The Leaves of March

The Oddity of March

You may have heard of the ides of March or the tides of March, but have you heard of the leaves of March?  Florida is marvelous in many ways, but one criticism is that we do not have four distinct seasons.  Customarily, we think of trees shedding their leaves in the fall.  Among our attributes in Florida are our majestic live oaks, sometimes called evergreen oaks.  In truth, live oaks are not perennially green.  In Tampa Bay, our live oaks shed their leaves en mass in March as fresh spring leaves emerge.

Exterior Success = Interior Success

Despite the title and opening, this blog post is not really about oak leaves.  This posting is to emphasize the correlation between the fluctuating maintenance demands for exterior grounds and the maintenance ease for interior flooring.  In short, the cleaner your home's or building's exterior grounds, the easier it is to maintain your interior flooring.  If you want clean flooring, focus on your exterior first.

Threats of All Forms

For the Tampanians who have overshadowing live oaks, as those which create the canopy terraces of Temple Terrace, March brings a need to redouble efforts.  Leaves fall like a gentle rain.  In 24 hours, leaves cover the driveways and sidewalks.  For our beachfront property owners (e.g., hotels and condominiums), summer sparks more shoreline recreation which means more sand entering through your doors.  The debris triples in risk when wet, for wet debris clings to footwear and carries forward directly into homes and buildings.  The average property manager holds the same concern for lawn clippings that affix to footwear and easily find a way into your facility.

Universal Axiom

These truths are as relevant to those who live in St Petersburg, Florida as those who live in St Petersburg, Russia or in Dover, England versus Dover, Florida.  Whether the traditional leaves of fall or the oak leaves of spring, whether it is a rainy season or the time for pollen, the lesson is the same:  adjust the frequency of your exterior maintenance to meet the demands of the season, daily weather, and exterior activity.

Layers of Defense

Think of your building or home in layers of defense.  Most debris falls from footwear within the first five steps onto clean flooring.  If you prevent debris from accumulating outside of your home or building on your parking lot, driveway, and sidewalks, then you have eliminated one of the greatest risks to your interior flooring.    Your exterior parking lot and driveway and sidewalks precede your entrance mats, which precede the interior walk-off mats.  All of which are your layers of defense to protect your flooring.

  • 1st Line of Defense:  Parking Lots
  • 2nd Line of Defense:  Sidewalks
  • 3rd Line of Defense:  Outside Entry Walk-off Mats
  • 4th Line of Defense:  Inside Entry Walk-off Mats
  • 5th Line of Defense:  Hard or Resilient Surface Entries
  • 6th Line of Defense:  Interior Mats
Commercial Building with Parking Lots - Layers of Defense - Flooring Maintenance

Commercial Building with Parking Lots - Layers of Defense - Flooring Maintenance


  1. Depending upon the season and conditions, there will be times when you should direct your staff to blow the entire parking lot, driveway, and sidewalks everyday.  (If you are a luxury hotel, this action is already part of your daily routine.)  Make life easy for yourself or your staff by keeping an electric or gas-powered blower handy.
  2. Rotate or clean the exterior and interior walk-off mats.  Exchange or clean mats before soiling is noticeable.

Learn more about maintaining beautiful flooring by clicking here.

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