Floor Care Tips for Schools & Universities

During the school year, a janitor's cleaning and maintenance responsibilities are demanding and fast-paced. Over the summer and winter breaks when occupancy rates and traffic are at their lowest, cleaning professionals at schools and universities have the time to conduct detailed deep cleans and maintenance of hard floors and carpeted spaces in each building on a school's campus. Follow the below tips for high-traffic areas to ensure floors stay clean and safe for students and faculty year-round.

1. Hallways. Among the first things students, staff, and guests notice when walking into a school are the floors. In order to create a positive first impression, it is important to make sure they are properly maintained. Daily sweeping and dust mopping, along with nightly wet mopping with a neutral floor cleaner, keep floors clean during the busy school week. Periodic scrubbing and burnishing should be scheduled over weekends or extended breaks to allow for ample ventilation. Stripping and refinishing should be conducted during spring and summer breaks to remove ice melt chemicals and embedded dirt winter weather leaves in its wake.

2. Gym floors. One of the most heavily trafficked areas in a school is the gym floor. Between athletic events, assemblies, gym classes, concerts, and other performances, hundreds of people walk on these floors daily. Whether your gym floor surface is made of wood, synthetic material, or a resilient vinyl tile, proper maintenance is key to extending the life of your floor. Daily sweeping with a high-visibility sweeping compound removes dirt and fine particles athletic shoes leave behind. Over the summer, gym floors should be properly stripped and refinished to ensure surfaces are scuff-free and safe for the upcoming school year. Mats should be placed both outside and inside of the gym entrance as well as in locker rooms to maintain the gym floor's finish, limit the amount of soil, mud, and water tracked in, and save time on cleaning throughout the year.

3. Carpeted rooms. According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, properly maintained carpet can last up to 10 years or longer. Properly maintained carpet also contributes to improved indoor air quality (IAQ) by acting like a trap, keeping particulates such as dust and allergens out of the air we breathe. In order to get the most out of your carpet, it's important to follow a carpet cleaning protocol consisting of preventative, interim, and restorative care. In addition to daily vacuuming, low-moisture cleaning products, and spot treatments are best for periods when classes are in session. Holiday and summer breaks are perfect times for hot-water extraction to remove deep-down soil and residue other cleaning methods leave behind.

4. Matting. Schools without proper entrance matting will have a hard time keeping floors clean once the school year begins. According to ISSA data, facilities with foot traffic of up to 1,000 people per day will have approximately 24 pounds of soil tracked in during a 20-day period. Matting can reduce that number drastically. For example, six feet of matting at a facility's entrance will remove 40 percent of soil, 12 feet of matting will remove 80 percent of soil, and 36 feet of matting will remove 99 percent of soil. Ultimately, you want to be sure your school has matting at each entrance and other major high-traffic areas to help maintain your floors. Matting also can improve IAQ by preventing particulates from being tracked into the building. Like carpet, mats should be swept, vacuumed, and spot cleaned often to preserve their life and efficacy.


Floor Care Resources