Dry soils such as sand, grit and dust are invariably found on hard surface floors. For the most part, their presence is not a significant problem. However, this can change significantly when people walk across and mobile equipment (trolleys, pushchairs, wheelchairs etc) roll over the floor.
These dry soils have sharp edges. Once people and equipment are introduced they can start abrading, eroding and otherwise damaging the floor and its finish.
The number of people and equipment travelling on a floor is referred to as “Traffic” and the amount of foot traffic on the floor will help determine the amount and type of cleaning and maintenance the floor will need.
To help cleaning professionals better understand the concept of foot traffic, the following guidelines may help:
Low Traffic: A low-traffic environment is typically a small office or retail store. Such a facility will have about 100 to 500 people walking through it each day. Daily sweeping/vacuuming may be required to remove light debris, dust etc but thorough (wet) floor maintenance may only be required on a weekly basis.
Medium Traffic: While some environments may fall into the high traffic category, medium sized buildings are considered medium foot traffic environments. These facilities typically have 500 to 1,500 people walking through them and will require daily cleaning.
High Traffic: Environments that include 1,500 or more people per day walking on their floors include facilities such as large office buildings, large station concourses, airports, hospitals and large schools and colleges. The floors here are continually under attack and will require floor maintenance multiple times throughout the day.
It is also important to realise that certain areas within a facility may have multiple traffic patterns. Invariably, lobbies and entries into retail stores can be high traffic areas while other areas within the facility may have medium or even low traffic.
To ensure proper floor maintenance, cleaning professionals must be clear which areas need the most frequent attention. This ensures the floors are properly maintained, reduces costs, and can help reduce the frequency of expensive floor restoration.
In all cases, variables such as weather conditions, the installation of entrance matting, etc., can play a role in the amount of care and attention a floor needs.