Washing the floor. Filling a bucket with water and Spic and Span. The metal bucket had a wringer and the mop weighed about a hundred pounds. The floor, simple linoleum. And just for fun, yesterdays newspaper thrown down before someone broke their neck on the wet, slippery floors.
Now, we don’t even have newspapers much anymore and today’s cleaning products are giving Spic & Span a run for their money.
Land of Amazon
And for a serious reality check, look up floor care cleaning products on Amazon. There you have it, 6,000 results and 72 pages of choices. And this search is for home or residential use.
Cleaning professionals responsible for industrial and commercial sites must take extraneous variables into consideration that hedge on a scientific research project. Choosing the right product for the commercial job is no easy task.
What? In? The? World?
You know product choices don’t come easy when it comes to deciphering the actual function and form of the cleaner. Nothing’s easy. So, just for fun, here are some of the variables, descriptions and adjectives used to describe everyday cleaning products for floors:
- hardwood, real, natural & engineered flooring
- spot and stain remover
- stone care
- granite cleaner
- natural plant-based
- vinegar concentrate
- maintenance emulsion
- odor remover
- cleaning of wood, laminate, natural and engineered flooring
- multi-floor hardwood
- earth friendly
- professional wood restorer
- scratch cover
- streak free
- fragrance free
- daily cleaner
- super formula
- allergen control
- ph neutral
- and believe it or not – gluten-free
Information overload can be daunting. You have a floor. You want to clean it and maintain it. That is all.
The aforementioned products are designed for domestic use. For industrial and institutional applications, the plethora of choices is even more daunting.
From clinics and hospitals to university campuses and airports, choosing the right product is critical. In fact, forging ahead with the wrong product can actually cost millions of dollars.
Floor Finish Matters
In high traffic areas, choosing a product that’s not up for the task can leave floors looking less than spectacular, to say the least. Ill-kept floors in public areas tell a tale of ineptitude. No one sets out to wear that badge of incompetence. And, bright, shiny clean floors matter and they matter a lot.
Did you know, “Nearly 90% of customers polled stated that dirty floors, spills, and stains would negatively impact their perception of a facility.”? So keep it clean and be at the top of your game.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
But the fact is, a buyer, salesperson or purchasing agent often doesn’t have enough industry expertise to know what product is going to get the job done. And if there is some level of knowledge, they often don’t know what product will provide maximum performance given their circumstances. With your reputation at stake, why would you settle for anything less than the best?
It is clear, floor care can get complicated. However, knowing this is the first step in finding the right and final best solution.
Typically, here’s what we see as red flag moves when it comes to caring for floors:
- Using the wrong finish.
- Maintaining the floor incorrectly.
- Not knowing what to ask.
That’s Just Wrong
Choosing the wrong finish is not uncommon. With the number of products on the market, it’s pretty understandable. Here’s what … the finish protects floors from high traffic abuse as well as unintended maintenance damage. That’s logical. But look at the underlying variables. The day to day “facts of life” in the life of floors is what matters most. This is how proper care is determined.
Here’s what to consider; type of facility, weather extremes, and foot traffic.
When facility managers and maintenance staff decide on a product, two of the most popular choices are either percent solids and gloss. However, both have their challenges. So, check out what these experts consider to be a top priority when making proper care and finish decisions (from the source), Spartan Chemical:
Percent Solids: A 20% non-volatile solids finish would need five coats to equal the same protective qualities as a 25%, which would only need four coats. Although the 20% product by itself is less expensive, there are higher labor costs for that additional (5TH) application. Also, added downtime: the facility cannot be used during the extra coating and drying period.
Gloss: For most facilities, high gloss floors are the epitome of a well-maintained building—the higher the gloss, the better. However, glossy floors show every scratch and scuff, so they require more maintenance and upkeep resulting in a higher overall cost.
To sum up, products must be chosen with a certain degree of knowledge, expertise and know how. Here’s where Novice Move #3 comes along – Not knowing what to ask – now you know, so ask away.
When in doubt, call and talk to an expert. By the way, that’s where we come in, ask us. Don’t hesitate to call, we’re here to help you clean and maintain one amazing floor at a time.
Poor Floor No More
If you want healthy, viable, strong and resilient floors, here are some pointers:
- Clean them with a neutral detergent.
- Place and vacuum “walk-off” mats at all entries regularly.
- Routinely dust mop.
- Occasionally burnish to remove scratch and scuff marks.
- Re-coat with proper floor finishes.
Pay Now or Pay Later
Think of your vehicle. When you take your vehicle into the shop for preventive maintenance, you’re investing a little money to stave off a big, expensive problem down the road. It’s the same concept when it comes to your floors and their maintenance.
Just like your vehicle, routine maintenance will prevent the much, much more expensive job down the road. Like a transmission overhaul, or a full strip and refill when maintenance was ignored or improperly executed.
But, without appropriate products and a schedule, preventive maintenance will at best be less than adequate.
How Did You Get Here?
What brings you to this place? The place where very, very expensive floors have been installed, but cleaning, maintaining and preserving them is somewhat of a mystery.
In our experience, this sometimes happens:
- The purchasing department does not interact with maintenance to learn about the effectiveness of cleaning protocols or problem areas.
- When the building was designed, the architect did not study anticipated foot traffic norms or what products would be best suited for end use.
- The product representative may not know how the floors are being treated and maintained.
Maintenance-Free, Not Exactly
Maintenance-free floors are to some degree a hoax. Sure, you can forego taking care of “maintenance-free” floors, but in short time, you will be replacing those “maintenance-free” floors. So, if you’re willing to invest in entirely new floors instead of maintaining them, maybe you just don’t have enough information.
Because over the long term, it makes much more sense to take good care of the floors you have. Make conservative investments in re-finishing, treating and maintaining your floors and in the long term, they will shine brilliantly for almost an eternity.
We carry a line of resilient floor care products, including finish products, finish removal compounds, and day-to-day maintenance solutions. These products are easily applied and we’re available to talk you through decisions and application processes, of course.