Friday, November 27, 2009

Gym Floor Refinishing

What is the best why to refinish my gym floors some may ask? And do water base products work? For years the system has been simply (although not really so simple). We would take out our buffer, throw a 120 grit screen and screen the floor for 3-4hrs. Then we would vacuum for just as long and spend the next 3 weeks cleaning up dust. If you were fast enough you may have a chance to get the first coat of high toxic varnish down will you cough out a long because of wearing a dust mask instead of a vapor mask. The following day IF it was dry you would repeat the process. Typically the gym would be closed for about 3 days and people would complain about the smell for 3 weeks. The questions is, is there an effective and better way? Enter water base gym finish.

How does it work? We replace the screening method with a water and chemical scrub which will give the same results as a screening. The key thing is we wet the floor for no more than 5-10 minutes. And yes it is safe on the wood as we are not wetting for long enough to penetrate the wood surface. After picking up the chemical and letting the floor dry we apply to coats of water base urethane. The urethane is just as hard as an oil base compound, is easier to play on, and has low to no odour, in fact most water base gym finishes meet California VOC compliance.

If you would like to see what water base gym finish can do for your wood floor me know and I could arrange to have a local contractor show you.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Preparing for Winter

As winter looms there are several things we should do in our facility to prepare for the onslaught.

1) Install matting - For some reason we in Canada do not see the need to have matting all year round, but did you know that the average person brings 50 lbs of dirt a year into their work place and the matting will stop 95% of that IF we put 15' worth at the door. It is also cheaper to stop the matting at the door then it is to try and chase it down through the rest of your facility. So if you were wondering about putting down matting it should be the first thing you do to prepare for winter.

2) Change Floor Soaps - It is a good idea to change from a neutral floor soap to a neutral or slightly acidic neutralizer better know as a Winter Rinse for the winter months. For those who still use rock salt it will help to break down the calcium and keep your facility cleaner, less of a film to try and polish off and definitely less dust flying around.

3) Ice Melt - I would recommend that if you are using rock salt to switch to ice melt. Ice melt is safer on plants, animals and concrete, it is also easier on carpets and floor finish. For the small price increase it will save you a lot of trouble down the road.

4) Check up all equipment - A final thing I would recommend is have all your scrubber and vacuums maintenance checked. There is nothing worse than having a scrubber go down January 10 after the biggest snowfall of the year and having to mop your facility from end to end. A thorough maintenance check now can save you a large repair bill and long day of mopping in January.

So enjoy the coming months and keep in mind summer is around the corner.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Certified Green

Is Green Certified really the only way to go?

I have been watching the industry a long time now and begin to wonder. Is Green Seal and ECP really just a cash grab? Are there other companies out there that would like certification on their products but just can't afford it? The answer to a certain degree is Yes.

Organizations such as Green Seal and ECP have done much to make us aware of greener and safer products but unfortunately have also found a way to make a good deal of money at it. I still do personally think that we should look for certified products when searching as there is much green washing in the industry. But if you can find a company that has taken the steps necessary and can prove through documentation that they are doing their part to create safer products then I would certainly take the time to look at them as a viable option. Many manufacturers have chosen to certify a select few products but have adopted policies and procedures on all their products to make them safer for the user and the environment. These companies should not be penalized for not wanting or being able to pay the high fees required by these 3rd party agencies.

When it comes to green cleaning a few tips will help.
- Look at the companies track record. What policies and procedures have they put in place. What is there environmental stand.
- Are you being helped to reduce the number of chemicals used to clean your facility. You should be able to clean all aspects of your facility with 4 products plus a few specialty cleaners namely strippers and carpet cleaners.
- Have you been introduced to microfiber?

If a company is taking these steps and helping you take them, then you are on the right road to greening your facility.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Stripping and Waxing

It's that time of year again, the onslaught of winter is near. I stripped my floors in the spring but want them to last the winter. What do I do? How do I do it?

Why Deep Scrub.
Deep scrub is the answer. If your floors look good and have been stripped once in the last 12 months you probably don't need to strip them again. The nice thing with deep scrubbing is you will remove 2 to 3 coats of finish off the floor not have to worry about all that rinsing and rinsing and rinsing just to remove everything off the floor. Just lay down, scrub, rinse and apply 2 to 3 coats of floor finish. Procedures will be posted at bottom of blog. BUT if for whatever reason you do have to strip your floors don't bother sealing them again.

When installing a new floor there is a factory sealer which comes off quite easily with a light strip. After which we have been trained to apply 2 coats of sealer. Once that has been done it needs not be done again, the floor has been sealed and is good. We have all seen floors with build up and the build up traditional consists of Sealer, wax, covered by sealer and wax, covered by sealer and wax. Remove sealer from this equation and will have only sealer still on the base and then beautifully finished floors with floor finish (wax) only on them.

Scrub and Recoat with General Purpose Cleaner


Safety first:

· Read MSDS sheets prior to begin work and follow all protective measures.

· Read the labels on the bottles as required by the manufacturer.

· Place Wet floor signs in all entrances and traffic areas as required.

