How To Keep Your Floors Protected During The Holiday Season

As the holiday season begins, and your shopping centre floors are experiencing higher and higher foot traffic as shoppers purchase their Christmas gifts.

For commercial cleaning during the holiday period, we have a few tips and suggestions:

  1. Ensure Chemical is diluted at the correct dilution rate

A proper dilution ratio is important for safety and to provide a better outcome when using a chemical. Over diluting chemicals wastes product and money as well as gives you poor results. While under diluting chemicals could cause safety issues due to the high concentration of the chemical. It may mean damaging surface areas you’re working with or it may put you at risk with chemical fumes. You should always check the label of the chemical you’re using for suggested PPE (personal protection equipment), dilution ratios, and directions for use.

A ratio shows you how much of the chemical to dilute with water. If you see a ratio of 1:4, this means that 1 part will be chemical and 4 parts will be water.

It’s a common misunderstanding that adding more chemicals to the dilution will create a stronger mix to get a better outcome. This is false. Not only does this waste product and therefore money, it may also cause damage to the surface areas where you’re using the chemical. Doing this can also put you at risk with high fumes.

Floor cleaning chemicals are designed to be effective at a specific dilution. The build-up of excess chemicals is one of the main reasons why your floor is left feeling sticky or tacky. A floor with too much chemical residual will essentially be cleaning the dirt and grime off the shoes as people walk over the floor, in the busy holiday period your floor will quickly be looking dirty again if it has too much chemical residual.

We recommend having a dilution wall chart displayed in all Cleaners Rooms, download a copy HERE or email us and we will send you out a FREE laminated A3 Wall Chart.

  1. Make sure you have the right tools for the job:

General cleaning equipment like a mop and bucket for a large shopping centre is not going to cut it and it will be more labour-intensive, time-consuming and increases the risk of slips, trips and falls.

Automatic scrubber dryers and other commercial cleaning machines have instant drying capabilities so you can walk on the floor immediately after being cleaned.

When choosing what cleaning solutions and machines will best suit your facility needs, it’s important to consider not only your floor type but also how much maintenance, shine and durability you are willing to invest in.

Its important to make sure that the products you choose to invest in are of high quality. The last thing you want is a solution that appears to be low cost but cost-in-use is expensive due to the amount of product needed to achieve the results you are after. For example, there’s no point in choosing a cheaper floor stripper based on price per litre without considering the dilution rate. There are a number of strippers with a low dilution rate such as 1:4, whereas You are better off choosing a slightly more expensive high-quality floor stripper with a high dilution rate (1:30) so its cost-in-use is economically friendly.

  1. Have a detailed plan and cleaning strategy in consideration of the extra foot traffic:

It’s important to have a cleaning plan in place throughout the year but especially towards the end of the year, it’s important to consider the extra foot traffic during the holiday season. Particularly during this time, hiring professional commercial cleaners a few times a month between October and January ensures your shopping centre has had a comprehensive clean. It’s important to consider the following areas as vital for comprehensive cleaning:

  • Washrooms
  • Food Court
  • Administrative office
  • Windows
  • Floors
  • Surface cleaning and dusting
  • Outdoor garden and courtyard
  • Equipment

Dirty, slippery floors make a very bad impression and with more and more visitors to your shopping centre during the festive season it is very important to ensure your facility is clean and your floors are safe.

  1. Timing is everything

It goes without saying that visitors don’t like going to the bathroom only to have some stalls unavailable for cleaning or having their path blocked by wet floor signs while someone is cleaning the floors. It’s important to work around the customers. This means cleaning after hours as you probably won’t have a lot of slow periods.

  1. Keep areas safe

As people return to shopping post-COVID lockdowns, it’s important to not take any chances in ensuring your facility is safe so people can shop with confidence. The holiday period means more foot traffic and greater chances for people to spread germs. Meaning that periodic deep cleaning is important year-round but during the holiday period, even more attention needs to be paid to high traffic area sanitation.

Our Commercial Floor Care Tips:

While you can’t prevent your floors from bearing all the extra foot traffic, there are some ways that you can safeguard your floors to prevent damage.

Here are a few of our essential tips:

  1. Daily Maintenance

Daily maintenance is the most important step in floor care. This includes frequent dust mopping followed by damp mopping or auto-scrubbing. After removing dirt and grime, the next step is to burnish the floor, which can be done as often as daily. A mop-on restorer can be applied prior to burnishing once a month or more for extra shine and to preserve the finish.

