As is the case in most facilities, daily floor maintenance is a must throughout the district. Hallways are scrubbed and buffed every day, while other flooring is cleaned on an as needed basis. This means pads and brushes are used every single day, which will impact how long they last.

“On average, most pads last about 20 hours before they become ineffective,” says Odell. “When the pad starts to wear thin, it’s approaching the end of its usefulness. When they are new, they are about an inch thick, but when they shrink to about a half-inch, they will start to lose their luster and become discolored — an indicator that it’s time to replace them.”

To extend the life of the pads, the staff is careful to flip them over and use the other side before they are replaced.

And to make the most out of the investment, the pads are cleaned daily, after every use. Workers simply brush off debris from the bottom of the pad and rinse it out in plain water. The buffer pads, specifically, just need to be dusted off, rather than rinsed. Pads are then dried and stored so they are ready for use.

Learning how to use and care for the floor pads is all in a day’s work, which is why Odell holds professional development days regularly so that the staff can learn about and try new products. Most workers have garnered this knowledge from experience, but as an added measure, Odell invites her product and equipment vendors in to provide training during these seminars. Odell knows she can rely on them for questions if a problem should arise.

“Work closely with your vendor and see if they are offering a floor care maintenance program,” she suggests. “Their services are invaluable.”
While vendors are certainly crucial, Odell also highly values her staff’s opinions.

“The most important thing is to trust your staff. They’re the ones doing the work, they take pride in it,” she says. “Be open to suggestions from them and be willing to let them own their floors.”

It is with great pride that Odell praises her floor care staff. The cleaning process has resulted in a smooth-running program and she comments that the floors throughout the district look better than ever.

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