Snow, ice, wind and cold temperatures bring a host of problems that facility managers must plan and prepare for ahead of the winter season, including the potential risk of slips and falls to building occupants and the damaging effects that salt and sand have on flooring.
Staples Advantage offers some proactive tips to stay ahead of the harsh impact of winter:
• Prevent slips and falls. One of the biggest concerns in winter for building occupants is falling on icy walkways. Deicers keep snow from sticking to the ground and increase the surface temperature enough to prevent ice from forming. Apply these in anticipation of each storm to keep people safe from injury.
• Protect surface areas — inside and out. Consider the impact deicing agents may have on walkways, carpeting, floors and even the plants around the building. Careful use of ice melt products can minimize damage to these surfaces. Also, consider installing quality, absorbent floor mats to help keep ice melt residue from being tracked into the building.
• Evaluate winter maintenance costs. The salt and urea-based ice melt products available range in effectiveness and cost. Take for example rock salt, which is the most common and the least expensive. However, it can be slow to melt and harmful to vegetation alongside walkways. Since labor is the biggest cost of winter maintenance, make product effectiveness your primary consideration. Factor in product availability and disposal costs and order winter maintenance products well in advance to ensure best selection and price.