While snow and ice are beautiful to look at(and fun for kids of course!), for businesses, they are treacherous. Snow keeps customers at home, and those customers and employees that brave it into our doorways have a slippery time getting into and and out buildings.
Many business owners lay down ice melt to make parking lots and entry-ways safer. Ice melters are water soluble compounds that dissolve into water, thereby reducing the freezing point of the resulting water solution. The most common ice melt compound is Calcium Chloride, it’s fast acting. It’s essential to take care of safety, but do know this… these chemical compounds are damaging to concrete; both the asphalt outside and certainly your polished floor inside; as well as other types of flooring.
Many ice melt formulations draw in and retain moisture which can increase soiling process in carpets. Along with that, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride ice melts tend to leave behind an oily residue that can damage urethane and acrylic finishes.
The best way to prevent damage to flooring from ice melters is to prevent them being tracked into your property. Using good waffle mats both outside and inside all entrances will help keep your floors safe. Mats are easy to clean and well worth the investment as they are reusable year after year.
Secondly, no matter how icy it gets, avoid the temptation of overloading on ice-melt. Use sparingly, and apply a single layer in critical areas. Snow shovels are, in our opinion, simply not used enough, and chemical melters are over-used.