Category Archives: Floor Care

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Creating a Facility Maintenance Program: Dos and Don’ts

canstockphoto22217883Developing a comprehensive approach to facility maintenance is not always an easy task to accomplish. While there are many best practices for creating a facility maintenance program, the path to finding and implementing a plan that meets the specific needs of your facility can be challenging. With efficiency as a common end goal, facilities are searching for ways to optimize opportunities without increasing costs. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you develop a maintenance plan that fits your facility.

Dos:

  • Expect to Inspect. There is always room for improvement. Pay attention to the areas in which your facility maintenance program could become better. By determining what changes need to be made, you could increase efficiency and reduce expenses.
  • Calculate Costs. Assess the specific needs in your facility and develop a plan to convert to more innovative, cost effective solutions. When evaluating your current expenses and researching other options, you’ll feel more empowered to make a decision in your maintenance program and potentially get more bang for your buck.
  • Outline Opportunities. Building an effective facility maintenance program requires weighing the pros and cons. Presenting various options and showcasing the advantages of a proposed program will help you establish a customized plan for your facility.

Don’ts

  • Rely on the Bare Minimum. You shouldn’t have to settle when it comes to the cleanliness of your facility. While your current maintenance program may be sufficient, there is always an opportunity to enhance it. When you analyze your program, you may discover new ways to achieve a higher level of clean.
  • Guesstimate. There’s no need to play the guessing game with your facility maintenance program. Many modern tools are available to you for free online to assist you in planning and executing the very best solution strategies.
  • Short-Change on Change. Every facility is unique and requires solutions customized to their specific needs. While modeling your maintenance plan off of another facility’s may be easy and effective, make sure you take the time to evaluate what’s best for your facility. Building an exclusive plan may present you with various new opportunities.

For more solutions or guidance on creating a facility maintenance program, visit betco.com to learn about our innovative resources and training sessions.

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Hunter is the Content Marketing Specialist at Betco.

If you have any questions, please visit http://www.betco.com, call (888) GO-BETCO or please contact us at welisten@betco.com

Floor and Salt

Don’t Let Winter A-SALT Your Floors

Boots in FrostWinter is in full swing and is taking charge with snow, slush and ice. While bundling up and staying warm inside, make sure you don’t give your floors the cold shoulder. It’s important to be aware of the dangers that the winter elements can leave behind on both carpet and hard surface floors.

As people come and go in a facility they stomp, shake and dump snow, slush and salt on floors everywhere. This snowy, slushy mess doesn’t end after it dries and leaves behind un-melted rock salt. Stains as white as snow can be seen on all types of floor surfaces. While these stains are pesky and damaging, they are preventable and your floors are savable.

Salt stains are not harmful if attended to quickly. The faster you remove the moisture and chemicals, the less time they have to damage your floors. Keep absorbent towels or rags near your doors to clean up the messes as they occur, and a vacuum or broom to remove any dry residue.

Use a reliable matting system. A matting system acts as a first line of defense against tracked-in contaminants on your floors. Over 80% of dirt and residue are brought in by people entering a facility; a good entrance matting system can trap 90% of this dirt and debris that is brought in!

Prevention is the best defense. It’s important to keep in mind that all floor types are vulnerable during the winter. Using a daily maintenance cleaner is one of the most important steps to extend the life of your floors.

It is important to keep in mind that your floors are vulnerable during the winter. While there is danger afoot due to a combination of increased moisture and salt, remember to practice the above tips to avoid havoc on both carpet and hard surface floors.

HunterGilesRGB
Hunter is the Content Marketing Specialist at Betco.

If you have any questions, please visit http://www.betco.com, call (888) GO-BETCO or please contact us at welisten@betco.com.

Easy Maintenance Can Extend Vacuum Life

Extend Vacuum Life with Easy Maintenance

Vacuum cleaners may not be the most expensive piece of equipment in your closet, but for many it is the most used and abused. Operators tend to run over the power cords, forget to change filters and bags and even run them into walls and down stairs. These kinds of neglect can lead to maintenance problems later and can shorten the vacuum’s life.

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SRT

Betco is Better: Scuff Resistant Technology (SRT)

We took on the competition in our latest study to find which products provide the best resistance to black heel marks (BHMs). Using side-by-side industry specific test methods, white tiles were subjected to repeated impacts from numerous black heels. The results were analyzed and reported as a percent of BHM’s. The results above tell all. Not only do Betco products with SRT exhibit less BHM’s, it is also easier to remove the ones that do appear. The best choice is Betco SRT every time. Click here for more information.

Effective Floor Care Starts with Daily Maintenance

Effective Floor Care Starts with Daily Maintenance

The Betco U Certification Program offers three important components to floor care: daily maintenance, interim care, and restorative care. Of the three, daily maintenance is the most important. Not only does daily maintenance help keep the floor looking its very best every day, but properly performed, it can delay interim and restorative floor care, which are typically more costly and more labor intensive.

