Here in the Mahoning Valley of Northeast Ohio we’re getting a heavy dose of winter. Everyone who knows me knows I’m no fan of winter. One reason (not the only one): Your office floors really take a beating this time of year. Either salt or slush gets tracked in and can make any office floor look ugly. Read on to find out how to combat the scourge of winter – at least with respect to your floors.
When it’s bitter cold – temps below 15F – salt stops being effective at melting ice. So that salt you’ve spread outside your office’s front door gets tracked in to your lobby, reception area, or waiting room. The salt crystals get tracked incredible distances deep into your office. Those that stay near the front door are just lying in wait for snow and water to get tracked in. The salt mixes with the water to create little puddles of brine. Those brine puddles dry and become white stains on the floor and on carpet.
The best way to combat the salt between your regular cleanings is to place mats in the entrances to your office. More mats will absorb more water and trap salt, but truly it is impossible to get every salt crystal, and boots with treads seem to carry water forever.
You’ll need to do some daily cleaning too. Have someone sweep up or vacuum the salt crystals daily at the end of the day. If there are salt stains on hard flooring mop the floor using clear water. You’ll need to change the water often, otherwise you’ll just redeposit the brine back onto the floor and it’ll actually look worse than when you started.
If you’ve got stains on the carpet I’ve got bad news for you: You’ll need to clean the carpet in the Spring. Ugh. But really you should get it cleaned yearly anyhow – you are doing that, right?
The best thing I can say to you is that you’re not alone: we all have to deal with winter’s harsh effects on our floors. Do what you can and remember: Spring is right around the corner.