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Hard Floor Maintenance

Hard floors include stone, tiles, resilient flooring, and other non-carpeted surfaces.

For routine hard floor maintenance, the cleaning staff should:

  • Vacuum to remove and contain particulate matter from flooring surfaces, or alternatively, use mops equipped with reusable/cleanable collection heads.
  • Clean both on a predetermined schedule and as needed to restore floors to a clean condition. At a minimum, the schedule for cleaning should be:

Daily:

heavy traffic areas, including entrances, corridors, community centres, break areas, congested areas, main passageways, and primary work or office areas.

Scheduled:

As appropriate, to maintain cleanliness: gymnasiums, light traffic areas including conference rooms, administrative offices, limited access areas, and other areas or spaces with limited or periodic use.

For periodic hard floor maintenance, the cleaning staff should:

  • Provide reasonable notice to building occupants prior to the commencement of non-routine floor cleaning operations. The timing and method of the notice should be established by building management in consultation with the cleaning crew.
  • Perform periodic maintenance only if sufficient floor finish exists on the floor surface to protect the underlying flooring from being degraded during the restoration process.
  • Apply floor restoration chemicals, when used, by mop, an automatic scrubbing machine, or auto scrubber, rather than by manual spray application (to avoid exposure to aerosol or vapours).
  • Use burnishing or buffing equipment with controls or other devices sufficient for capturing and collecting particulates generated during the use of the equipment.

For restorative hard floor maintenance, the cleaning staff should:

  • Perform restoration on an as-needed basis to maintain the cleanliness, appearance, and integrity of the floor finish, rather than on a rigid schedule.
  • Ventilate the area, to the outside if possible, both during and after stripping or floor scrubbing and recoating operations to ensure adequate fresh air.
  • Schedule floor stripping and refinishing to coincide with a period of minimum use or occupancy.
  • Provide reasonable notice to occupants prior to the commencement of non-routine floor maintenance operations. The timing and method of the notice should be established by building management in consultation with the cleaning crew.

When floors need to be spray-buffed (or carpets, spot-cleaned), solutions should be applied from a sprayer in a coarse spray or stream rather than as a fine mist. This will minimise the amount of material that is atomised and potentially inhaled, as well as minimise over-spray. When floors need to be stripped and recoated or carpets extracted, it is important that occupants be notified. Use the least toxic products possible. Use the least amount of water and ventilate the area with fans if necessary for rapid drying to minimise both the possibility of mould growth and slip-fall incidents.

It is preferable to conduct major cleaning activities in a time period when traffic is minimal or the area can be closed off. This allows maximum time for the building to be ventilated (flushed with fresh air) prior to the return of the majority of occupants.

Action Items

  • Consult with your janitorial supplier for newer finish or floor care options that may or may not require stripping and are also environmentally preferable (check for green certification or recognition). Otherwise, select appropriate zinc- or metal-free floor finishes. Choose the most durable finish available to minimise the need for stripping and recoating.
  • If using a water-based polymer coating, build a solid base, which can be between 6 and 12 coats for a 20% solids floor finish.
  • Develop a system to maintain floors daily, using walk-off mats, dust mopping or vacuuming, and spot cleaning.
  • Develop an interim restoration program (e.g., scrubbing and recoating) to maintain adequate levels of floor finish (as applicable), cleanliness, and appearance.

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