Concerns With Requests For Too Much Floor Finish

Cleaning: CP

A reader recently wrote in saying: “One of our customers keeps demanding that we apply multiple coats of wax on a damaged floor that needs serious work not covered by our contract. How do we get her to understand that what she wants is counterproductive?”

It appears that either the customer is profoundly ignorant of custodial operations or is setting your company up for failure. Of the two, I believe that it is the latter since they actually own their own cleaning service on the side. Based on your emails that clearly state your position and why you do not recommend multiple coats of floor finish (wall to wall and baseboards as well) I have serious concerns about their support of your efforts. I also noted that she refuses to put any of her directions in written form and oftentimes denies your concerns when meeting with her superior.

Another concern is that you have different types of flooring that she is demanding you apply the multiple coats of finish including VCT (vinyl composite tile), ceramic tile with grout lines and a very sensitive synthetic flooring that clearly should not have any conventional floor finish on it at all. The VCT is the easiest to restore and I noted that you have quoted them a price to strip and recoat those areas but she will not respond or event submit it to her superior. The ceramic tile grout lines are soaked with floor finish while the tiles themselves are in various levels of damage since the floor finish cannot penetrate the glazed tiles. Ceramic tiles should never have floor finish applied in such a way. Finally the synthetic flooring may be ruined since use of high pH strippers will literally remove the top layer of the flooring itself.

I highly recommend you continue to document in writing any directions this person gives you since there will be a meeting eventually to iron this out. Good luck.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or