In addition to improving daily maintenance to keep floors cleaner for longer, building service contractors need to check their matting to make sure that it’s a help and not a hindrance.
“Matting is key,” says Martini, “but throwing a three-by-five mat at an entranceway is not going to get enough dirt off people’s shoes.”
BSCs should focus on both indoor and outdoor matting and ensure that they have the right type of mats, as well as the right size mats to effectively prevent soil from entering the building.
It all begins at the entrance of the facility, says Allen. With a vast majority of debris in a building coming in through the entrances, proper matting is the first line of defense to keeping much of the dirt from being tracked further into the building.
“Using effective bi-level scrapping mats in conjunction with wiper mats at minimum distances of 15 to 20 feet greatly reduces that dirt and debris, allowing for less wear and tear of the floor surface,” he says.
Mats — like floors — need to be maintained well, adds Zluticky.
“Keep them clean and vacuumed,” he urges. “A lot of times you’ll see mats that are worn out, and we’ve neglected to replace them or keep them updated. Then we wonder why we have so much dirt inside the building.”
Cheaper, quicker, safer floor cleaning
In an effort to prolong the strip and recoat process, more and more end users are turning to chemical-free stripping or scrubbing and recoating.
“Chemical-free stripping with special floor pads is becoming very popular,” says Zluticky. “I’m seeing a lot of folks doing that now with the scrub and recoat process.”
Although BSCs cannot abandon stripping and recoating entirely, the scrub and recoat process prolongs the intervals between stripping and recoating, which helps save money and labor hours, not to mention avoids exposing janitors to potentially harmful chemicals.
So how often should end users scrub and recoat their floors? It depends on the amount of foot traffic in the facility, say distributors, as well as how that floor is maintained throughout the year. As a rule of thumb, floors are typically scrubbed and recoated every six months to a year, which can stretch out the stripping and recoating process by as much as four or five years.
“We’re seeing a lot of the scrub and recoat process in education where budgetary restraints are really tight,” says Martini. “Traditionally, in a school the floors are stripped and recoated every summer. Now, instead of completely stripping the floors every summer, we do a scrub and recoat. Depending on the abuse the floor gets, it could last anywhere from three to five years.”
Better floor chemicals are also contributing to prolonging the strip and recoat process.
“The technology in floor finishes has advanced over the years, so it’s more durable,” says Martini. “Most of them are a lot stronger and able to withstand the traffic better than they did 10 to 15 years ago.”
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POSTED ON: 5/20/2013