Winter Floor Care Tips

With the beauty of white snow covered trees, also comes the slush and grime of melting snow.  Which then of course, gets tracked into your facility.  The endless cycle of ice melt pellets on your floor, followed by the salt stains on your mats and carpets repeats for months until Spring finally arrives.  But it’s not hopeless, there are some things you can do to help your facility look its best during Winter – here are some tips!

Apply a Floor Finish Before the Winter

By mid-fall, you should consider preparing your hard floors for Winter by applying a floor finish.  This will not only add a nice sparkling shine to your floors, it also actually acts as a barrier to protect your floors from the harsh winter elements of ice melt and standing water. 

Implement an Entrance Mat System

An effective entrance matting system can remove as much as 90% of soils from shoes.  A proper entrance matting system consists of:

  1. A scraper mat – placed outside of your entryway to scrape off debris from shoes and begin the removal of any liquids. 
  2. A Scraper/Wiper mat – placed just inside the doorway or inside vestibules.  They clean shoe bottoms and remove any remaining liquid. 

Regular Cleaning

Daily cleaning and maintenance during the Winter to remove tracked in soil from your floors will decrease damage to your floors and reduce the frequency for restorative care, which can be more time-consuming and expensive. Be sure to use a wet/dry vacuum to clean up the debris so it doesn’t continue to be tracked into your facility.  Follow-up by wet mopping hard floors with an ice melt neutralizer solution to remove salt residue and hard water stains, changing the water frequently as you go along.

And there you have it, following these few simple steps will help to keep your facility looking at its best all year round!  If you need any help with product recommendations for your particular application, contact one of our product experts! 

How to apply Ice Melt

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Having to apply ice melt is not something many of us look forward to having to do – as the need is usually accompanied by blistery, wintery weather.  But it is a critical step in protecting against dangerous slip and fall accidents.  Although, as Canadians, we’re no strangers to applying ice melt, and it may seem like an uncomplicated process, many of us are doing it wrong!  Let’s have a look at these tips for applying ice melt:

Read Instructions

May seem unnecessary, but manufacturers actually include very specific instructions on their packaging for how to apply that specific product and when to best use it.  For example, certain temperatures require a specific ice melt product.  If you don’t use the right product, you’re wasting time applying a product that is not going to work for you.  

Don’t apply too much

More doesn’t mean better in this scenario.  Plus, any excess applied will just be tracked inside and all over your carpets and floors.  You also risk burning the nearby vegetation with the overspill.  Ice melt dissolves to liquid and spreads out with normal use. Below is a good example of the type of saturation for an area you should look to achieve.  For ease of application, you can use a handheld fertilizer spreader for smaller areas, or a walk-behind spreader for larger areas.  Scoops and shovels will almost always result in overuse, so best to avoid using these.

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Wear protective gear

Wear gloves to protect your hands when handling ice melt, especially when using a calcium or magnesium chloride based product as its job is to absorb moisture, which will include that on your hands.  Also wearing something to protect your eyes is recommended, especially when pouring the product into any dispenser. 

Don’t apply on top of snow

This isn’t a hack for getting out of shoveling the snow – it will not melt it.  You must clear the snow and then apply the product.  In fact, ideally you should apply ice melt BEFORE an incoming storm.

Clean up excess

After the weather has cleared up, be sure to scoop away any excess ice melt.  It is not only unsightly and gets tracked inside, this will also help to protect nearby vegetation from soaking up anything harmful.

Properly store

Store ice melt away from moisture, air and sunlight.  Store open bags in an airtight container.  Magnesium chloride and calcium chloride based ice melt will draw the moisture out of the air, reducing the efficacy of the product and leaving your ice melt clumpy and hard.    

Now you’re ready to tackle whatever winter may have in store!  If you need help deciding which ice melt product would be best for your environment, contact one of our sales associates for some guidance.