A reader asks: We stripped and waxed a floor for a very good price but now the customer says we have to do it over again due to their claim that not all the old wax was removed. We did not realize that the old wax was so hard to take up and will probably lose money if we have to redo it. Any suggestions?


The short answer is a question: Are you a professional cleaning service? If the answer is yes, then you need to redo the job and count it as a rather expensive lesson. Based on our conversation, you did not inspect or test the floor to determine how many coats of finish were down. You also did not determine when the floor had been successfully stripped last time which appears to have been too long. You also did not determine whether the finish was water based, urethane or other. 


You promised the customer more than you could produce thereby elevating their expectations even more than could reasonably be achieved. Finally, you quoted a “going rate” that was not realistic for the time involved.


All of these errors resulted in trying to perform the task too quickly and not testing the area to see what mix of stripper solution would be sufficient for one or more applications to effectively dissolve the built up finish. We also noted the baseboards are so coated and damaged that they may never come clean enough to satisfy the customer. It appears the floor, especially the baseboards are beyond their design life and should be replaced since cleaning them will really be a labor intensive task.


The only thing worse than not getting a contract is getting it for the wrong price. We will continue this discussion in a future article. 


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.