Without a proper cleaning and maintenance programme, a facility will suffer the consequences including a floor that lacks lustre…
Cleaning professionals and facility managers are increasingly faced with budgets under pressure along with cleaning standards that are becoming all the more stringent. As a result, choosing the best solution after identifying the challenges that play a role in the decision-making process is critical. This is why it is of the utmost importance to find a cleaning solution that offers productivity, effectiveness and sustainability, especially as the environmental aspect of cleaning continues to play an important role.
The following factors need to be taken into consideration when aiming to find solutions to the above:
There are a number of elements that play a role in achieving the expected cleanliness on hard-to-clean floors. Floors without a protective layer or coating are generally harder to clean as their open structure allows dirt and grime to set in; however, cylindrical brushes on scrubber dryers can be used to deal with this challenge.
Industrial floors require cleaning that deals with dirt, but also with tough oils and fat. In food and beverage production or handling environments this will often be in the form of stubborn, sugary or syrupy spillage. These challenging applications therefore require robust and heavy-duty cleaning equipment. It is essential that a systematic maintenance regime is in place to avoid a large buildup of tough dirt. Regular cleaning is the preferred option to a deep scrub and restoration in terms of time and labour savings.
Grout cleaning in more commercial flooring is a challenge as residual detergents will eventually build up in the grout and retain dirt. In addition, old tile floors from which the top layer has been worn off will allow dirt to infiltrate the porous surface which is then extremely difficult to remove. Often, a protective wax or finishing coat is applied, but this only seals the dirt underneath a transparent layer and doesn’t prevent an ageing and worn look. Chemical-free technologies that won’t leave chemical residue behind can be used to help restore the floor’s original clean and bright image.
Productivity and budget
Productivity and cost-efficiency go hand in hand for facility managers while innovative technologies and product enhancements create opportunities for reduction in operational costs.
By using high-quality materials and parts, manufacturers can ensure a solid construction that extends the performance life of machines. Durability and reliability pay off in the long run as they prevent the damaging of equipment and subsequent repair costs. So too, intuitive controls and easy-to-operate machines considerably reduce the risk of abuse or incorrect operation, allowing the operator to fully focus on the cleaning task at hand.
Productivity has been further increased by the enhancements in ergonomics, both on ride-on machines and walk-behind models, which offer clear visibility lines and reduces operator fatigue. By extending cleaning paths or offering a choice of different scrub-heads or brushes, cleaning equipment manufacturers can now address the financial and space requirements of most facilities.
Proper service and regular maintenance by professionals provide numerous benefits such as maximised uptime of the machines along with their extended life, making it more cost-effective to protect one’s investment.
Health and Safety
Implementing an effective floor safety plan is a critical step in preventing an array of various health and safety issues. Not only do slippery floors present hazards, but indoor air quality and noise can also affect the wellbeing of operators, staff and building occupants in general.
Besides the actual cleaning, it is essential that maximising floor slip resistance forms part of one’s floor maintenance programme. This starts with daily cleaning that should include dust sweeping, wet cleaning and spot cleaning. Very often, chemicals are used to remove dirt from the floor, but too much can leave a residue that can make the floor slippery. Mixing and manual dosing of chemicals will also put the operator at risk of spillage and hand/eye injury if proper procedures are not followed. As a result, thorough training of operators is crucial.
Indoor air quality also benefits from an appropriate cleaning programme. By ensuring that no dust particles become airborne by effectively sweeping and scrubbing the floor, the health of workers and occupants is positively impacted.
Sustainability plays an important role, and it is important to balance the cleaning requirements with the environmental aspects. Continual development has ensured that cleaning solutions save natural resources by reducing energy consumption, water usage and diminishing the need for detergents, consequently reducing the waste stream.
If one takes into consideration that, for example, one square metre of commercial carpeting captures almost 500g of dirt per week, which dramatically increases the costs of removal. It becomes evident just how critical it is to compile and implement a proper cleaning and maintenance programme.
While daily maintenance helps extend the life of flooring, floors will still wear out in time even with a long-term strategy. Deep cleaning can dramatically extend the life of flooring and is an essential component of a successful floor maintenance programme. It removes dirt build-up, breaks down and extracts contaminants from grout, tile and carpeted areas.
An efficient cleaning methodology successfully integrates temperature, agitation, chemicals, time and extraction to achieve an unparalleled level of cleanliness. In conclusion, a comprehensive floor maintenance programme that includes protection, maintenance and deep cleaning will enable facilities to preserve their flooring investment while providing a safe and satisfying atmosphere.
Acknowledgment and thanks are given to the following websites for the material contained in this article: www.europeancleaningjournal.com and www.flowcrete.co.uk