Over the years I have been invited to conduct onsite training in partnership with vendors to help correct bad custodial practices. In one situation, I got up at 3:30 AM so I could meet and train a crew at a large grocery store that was scheduled to open late due to a holiday. I had coordinated with their vendor and cashed in some favors to have their staff and supplies available so that we could use the training as a practical step in getting the floors in shape. Upon arrival, I noted that the supervisor was “out” for his birthday and was not going to be present but assured me that his crew would be arriving “soon”. I inspected the two auto-scrub units and had one of the distributor’s staff start cleaning them up since they smell like sewers.

I started a couple of other workers on applying stripper to the baseboards and along the cash register lines which were built up due to “waxing over dirt” for a period of years. This was slow and tedious work but needed to be started early if we were going to open the store on time. I was still waiting for the floor crew to show up. We then began testing stripper strength and floor pads to determine the right solution to remove the built up finish which was on in layers. It soon became apparent that it would require at least two passes to thoroughly remove the old product. We then had to find the best way of dealing with bumps and indentations in the floor since the pads were not effective. Still waiting for floor crew to show up.

With the clock ticking, we totally stripped close to 5,000 square feet of VCT (vinyl composite tile) as well as baseboards, corners and metal posts bolted into the floor. Still no floor crew to train but the floor came out great. The store director loved the results.

My knees still hurt but I did learn from the experience. Lesson learned: my next consult I met with the supervisor and we test stripped four 12” tiles to determine what needed to be done.

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.