Most cleaning experts suggest that facility managers have a floor cleaning and maintenance programme to help make sure floors stay clean and safe throughout the year. The plan might list, among other things, when and how often floors are to be cleaned, scrubbed and refinished. However, there are many variables that must be considered before developing a floor cleaning and maintenance programme.
There are some key questions facility managers need to address before instituting a floor maintenance programme.
What is the budget?
A floor maintenance programme could be costly. The first step in determining costs is to know how many square feet of flooring needs to be cleaned and how often. Many times, an astute janitorial contractor can help a facility manger develop a budget for floor maintenance.
How important is the floor?
Some floors, like in the lobby area, are more important than others because they contribute to a customer or user’s first impression of the facility. Other floors may require less attention because they are not in customer areas. Determine which floors are the most important and budget resources accordingly.
What is the current condition of the floor?
A floor cleaning and maintenance programme requires that a floor audit be conducted to determine the condition of all floors. Is there damage? Is it salvageable? Are there safety concerns? When was the last time the floor was stripped and refinished? Is there discolouring (yellowing) or are there heavily soiled areas? Jot down the condition of all floors throughout the facility.
What are the traffic conditions?
It is critical to have a good idea of what the traffic conditions are throughout the property and which floor areas need more cleaning time and attention.
When will floor care work be performed?
In commercial office buildings, most cleaning is performed after business hours or on weekends. If the floors must be scrubbed, recoated, or refinished, this gives ample time for the floor to get dried and helps protect tenants from potential slip and fall accidents.
What types of flooring are installed?
Certain types of flooring may have very specific cleaning and maintenance requirements. Stone floors will have different needs and would require different cleaning products and tools compared to a conventional VCT floor. Document the maintenance needs of all floors in the property and be sure these requirements are fully understood.
What equipment is needed?
Floor care has evolved over the years. For instance, mops and buckets are being phased out and being replaced with automatic scrubbers. Automatic scrubbers are highly regarded because they can vacuum, clean, rinse, and dry floors all in one pass. They also can reduce costs significantly. In one study, an automatic scrubber has been found to reduce the time it takes one person to clean 5,000sqft with a mop and bucket from one to two hours down to 15-30 minutes.
Is there environmental and “sensitivity” issues?
A decision has to be made when preparing a floor cleaning and maintenance programme; like whether a green floor care programme
is to be adopted to clean and maintain a facility’s floors. There are now a number of effective green floor care chemicals, polishes, and finishes, equipment available for at low cost from leading manufacturers.