· Make sure you have all the equipment and supplies required to start the job.

· Check the equipment reliability including its electric cables.


· Place opened carton boxes at the end of door ways to protect the floor in adjacent rooms

· Dust mops the room thoroughly and scrape off any gum or other sticky residual.

· Fill mop bucket with cool water – 5 gallons.

· Add 16 oz of General Purpose Cleaner concentrate detergent – mixing ration of 1:40.

· Close the bottle containing the detergent.

· Liberally apply solution covering a 10 feet by 10 feet section.

· Make sure you have full coverage.

· Place the pad under the swing machine. Use red to remove one coat and blue to remove two coats.

· Work swing machine with a natural motion, back and forth overlapping and covering the whole area.

· Using the doodlebug, agitate the edges at the room perimeter.

· Thoroughly pick up with a wet vacuum and the squeegee. Make sure that no residue is let behind.

· Let the floor dry before applying a new coat of finish.


· Place a garbage bag in the mop bucket as a liner

· Pour only needed amount of finish into the mop bucket

· Use a clean damp finishing mop

· Saturate finishing mop in the finish solution.

· Gently wring lower two thirds of mop

· Starting at the mop bucket, cut in an area of approximately 6 feet by 10 feet section.

· Remember to stop 6 inches from the wall edge when applying multiple coats.

· Use figure eight motion to fill in the cut in area.

· Make sure you are covering the whole area. Flip the mop when it starts to drag.

· Allow proper dry time between coats. (30 minutes is the average time)

· Wait five minutes before using any type of fan.

· Test the area finished for tackiness before applying the next coat.

Clean up:

· Remove the unused finish if required and the bag liner.

· Rinse wringer and mop bucket.

· Wipe bucket down with a warm cloth for heavy build up spots.

· Rinse out completely all finish mops and hand to dry.

· Rinse mop handle and place in storage.

· Seal all containers for storage and make sure they are all properly identified.

· Dispose of any garbage, and empty containers into the trashcan.

· Do not remove wet floor signs until the floor is completely dry.

· Time for a break!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Floor finish 101

Floor Finish, Sealers, waxes. The choices never end so here are a few tips when it comes to refinishing your floor.

First Choosing the right finish. We've all herd the common my wax is 28% and mine 30% and so on, the questions is 28% what. Here is the breakdown. All floor finishes contain 3 main items polymer (plastic), Metal (usually Zinc), water. When a supplier tells you their wax is 28% solid they are saying that if I put a cup of wax out and let it dry I would be left with 28% of what was their. The key know is find the wax that has the right polymer for your application. Where as some floor finishes are designed for high gloss they do not stand to high traffic, or some do not respond to burnishing. In any case a application and maintenance will determine how long your finish lasts.

Second when preping a new tile, floor should be completely stripped of factory finish, then apply two coats of sealer and finally finish up with five to eight coats of floor finish. This will be the only time you use sealer on your tile and the only time sealer is required.

Next week we will discuss why only sealer the first time and how often to strip.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cleaning with Charged Water

We have recently seen several companies introduce charged water technology for cleaning. Do these work? Are they for you?
Here a question if I fill a spray bottle with water, spray a surface and wipe it, will it be clean? Will I remove soil? What if I switch from paper towel or a rag and use a microfiber cloth will I be able to clean a surface with just water? Without a doubt. Water is the universal solvent. There is nothing water can't clean. The same rule applies to scrubbing floors, if I fill my scrubber with clean water and put down the pads it will clean the floor. Detergents are not necessary they make our job easier.
There are several other issues I can see at first glance with activated water. First would you trust a contract cleaner or even your own staff to clean the washroom with activated water. Is there enough proof that this will remove enough bacteria to make you feel safe. Second it is said that using activated water is greener, but I ask how do you dispose of the batteries and charge system in three years when it no longer works? Which is more environmentally responsible having residue from a green seal certified product go through the wash or throwing batteries into the landfill?
Yes, activated water may have it's uses as in classrooms, office buildings, and spotting windows but when it comes to the day and age of superbugs, MRSA, and C-Dif using a Green Seal certified or ECP certified product is the safer way to go to protect whats most important and that is us and our health.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Choosing the Right Disinfectant

With so many bugs and super bugs these days how do I choose the right disinfectant. What are the advantages to each. There are several things to remember when choosing a disinfectant. Not all disinfectants kill evey bug that comes into your facility so you have to check the Micro Effacacy Data to ensure that the kill claim for what you are trying to kill is there.

A few different disinfectants are available on the market. There are Hydrogen Peroxides which have great kill times and claims but are extremely hard on surfaces, especially metal ones. There are Quats which require longer dwell times but also have good kill claims. And don't forget cholrine, chorine has a wide spectrum of kill claims, but caution is needed as there are no dilution ratios, it is very unstable, and can be quite dangerous. We have also seen a recent innovation of Chlorine based cleaners that are safe, stable and effective, but these are newer to the market and need to be watched.

