Summer is no vacation when it comes to floor maintenance. For facility managers, the hot and humid weather can bring about nasty, unpleasant odours that make buildings less inviting places to be for residents, visitors, and employees alike.
Here are a few floor-cleaning actions you can take to keep your building looking and smelling its best during summer months:
Stay on Top of Routine Maintenance
Most areas will benefit from daily spot cleaning (sweeping high-traffic zones, cleaning up after spills, and more) alongside a more thorough weekly clean, though the right frequency for you will vary based on your building’s needs. If you receive a significant amount of foot traffic or a classic Southern Ontario thunderstorm sweeps through, you might need to carry out some additional cleaning.
It’s especially important for carpets and mats to be cleaned on a regular basis during the summer, as otherwise they can become home to mildew, bacteria, allergens, and bad odours.
Keep in mind that, depending on the type of facility you manage, it might make sense to tackle big projects (deep cleaning carpets, stripping and refinishing hard floors, etc.) over the summer in addition to or instead of during the spring. In educational institutions, for example, it can be easier to cross larger tasks off your to-do list during the summer when school is no longer in session.
Invest in Drapes or Shades to Protect Your Floor from Fading
Prolonged sun exposure isn’t just bad for humans; it can also fade your floors. Fortunately, you can easily protect them by investing in shades or drapes.
If you don’t want to miss out on the lovely summer sun, you can also place rugs near windows and doors, as these areas get the most direct sunlight. Mats in these areas will also help keep the mud at bay during those summer storms.
Control Airborne Humidity to Avoid Warped Wood Floors and Moldy Carpets
Wood Flooring and Humidity
The main driving factor that might cause your wood floors might expand or contract as the seasons change is the wood’s moisture content versus the humidity in the surrounding air.
When the wood’s moisture content is high compared to the air, the wood will dry out and shrink as the water evaporates. If the moisture content in the wood is lower than the air around it, it will absorb water and well. The technical term for this phenomenon is equilibrium moisture content.
To prevent wood floors from expanding and contracting, keep your humidity levels between 35% and 55%. You can also try using forced air or dehumidifiers in your space to help control the humidity.
Carpets and Humidity
Having too much moisture in the air makes it more difficult for water embedded in your carpets, whether it got there after a much-needed deep cleaning session or following a rainstorm, to evaporate in a timely manner. If left for too long, that can lead to the development of mildew or mold.