you need to protect your workplace floors from winter weather conditions. Here’s how you can handle your flooring in winter.
It Starts Outside
Preventing slippery surfaces inside, starts outside. Quick and complete snow management in your parking lot and on the walkways up to your entrance can limit (or even eliminate) the amount of snow that people track in on their boots. Those who drive to your workplace will shed most of the snow they have on their boots during the drive. If they step into a clean parking lot and walkway after that, there’s not much moisture they can bring inside.
Most people will choose to rely on a professional snow removal service to care for their lot. Still, it is a wise idea to have your own small bag of salt and shovel stored near the door. That way you can be sure the door is kept clear and provide salt for traction to prevent slips and falls.
However, getting snow removal right after a snowstorm can be a challenge. Your staff or customers may have to drive up before the lot is fully clear. Never mind that people will arrive to your workplace while it’s snowing. So, you’ll need to be prepared to handle snow in your entryway itself in order to minimize its impact on your floor.
Control the Entryway
In the entryway to your building, you should try to prevent salt, snow, ice and meltwater from touching the floor whenever possible. The longer that water and salt sit on the floor, the more likely they are to damage the floors. Hardwood flooring can swell after only a short exposure to water. Therefore, you should choose thick, absorbent entryway mats with rubber bottoms to collect the water people bring in. Mats should be washed and dried regularly, perhaps daily depending on the amount of traffic you see.
Still, entryway mats may become overwhelmed on the worst days and spill onto the floor. You need to be prepared with a wet floor sign to put out for liability purposes. Ideally, you’d mop up the water immediately, or at least wash the floor daily to remove the salt and prevent staining.
If you try to wash the salt away with water, you’ll soon find that all you’re doing is spreading it around. An hour or so after you wash up, you’ll find larger white stains from recrystallized salt. You need a specialized cleaner that is slightly acidic to resolve salt after one wash.
Also, you may find that your floor has chunks of rock salt brought in, not just diluted salt that forms the white stains. In that case, you should sweep up or remove the salt before you mop the floor, or it will dissolve and make the white stains larger.
Get Winter Floor Protection from JAN-PRO
Stop worrying about protecting your flooring in winter and get professional cleaning services from JAN-PRO. We can help you develop a plan to keep your flooring in top condition and then execute that plan for you. We have the specialized equipment and professional experience needed to protect your property, reduce your chances of a slip and fall accident, and keep your property looking lovely all through the winter weather.