  1. Restorative Maintenance

Restorative maintenance (stripping and refinishing floors) can bring an incredible shine to floors. It requires affected areas to be closed to shoppers. The most important step is choosing the right sealing products and process for your floor. Ensure you choose the recommended sealer for your chosen flooring, considering any restrictions such as heritage or environmental limitations. Once coated with a suitable sealer, the floor is protected from these threats and extend the life of the floors.

A few common mistakes that can lead to haze or streak marks:

While the main goal for any facility is to preserve the appearance of your floors, not everyone gets it right and it can be hard to know exactly why. This could be cloudiness, haziness or streaks and they are often caused by a few common mistakes:

  1. Not applying enough product – A thin, inconsistent application can lead to streaks as finish levels will vary across the floor.
  2. Not allowing enough dry time for the coat layers to dry properly – When applying a floor finish, accurate dry time is crucial. If you apply a second coat too early, streaks or hazing can occur.
  3. The maximum number of coats for any floor finish in a 24-hour period is four – Putting down more than four can cause improper curing of the lower coats and can lead to hazing.

In regards to floor finishes, here are five easy steps that all cleaners should follow to prevent haze and cloudiness:

  1. Rinse the Floor Completely: Before applying any finish, make sure to rinse the floor well with fresh water to ensure all chemical residue and debris are removed. When prepping the floors, use a wet vacuum or auto scrubber to pick up all liquids and then flood rinse the floor at least twice. Once the floors are properly rinsed and dried, go over all surfaces with a dust mop to ensure debris is removed.
  2. Choose the Correct Finish: For high-traffic areas that require ongoing maintenance, facility managers should use a floor finish that can be easily and quickly repaired.
  3. Maintain a Consistent Thickness: When applying each coat of floor finish, be sure to keep coating thicknesses consistent through the entire area and between each layer of coating.
  4. Ensure Adequate Dry Time: Always allow an appropriate dry time between coats. The best practice is to check easily accessible to ensure the finish is dry and then wait an additional 15 minutes for the areas where you can’t physically check.
  5. Consider Environmental Factors: Make sure to take note of the environment outside and inside the facility – paying special attention to factors such as humidity, temperature and airflow – and make necessary adjustments for the floor preparation process and dry time.

A few products we recommend:

ecoGLOSS: High-Performance Floor Coating

ecoGLOSS is a high performing seal and finish that is easy to apply and covers large areas (75m squared per litre). ecoGLOSS is fast drying and slip-resistant under the ASTM D2047 method.

  • High solids, ready to use formula.
  • Easy-to-apply levels nicely and dries to a high gloss.
  • Low odour combination seal and finish with ultra-low VOCs
  • Multi-surface, all-purpose formula for all maintenance systems
  • Not formulated with butyl, harsh alkalis, zinc phthalates or APEO surfactants.

ecoSTRIP: Environmentally Responsible Floor Stripper

ecoSTRIP is not formulated with phosphates, butyl, or harsh alkalis. ecoSTRIP is a non-corrosive floor stripper that has high activity (over 30%) for maximum cost benefits and reduced inventory.

  • Strip’s standard, non-green finishes quickly and completely
  • Easily removes multiple coats of ecoGLOSS floor finish from any floor.
  • Leaves no alkaline residue behind, simplifying rinsing and eliminating recoat problems.
  • Dilution rate: Stripping 1:4
  • Available in 10L concentrated formula

Strikeforce: Ultra-Concentrated High Productivity Stripper

  • Aggressive dual-solvent formulation easily strips all seals and finishes on the first pass.
  • Ultra-concentrated 1:19 to 1:30 dilution provides the utmost in economy and convenience and greatly reduces inventory.
  • Powerful enough to remove multiple layers of highly burnished finishes.

Duragloss: High Gloss Floor Finish

  • High solids formula to make it usable for ultra-high-speed applications.
  • It effectively coats hard surface floors for long-lasting protection and added durability.
  • It keeps floors resistant to scuffs and makes them look glossy even with minimal polishing.
  • It can be used on vinyl composition tile, terrazzo, concrete, quarry tile and marble floors.

 

Abco Products – your local supplier of commercial cleaning supplies in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney – we have been providing contract cleaners and facility managers with sustainable cleaning products, powerful industrial cleaning supplies and commercial cleaning equipment for over 20 years. For information about our commercial cleaning consumables or machinery, please call us on 1800 177 399 or email us at sales@abcopro.com.au.

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