The Challenges of Maintaining Raised Floor Systems
Raised floor systems, while incredibly beneficial, certainly come with a set of unique challenges, from rising energy costs to an aging system that requires new computer floor tiles or components. Following are some common maintenance issues the owners of a computer raised floor may face, and solutions for an energy efficient, safe and attractive raised floor.
Structural Problems and Maintenance
Structural hazards are the result of improper care, neglect or abuse of raised floor systems. While the vast majority of these systems are durable and built to last, they still require routine maintenance and cleaning of both the floor surface and the subfloor area to improve reliability and efficiency and extend the life of the system.
Common examples of structural hazards include:
Lateral instability, due to missing edge trim, abuse, improper installation, dramatic temperature changes, incorrect cutouts and loose lateral braces. This issue causes the floor system to become loose, creating a safety hazard and structural damage to other floor components.
Missing edge trim, caused by abuse, vertical or lateral instability or not re-installing after underfloor access. This causes chipping of the high pressure laminate, lateral instability, rapid aging of the system, collection of dust on the grid and subfloor, panel surface detachment and other issues.
Warped panels, due to repeated heavy rolling loads with wide caster legs or over-wetting woodcore panels. Along with panel failure and an unsightly appearance, this rapidly ages raised floor systems and requires replacement computer floor tiles.
An Aging System
Raised floor systems have been used for more than 40 years, which makes it difficult to not only identify the brand name and model number but update the system to handle modern equipment and modernize the floors. Fortunately, a company like Access Floor Systems that specializes in raised floor systems can use pictures of the existing floor to identify the manufacturer, allowing raised floor owners to extend the life of the system with replacement raised floor tiles, make modifications for new technology, improve the look of the floor and even increase energy efficiency.
Improving Energy Efficiency
Rising energy costs represent a major challenge to owners of a raised computer floor. When many raised floor systems were originally installed, energy efficiency was not a concern and server loads have only become more dense, burdening owners with substantial energy costs.
While most of the 48 million square feet of raised floor installed in the United States was not built to optimize energy, owners with aging systems can still take steps to boost the energy efficiency of an existing system through replacement raised floor tiles and simple modifications, including energy-saving grommets. As an example, Google recently stated that merely $2,500 spent on energy efficient data center floor tiles and products can yield $25,000 in first-year energy reduction savings. Many products to optimize data centers with raised floor systems can provide immediate savings with a return on investment realized in just weeks.
Whether you're updating your technology, interested in energy savings or need to reduce existing safety hazards in your raised floor system, proper maintenance and simple updates are the key to extending the life of your system, boosting performance and efficiency and saving money in the long-run.