Selecting the right flooring is the most important step before maintenance begins. Select the proper flooring for its planned use. Whether planning new construction or rehabbing an existing building, it’s important to determine the wet, slip resistance of the flooring to be laid down.

This will help you assess what problems and responsibilites may be faced when it comes to ensuring safery.

For existing floors, the slip resistance committee of the ceramic tile institute of America says there are four types of surface treatments that affect the slip resistance:

1,  cleaning

2,  Coatings applied on-site

3,  Mechanical alteration

4,  Chemical alteration

Slip resistance of flooring is most influenced by the surface actually walked on, which in some cases might be a floor finish (wax) rather than the underlying flooring.  the undrlying flooring might have an effect, thought, if its roughness (under the finish, for instance) affects the roughness of the walked-on surface.

According to the CTIOA “Recommendations for Maintenance and Other Treatments of Existing fFlooring for Optimim Slip Resistance,” some flooring should not have finish applied, since the finish could destroy the wet slip resistance of the flooring.  Consider safety (safety first) as well as cosmetics and cost when deciding whether to apply finish.  Always check the apperarancde and the slip resistance of a small test area before treating the entire floor.

Maintenance routines and periodic work done on the floor such as washing, coating with floor finish, buffing (150-300 rpm), high-speed burnishing (1500-2500 rpm), or polishing. Mechanical or chemical alteration is typically only done a few times a year or during the lifetime of a floor (depending on the traffic).

The key variables in routine floor maintenance are chemicals, frequency and other procedures, agitation and soiling collection methods.

Agitation and collection of soiling are variously done by mops with buckets or wet vacuums, or by scrubbing machines with brushes or pads.

An auto scrubber can be a very effective cleaning machine. It applies cleaning soution tot ehfloor, agitates it with a pad or brush and vacuums upu the dirty water bedtween two squeegees into a separate tank.

A very soft brush, such as a white carpet shampoo brush, is often the best choice for cleaning with an auto scrubber. Stiff bristles on hard brushes tend to skid over the wet floor on the tips with out making contact over the greater bristle length that promotes good washing. Pads collect soil, which can then scratch glossy finishes to the detriment of the floor’s appearance. If you use a pad, clean or replace it frequently.

when using mops, dedicate mops for specific areas so that the mopping does not transfer contaminants such as grease from one area to the other. Color-coding the mops can help keep mops in their designated areas.  Picking up mop solution with a wet vacuum can be mjuch more effective that rising the dirty mop in the dirty water.  Using a two bucket system makes it possible to rinse a mop in clean rense water rather that dirty soapy water.

Clean, clean and re clean mops. What we do is replace mops frequently so that they are not effective carriers of soil, grease and bacteria. Yes, lots of bacteria on floors.  In some situations we use three mops to separagte the washing, rinsing and the drying processes.  Wood floor sweepers using terry cloth can supplement mops as an aid in rapid unifrom drying of the floor. Different areas of a property (e.g. restaurant kitchen and dining room) migh need dedicated mops to prevent cross-contamination.

No the floor your working on. Some floors even act as washboards, scrubbing dirt out of the mop rather that the mop cleaning the floor.

In the absence of an auto scrubber, wet vacuums can be effective in lifting dirty and or greasy water after mopping a floor. When mopping leaves the floor wet, be sure to exclude pedestrians from the area until the floor dries.  Place wet  floor signs around wet areas, but do not leave the area unattended and pedestrians unwarned while you go to get signs.

Chemicals include sealers, cleaning agents, strippers, waxes and other floor finishes. Sealers can fill pores in pervious floors so that soil and staining materials are excluded, and material below the surface stays below rather that rising to the top and forming deposits. Penetrating impregnating sealers are intended to fill pores in grout and pervious flooring and are not necessarily intended to form a continuous barrier on the top of the flooring.  Always check the manufacturer’s instructions to see if excess sealer should be removed from the surface before it dries.

Cleaning chemicals help to thoroughly wet, lift and suspend soil or grease in  the wash water.  Using either measuring cups or proportional flow control, measure dilution carefully according to  directions DO NOT GUESS.  Overdosing with cleaner does not necessarily improve cleaning but will leave a film that becomes slippery under spills or wet shoes.  Some cleaners leave residures that are more slippery that others.

PH neutral cleaners are best for most situations but alkaline detergents may be more effective in removing animal fats. Use hot water with animal fats. Never, Never use a powered laundry detergent on a floor it can and will leave a slippery calcite residue.

Floor finishing may have a fairly wide range of traction properties swhen dry, but most are sleppery when wet. They are not permanent, but must be maintained and or stripped and reapplied. Our floor finish complies with American Society of Testing and Materials for dry slip resistance.

The slip resistance of the floor finish is not constant. It is affected by what happens to the finish after it’s applied. Buffing or burnishing may reduce or increase slip resistancem and it’s important to follow corrrect procedures as specified by the manufacturer.

Make sure that dust particles of finish do not remain on the floor after buffing; these can create a sleppery situation even when dry.

When we are training floor crews we make sure that safety of the floor is as important as its apperarance.

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