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Is Your Floor Stripper In Hot Water? Should It Be?

Recently our Technical Services Manager, Barry Rosenthal had a question regarding floor strippers: Why is it that some of Betco’s floor strippers are recommended to dilute with cool water and others with hot water? 

Clearly, one of the factors of cleaning is temperature (others are time, agitation and chemical) so most assume that increasing the temperature must improve the performance of the floor stripper. Not always, certain strippers have chemicals which have a lower flash point. Using hot water causes these ingredients to flash off prematurely, actually diminishing the performance of the floor stripper. However, performance is not the only reason for cool water, Betco’s Green Floor Strippers must be diluted with cool water to reduce the energy consumption of using hot water.

Recommended temperatures for Betco Floor Strippers: Continue reading

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How to Kill Floor Finishing Profits

Stanley Quentin Hulin, a frequent writer for the professional cleaning industry since 1975 recounts a true story of floor finishing misery. As Hulin describes, a job was recently completed in twelve hours … but it had been budgeted for eight. When the supervisor asks the lead technician to explain the extra time, he hears “that everything was going fine up until it was time to apply the floor finish. “Man, it took forever [for the floor finish] to dry, there was nothing else we could do.” The result – a disappointing loss of profit.

According to Hulin, the hard-floor maintenance industry is extremely competitive with requests for proposals fairly common. Many cleaning contractors “jockey for position” he says to get these lucrative contracts. He goes on to say that many contractors have a problem even if they win their bids because they are based “on optimum conditions and the most aggressive productivity rates.” They neglect to consider vital but unpredictable time factors, particularly the length of time it takes for a floor finish to dry (drying time). Continue reading

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Developing a Floor Cleaning and Maintenance Program

Most cleaning experts suggest that facility managers have a floor cleaning and maintenance program to help make sure floors stay clean and safe throughout the year. The plan might list, among other things, when and how often floors are to be cleaned, scrubbed, and refinished.

However, there are many variables that must be considered before developing a floor cleaning and maintenance program. The following are some key questions facility managers need to address before instituting a floor maintenance program.

What is the budget?

A floor cleaning and maintenance program can be costly. The first step in determining costs is to know how many square feet of flooring will need to be cleaned and how often. Many times, an astute janitorial contractor can help a facility manger develop a budget for floor maintenance.

How important is the floor?

Some floors, like a lobby floor, are more important than others because they contribute to a customer or user’s first impression of the facility. Other floors may require less attention because they are not in customer areas. Determine which floors are the most important and budget resources accordingly.

What is the current condition of the floor? Continue reading

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The Lost Art of Spray Buffing

Floor care is one of the most time consuming and costly of all cleaning tasks. When the floor needs to be stripped and refinished, these costs can mount up fast. It is not the tools and equipment that are the main contributor to this cost, it is the labor. Any system or program that cleaning professionals can implement to delay refinishing cycles while still keeping their customers’ floors looking their best can prove to be a significant cost savings.

A system that works very well for floors in which a low maintenance floor finish has been applied is by using a “low-speed buffer” to spray-buff the floor.  A low-speed buffer typically rotates at 175 RPMs. Spray buffing is not as common today as it once was. One reason for this is that the finish applied to many floors today is a high-speed finish.  Usually all that is required is for the floor to be dust mopped or vacuumed, scrubbed clean and then burnished with a high-speed machine.

However, according to the Betco U’s free training guide, The Life Cycle of Floor Care, spray buffing can prove very effective at helping delay refinishing cycles.

So what is spray buffing? Continue reading

green floorcare

Green Floorcare Means No Weak Links

Several years ago, Dr. Greg Norris of the Harvard School of Public Health, made a startling observation when it comes to green floors and green floorcare. He concluded that many green floors while designed to be sustainable and reduce a facility’s environmental foot print, may lose all of these benefits the first time they are cleaned, stripped, or refinished using conventional floorcare products such as cleaners, restorers, strippers, and floor finishes. Continue reading

floorcare

Effective Floorcare Starts with Daily Maintenance

According to the Betco U Certification Program, there are three components to floorcare: daily maintenance, interim care, and restorative care. Of the three, daily maintenance is probably the most important. Not only does daily maintenance help keep the floor looking its very best every day, but properly performed, it can delay interim and restorative floorcare, which are typically more costly and more labor intensive.

So what does daily floorcare entail?

