Winter background. Winter landscape with snow field and storm clouds

Ice, snow, moisture, mud and ice melts can wreak havoc on building floors. If facility managers are not prepared, these threats can damage floors — which can prove costly.

Fortunately, there are several things managers can do to prevent this, says Rick Vanerkoy, president of Secure Clean, a building service contractor company cleaning facilities throughout Illinois. 

To best avoid flooring issues caused by winter weather, Vanerkoy suggests the following: 

Build Up The Floor's Finish

Many managers believe the purpose of a floor finish is to add a shine to the floor. While it will produce a shine, the real purpose of the floor finish is to protect the floor.

Add Entry Mats

High-quality floor mats should be installed at all building entries. The length of these mats is important. 

“We recommend that our clients install at least 15 feet to 20 feet of matting at key building entries,” says Vanderkoy. “Another benefit is that it can help reduce cleaning costs.”

With these steps in place, the most effective ways to protect building floors during the winter months is with proper and effective floor maintenance. Vanderkoy suggests the following maintenance:

Routine Maintenance

Custodial workers should expand their floor cleaning duties during the winter months. Cleaning the lobby floor two or three times during the day may be necessary.

Interim maintenance

More thorough cleaning calls for auto scrubbers, which remove the debris and soil that can harm a floor's finish every time it passes over the floor.


This process involves stripping all the finish off a floor, rinsing the floor and then applying three or more thin coats of finish to the floor.

“But, if all the steps mentioned have been implemented, we may be able to delay refinishing cycles throughout the winter months,” says Vanerkoy.