Let’s face it… the dirt starts right at your front door. Leaves, rain, snow, salt, asphalt crack filler. It’s easy to think you’ll keep it outside where it belongs, but it’s harder to actually put that into practice, unless maybe you have an air-lock vestibule as an entrance. So how do you protect your floors from the year-round elements? Here are some tips.
Have a designated walk-off space. This is a big one. Minimizing the potential for slip-fall accidents can be as simple as providing a walk-off zone. As much as I like the look of a polished tile lobby floor, they’re a slip hazard. You can cover your $40 per SF tile floor with a $3 per SF entry mat… but they’re a trip hazard. By incorporating walk-off areas into the design of your entrances, you can choose a durable flooring material that can withstand water and debris, and reduce accidents. I’m not just talking about the front entrance either. Entrances from employee parking lots and frequently used side exits all deserve some walk-off attention, too.
Bring form and function to a space with walk-off carpet tiles. If you read my last blog post, you already know that I love carpet tile. There are a wide variety of carpet tiles specifically designed for walk-off use. This is one of the most affordable ways of protecting your floors. They’ll collect the dirt and moisture before it gets onto your floors, which can save you lots of money and headaches down the line. Plan on replacing them every 2 to 3 years, because they “collect the dirt and moisture before it gets onto your floors”. What I’m saying here is, they’re going to get a little dirty so plan on cleaning them on a regular basis.
Have a scheduled maintenance program. Going beyond the walk-off, have an established floor maintenance program. Routine, scheduled vacuuming, shampooing, and sweeping of your floors (whatever the type may be) is one of the easiest ways to keep your floors looking great and lasting longer. I recommend low moisture. Too much water can do more damage than good. If it’s not dry when you walk on it the next day, you’ll have clean shoes (but a dirty carpet).
Simple guidelines like these can help protect your floors and keep them looking neat and tidy no matter the season.