Simple Strategies for Solving Common Floor Care Problems

Orig Posy www.servicesmag.org | Re-Post System4 2/9/2016

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A building service contractor and his cleaning crew in California had just stripped the main walkway of a pier along San Francisco Bay. The pier’s relatively narrow walkway is about the length of a city block, and everything was going fine until it came time to apply the third coat of finish to the floor. The third coat—as most BSCs know—is very important because the first two coats of finish provide a “foundation,” while subsequent layers add to the shine of the floor.

At the beginning of the third application, the BSC realized that he did not have enough floor finish to complete the job, so he rushed back to his office and pulled another two gallons of finish. While this floor finish was made by a different manufacturer, the assumption was the two different types of finish would blend together and all would be fine. Unfortunately, that was a poor assumption.

As the finish dried, it became apparent that one section of the floor was shinier than the other. There was a relatively high gloss in areas where the original floor finish was used; however, in areas where the finish made by a different manufacturer was used, there was considerably less gloss. This scenario points out one of the key problems cleaning contractors may have in floor care—it’s usually best to use the same chemicals from the same manufacturer to complete a single job.

The reason for this is that many manufacturers specifically design floor care products to work together as part of a system. There is a synergy between the products, which may be broken if another manufacturer’s product is mixed in with it.

This is just one of many floor-care challenges BSCs may encounter. Some of these challenges, including the one just discussed, can easily be corrected if they are caught in time. Unfortunately, it is often after the strip and refinish job (commonly referred to as floor restoration) has been completed that the problems fully materialize.

Cold Weather

This article was written in January, when it was hovering around zero degrees (F) in many parts of the country. During times like these, when everyone is wrapped up and going about their business, the cold weather can be particularly problematic for floors and their finishes. Snow, ice, ice melt, and all types of debris become big threats to floors and finishes during the cold winter months. Plus, people are inside more often during these times of year, so floors typically receive much more foot traffic. The result is that a harsh winter can lead to floors that look drab and discolored, which is something most facility managers do not want, especially in lobby areas.

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