"When it comes to cleaning and maintaining floors, knowing the best equipment and supplies to use on different types of flooring is crucial to extending the life of the floor. Well-maintained flooring can help decrease costs for businesses in many ways, the most obvious being not having to replace the flooring sooner than necessary.
Routine and proper flooring maintenance is more important than most think and this is because clean floors contribute to the health and safety of those working or residing in a space. Consistent and routine floorcare can help reduce the amount of dust and toxins that are brushed into air from foot traffic, and this can have a direct impact on indoor air quality.
On average, in the United States, people spend around 90% of their time indoors. The quality of indoor air is especially important due to the role it plays in health and productivity. Research has shown that persons working or residing in spaces with better air quality are more productive and healthier. Research has also shown that clean floors can mean cleaner air.
Not only that, but properly cleaned floors can also help reduce accidents, such as slip and fall accidents. This is because floors that are not maintained properly are more likely to develop inconsistencies in the surface, wear out more quickly, and ultimately start to fall apart. Deteriorating floors are a large contributor to slip and fall accidents every year.
So, keeping your floors clean and using the proper equipment and supplies is important for many reasons beyond just the perceived cleanliness of a space—it plays a direct role in the overall health and safety of a building and building patrons.
Before we get into the commercial cleaning equipment and supplies for several types of flooring, there are a few key steps that can be done ahead of time.
Each type of flooring requires unique equipment, tools, detergents or soaps, sanitizers, or disinfectants. And each of these items have specific guidelines for how to use, maintain, and apply to distinct types of flooring. Be sure to read the manufacturer instructions for the specific flooring you are cleaning, as well as guidelines for how to use, mix, and dispose of any cleaning fluids.
Determine the size of space
Measuring out the square footage of the job ahead of time will help to determine the types of equipment and supplies necessary. If you are cleaning over 50,000 square feet, you may want to invest in a ride-on sweeper or scrubber.
However, it is also important to keep in mind how difficult the space may be to clean, meaning if there are tight corners and narrow aisles such as in a grocery store, a 20in walk-behind scrubber could be your best bet as a ride-on scrubber would not be able to reach the nooks and crannies.
Foot traffic plays a key role in determining how often you will need to clean the floors. Heavily trafficked areas need to be cleaned at least once a day, as leaving dirt and dust on flooring too long can more quickly break down fibers and durability of flooring, not to mention contribute to a less healthy indoor space.
Determine routine maintenance and care plans for any equipment
Proper care and maintenance of your floor cleaning machines is essential to eliminate downtime and prolong the life of the machine. This can save lots of time and money and extend the life of the equipment.
It is even beneficial to look for commercial floor cleaning equipment rental options. For example, ICE Cobotics offers a flexible all-inclusive subscription service that includes maintenance and service on their intelligent floor sweepers and scrubbers.
By subscribing to their service, you gain a partner in active machine maintenance as they have a stake in the equipment too.
Parts, service, and labor are all covered under the subscription—you are just responsible for the consumables. And you pay a set monthly payment which helps you avoid those large upfront capital expenditures. In this way, you can eliminate the headache of having to stay on top of routine maintenance and service as the ICE Cobotics client care team works with you and even ahead of you to make sure solutions are found as quickly as possible.
Vinyl and laminate flooring continue to become more popular due to the many styles and color options, ease of installation, as well as the durability. Some of these options are water resistant and most are easy to clean.
However, it is important to read the manufacturer directions as not all these types of flooring are water resistant and exposure to water and steam can be damaging. Water and steam can loosen the adhesive or soak into the material and expand it, ruining the floor.
According to Grainger Know How “Regular sweeping and light mopping is the best way to keep this type of floor in shape,” and any spills should be spot cleaned and addressed immediately.
Wood flooring in all its beautiful glory, can be difficult to maintain. This is because water will stain and damage the wood, so keeping wood floors dry is priority number one! Always be sure to clean up spills immediately and spot clean any areas where soilage has happened.
In general, Wood floors should be vacuumed daily and dry mopped with a soft dust mop to help extend the sheen. And, as always, be sure to use only wood flooring specific deep cleaner when it is time to work on that shine again.
Tile flooring can be tricky due to the use of grout. While the tiles themselves are relatively easy to clean, grout takes a little more care. Therefore, it is particularly important to keep tile floors routinely cleaned—the more regular maintenance they get the less staining can happen.
For commercial settings, using a walk-behind or ride-on floor cleaning machine will do the trick. These machines scrub the floor using a combination of water and a commercial grade floor cleaning solution. You’ll want to be sure you’ve done research on the appropriate brush for the job, as well as determine the appropriate amount of pad pressure necessary to get the job done.
Concrete flooring can be porous and should be treated with a commercial finishing treatment to help stop staining.
To begin, the floor should be swept thoroughly to make sure debris is completely removed. It can be helpful to use a commercial floor sweeper to speed up this process and depending on the size and frequency of the job you may eventually want to use a ride-on sweeper.
A crucial component of this is choosing the correct brush for the head of the machine. For concrete flooring you’ll want to use the appropriate bristles for the job that also work to clean the porous nature of concrete.
Once the dirt and debris have been completely removed from the space, using a commercial scrubber, again with the appropriate brush, is beneficial in helping to lift stains or harder to clean areas of the floor.
Using an EPA approved all-purpose cleaner can be a safe way to finish cleaning the floor, but with all cleaning products, be sure to read the label and follow the directions.
Carpet can spawn a love hate relationship even in the best of us. While it is warm and inviting, it is also the largest indoor filter of dust, debris and other particles that are tracked in from the outdoors.
Meaning, those particles settle into the surface and can get trapped below the fibers. So, it is important to vacuum carpeted flooring daily in commercial settings.
Regular vacuuming will keep toxins and dirt from sitting on the carpet fibers for too long and breaking them down.
Depending on the size of the space, it may even be beneficial to use an autonomous floor cleaning machines. Cobots can be deployed to clean on its own and can even be set to vacuum during hours when people are not in the building.
An autonomous floor cleaning machine can help increase efficiency and productivity as the robot cleans each route the same way each time. You’ll always get a consistent and confirmed clean!
Plus, using automation means freeing up your staff to focus on other areas of flooring that may need more attention—you can expand your scope of work and the life of the flooring.
If you’d like to read further, we suggest: 3 Ways Technology Can Help Stop the Spread of Germs at Work.