The current pandemic has facilities managers everywhere rethinking business as usual. One dirty little secret that’s been exposed? Before COVID-19, many of us weren’t giving our floors nearly enough attention.
As Derryl Yeager, founder and artistic director of Odyssey Dance Theatre in Draper, Utah, says, “A lot of times, the floor wouldn’t be deep-cleaned more than once a month—and floors can get pretty gross!”
This new era is a perfect opportunity to start taking better care of your flooring—which, in turn, will help ensure a healthy, supportive surface for those who use it.
We turned to two studio owners and Harlequin Floors, a global leader in advanced technology event flooring, for advice on keeping your floors in top shape.
The Right Stuff
Contrary to popular belief, cleaning your floors more often will not shorten their life. Quite the opposite, in fact. Removing dust, dirt, spills and sweat quickly will keep flooring slip-resistant and long-lasting.
It’s all about which products you use—and, maybe more importantly, don’t use. Floor waxes, finishes, or sealers should never come near your vinyl performance flooring. Any oil-treated brooms and mops are also a hard no.
Most floor cleaning solutions are not certified to protect against viruses like COVID-19. Do your research and be sure to find one that is EPA approved to be effective against coronavirus, while also biodegradable and low-toxin. Some floor cleaners also may be used on other non-porous surfaces, such as walls, tables and chairs.
Bea Rashid, director of the Dance Center Evanston in Illinois, suggests reaching out to the manufacturer of your floors for guidance on which products to choose. “Because flooring is such a huge investment, I want to be sure that whatever I use will extend the life of the floors, while also getting them really clean,” she says.
In addition to floor type-specific cleaning tips, your flooring representative can answer any additional questions you may have when it comes to enhanced health and safety protocol.
Consistency Is Key
That “really clean” daily routine means starting by sweeping or vacuuming to pick up loose dirt and dust. Then your solution of choice comes into play. Be sure your solution is approved or recommended for your floor and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Generally, you should wet-mop with your cleaner and leave the antibacterial solution wet on the floor for 10 minutes afterwards.
Next, any stubborn scuff marks can be removed from the floor with a heavy-duty cleaner, which is also ideal for high-traffic areas. Finally, use a wet-dry vacuum to remove all liquid from flooring, and let dry overnight.
The More You Know
You already know that transparency about disinfecting procedures is crucial to help guests feel good about coming back into your space. Be upfront about the extra precautions you are taking to be as safe as possible.
How can facilities managers make sure their floor-cleaning procedures form part of a cohesive, effective antiviral approach?
“I’ve done a lot of reading and attended some online workshops on what to do to combat COVID-19—and I’ve reached out to Harlequin several times,” says Rashid. “They’re doing the research at the same time, so I feel comfortable following their lead.”
Harlequin Floors is recognized as a world leader in advanced technology flooring for dance, performing arts, entertainment, and events, www.harlequinfloors.com.