I have witnessed well meaning (untrained and unsupervised) workers ruin a surface in a few minutes time when given a tool or product that was the wrong choice for the task at hand. The importance of training and supervision cannot be overemphasized.

Following are some additional tools that can be used to increase productivity if they are used correctly by a properly trained and supervised worker.

• Portable battery powered mini-scrubber – This device looks a lot like the old fashioned weed eater tool used to trim grass. It has a small batter powered motor that rotates clockwise or possibly in an orbital fashion with either a brush or scrubbing pad attached. The caution regarding this tool is that it can easily damage old or delicate vinyl baseboards and probably should never be used on wooden, painted products even if they do have built up soils and finish on them. Using the correct pad and chemicals is important for effective use. The productivity benefit is that these machines can accomplish work by the hands and knees process or even a swivel brush much faster and better.

• Splash Back Ring – This is a vinyl ring (usually 3-6 inches in diameter) that loosely fits around a low speed floor machine to minimize splashing of walls and other surfaces during stripping or scrubbing. This can be quite effective when a large quantity of solution is on the floor. The danger with this tool is that many workers will “assume” there is no need to wipe down baseboards, doors and other areas as the work is being performed. Remember that this tool can reduce splashing but does not necessarily eliminate it. Always require your floor techs to have either a damp cloth or cloth on a swivel stick to promptly wipe any potential splash areas. Once the slurry has dried it will be expensive in labor and time to try to remove it since the diluted finish will dry out and harden leaving an unsightly mess. The primary benefit is that a competent user can reduce the time it takes to strip/scrub the floor and clean up as well.

We will look at other tools in a future issue.

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 CTCG50@comcast.net