On a snowy city street, a worker wearing an orange reflective hard hat and vest attaches a hook to a beam.
Trade Talk

Top 5 cold weather facility maintenance supplies

For many people, winter is a time for celebrating the holidays. For property managers, winter is a challenging time of year to maintain a facility. From slippery floors caused by tracked-in snow to the rampant spread of cold and flu viruses, winter conditions impose a variety of health and safety hazards.

The harsh weather can easily damage your facility without proper winter preparation and care. Ferguson offers all the facility maintenance supplies you need to protect and maintain your property throughout the winter season and to ensure employee or client health and safety.

Top cold weather supplies to prep for winter

For most properties, a proper winter preparedness checklist includes five key items. Check out these recommended winter supplies, considering the needs of your facility. You can always add or remove items to create a winter preparation checklist that’s perfectly suited for your location, climate and property needs. Handle every challenge with these top cold weather supplies to prep for winter conditions.

1. Reduce indoor mess with a snow pusher.

Prevent snow and slush from entering your building and making floors slippery by clearing the entrance path to the building with a snow pusher or heavy-duty snow shovel. A snow shovel should be proportional to the size of the person using it to minimize the risk of injury from shoveling snow.

Make sure you have a variety of snow shovel sizes available for every member of your maintenance crew. Consider how many points of entrance you have around your facility and purchase at least one snow pusher for each entrance for convenience.

Pro tip: Keep your snow shovels in easy reach. While putting them out in a work shed may seem logical, if the shed gets buried or blocked by snow, you can anticipate a long day ahead of you.

2. Safeguard carpets and tiles with floor cleaning supplies.

Carpet and hard floors are both susceptible to water damage. Maintain the look and the safety of the floors in your facility throughout the winter by stocking up on the proper floor cleaning supplies for both carpets and hard floors.

  • Carpet care products: Sand and ice melt increase traction on slick walkways, but they can damage carpets and matting when tracked inside by building occupants. Vacuum daily to keep carpets free from sand. Use a commercial-grade carpet extractor with an extracting solution to clean residue and keep your carpets looking like new.

  • Hard floor cleaning supplies: Snow that melts on tile and other hard surfaces creates a slipping hazard. Ice melt residue can also harm the finish on treated surfaces. Keep hard floors dry with a mop and mop bucket or with a wet/dry vacuum.

Pro tip: Opt for an alkali-based floor neutralizer to thoroughly clean ice melt and prevent damage to treated floors.

3. Protect workers with anti-slip mats.

Even when all the walkways to and from your facility are clear of snow, they can still be slick from lingering moisture or continued snowfall. Make part of your winter preparation routine laying down anti-slip mats at all entrances and exits.

These rubber mats offer the grip needed for employees and customers to safely wipe off their shoes before entering your building. Not only do they help prevent slips and falls at the entrances, but they can also provide an added level of protection for your floors because less moisture, mud and dirt will be tracked into your facility.

4. Warn of hazards with slip signage.

Even with a regular winter cleaning routine in place, there will be times that floors become slippery. Provide a daily reminder for everyone entering and exiting your facility with slip signage. These signs are easy to set up anywhere standing water may be tracked in and can be stored flat when not in use. Make sure to have at least one for every entrance to your facility.

5. Keep healthy with winter cleaning solutions and sanitizers.

More time indoors in the winter leads to higher risks of catching viruses. The Centers for Disease Control recommend using a combination of cleaning and disinfecting products in order to reduce the number of germs on a surface and stop the spread. Learn about the differences between cleaning and disinfecting to help you combat illness.

  • Cleaning products work by removing dirt, microbes and germs from surfaces. Simply cleaning a surface does not kill germs.

  • Disinfecting products kill germs and microbes, but do not remove them from a surface. Use a disinfectant solution after cleaning to thoroughly remove germs.

Set up hand sanitizing stations near entrances, trash and recycling areas, outside of restrooms and next to water fountains. Instant hand sanitizer makes it convenient for people to clean their hands in between regular hand washing. When used in combination with antibacterial soap, instant hand sanitizer can significantly reduce the spread of cold and flu according to the CDC.

Finish your winter preparedness checklist with Ferguson

Ferguson carries everything you need when preparing for cold weather. Consider the specific needs of your facility and stock up on all your winter cleaning essentials and supplies. Start with our five winter preparation essentials and any other janitorial supplies to help protect your facility while keeping everyone safe.