When it comes to disinfecting the best practice seems to be. One thoroughly clean areas, two disinfect area with a DIN registered disinfectant, and three when you are in outbreak mode change disinfectants to something that is DIN registered and has a kill claim for the bug you are trying to control.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Swine Flu

Below is an interesting article about Swine flu and it's worldwide spread. It is important now to prepare a good preparedness plan in the work place as well as at schools. Many are concerned the schools and daycares may shut down and this can seriously affect the workplace. What plan has your workplace put together in that event? If you are in the cleaning industry what are you offering your customers in the event of a community outbreak?

Fastest-Moving Flu Pandemic May Strike U.S. Early (Update1)

By Tom Randall

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- Swine flu has taken root across the globe faster than any previous influenza pandemic, and its full force may strike the U.S. earlier than the typical flu season, health officials said.

Vaccine production is on schedule to combat the pandemic in October, and the difficulty some drug companies are facing with manufacturing is accounted for in the timetable, Anne Schuchat, director of the Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said today in a conference call.

The World Health Organization said yesterday that the H1N1 influenza was moving with “unprecedented speed.” The flu has spread farther globally in less than six weeks than previous pandemics have in more than six months, the Geneva-based agency said on itsWeb site. The virus has moved unpredictably, in a “popcorn pattern,” and communication among scientists has enabled a swift response to the disease, Schuchat said.

“We’re taking this virus very seriously, and I think it’s very important for the public to be thinking ahead,” Schuchat said today. “We do expect there to be an increase this fall. Influenza is unpredictable, and we don’t know the extent of the challenges that we’re going to face in the weeks and months ahead.”

The WHO scrapped its method of reporting numbers of confirmed cases and deaths, saying yesterday the system was too much of a burden on health-care workers and didn’t accurately represent infections because most people don’t get tested.

Million Infected

Schuchat today said the CDC may also stop reporting its counts of laboratory-confirmed cases. The most recent U.S. tally lists 263 deaths and 40,617 infections, though health officials have said more than 1 million Americans have been sickened by swine flu.

Baxter International Inc., Sanofi-Aventis SA and Novartis AG said yesterday that the flu virus being used to make a vaccine against the pandemic isn’t yielding much of the antigen needed to protect people.

Robert Parkinson Jr., chief executive officer of Deerfield, Illinois-based Baxter, said companies are rejecting orders and will be able to sell as much vaccine as they can produce.

One-Third Yield

Lab workers are harvesting one dose or less of the component they need from each egg in which the virus is grown, said Eric Althoff, a spokesman for Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland. That’s from one-third to one-half of the typical yield for a seasonal flu vaccine, he said.

Lower yields are accounted for in the CDC’s plans to get a vaccine ready for the flu season in October, Schuchat said. The seasonal flu typically begins in late September in the northern hemisphere, according to the CDC. Schuchat didn’t say how preparations would be affected by the early onset of a fall outbreak.

“This virus is continuing to cause illness and outbreaks in the summer months, in temperature and humidity conditions that are typically unfavorable” for the seasonal flu, Schuchat said. “We are expecting an increase in influenza or respiratory illness earlier than we typically see.”

Clinical trials for the vaccine are expected to begin in early August, and it may be two months before they are completed and analyzed,Jesse Goodman, chief scientist and deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said today on the conference call. Liability for any side effects from the vaccine will probably be covered by the U.S. government, not the vaccine makers, Schuchat said.

Younger Population

The pandemic has continued to infect a younger population than most influenza outbreaks, with children being hospitalized at elevated rates, Schuchat said.

In the southern hemisphere, “we’ve heard of intensive care units with many people, younger people, who have the H1N1 virus,” she said.

Pregnant women and people with underlying health risks such as asthma also are at higher risk of severe disease and complications, she said. Scientists also are studying whether obese people also are at an elevated risk of H1N1. There are unusually few infections among the elderly.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Randall in New York at

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Going Green

Looking at Green Cleaning. Watch the video in this link and read the article below before making any choices. Try and look for ECP or Green Seal Certified Products, you can be sure that these products have gone through third party testing and will perform as stated.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Diamond polishing

Do you have concrete, terrazzo, or marble floors. Stopping wasting
your time stripping and waxing year after year. Try 3M or Continental
Diamond Polishing pads. These floor pads are manufactured with
industrial diamonds and polish the floor every time you wash them.
Your floors will not have the gloss of the day after you wax them but
will however look fresh and shine day after day year after year.

One thing you do need to make sure of is that you use a stone floor
impregnator. Once applied this product will last 3-5 years and make no
visual difference to the floor. A company called Enviro Solutions has
just released an impregnator called ES99, highly recommended and quite
a bit cheaper than its competitive counterparts.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Who is Phil T Klean

Welcome to Phil T Klean. In this blog I will attempt to answer questions such as what is Green Cleaning? What are my Cleaning options? How to strip, scrub, or disinfect? How do I choose the right contract cleaner? 

Having been in the industry over 20 years, I have picked up tips to save time and money, seen what and what not to expect from contract cleaners, and even helped indivduals start success full contract cleaning companies.

Feel free to send question to me at, as I do not know how often I will have the oppurtunity to post.