Here’s How to Keep Ice Melt From Harming Floors and Carpet

Covering many streets and walkways during the winter season is ice melt.  Just in case you are unsure of what ice melt is or how it works, here are the basics.

The key ingredient in ice melt is salt, otherwise known as sodium chloride. However, it may also contain calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, which are also salt products.

When it mixes with water, it becomes a liquid chemical solution.  This chemical solution now has the ability to lower the freezing point of water.

This means instead of water turning into slippery ice at 0 degrees Celsius, (32 degrees Fahrenheit), it will need to become even colder for the slippery ice to form. And just in case you wonder if there is a name for this process, there is.  It’s called “freezing point depression.”

In many ways, the combination of salt and water is a miracle chemical solution. It helps keep roadways open and walkways safe to walk on.

However, it does have its drawbacks, and one of the principal disadvantages, is that it can play havoc on hard surface floors. Even if an effective matting system is in place to help capture and trap soils, moisture, and ice melt, it may prove ineffective.  This is especially true in a facility with heavy foot traffic.

Making matters worse, it can be tough to remove all the ice melt chemical solution from the shoes.  This is due to the fact that the ice melt often builds up not just on shoe bottoms, but on the sides and even the tops of shoes.  Once it melts, it’s now on the floors in the building.

Further, we typically wear shoes and boots with treads during the winter months.  These treads are designed to grip the walkway surface. What often happens is ice melt collects in these treads.  Once again, it soon melts on the floor.  As it collects on the hard surface floor, it often leaves an oily residue that starts to eat away at the floor’s finish and potentially damage the floor as well.

To clean the floor and remove the salt, some custodial workers use an all-purpose cleaning solution. They then mop the floor with the solution or use it with an automatic scrubber.

However, this cleaning solution will likely not do the job.  What is needed is a product that can neutralize the salt, so that it is no longer eating away at the floor, and then lift the residue, allowing it to be safely and effectively removed from the floor.

Avmor’s EP88 Caprice™ was designed specifically for this purpose.

And so we don’t forget, if the ice melt has been tracked onto hard surface floors, it very likely has found its way onto the carpet, especially at transition points, where a hard surface floor touches the carpet, as well as the entrance mat itself.

The same product just mentioned can be used to help lift ice melt from carpet.  Test the carpet first for colorfastness. Spray the diluted product onto the carpet.  Then use a wet/vac or carpet extractor to vacuum up the ice melt and cleaning solution. Finish the job by repeating the process, but this time using pure water to rinse the area.

For more information on ways to protect hard surface floors and carpet, especially during the winter months, contact an Avmor representative.






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