The tools typically used for daily maintenance include buckets, mops, dust mops, dust pans, and a putty knife to remove such things as gum and grit that may stick to the floor. As to the mopping of the floor, it should be performed using a figure 8 technique. A figure 8 motion overlaps floor areas and helps ensure all floor areas are mopped clean. Continue reading

floorcare

Floorcare Myths: A higher solids finish is more durable

Floorcare is one of the most challenging cleaning tasks cleaning contractors and facility managers must grapple with. It is time consuming, often stressful, and costly. Complicating matters, several myths have evolved that can make the entire process all the more challenging. One of the biggest myths involves floor finish “solids.”

Usually expressed as a percentage of weight, floor finish solids are whatever is left on the floor after the coating dries and cures. A coating with 50 percent solids, for instance, will be half evaporated after it dries. This means that the higher the solids in the floor finish, the more coating you will have left on the floor after it dries.

These solids are often a blend of several ingredients, each having a specific purpose. These ingredients help the finish resist scuffs, reduce bubbling, improve adhesion and slip resistance, and last but not least, determine overall durability.  Continue reading

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The Floor Finish is the Foundation

The Floor Finish is the Foundation

It was not that many years ago that property managers, wanting their hard surface floors to have a higher-gloss shine, would ask their jansan distributors and contract cleaners if they could suggest a good “wax” to use on the floor. For more than a century, that was the term used to describe floor finishes, and there was a good reason for it. Many of the early floor polishes were pastes made from leaves of the carnuba plant mixed with other ingredients. These waxes were combined with water to make a liquid paste, which could be buffed using a low-speed machine to clean the floor and produce a reasonably good shine.

Floor Care Maintenance - Sustainable Cleaning Equipment

Polymer emulsion finishes, introduced about 40 years ago, were the first really big advance in floor finishes. These were more durable than waxes, easier to apply to the floor, and usually required little maintenance other than dust and damp mopping. However, over time, the appearance of the floor—specifically the shine—would deteriorate, usually requiring that the floor be stripped and refinished.

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Proper Floor Finish Application

Successfully refinishing a hard surface floor depends a great deal on how the finish is actually applied.

According to Rob Dodson, product manager for Betco® floor care division, “There is a step-by-step process that must be followed when applying floor finish. This helps ensure the finish is properly applied and all areas of the floor are coated.”

Dodson says the process of applying finish starts at the room’s entrance. Here, the technician begins by walking around all four walls of the room, applying finish along the baseboards. “This is often called ‘cutting’ the floor,” says Dodson.

Once this step is complete, the technician makes a 180-degree turn, moves over to the edge of the third wall (furthest from the entrance) and starts applying finish in a back-and-forth “figure-eight” pattern, walking backward.

With this area completed, the technician then turns around and continues applying finish in a back-and-forth pattern, again walking backward, until the next section of the floor is finished. Eventually, the process ends where it started-at the first wall and entrance to the room.

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Floor Refinishing: Ten Tips on Getting the Job Done Right

Floor Refinishing is invariably an involved process that is time consuming, often stressful, and—because it is so labor intensive—costly. The last thing a floorcare technician wants is for her or his job to be ruined by not applying the new floor finish correctly.

The following 10 tips are applicable to most floors and will help to ensure that floor finish is applied properly after every floor stripping:

1. After the floor has been stripped, be sure it is thoroughly clean, rinsed, and dry before applying the first coat of finish.

2. With today’s floor finishes, a sealer is often not needed; however, for some floors and in heavily trafficked areas, a sealer may be recommended to help protect the floor.

3. If using a conventional mop, select a rayon mop. Other materials tend to collect lint, which could then become part of the floor’s finish.

4. A microfiber mop head is often preferable to a conventional mop because it allows for application of thinner coats; there is also usually less waste and easier cleanup. In addition, microfiber mop heads are more effective when working edges and corners.

5. As mentioned, apply thin coats of finish; usually two coats are needed as a foundation for the floor with subsequent coats needed to help build up the shine. Continue reading

Floor Refinishing: A “Cure” For Long Floor Refinishing Times

 

The summer break is the perfect time of the year for custodians in educational facilities to strip, clean, and refinish floors.

When you think about it, floors in educational facilities, especially in common areas such as hallways and cafeterias, take an amazing amount of abuse. Students’ rubber-bottomed sneakers, movement of desks and chairs from one area to another, and tracked-in weather – rain, snow, and ice – can all punish floors and their finish as well. An educational facility’s floor finish must hold up to all these types of use and abuse, remain durable, protect the floor beneath, and even manage to retain its shine under tough conditions. It is important to have an effective floor refinishing program in place. Continue reading

What Is The Best Orbital Floor Machine For You?

Orbital floor machines are quickly becoming one of the most popular new machines for janitorial and custodial professionals.  With so many of these new products on the market, how can you decide which one is best for you?  This guide will help you make the most informed purchasing decision possible.

