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Floor Cleaning: Dealing with Rock Salt and Calcium Chloride

This winter in Edmonton, AB we have seen a lot of snow and as a result rock salt and calcium chloride has been wreaking havoc on the floors and carpets of businesses everywhere. Both rock salt (sodium chloride) and calcium chloride can damage you floors. Rock salt can leave a white residue that over time can dull the finish of your floors and cause the color to fade in your carpets. Calcium chloride when tracked into the office will coat your floors with an oily residue that damages wax and urethane finishes. It will also make your hard surface floors slippery which can put employees at risk for slip and fall injuries. Calcium Chloride will also degrade your carpets by wearing out carpet fibers and attracting dirt. Here are five tips to help protect your floors from rock salt and calcium chloride during the winter.

Less Is More: People tend to think using more ice melt will make it more effective. Using too much ice melt will actually make less effective and will result in more rock salt and sodium chloride being tracked into your business. You will want to apply an even coating after all shoveling and plowing has been completed. Putting too much ice melt down before snow will not melt the snow resulting in people tracking in both snow and ice melt.

Sweep it Up: Once all the snow has melted it is important to remove the rock salt or calcium chloride outside your business. If you let it sit more rock salt and calcium chloride will be tracked into your building. After the snow has melted pieces the pieces of rock salt and sodium chloride that remain will not dissolve. When stuck on people’s shoes the tiny pieces can scratch floors and tear carpet fibers.

Steam Cleaning: Steam cleaning is an effective way at removing rock salt and calcium chloride deposits. Calcium chloride in particular creates an oily residue which can be difficult to remove with a simple vacuum. During the winter you may want to consider steam cleaning high traffic areas after snowfalls. Steam cleaning will also remove dust and allergens as well as some stains and odors.

Regular Basis Washing: During the winter and especially after snowfalls you should have your floors washed to remove any rock salt or calcium chloride. Calcium chloride in particular creates an oily residue which can make your floors very slippery. It is important to have your floors washed especially around high traffic areas to protect your floors and your employees.

Entrance Mats: Having a matting system in place at your business can help protect your floors in the long run. During the winter you should have a scrapper mat outside to remove rock salt, sodium chloride, dirt and snow. On the inside you should have an absorbent mat to soak up any remaining moisture. Entrance mats will save you time and money spent on keeping your floors clean.

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