Key Questions FMs Need To Ask about a Floor Maintenance Program
Most cleaning experts suggest that facility managers have a floor cleaning and maintenance program to help make sure floors stay clean and safe throughout the year. The plan might list, among other things, when and how often floors are to be cleaned, scrubbed, and refinished.
However, there are many variables that must be considered before developing a floor cleaning and maintenance program. The following are some key questions facility managers need to address before starting a floor maintenance program.
What is the budget?
A floor cleaning and maintenance program can be costly. The first step in determining costs is to know how many square feet of flooring will need to be cleaned and how often. With this information, an astute janitorial contractor can help a facility manger develop a budget for floor maintenance.
How important is the floor?
Some floors, like a lobby floor, are more important than others because they contribute to a customer or user’s first impression of the facility. Other floors may require less attention because they are not in customer areas. Determine which floors are the most important and budget resources accordingly.
What is the current condition of the floor?
A floor cleaning and maintenance program requires that a floor audit be conducted to determine the condition of all floors. Is there damage? Is it salvageable? Are there safety concerns? When was the last time the floor was stripped and refinished? Is there yellowing or are there heavily soiled areas? Jot down the condition of all floors throughout the facility.
What are the traffic conditions?
It’s critical to have a good idea of what the traffic conditions are throughout the property and which floor areas are most likely to need more cleaning time and attention.
When will floor care work be performed?
In commercial office buildings, most floor cleaning and maintenance programs are performed after business hours or on weekends. If the floors must be scrubbed, recoated, or refinished, this gives the floor time to dry and helps protect tenants from potential slip-and-fall accidents.
What types of flooring are installed?
Certain types of flooring may have very specific cleaning and maintenance requirements. Stone floors will have different needs – and require different cleaning products and tools – than a more conventional VCT floor. Document the maintenance needs of all floors in the property and be sure these requirements are fully understood.
What equipment is needed?
Floor care and the equipment used to maintain floors have changed a lot in the past few years. For instance, mops and buckets are being phased out and being replaced with automatic scrubbers. Automatic scrubbers are highly regarded because they can vacuum, clean, rinse, and dry floors all in one pass. They also can reduce costs significantly. In one study, an automatic scrubber was found to reduce the time it takes one person to clean 5,000 square feet with a mop and bucket from one to two hours down to 15-30 minutes.
Are there environmental and “sensitivity” issues?
A decision has to be made when preparing a floor cleaning and maintenance program whether or not a green floor care program will be adopted to clean and maintain a facility’s floors. There are now a number of effective and cost effective green floor care chemicals, polishes, finishes, and equipment available from leading janitorial manufacturers.