Poor Cleaning Can Reduce Slip Resistance
Peter Daulby with top tips on cleaning vinyl flooring
AN incorrect cleaning regime can lead to build up of dirt and/or chemicals on the surface of the flooring. This build-up not only compromises hygiene, but can act as a barrier to effective slip resistance and may lead to end users questioning the quality of your work or of the products fitted.
If you’re involved in specifying flooring in healthcare, be aware that hazardous spillages are common and the control of infection must be kept in mind at all times. Floors and walls need to be able to survive aggressive cleaning and regular applications of disinfecting agents.
Hazards in food preparation environments include microbiological risk through contamination, which can be transmitted through poorly maintained fittings. Regular cleaning coupled with immediate mopping up of spills is very important in maintaining hygiene, and the flooring (and quality of installation) needs to be up to the task.
It’s also worth noting that some materials are known to cause staining on PVC floors. These include asphalt and bitumen, transfer of some fire treatments and maintenance materials used on carpets, some chemicals used in cleaners e.g. pine oil, poster and powder paints, rubber-backed carpets and rubber mats. There might be more appropriate colour choices or product types in areas where these materials are widely used.
Another vitally important step in preventing cleaning issues is to ensure you pass on information to end users about the right cleaning regimes for the products they have.
This information should be based on manufacturers’ recommendations and be followed for the lifetime of the flooring.
Regardless of manufacturer, all safety flooring needs regular cleaning in order to perform to expected standards. No special techniques are required when cleaning safety flooring, simply follow recommended procedures on a regular basis.
So, here are our top tips you can pass on to help your customers keep it clean:
Make it regular: As with any surface, regular cleaning is needed to maintain hygiene. Frequent removal of spills and dirt will help prevent the build-up of contamination on the surface.
Regular cleaning will also remove any substances that could potentially damage flooring , helping it to perform at its best throughout its lifetime.
Read, and keep, cleaning instructions: It’s very important to follow the manufacturers’ cleaning recommendations; for example, using an appropriate cleaner at the correct dilution, allowing sufficient time for the cleaner to work after application, and rinsing as directed.
You’d be surprised at how many times ‘cleaning problems’ are solved simply by rinsing away residue or applying cleaning solutions at the right temperature.
Check your equipment: This may seem like common sense, but be aware that dirty equipment, particularly a dirty mop, does not clean but merely redistributes the dirt. Using too much cleaning solution can coat the floor, compromising slip resistance and providing a breeding ground for bacteria – the exact opposite of what was intended.
Sometimes, of course, the damage done by following incorrect cleaning regimes is not so easily fixed.
Peter Daulby is Altro’s technical services manager
T: 01462 489405
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.