4 Ways Facility Managers Can Help the Environment by Restoring and Not Replacing Floors
With a shift towards more environmentally friendly ways of doing business, the buildings we operate from shouldn’t be overlooked. There are many ways to maintain and improve the condition of the facilities you are managing without causing harm to the environment. As the circular economy* concept continues to grow and reach new heights, there’s no shortage of ideas to help you do your part. However, if you’re still unsure about how to get started, try looking down.
The floors in commercial buildings endure a significant amount of wear and tear. Your janitorial team does its best to clean daily – they have thousands of square feet to cover and limited time to accomplish all their tasks. They do a great job of overall basic cleaning, but without occasional deep cleaning, flooring will inevitably start to show its age, and the damage may look irreversible.
Facility and property managers must balance employee satisfaction and visitor experience with sustainability goals and the budget. Caring for commercial buildings is a complicated task in and of itself. Then, layer on people, brand perceptions, and KPIs to increase productivity and improve facility operations. Oh, and let’s not forget the budget.
Replacing floors should be a last resort. Sometimes it is necessary, but first, explore restoration. At a fraction of the cost, downtime, and hassle of replacement, you can revitalize hard surfaces over 99% of the time and make them look brand new again. With carpet, it depends on the quality and type of fibers, wear and tear of the location and the level of care or neglect it received in the past.
Any IICRC®-certified carpet cleaning technician can advise you on the efficacy of restoration vs. replacement. When you are unsure if restoration is the solution, request a demo of their services to ensure they can help you avoid replacement and adding to the debris in the landfill.
*The circular economy is a production and consumption model involving sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. In this way, the life cycle of products is extended, and we reduce the use of raw materials needed to produce new items.
Want to know how you can help the environment? Here are four ways:
1. Restoring your existing flooring keeps unrecyclable materials out of the landfill
Did you know that less than 2% of carpet waste is recycled once carpets are removed? The same goes for tiles from commercial buildings that end up in landfills instead of being repurposed or restored to look brand new.
Even though it’s good to see commercial businesses becoming more diverse and innovative in their choice of flooring materials, we’re still seeing waste from the disposal of perfectly good carpets, wooden floors, and tiles. So even though your flooring might look like its best days are over, getting an expert to evaluate its suitability for restoration can save time, money… and the environment!
2. Floor restoration means using less water and toxic materials to keep the surface clean
Many commercial buildings hang onto old flooring for years due to budgetary restrictions. As a result, the janitorial team spends a lot of their time every day trying to make soiled flooring look cleaner and brighter.
Once a floor looks dirty, it takes much more than water, general cleaning supplies, and elbow grease to try to improve the appearance. Particularly when it comes to tiled floors because as buildings age, grout sealants wear out, and the porous grout lines can become so soiled that the damage appears irreversible.
Worn-out-looking hard flooring can often be completely revitalized to look new again through a deep cleaning restorative process. Likewise, carpet can easily last 2 to 3 times longer with a periodic maintenance plan with built-in deep cleaning throughout the year. Not only will this save your existing cleaning crew from wasting valuable time that they could be spending elsewhere, but it will also eliminate the need to use toxic chemicals to attempt to improve the appearance of something that really needs specialist care.
Before you dump more chemicals on the problem or replace and send your old flooring to the landfill, call a specialty surface care company to evaluate your flooring to see if it can be restored and revitalized.
3. Add protective coatings to hard flooring to make them look great and last a lot longer
The mindset of ‘restore and revitalize, not replace’ requires out-of-the-box thinking to find new ways to improve the appearance, performance, and longevity of every surface in the buildings you manage.
One innovative sustainable choice is adding protective coatings to your hard surfaces. Not only will this make the floor look amazing, but it also makes it much easier to clean and keep clean by your existing janitorial crew.
- The floor is evaluated to ensure it is a candidate for restoration and coating.
- The floor gets a deep scrub, possibly acid-washed and thoroughly dried.
- If the floor is grouted, repairs are made if needed. Grout colorant can be added for a refreshed, consistent look.
- The clear floor coating is added with the desired sheen level.
- Clean with a microfiber mop and a neutral pH cleaner.
This premium floor coating becomes a part of your floor’s surface, bonding to your commercial floor to add a highly durable, protective, and antimicrobial layer that reduces bacteria, mold, mildew, and discoloration build-up. It’s a breeze to clean with green cleaners, significantly improves the appearance, extends the lifespan of your hard flooring, and eliminates the need for continual waxing, buffing, and stripping.
“It’s crazy; it’s been four years, and the floors still look day-one fresh.”
— Director of Facility Operations
4. Restoring existing flooring can be part of a company’s sustainability strategy
When it comes to remodeling commercial buildings, it can be easy to get carried away with a new design and forget about the accumulated waste level. Not only is replacing the flooring expensive and producing a lot of waste, but it also adds significant time to the remodeling schedule. Restoration can be performed on carpets, hard surfaces, office furniture, and modular cubical fabric panels in a fraction of the time, expense, and hassle of replacement.
When you set about to restore things in a large building instead of just throwing them out, a company’s approach to sustainability will be taken more seriously. By renovating the existing floors and fabrics in your building, a company can show its stakeholders that they take environmental responsibility extremely seriously.
Whether this applies to carpet, tiles, or other flooring and furniture — you not only save money, you contribute to a better company culture and showcase your company’s care for sustainability and corporate responsibility.
A note from Corporate Care
While there are many more reasons why restoring your flooring and furniture is a sustainable alternative to replacing them, we hope we’ve mentioned enough to give you a good overview.
At Corporate Care, we offer carpet refresh services, tile and grout makeovers, concrete and resilient renewals, resurfacing wooden floors, furniture transformations, and so much more! If you’d like to know more about these services, reach out to get a free quote or book a demo.
We have a solution to fit every surface and every budget. So whatever you need, we’d be happy to help. Contact us today!