CHICAGO—Cleaning professionals are starting to see something new on their customers’ floors. More facilities are installing green and sustainable floors and one type of floor that is becoming increasingly popular is cork.
The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., now has cork floors in sections of the building. Hilton Hotels is installing cork floors in some of its properties as are schools, restaurants, office buildings, and even hair salons.
To help cleaning workers keep these floors clean, safe, and healthy, Tornado Industries, manufacturer of professional floor care machines and equipment, offers the following Tornado Top Ten: 10 tips on maintaining cork floors:
1. Ask the flooring manufacturer for care and maintenance recommendations. Some cork floors are treated with finishes that can impact how the floor is to be maintained.
2. Make sure matting systems are installed at all entries to help prevent soils from being tracked in.
3. If placing mats on cork floors, make sure they are “breathable;” rubber or non-porous backings can trap moisture which can damage the floor.
4. Vacuum the floor regularly. Backpack vacuum cleaners work well on cork and help remove sand and dust that can scratch the floor.
5. Clean up spills immediately. Moisture that sits on the floor for long periods can damage cork.
6. Damp mop regularly (depending on use) with a neutral pH cleaner—do not use harsh chemicals. Wring the mop to remove excess moisture and chemicals.
7. Mop the perimeter of the floor first, and then work to the center.
8. Machine buff the floor using soft buffing pads to remove scuff marks and restore the natural shine of the cork.
9. Be careful not to drag cleaning equipment or carts over cork as this may cause deep gouge marks
10. Use green certified cleaning chemicals on the floor; they have fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and less impact on indoor air quality.