The Ins & Outs Of Commercial Floor Cleaning
Businesses, public spaces, indoor sporting facilities – the kinds of traffic handled here call for there to be a strict floor cleaning program in place to protect the installation. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, since the different kinds of floors will have their unique requirements. From the kinds of equipment used, to the sensitivity of the type of floor material, the formulations that will be applied – it all comes into focus. There is a wide range of commercial flooring that is used, from hardwood, PVC tiles and vinyl installation, to concrete, marble, granite and even limestone floors. Let’s delve into the factors that come into focus during the floor cleaning.
Detergents suitable for removing dirt and stubborn stains on one floor can wreak havoc on another. You don’t want to be in a situation where the floor cleaning product used starts to dull the surface, or outrightly corrodes it.
– For concrete, it is recommended that you first start with a dust mop to clear away the debris before proceeding with the rest of the floor cleaning. Due to the size of the area to be covered in the commercial spaces, you can work with a scrubber for the cleaning, using a low suds solution.
– VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile) floors are also first dust mopped to remove the debris. An emulsifier solution is then used for the cleaning, with the dilution ratio depending on the particular product in question. Afterwards, it is advisable to polish the floor surface.
– Terrazzo floors call for more intensive care and maintenance, from the daily dust mopping or sweeping, weekly mopping – where you can use an all-purpose cleaner, resealing every quarter – and there are plenty of water-based sealants to choose from for this, all through to restoring the gloss annually or biannually. The frequencies mentioned here are just a guide. High traffic establishments will need to have these floor cleaning and restoration measures carried out more often.
– When it comes to ceramic tiles use a wet mop for the cleaning, or scrubber machine. Note that you should stay away from acidic cleaners, since these damage the grouting.
– Natural stone floors like marble are particularly sensitive to the pH of the products that will be used on them. Use pH-neutral agents for the regular floor cleaning. For the stubborn dirt, go with a mild formulation – but one that has been specifically developed for use on the particular natural stone floor. Products like vinegar, lemon-based solutions or ammonia cleaners will ruin the floor.
– For hardwood, excess water is the enemy. Being hygroscopic, the wood will absorb the moisture, putting it at risk of water damage. It is recommended that you damp mop the floor.
Variations in Industries
The floor cleaning measures are also affected by the type of industry in question. Sure, dust and dirt cut across the board, but there will be some establishments where oil and grease residue are a major concern, others have issues like tyre marks to deal with. Sections like store cupboards, corners and other areas with storage units also see high levels of dirt accumulation. In industries like those in the blue chip and technology niche, these may have “clean rooms” – basically areas with delicate components and electronics that need to be completely dust-free, calling for more specialist floor cleaning equipment.
The floor cleaning machines selected for the various areas will need to be able to handle the jobs required, or one acquires multiple sets of equipment to cater to the different situations. For instance, while some cleaning gear are great for open spaces, they may be problematic for when you need to reach corners. Having floor cleaning gear with attachment options gives you more versatility.
Heavy-duty commercial cleaning calls for aspects such as high-pressure jet systems that can get through the grease and oil buildings, and even buffering gear to bring a high shine to the floors. We’ll go into the different kinds of equipment next. The functions of the machine and how they operate matters as well. For instance, how often will it need to be refilled with water? This will affect the speed of the floor cleaning, since the dump and fill cycles will need to be factored in.
The choice here largely depends on the size of the floor area to cover, speed of cleaning required, as well as budgetary constraints of the commercial facility. Common floor cleaning equipment include:
– Sweepers, which are basically mechanical brooms which can be battery-powered or require to be plugged into an outlet. These extract the dust from the surface, usually using circular brushes that do the sweeping, a hopper that gathers and collects the dirt, which can then be emptied. There are even ride-on sweepers available, which enable one to work on expansive areas quickly.
– Vacuum cleaners – a staple in the floor care industry whose design and function has largely remained the same for a while. They do come in different varieties, with the “Wet & Dry” being the most popular.
– Mops, which have numerous kinds, from the conventional yarn mops to the microfibre units. They are typically used alongside a bucket. However, newer designs take away this reliance, with systems such as the floor spray mops that even allow you to control the amount of solution that is misted out onto the surface.
– Scrubber driers take the “mop and bucket” system to the next level. Floor cleaning formulations are added to these sophisticated machines, which then use brushes to scrub the floor. They suction up the liquid residue, which is then stored in a collection tank awaiting disposal. Moving them along the floor allows the personnel to clean and dry at the same time, reducing the amount of disruption in the facility.
– Buffers come in to bring a shine to the surface. These machines typically remove the loose dirt particles while simultaneously polishing the floor, and are commonly used on hardwood, stone and linoleum floors.