Some businesses already using the holiday season as an opportunity to carry out planned maintenance on equipment are adding cleaning and flooring projects to their checklist. That’s the strategy at two businesses: one is a research organization known for analyzing safety data and the other is Bergst Special Tools, a specialty machine and tool and die shop.  

At the research facility, industrial cleaners from Glendale Heights, Illinois-based Painters USA Inc. will use dry-ice blasting to clean the interior of a 50-foot tower the research organization relies on for flammability tests. Cleaning crews will begin the four-day project before Christmas and finish two days after the holiday to enable the research facility to use the remaining downtime to perform maintenance on a catwalk inside its tower. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency- and United States Department of Agriculture-approved dry-ice blasting process enables crews to remove soot from the tower without creating secondary waste or chemical residue, since dry ice turns into a vapor.

“For organization’s planning maintenance between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s an opportunity to deep clean as part of already-planned repairs,” says Paul Cook, vice president at Painters USA.

Illinois-based Bergst Special Tools saw Thanksgiving as a time to complete a flooring project at its facility while most of its workforce was home. Painters USA crews used the holiday break to prepare several worksurfaces in the machine shop for application of a new epoxy floor, including a high-performance gloss urethane topcoat to improve clean-up of spills in these areas.

According to Cook, when crews can work with a facility and safety manager in advance to plan a cleaning, painting or flooring project, then they can successfully and safely enter and leave a customer site within days. In commercial or industrial settings, floors take a beating from things like temperature, humidity, thermal shock, pedestrian and vehicular traffic and chemical agents.

“A floor is the foundation of an operation; it’s not a static asset because forces are always acting on it to change it. When floors are maintained, you can prevent fines, injuries or worse,” says Cook. “The holidays are a time for facility managers to ask a National Floor Safety Institute-certified inspector or NACE International coatings inspector to take a look at their facility.”

Along with dry-ice blasting and epoxy flooring systems, Cook says holiday downtime offers opportunities to undertake antimicrobial floor services, reline safety aisleways, control rust, paint offices and warehouses, prepare for FDA and USDA food safety inspections and protect wet processing areas.