A lot can be said about a facility by the look of its floors. Are they shiny or shabby? The rest of the facilities at a school or university can sparkle, but if floors or carpets look worn and dirty, they can send the wrong message to visitors, staff and students.
Hard surface floor and carpet care should be on a periodic cleaning schedule. it makes good sense in three ways:
•Accident and illness prevention: Exterior and interior floors and stairs may have areas that need maintenance or repair, such as uneven tiles, torn or rippled carpets, or broken pieces that could be dislodged. In addition, mold and mildew in carpeting may cause illness. All of these pose safety risks that schools should address, but may go unnoticed without the extra attention of a deep cleaning.
•Extended floor life: Deep cleaning, restoring, and sealing floors can extend flooring material life and save money in the long run.
Carpet: Regular maintenance preserves life, keeps the carpet looking fresh and reduces the chance for fungal growth. But occasional deep cleaning also is vital. A deep, restorative cleaning removes trapped soils. Consider contracting experts. They should spot-clean first, with appropriate methods and products for the type of stain and fiber. Vacuuming or pile-lifting comes next, because removing dry soil and separating pile produces better and faster results. Hot water extraction normally is best for cleaning and is the method recommended by carpet manufacturers. The process includes pre-spraying with detergent, applying water under pressure and extracting water with a heavy vacuum. Air blowers should be used if needed for drying, and then the nap should be set.
Stone: Though stone is quite indestructible, it is still susceptible to stains, scratches, cracks and other damage from normal wear, environmental conditions, and improper cleaning. Stone floors usually can be restored to their natural beauty, and it typically costs less to properly maintain than to replace them. Let an experienced professional recommend how to renew stone. The process may involve cleaning; grinding, sanding, honing or polishing; buffing; sealing; stain and scratch removal, repairing, resetting or replacing tiles; and re-grouting. With continued proper care, the surface will keep its luster and be better protected from further damage.
Wood and other surfaces: The buildup of dirt, grit and grime dull your floor and will cause long-term maintenance problems. In addition to daily cleaning, periodic care is needed. Depending on the surface, special brushes, buffers, and cleaners will be used for heavy dirt removal. Wood floors will need refinishing over time, depending on wear and tear. Once repaired, sanded, re-stained, and coated with a protective finish, the wood will look and perform as it did when it was new.
A facility that has a gym with a wood floor will generally require a yearly light grit screening followed by cleaning and application of a solvent-based gym finish to keep it safe and looking its best. A well-maintained floor will perform better for athletes and look good to spectators.
Entryway matting: If you don’t have special matting at your entrances, this is something you should reconsider. Because most contaminants enter buildings from the outside on people’s footwear, trapping dirt as people enter the building is a key element of preventative maintenance. This modest investment will pay for itself because floors will be protected and require less care. Matting should be inspected periodically and deep cleaned.
•Boost school pride: We’ve all seen the difference between dirty carpets and those that have been freshly cleaned, or a scratched floor and a refinished one. Wow, right? Refreshed floors and carpets go a long way in improving the aesthetic of a school.
Specialty school floor cleaning and restoration is a science and an art. It may require a service provider that uses the most effective techniques, along with sustainable practices and products, to ensure the best results on specific materials and finishes.
Don’t let education facilities be like a person in formal dress with scuffed shoes. Taking care of carpets and floors protects a school’s investment, its sense of pride, and anyone stepping foot into the facilities.