Winter Floor Care


Winter can be equally hard on commercial hard surface flooring as it is on carpets. Rock salt, sand and other ice-melt products used on sidewalks and roadways are unavoidably tracked indoors during the snow and ice season, and it can wreak havoc on all types of carpeting and floors.

Especially noticeable near building entrances, the debris tracked inside during winter can quickly dull and scratch the surface of even the most durable floors, and the chemicals contained in these products can strip protective finishes and leave unsightly residue behind.

Carpeting is also damaged by winter use. Salt leaves its characteristic white powdery residue, while the chemicals in ice-melt products can soak deep into the fibres and even through to the underpadding. If water damage on carpeting goes untreated, mold and mildew can easily grow, which can lead to much bigger problems in the long run.

Following proper winter maintenance procedures for your floors and carpet will go a long way toward preserving and protecting them. Once the worst of the winter weather has passed, schedule to have your hard flooring cleaned and new protective finishes applied by a professional commercial floor cleaner for a post-winter renewal to keep your floors looking their best for as long as possible.

Having your carpeting cleaned and restored by a reputable commercial carpet cleaner will also help prolong the life of your carpet investment and provide a welcome spring refresh.

The commercial floor cleaning specialists at ServiceMaster Clean recommend the following guidelines to properly clean the hard surface flooring and carpets at your commercial facility during or after the snow and ice season.

How To Properly Clean Tile & Hardwood Floors During Winter

There are many types of hard surface commercial floors, and they all require slightly different cleaning techniques. The following guidelines apply to most, but you should always refer to your particular flooring manufacturer’s care manual.

  1. Sweep away visible debris from the floor’s surface.
  2. Use a semi-acidic floor cleaner or mix vinegar with water to neutralize and dissolve any remaining salt residue. Refer to product instructions for dilution ratios.
  3. Once the cleaner is applied and the salt residue is dissolved and suspended in the liquid, use a mop to absorb the liquid and wipe away.
  4. If your floor’s protective finish has been damaged, use a recommended stripper solution to cleanly remove it. Refer to the specific stripping product’s label for exact instructions. Use floor fans and open windows to improve ventilation when working with harsh chemicals.
  5. Use a little elbow grease and a scrubber to agitate the surface and strip off the remaining finish. Then, mop up the liquid.
  6. Mop the floor again with clean water to remove any lingering chemicals from the cleaner and stripping solution.
  7. Let the floor dry completely.
  8. Finally, apply two coats of sealant and a few fresh coats of protective finish for a floor that looks as good as new.

How To Protect Your Commercial Carpet During Winter

Commercial carpeting is a significant investment for any facility, so you want it to look its best and prolong its use before a costly replacement. To help your carpets survive winter, use walk-off matting, boot trays and umbrella stands at your entrance to reduce the amount of moisture and debris tracked onto your carpeted areas during the winter season.

Follow these steps to give your carpets a complete post-winter cleaning.

  1. Thoroughly vacuum visible dirt particles and debris.
  2. Deep clean your carpet with a water and residue-removing cleaning solution. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your particular carpet and the cleaning products you are using.
  3. Use a wet vacuum to remove the solution, oils and dissolved residue.
  4. Rinse with clean water and suction it out with the wet vacuum. You may find that you need to repeat steps 2-4 depending on the amount of damage.
  5. Use carpet fans to completely dry the floor to prevent development of mold and mildew.

The time, energy, heavy equipment and cost required to effectively clean commercial carpets can be significant. For spring carpet cleaning or hard floor maintenance, let the commercial cleaning experts at ServiceMaster Clean do the dirty work for you. We will design a custom commercial floor and carpet maintenance program to suit your specific requirements and budget.