Winter weather can be unpredictable in Michigan, and making sure your home or office floors look good during cold weather might be a challenge. Here are some winter floor care tips that will help keep your hallways looking great.

Clean Outside First

Sweeping the front sidewalk and entryway can make a big difference in reducing the amount of dirt, sand and salt residue brought inside. Try to remove excessive ice melt product left behind on the sidewalk after the ice and snow have melted.

Some ice melt products have an added color dye, so it can be seen when applied over snow and ice. This will also make it easier to see when sweeping up extra amounts no longer needed.

Use Safe Entry Mats

Entrance mats can help trap dirt, water, and other particles brought in from outdoors. Simply doubling up the mat surface will help reduce the dirt tracked onto hard floor surfaces. Instead of one entrance mat that is normally used over the mild summer months, consider two mats for a longer cleaning surface as people walk indoors.

The type of mat selected is important also, based on the floor type. Rubber-backed mats provide good slip-resistance, but can potentially discolor the floor beneath. Wetness soaks through the carpeted front of the mat, and that saturation can cause a buildup beneath on the tiles or wood surface.

Choose the mat size wisely, and change it on a regular basis so there’s always a dry surface for people walking indoors. Dry mats will also reduce the risk of mildew beneath the mat surface.

Protect from Salt and Ice Melt Products

Rock salt, ice melt, and other similar items are effective outdoors, but dangerous to your floor surfaces indoors. Each footstep inside brings along melting snow and ice. This drips off shoes while walking, leaving a sloppy mess, and white residue once the water evaporates.

The ice melt or rock salt is often mixed with sand particles for slip-resistant abrasive properties. These abrasive particles inside can create tiny scratches on the floor surface. The scratches trap additional surface dirt, making the floor harder to clean and less shiny.

The brine created while the pellets melt can also seep into the joints of wood or laminate floors, potentially damaging the underside. Excessive moisture can also cause the floors to buckle or warp.

Frequent, Proper Cleaning Required

Floor cleaning in milder weather might be adequate once a week, depending on the traffic patterns in your home or office. But during winter months, more frequent vacuuming is necessary, almost daily if ice melt items are used a lot outdoors.

Vacuuming will remove the tiny, abrasive particles that damage the floor. Merely sweeping the floor moves those particles around and can make them stick inside small cracks and crevices.

Lightly damp mop the floor more frequently; this will remove the white salt residue that is often seen. It is important to change the water often when mopping during winter, so that clean water is used for the entire floor surface, without becoming saturated with salt or dirt.

Some floor products also recommend applying a protective layer as an additional barrier. Check the manufacturer’s suggestions for your floor type, as tile floors require different preventative care than solid wood or laminate flooring.

A professional janitorial service knows the right frequency and methods for floor care during any season. Call ServiceMaster by the Border to keep your floors clean and shining, no matter what the weather brings!