Soils such as sand, dust, grit and clay are invariably found on hard-surface floors. For the most part, their presence is not a significant problem-that is, not until "vehicles" — namely, people, carts and equipment — walk or roll over the floor. These dry soils have sharp edges. Once vehicles are introduced, they can start abrading, eroding, and otherwise damaging the floor and its finish.
The number of people and mechanical vehicles traveling on a floor is referred to as traffic, and the amount of foot traffic on the floor will help determine the amount and type of cleaning and maintenance the floor will need.
To help cleaning professionals better understand the concept of foot traffic, this month's Power-Flite Troubleshooter provides the following guidelines:
Low Traffic: A low-traffic environment is typically a small office or retail store. Such a facility will have about 100 to 500 people walking through it each day. Weekly floor maintenance may be all that is required.
Medium Traffic: While some may fall into the high-traffic category, smaller class "A" and class "B" buildings are considered moderate foot traffic environments. These facilities typically have 500 to 1,500 people walking through them and will require daily cleaning.
High Traffic: These facilities, which have 1,500 or more people per day walking on their floors, are often large office buildings, transportation centers-airports, bus stations - or large schools, for example. These floors are continually under attack and will require floor maintenance multiple times throughout the day.*
It is also important to realize that certain areas within a facility may have multiple traffic patterns. Invariably, lobbies, core walkways, and entries into retail stores can be high-traffic areas while other areas within the facility may have medium or even low traffic.
To ensure proper floor maintenance, cleaning professionals must be clear which areas need the most frequent attention. This ensures the floors are maintained, reduces costs, and can help reduce restorative cycles.
*In all cases, variables such as weather conditions, the installation of matting, etc., can play a role in the amount of care and attention a floor needs.