A reader writes: “We have a couple of customers that use air fresheners that make the floor finish soft, easily soiled and requires frequent stripping. Any suggestions would be appreciated.”

First obvious question is why are you applying finish to restroom floors unless, of course, they are VCT (Vinyl Composite Tile) or possibly Terrazzo? If they are ceramic tiles (with grout lines) then I hope you budgeted in enough labor and supplies to maintain the floors as per specifications. The air freshener obviously has a product in them that softens and damages the floor finish. What is it doing to people’s lungs and sinuses who breathe this every day?

Following are some general observations that might help:

  1. Is the customer aware of the problem with the air freshener overspray? Could the test other products or systems that would work as well without damaging the finish?
  2. Do you have any contracted limits on how often you strip/recoat various floors in the building? This may be too late to ask but you should consider a modification of the contract requirements to reflect that you will perform a task XX times and then there will be a required request from the customer who already knows the cost for the additional work.
  3. Have you tested various products from your distributor to determine the most durable product that you can use in these floors? You might consider going to a 12 percent solid (one or two coats) or just one coat of 18 percent solid since these are probably not buffable areas so should not have multiple coats that just create more labor for your floor crews.

Does anyone in the reading audience have any other ideas on how to resolve this “sticky” (pun intended) situation?

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. 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 CTCG50@comcast.net.