Do you know how to get winter salt off commercial floors? Knowing how to remove salt residue from floors properly can extend the life of your floor, keep customers safe, and make your store look its best.
Winter weather creates a challenge to stores wanting to keep their floors clean. Snow, slush, and de-icing products are tracked continuously from roads and sidewalks. Snow salt is very beneficial in keeping travelers safe on roads and protecting pedestrians from icy patches in parking lots and sidewalks. However, it also plays the role of villain on commercial floors. If not adequately maintained, commercial floors fall victim to the harmful effects of snow salt.
It’s not practical to have an employee at your entrance every second of the day with a floor cleaner to remove salt, but it’s a good idea to routinely clean affected areas. Proper snow salt removal will help prevent damage and salt stains.
Hard surfaced floors that are typical in commercial buildings show specific signs of damage from winter salt. The most common symptom of damage is salt stains. As salt mixes with melting snow and dirt, it becomes a staining solution; when it dries, it leaves white blotches or outlines surrounded by a greyish color. If you don’t take the time for snow salt removal, discolorations can become permanent.
Rock salt is notorious for scratching up commercial floors. Think of the sound and feel of salt crunching under your shoe when you step on it—the salt is being smashed into the floor’s surface. The finish put on floors gets ground away with each step.
The more damage done to your floor’s finish, the duller and more worn-down it will appear. Salt-based de-icing products also cause floors to dry out. Salt residue eats away at the finish, and areas with finish stripped away or dry then become more susceptible to damage. Water, dirt, and other harmful elements can seep into the slab and cause problematic cracking. Snow salt removal is the first line of defense to protect your floors from damage.
One of the best ways to get winter salt off commercial floors and protect them from its damaging effects is regular scrubbing and buffing. Thoroughly scrubbing floors keeps dirt, salt solutions, and other contaminants from settling in your floor and its wax finish. This is a crucial step in avoiding stains.
The buffing process removes scratches and scuffs by polishing the top layer of your floor, leaving your floor looking its best and shining like it’s new again.
Some floors have experienced so much wear and tear that scrubbing and buffing are no longer the best solutions. The next step to bring a neglected floor back to its original look is stripping and waxing. Floor stripping is one way to remove salt residue from floors along with dirt and old layers of wax.
A new layer of wax coating is applied after stripping your floor. The stripping process leaves your floor with the cleanest base layer possible. A clean base maximizes the amount of time between stripping services.
When cleaning commercial floors, it’s vital to use the right cleaning products. Unlike dirt, road salt is not a simple thing to clean with a mop and some cleanser. Many common cleaners will only help to spread a sticky residue around, which only aggravates the problem.
If you are seeking a do-it-yourself way to remove salt residue from floors, mixing vinegar and water is your best bet. The homemade cleaning solution consists of three ounces of white vinegar mixed in a gallon of hot water. Mop or scrub the floor with the concoction until the affected area is covered. Following the application, you can use a dry rag to clear off any wet areas.
Another way to protect your high foot traffic entrance and exit areas is to put down floor mats. Mats will catch a lot of salt, dirt, and slush before they reach your floor. While they’re not a perfect solution, they are helpful.
Do-it-yourself projects can be a quick fix to hide some eyesores, but you should seek professional services to have a positive lasting impact.
Carlson Building Maintenance knows the importance of a quality first impression. If customers are walking into dirty, worn down floors, you’re not putting your best foot forward. We know how to get winter salt off commercial floors. To find out more, contact us today.