Light regular maintenance used to be referred to as “daily” maintenance but, with shrinking budgets and Performance Based Service Contracting, it may no longer be done daily in all areas. 

It consists of five steps:  1) removing dry soil, 2) setting up for wet cleaning, 3) wet cleaning, 4) drying, and 5) take down and sign removal.  Removing dry soil can be accomplished by sweeping, dust mopping, or vacuuming, depending on conditions and equipment available. 

The most cost effective approach is vacuuming with a high filtration vacuum to remove dry soil from the environment. Setting up the area includes posting “wet floor” signs and inspecting for troublesome areas (like chewing gum or heal marks) that may need special attention. 

Wet cleaning can be done with a wet mop or an auto scrubber. The choice should be driven by the level of obstruction in the building. When using a wet mop for cleaning, the mop should be wrung out before applying the cleaning solution to the floor.  One danger of damp mopping is that employees tend to go too long between water changes thereby defeating the cleaning process. When this happens, they are merely spreading soil around instead of removing it.  Over time, the floor starts to look yellow or gray due to soil build up. Always have sufficient numbers of clean mop heads available to swap out based on soil load. When possible, this should be time studied so that the supervisor provides a set number (example: 3) clean mop heads for a task thereby reducing the risk of re-soiling.

An employee using an auto scrubber (with the correct pad or brush) can cover twice as much floor area as with a mop and single wringer bucket.  With the increased productivity in a hundred thousand square foot building, the right size auto scrubber will pay for itself in less than six months when labor and benefit savings are taken into account. Check published cleaning times standards to get a comparison even though your numbers may vary due to differences including degree of soiling and experience of the workers. In either case (mop or auto scrubber), a neutral cleaner in cool water should be used.  This attacks the soil without degrading the floor finish. Once the wet cleaning is finished, the floor is usually left to air dry.  Then, the signs can be removed and the floor can be inspected.

Yes, there is much to consider in maintaining hard floors.  Your comments and questions are always welcome.  I hope to hear from you soon.  Until then, keep it clean…..

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or