A reader writes: "I am the lead in a school with VCT floors in the hallways. It seems that no matter how much wax we put down, the floors look dull. Help!"

I can relate to your frustration since this will continue to be an ongoing challenge so long as we use VCT (vinyl composite tile) and require them to have a "uniform, glossy appearance" without implementing the time and resources to make that happen. Based on a quick walk through and discussing your current processes, I suggest the following:

1. Standardize your chemical line so that you are consistently using the same products that are compatible with each other. I noted you use three or four different chemical lines which not only creates confusion but also diminishes the ability of any vendor to train or trouble shoot this issue. They cannot train on someone else's products due to potential liability issues as well and not knowing these competing products.

2. Remember Mickey's 80/20 Rule. Simply stated it means that 80 percent of your wear and tear is on 20 percent of your area. Once you identify that 20 percent, you need to direct 80 percent of your time and resources to those areas. In this instance, it is important that you recognize the extreme wear and tear on the first 50-75 feet of the entrance which is worn down within a day or so due to incorrect maintenance on your part.

3. I highly recommend you focus your attention to the entrance areas (inside and outside) to get control of this important area. Tasks may include blowing/hosing the concrete entrance to remove grit and soils before they can be tracked in.

I will try to finalize these thoughts in a future article. The final thought is to test, learn, test again and learn some more. It is very important that you develop a system that will work for your particular situation. This will require that you test small areas and learn what is the best system to utilize.

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.