Weight Equals Performance

Weight makes all the difference when it comes to orbital floor machines.  Machines with the greatest head pressure prove to be the most efficient and effective for any surface prep or cleaning task.  Your floors will strip faster, screen better, and scrub more effectively with a heavier machine.  A 150 pound machine will perform better than a 100 pound machine and a 200 pound machine will perform better than a 150 pound machine.  When choosing an orbital machine always look for a model that weighs more than 200 pounds.  Of course, be sure that the machine has removable weights so that the machine can be made lighter if needed for transport purposes.

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Tips For Removing Gum and Adhesives from Carpets

Even when it appears that gum or adhesives have been removed, they sometimes reappear a few days later. This is because some of the sticky residue remains in the carpet.

The following are suggestions for removing gum and adhesives from carpets:

• Scrape. Scrape off as much of the gum/adhesive as possible. Freezing the gum and “chipping” it off is also an option. Continue reading

Don’t Get Backed Into A Corner: Tips For Refinishing Floors

One of the more challenging and time-consuming steps in stripping and refinishing floors is ensuring that the edges and corners are free of finish and dirt buildup.

Look like a professional by taking the extra time to remove all the finish from the edges and corners.

The following process is recommended to make your next strip and recoat look its best:

  1. Make sure you have proper personnel protective equipment such as gloves and safety goggles and set up wet floor signs.
  2. Properly dilute the stripper according to label directions.refinishing floors, floor finish. floor, tile, vct tile, school
  3. Pour the stripper onto the floor and let it sit or dwell for 10 minutes.
  4. Take a razor blade scraper on an extension pole and scrape the edges of the floor along the baseboards or display shelves.
  5. Use a “Doodle Bug” and a black strip pad to remove any excess finish along the edges.
  6. Take a floor squeegee to pull the stripper solution from along the edges onto the center of the aisle.
  7. Pick up solution with an auto scrubber.
  8. Rinse the floor with clean water if necessary.
  9. Apply new floor finish along the edges with the first and final coat. All other coats in between should not go any closer than a few inches of the edge. This will help speed up the removal process next time around.

 

Rob

Rob Dodson
Product Manager, Floor Care, Betco Corporation
rdodson@betco.com

Rob is an avid Cleveland sports fan and hopes to one day experience a championship. He also enjoys hanging out with his wife and 3 kids.

 

 

Floor Finish Myth: A higher solids finish is more durable

Floorcare is one of the most challenging cleaning tasks cleaning contractors and facility managers must grapple with. It is time consuming, often stressful, and for building owners and managers, costly. Complicating matters, several myths have evolved that can make the entire process all the more challenging. One of the biggest myths involves floor finish “solids.”

Usually expressed as a percentage of weight, floor finish solids are whatever is left on the floor after the coating dries and cures. A coating with 50 percent solids, for instance, will be half evaporated after it dries. This means that the higher the solids in the floor finish, the more coating you will have left on the floor after it dries.

Continue reading

Healthy Living in Healthy Communities

HazardThere are many infection control guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities, especially with the emphasis on bodily fluids.  Removing bodily fluids on carpet can be tricky.  Timeliness, a good process and the right chemicals are all important factors to get the job done. Some spots are much easier to treat than others, but what do you do when you have bodily fluids to remove?

To get started, you will need the following supplies:

  • Wet floor signs
  • Protective goggles
  • Gloves
  • Clean white towels
  • Clean water
  • Spotting Kit
  • Carpet extractor
  • Vacuum

The process:

  1. The first step when removing bodily fluid stains in public areas is to place caution or wet floor signs near the stain. Use appropriate personnel protective gear such as goggles and gloves so that you do not get in contact with the fluids as well.
  2. Blot the stain to remove excess liquid using a white absorbent towel. A white towel prevents dye transfer to the carpet.  Be sure to blot and not rub the spot to avoid further penetration into the carpet fibers.
  3. A good spotting kit will have an assortment of chemicals, safety gear and a chart to determine which spotter to use. After you identify the stain, use the chart to know which product to use.
  4. Apply the spotter in a circular motion to the outside perimeter of the stain. Always work toward the center of the stain to avoid spreading the stain. Allow appropriate dwell time then use a tapping brush and a clean white towel to absorb the soil.
  5. Follow the spotter with an enzymatic treatment which will digest the stain and control the odor.
  6. A carpet extractor is an excellent tool to use when done to rinse the area with clean water to remove any residue of the spotter. This step helps prevent any chemical or soil residue from attracting new soil which could reappear later as a new stain. If you do not have an extractor available, simply vacuum the area when dry to remove any residual residue.

RobRob Dodson
Product Manager, Floor Care, Betco Corporation
rdodson@betco.com

Rob is an avid Cleveland sports fan and hopes to one day experience a championship. He also enjoys hanging out with his wife and 3 kids.