Vanguard Cleaning Systems
Commercial Floor Care Trends
Emerging carpet and floor care trends are leading the way in sustainable green commercial floor care services and practices.
Hard flooring, a staple of large offices, building lobby’s, and medical facilities, has been both a blessing and a burden regarding cleanliness, health, and safety.
On one hand, hard floors are fairly easy to clean if properly protected, while on the other, the chemicals and processes traditionally used have proven to be hazardous to our health and dangerous to the environment.
The chemicals used in hard commercial floor care, especially those used in the wax stripping process, specifically Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether (EGBE), have been linked to negative short and long-term health problems.
A 1990 study published by the National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported that;
[sic]…studies in animals have clearly demonstrated (EGBE) dose-related adverse effects on the central nervous system, the hematopoietic tissues, the blood, the kidneys, and the liver. Limited data from humans also indicate the risk of adverse effects on the central nervous and hematopoietic tissues, the blood and the kidneys.
Even with proper ventilation to guard against immediate, short-term side effects, the chemicals continue to present ongoing health issues for everyone when the wax stripping solution is mopped up and dumped down the sink, where it is introduced into the public water supply.
Emerging Trends in Hard Flooring Manufacturing and Care
Several trends are emerging to eliminate the use of hazardous toxins used in the hard commercial floor care process.
- Material -andnbsp;Vinyl Composition Tile (VLT) and Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) do not require any burnishing, finishing, or stripping, and can be cleaned with water and a microfiber mop if properly protected. andnbsp;Often, these surfaces are covered in a mineral-based wear layer that does not require finishing.
- Coating – Diamond, and nano-coatings protect hard floors from scratching or fading, eliminating the need for energy-consuming and water-guzzling floor scrubbers, as well as toxic cleaners and chemical finishers.
- Self-Cleaning – While the floors will not remove dirt and stains by themselves, though there are numerous robotic systems that can automate that process currently on the market, future floor materials are under construction to assist in the elimination of harmful microbes and bacteria without the use of chemicals, through the use of nano-technology and a tiny electric shock that destroys the nucleus of the microbe, but cannot harm humans.
- Sustainable – Green floor care practices are widely available for both the home and commercial markets, and employ a combination of advanced, water-conserving floor scrubbers that can be monitored and controlled remotely, as well as environmentally safe and biodegradable chemicals that speed room reentry time, as they require less time to safely ventilate.
Outright cost of replacing your current hard floor with a technologically advanced system is typically the primary hurdle, especially when mitigating factors are not taken into consideration, such as:
- Health care costs associated with employee illness and absenteeism.
- Reduced worker performance associated with poor indoor air quality.
- Excessive energy and resource waste.
- The cost of chemical cleaning product purchasing, storage, training, and management, and;
- Reduced customer satisfaction and lost business due to social compliance failures (consumers and in-demand employees favor organizations that adhere to green and sustainable business practices).
Green Cleaning Tips for Modern Hard Floors
Modern hard floors are worth the investment, especially when commerecial floor care maintenance costs are considered.
- Place floor mats at entry and exit points, as well as along high-traffic walkways to protect the floors and building occupants.
- Clean the mats daily with a HEPA filtered vacuum.
- Sweep regularly with a microfiber broom.
- Clean the floor daily with a microfiber mop.
- When necessary, use Green Seal certified hard floor care products to sanitize the surface.
For More Information:
- Institutional Cleaning Products
References and Resources
- Exposure to Environmental Cleaning Chemicals in Healthcare Settings
- Floor Stripper Chemistry Continues To Evolve
- Emerging Floor Care Trends
Hard floors were designed to eliminate the expense of maintaining carpets in high-traffic office buildings, as well as facilitate specific requirements in health care facilities.
Unfortunately, the chemicals commonly employed in the commercial floor care cleaning process have proven to be highly toxic; causing far more damage than they repaired.
Advancements in technologyandnbsp;and an increase in corporate environmental responsibilityandnbsp;has led to the rapid adoption of sustainable floor care design and practices.
While we’ll have to wait a few years for nano-coatings and self-cleaning surfaces to become truly commercially available, green janitorial services are available now to replace your dangerous and outdated floor care practices at a competitive price, with a rapid ROI.
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