The walkway that leads to your entrance is an important part of winter floor care. While it’s technically not a “floor,” your exterior front entrance is where clients and employees enter your building, and the same way that wet floors and uneven carpeting can cause accidents indoors, ice and snow accumulation can cause falls and injuries right outside your door.

Showdown: Salt vs Ice melter

In cold climates, keeping your exterior walkway free of ice and snow is an essential safety measure in the winter months. The two most popular options for managing ice on walkways are salt or ice melter. Salt is inexpensive and easy to use, but it’s only effective to -18 degrees Celsius and it’s harmful to surrounding plant life, surfaces and metals. Both work best when applied before snow falls and freezes but there are some differences that make ice melt a better choice in the long run.

Ice melter for the win!

Applying ice melter before a heavy snowfall will prevent a layer of ice from forming underneath the snow. Even after a light snowfall, temperature fluctuations can cause the snow to melt and then freeze in a short space of time, so applying ice melter is a good preventative during the winter months. Ice melter also works at temperatures as low as -32 degrees Celsius and is still effective even when applied after ice has already formed. Just be sure to remove the ice and slush once the ice melter has worked its magic.

When compared to salt, ice melter costs more, but it is more efficient and you use less, which makes it very cost-effective. And because ice melter products are often coloured, they help you avoid overuse, which can result in damage to surrounding plant life or excess being tracked into your building.

Did you know?

Residue from salt and ice melter can damage your floors, so by cleaning and refinishing your floors before the winter months, you are not just making them look nicer, you are actually adding an extra layer of protection against stains and other forms of damage.

Roll out the red carpet

Even if you don’t refinish your floors in the fall, using high quality floor mats can help to reduce or eliminate wet, slippery lobby floors. A mat that removes dirt, absorbs moisture, and is a minimum of 4.5 metres (15 feet) is important; the increased contact time will remove more moisture and debris before footwear makes contact with your floors. A high quality mat will also stay put and won’t curl at the corners, creating a trip hazard. Having a good-sized, quality carpet at your entrance also makes a much better first impression than dirty puddles of melted snow.

Don’t put away the mop and bucket!

Even the largest of mats won’t completely eliminate the problem of having excess water and chemical residue on your floors so be prepared to clean your floors more often throughout the winter.

Winter is not far off, so make sure you have the following items on hand:

Click here to consult Sani Marc transactional web site for everything you need to get ready for the winter!