Sustainable Floor Care, what program is right for you?

Sustainable Floor Care begins with product selection.  If the goal of the floor care system is to protect the substrate and pedestrians utilizing the floor, within the aesthetic expectations and labor constraints of the facility owner, then product selection is pivotal.

The floor finish selection process begins with a thorough understanding of the amount of traffic wear, as well as the availability and expertise of the maintenance staff.  Initial questions center on preventative measures.  Are adequate walk off mats present?  How long are the walk off mats? How often are the floors dust and damp mopped?  While these preventative measures are required constants for all floor care programs, inquiries help remind facility owners and maintenance staff of the importance.

Secondary questions focus on more intensive maintenance routines.  How often is the floor burnished?  What speed is the burnisher?  How often is the floor scrubbed and recoated?  How often is the floor stripped?  While secondary, these questions truly differentiate the type of floor finish capable of providing adequate protection within the constraints of the maintenance program.

Finally, no floor care program is complete without identifying the expectations of building occupants and facility owners.  Balancing these nuanced preferences, within the constraints of the facility usage and maintenance program, will truly determine floor care program success.  And the secret to this balance is usually a compromise.

A prime example of balancing expectations with facility use and maintenance is gloss.  High gloss is a common expectation, given the perception that high gloss floors equate to a well-maintained facility.  This correlation is not necessarily true and facilities with high traffic volume and/or minimal accessibility for regular intensive maintenance routines may find that lower gloss floor finish provides a much cleaner and better cared for perception than high gloss floors, which tend to highlight the wear and tear of traffic damage.   Conversely, if the maintenance staff or contractor is unaware of facility user gloss expectations when bidding jobs or developing a maintenance plan, the maintenance program may not properly account for more regular burnishing, recoating and stripping to maintain the expected appearance.

Proper investigation when implementing a floor care program will expose potential pitfalls that often plague a sustainable floor care program.  A small amount of time up front is the only way to ensure a floor care program that sustains the balance for those using and maintaining the facility.