As a floor service provider, slip safety is a consideration on each of our services and products. Slip safety is one of the most mis-understood and myth filled subjects. For example, the notion that a glossy floor is by definition slippery is indeed a misnomer. It is true that a wet or oil covered floor may appear glossy and WILL be more slippery than a dry floor. However, spill a little flour or talc on a matte finish floor, and you can slide across it like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. In each case, whether liquid or dust a moveable medium is present that separates your foot from the floor and allows it to move freely. Add a little speed, and you really have a slip condition. Ever seen a car hydroplane across a rough but wet road surface? The road has a rough surface, but given enough speed and a little water it can become slippery. Conversely, by modifying the surface itself to a mirror finish, or applying a reactive treatment that chemically bonds to the surface while providing a mirror finish can still provide a safe surface even though glossy, assuming the coefficient of friction is sufficiently high. That said, a clean floor is generally safer than a dusty, wet or dirty floor, making housekeeping a factor both in cleaner used, frequency and procedure.
For this reason, many of our offices provide floor slip testing, in which we can show property owners and managers the state of their floor safety, and more to the point how their housekeeping can impact floor safety. Ever walk into a restaurant and have to slide your feet across the floor because it’s so slippery? You know what happened, after cleaning the kitchen where grease is present and used, they either brought a contaminated mop, or failed to change the mop bucket water before cleaning the restaurant floor. We also know they are not using a surfactant based cleaner or following the recommended instructions. This situation can be quickly resolved using a surfactant based emulsifying cleaner such as MARBLELIFE’s MARBLE & TRAVERTINE, TILE & GROUT or GRANITE & QUARTZ cleaners.
That said, there are a variety of snake oil systems in the market that claim to enhance floor safety. One can burn micro-holes into the surface and indeed improve traction – that is right up to when those holes are filled with dirt and oil and are once again level to the surface, making this solution both temporary and more expensive since you know need to powerwash to get the traction control holes free of dirt.