On a blustery January day, a building service contractor, responsible for upkeep and maintenance at an office building in northern Wisconsin, spends hours shoveling and blowing snow away from building entrances. After clearing the snow, the BSC notices patches of ice and compacted snow remain in spots and decides an ice melt will be needed to mitigate the risks of slips-and-falls.

The problem with these products, however, is that although they remove the ice and snow hazard, they also pose a hazard to facility floors if they are tracked in.

So, what’s a BSC to do? The answer lies in developing a winter floor care program with damage prevention at its core, says Bill Griffin, owner of Cleaning Consultant Services Inc. of Seattle.

“The more we can do to keep things from being tracked in, the easier our maintenance will be,” he says. “Too often, we let things go to heck then try to clean it up in the spring with remediation and restoration. But if we would just do more of the light-duty tasks, such as dust mopping and damp mopping, and had sufficient entrance matting we’d spend less time scrubbing, stripping and refinishing later on.”

The elements of a preventative winter floor care program include entrance matting inside and out, increased frequencies for dust mopping and damp mopping, and regular use of floor neutralizers to remove build-up as it occurs.

“If you have flooring that’s more sensitive to moisture such as carpeting, wood or bamboo floors, it’s even more critical to prevent moisture from getting tracked in,” Griffin says. “With other types of floors, you might lose your coating and shine, but on this flooring, moisture is very destructive and can even ruin the floor.”

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The Key To Protecting Floors Is Proper Matting