- THE MAGAZINE
Part 1As an instructor, I spend a great deal of time showing managers, supervisors and technicians how to perform the physical aspects of hard floor maintenance. The end product is that the individuals know the systematic steps that consistently produce optimum results.
There are many types of hard floor maintenance service procedures. All too often, the novice technician only knows two or three of the basic service procedures and tries to undertake maintenance for all floor coverings using these few methods. Unfortunately, this occasionally produces catastrophic results, generally in the arena of restorative/salvage floor maintenance for concrete, stone and wood. Keep in mind that certain service procedures are designed for specific types of floor coverings. These advanced restoration methods should be done by professionals.
The first step in understanding service procedures is the ability to identify the floor covering you are working on, followed by selecting a floor maintenance chemical system. The chemical system dictates the types of chemicals, services and equipment required. The combination of these service procedures and the frequency they are performed is known as the hard floor maintenance program. The Service Procedures
Service procedures are built from smaller individual segments called service functions. Most procedures will use some or all of these individual functions. They consist of service preparation, area preparation, dry service, wet service; (solution application, agitation, solution removal and detailing), coating application, polishing, buffing or burnishing, and post preparation.
It’s imperative that you work with the property or facility manager to determine what will be best for the facility and the customer’s budget. Sometimes the procedures will be determined for you in the specification and frequency section of your contract. More often than not, these specifications are general and broad and left up to your interpretation. Dry Service Procedure
The dry service procedure is the easiest to accomplish because it requires the least amount of preparation, the fewest tools and very little training. Dirt and grit are the enemies of any floor covering and can damage it through the process of erosion. The best way to eliminate the threat is to keep it out of your facility altogether. This is basically impossible, but there are some preventive measures you can take.
A good walk-off mat program is the best defense for dirt and grit. If you reduce the amount of material coming into the building, then you’ll have a better chance of controlling what gets in. Vacuuming these mats regularly is critical to the success of the matting; if they are overloaded with soil they will not perform to the optimum level. Also, they should be laundered periodically to ensure that deeply embedded soils are removed.
The dirt and grit that does get by your defensive mats will ultimately end up on your floor. Sweeping, dust mopping or vacuuming daily is the second line of defense. The frequency in which you perform this service procedure will be dictated by the amount of soil coming in and the amount of traffic traveling through your building. This service procedure should be done a minimum of once per day. Wet Mopping
Even the best dry service procedures will not eliminate all soil that comes into your facility and it will do nothing at all to combat organic spills, greases and petroleum type soil. To combat these types of soil, incorporate cleaning chemicals and mopping procedures.
The simplest form of mopping is called spot mopping. The frequency ranges from infrequent in very low traffic areas to multiple times per day in areas where spills happen regularly. In retail and grocery environments, these types of spills require immediate attention to prevent slip and fall accidents.
Damp mopping removes very light soil that may have been missed in the dry service procedure. The objective is to wring the mop out so it has minimal solution left in it. This type of mopping is excellent for wood type and other moisture sensitive floors. This service is performed on a regular or daily basis depending on the amount of traffic in your building.
Wet mopping Wet mopping is the most common mopping method and used to remove normal to heavy daily soil. Generally, a single pass will achieve your objectives, but in some cases another pass may be made to remove remaining solution. This service procedure is performed on a regular or daily basis. In light traffic conditions, this service may be performed weekly.
Wet mopping with a fresh water rinse is a technique performed in the same manner as wet mopping. The difference being that a fresh or clean water rinse follows the procedure. This method of mopping is used in hospitals and health care facilities in conjunction with sanitizing chemicals. When using these types of chemicals, it’s always best to rinse the floor with clean water to remove solution that may cause hazing or leave residue. It too is performed on a daily or regular basis.
Aggressive mopping is a technique of mopping used to remove stubborn soils that may be lightly embedded in the coating or the surface. It’s done by applying a cleaning chemical solution to the floor and allowing a period of dwell time. It’s then removed followed by a clean water rinse. This service procedure can be done as frequently as needed. In most cases, weekly, monthly or even quarterly will suffice. Summary
Extending the time between these service procedures can be a very cost effective for you and your customer. Knowing the different service procedures and the frequency to perform them in the foundation for a long-term relationship between you and the owner, property or facility manager. Our discussion on service procedures will continue in the next issue of ICS.