Friday, July 20, 2012

Rubber Floor maintenance and restoration

When will people learn. I always ask myself when I see some of these floor and whats been done to them. Another floor with 15 years of wax and never been stripped. Although in the case of rubber floors I believe some of the blame needs to go on the manufacturers. I mean to create a product and tell people they don't need to do anything to it and it will last 20 years, Have you seen a Canadian winter. Either way client called me in as they now had the pleasure to remove this build up from the floor.

By the time I came in the floor had been triple stripped with Johnson Linosafe. Great product designed not to hurt natural rubber floors. Problem is that the finish on the floor could not come off with Johnson Linosafe even at 1:4. So here's the tip if you run into this situation it's called Emerald from Dustbane. We did a small test patch about 3'X3' at a dilution of 1:1. It removed the old wax without harming the floor.
As you may see in the picture we have dark areas which are the old finish after being stripped several times and the fresh blue area that was stripped with the Dustbane Emerald. After mixing Emerald at 1:1 we applied it to the floor and gave a good full 10 minutes dwell time before hitting it with a green floor pad on a low speed swing buffer. A key factor in this dilution is Rinse the floor and then Rinse the floor.
Client had spent 3 weeks in these 2 gyms up until that point and had a 2 day deadline. I'm glad to say that after this process the deadline was met and the clients client was happy.

So what's the next step. For this client they want to leave the floor bear. I believe unfortunately that once waxed a floor almost always needs to be waxed, except in the case on concrete or natural stones. And I think that come October 1 after 1000 kids a day use this floor the client will have to put a sealer down on the floor. Fortunately the floor is prepped so all they will need to do is scrub the floor with Emerald at 1:40 and then apply 2 or 3 coats of either LinoBase for Johnson or Foundation from Dustbane. The deciding factor of course will be dollars. Linobase has optical brighteners that will help restore the original look of the floor where as Foundation is a great green certified sealer that will give the floor a uniform finish. By the way I think I forgot to mention that Emerald is also a green certified cleaner which Linosafe is not. 

At the end of the day, please, leave the heavy lifting to the professionals. Your floors will last longer and your clients will be happier. Also remember that just because it says green it doesn't mean it doesn't work. In fact most green cleaners today are more effective than their non green competition.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

You Get What You Pay For

We have all lost contracts because someone came in at a lower price, and so today's post is dedicated to those clients who feel that a savings of a few dollars a month is well worth it.

One of my clients called me this week to look at a floor he had to strip. My client had lost the contract when his client built a new facility. And to save a few hundred dollars he chose another company to clean the facility. After 2 years the client realized he had made a mistake and called my client back in. The floors were among the worst floors I have ever seen.
  Remember these floors are 2 years old. Looked like there was 15-20 coats of wax and the strip job started here. We applied the first stripper at 6:1 with cold water and let it sit on the floor for 10 mins. The work was done in 8' X 8' sections using a fresh Emerald (hi-pro) pad. 
 This is after the first strip
After picking up solution we reapplied a second stripper which was just a little bit stronger. Dilution on this product was also 6:1 giving a 10 min dwell time and using a new emerald pad for every 8'X8' section.

 After the double strip.
Finally after spending 3 hours per room we were ready to wax the floors. Unfortunately still a little sealer but the wax job turned out beautiful.
This is the floor after 2 coats of Johnson High Millage.

The standard for stripping and waxing a floor that most companies go by is 500 sq/ft an hour, this floor we were doing about 200 sq/ft an hour. If you think that saving a few dollars a year is worth while think of the consequences. What should have taken 1 week and 3 pails of stripper is turning into a 3 week project and 6-8 pails of stripper. When adding the product and labour cost the 2 years of savings is now costing you. Not to add that for 2 years your floors did not look the way they should and your staff probably complained on a weekly basis.

And on a final note if you are the contractor that did this you have 2 choices. Get into another line of work we don't need you in the cleaning business. You give those hard working contractors a bad reputation that this industry is working hard at changing. Option 2 contact someone like me and get some training maybe then next time you bid you won't destroy the contract you had.

I love this business but do not put up with contractors who have no intention of learning how the clean properly. Cleaning and maintenance is not something you wake up one morning and decide to do. It takes years of hands on training and hard work to know what you are doing and be good at it.