The floor is one of the first things customers and visitors notice when entering a building, and a dirty or damaged floor will most certainly catch their unwanted attention. With more and more public sector buildings reopening across the country, it’s imperative to ensure a positive first impression. Now, more than ever, facility managers at schools and government agencies need to develop and implement a comprehensive floor care strategy that enhances a building’s appearance while also providing health and safety benefits to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19.
The first step of establishing a floor care strategy? Completing an audit to ensure that all the problem areas are identified. Once finalized, management can then select the best products and processes to address any issues. Be sure to incorporate both immediate and long-term floor care solutions. Through OMNIA Partners, participants have access to any and all products that fit into their floor care strategy on a national cooperative contract.
Pinpoint Hot Spots
The preliminary facility audit should not only pinpoint current flooring issues but also look for potential future problem areas. Specifically, facility managers should consider:
- Current floor conditions, including if and where floor tiles, matting, or slip-resistant treads are worn.
- Past safety incidents, e.g. where and when slips, trips, and falls have been reported.
- Matting programs, to ensure floors have the correct floor mats for guest safety and building cleanliness.
Build Your Bench
Once the initial audit is completed, facility managers can select the best products and processes for their floor care needs. A comprehensive plan should include:
Although it may be tempting to select products based just on initial cost, be sure to consider the long-term investment and labor implications as well. For example, 3M™ Floor Protection Systems reduces long-term product and labor costs by extending a floor’s maintenance cycle, ultimately leading to a lower total cost of ownership. Additionally, consider products with third-party certifications, such as Scotchgard™ Stone Floor Protector and Scotchgard™ Resilient Floor Protector from 3M, which have been certified by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) as providing high traction.
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In addition to selecting the right floor care products, it’s important to ensure they are used safely and correctly for maximum impact. For example, accurate dilution is key when using cleaning chemical concentrates; too little solution will not clean effectively, and too much could damage floors. A chemical management system is a cost-effective solution for a facility that requires a large variety of products across multiple spaces. Easy reference wall charts can also ensure that cleaning staff knows what chemical to use for each job.
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Immediate Care & Long-Term Protection
Any floor care plan should include cleaning tasks that are completed on a routine basis and processes that are designed for long-term benefit. These include:
- Cleaning the floors daily and weekly to maintain safety and appearance.
- Dusting daily starting with high surfaces and working down to the floor. Dusting tools that trap dirt and debris will be more effective than those that just redistribute it.
- Daily cleaning of floors with floor pads. Burnishing the floor regularly will help provide a visually appealing shine.
When it comes to long-term floor protection, facility managers should strongly consider installing mats to keep dirt and debris from entering a facility, as well as slip-resistant treads to mitigate trips and falls. To find the correct mat for a facility, managers must first determine where dirt and debris are being brought into the facility. Once trouble spots are identified, a matting product that addresses facility-specific weather and environmental hazards such as dirt, water, or sand should be implemented. In addition to providing safety benefits for customers and employees, these products can also protect a facility from costly lawsuits.
Although it may seem daunting to establish a comprehensive floor care plan for your facility, it can be achieved with a few strategic steps. By choosing floor care products that take a systems-based approach and are both efficient and effective, facility managers can enjoy the benefits of safe and beautiful flooring for years to come.
About 3M & OMNIA Partners
3M floor care products are available to participants of OMNIA Partners on competitively solicited, publicly awarded cooperative contracts through your favorite distributor. The collection of 3M offerings include janitorial & sanitation products, supplies & related services. To view the entire OMNIA Partners contract portfolio, click here. Not a participant? Become one today!