When it comes to Safety Flooring is mopping enough?

What is safety flooring?

Safety flooring comes in a number of shades the most common being blue or gray. It is designed to prevent slips and falls due to its unique textured surface. Simply run your hand along the vinyl to feel that potential slip resistance benefit that is so important in preventing accidents today.

Because of these properties, you will find vinyl safety flooring in most buildings where fluid spillages are likely such as lab’s, the surgery or a wet room.

In the UK these floors are extremely common and installed into many commercial buildings. The common areas for Safety Flooring are washrooms, kitchens/canteens, and fire exit corridors and stairways.

Daily mopping is great for cleaning these types of flooring of everyday spillages and dirt, but after some time, mopping alone is not sufficient and much more is required to achieve the desired result. We recommend daily mopping, and then weekly agitating with a doodlebug or machine scrubber. The reality is that time and money sometimes does not allow for the time necessary to use a doodlebug or machine.

A periodic machine scrub of the Safety Flooring will have to be looked at some point. This is because, over time as well as the ground in dirt harboured by the textured surface of the floor, Safety Flooring also suffers from something called plasticizer migration. Sounds like a tongue-twisting word out of a Mary Poppins film, right?

A visual of safety flooring

What is plasticizer migration?

Vinyl, rubber or plastic migrate out plasticizer chemicals that get absorbed by surrounding materials. Scratching your head? Bare with me…

A rubber matt placed on a bathroom floor may leave a yellowish stain overtime where the mat made some contact with the vinyl floor, for example.

A similar thing is happening with shoes too.

Have you ever ‘squeaked’ black trainers or shoes across the floor and left a scuff mark? – a black mark. If you rub it with your finger fresh after the floor scuff it rubs off after a vigorous attempt.

This is happening in all degrees of shoe scuffing when it comes to contact between the soles of shoes and the safety flooring. It doesn’t have to be the obvious scuff mark as in our example but more to do with the constant contact of these materials.

Do you take your shoes off, when you arrive at your home? Do you take them off at the door? You do? Me too. That is because we do not want the outside world, the dirt collected on our shoes to spread to our carpets, making our carpets dingy looking over time. Imagine the same and imagine Safety Flooring, then imagine plasticizer migration then imagine how dirt can be trapped.

One day at your business premises, High Shine comes along. Our team member pulls out the buffing machine from the High Shine van and demonstrates a ‘clean spot’ on your safety floor. It suddenly reveals the change in your floor that you did not know was coming. Usually through a lack of correct cleaning or worse still a lack of cleaning budget.

The floor begins to get dingy over time through plasticizer migration of office foot ware and ground-in dirt.  What it is guaranteed to do is create a grubby look over a long period of time, despite professional mopping.

At first, it’s little like seeing the safety floor through a bunch of iPhone filters that gradually changes at a rate that is unnoticed. Over time, everything including dirt is moved around the floor to all corners.

Maintenance mopping, sweeping and vacuuming of the floor continues as per the cleaning schedule removing tea spillages in the kitchen, spilled water in the toilets and dirt removed from the corridors carried out on a daily basis – and this is ok, an integral part of the building schedule. But eventually, a deep clean will be required in order to revive the floor to its former glory and clear away in-ground contaminates and plasticizers if there is no budget to allow for weekly or monthly machine scrubbing.

Safety flooring when wet is very stable and very tough and able to withstand a machine-scrubbing program.

A clean spot example.

So why are these floors not machine scrubbed daily?

The floors can be machine scrubbed daily if you request it, in fact, we recommend checking the floors weekly to assess if they require a machine scrub for that week. It can be more timely and expensive to carry out versus traditional mopping. Your budget needs to allow for it.

But it’s not just the cost, its not that necessary to machine scrub Safety Flooring daily. The other denominator would be the usage of the floor area. A canteen or washroom floor may have a higher footfall than say the fire escape stairwell for example. Mopping low traffic areas can happen for much longer periods without compromising the look of the floor. However, toilets and kitchens may have a much higher footfall and therefore need machine scrubbing consideration more often.

How does machine scrubbing affect a quotation?

If a machine is required permanently on your site for frequent cleaning use, there will be a cost of tying that equipment to your site and a cost for the additional time it takes to use the equipment in any floor scrubbing program set out. Everything really depends on the budget you have for your business and the size of your business ( needing 20 cleaners weekly with a program of floor scrubbing will defo need supplied machines, no if’s or but’s ).

Most smaller businesses are happy to accept daily mopping until the floor needs machine scrubbing. Management of this is easy.

What is the cost difference between machine scrubbing and mopping?

Machine scrubbing a small to medium business that maybe has one or two cleaners required onsite could add additional costs of around £1500+vat per year extra to a cleaning contract (example based on a few hours weekly at 2020 prices).

Mopping alone and settling for a deep clean once per year could see a third of that cost. Depending on the amount of traffic, safety flooring cleaned on a ‘deep clean cycle’ would need either 6 monthly but definitely an annual clean in order to keep the area looking at its best.

If you have safety flooring in your building and would like to explore the costs in relation to our floor scrubbing services, please get in contact: lee@highshineltd.com. We would be happy to help.

High Shine staff machine scrubbing Safety Flooring


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