Help For Hardware VCT

Westmont Hardware,  did some major shelf relocation, and the floors frankly now looked ‘all jacked up’!

After shelving units were moved accumulated dirt looked bad. It did not clean up with regular routine cleaning efforts. Even having their own automatic scrubber did not do the floor justice.  And though the rearrangement better suited the merchandise and flow of traffic, clearly the floors needed professional attention.

So when Paul White, a customer stopped in, he said “Bill, call Sparkle to help you, they will fix this for you!”

While I am not sure who brought up the subject, Paul had no hesitation in referring us. A client for over a year now he is very pleased with the floor care we provide for him at the Navy Yard. He loves how spit shined the floors are now that we implemented a program for him.

At a loss, Bill was thankful for the referral, and wasted no time in calling us.

We agreed to come see the store and get him an estimate almost right away. And while on site, Chris decided to do a “demo” to see how the floor would respond, before diving in into the entire project. This way Bill could see the potential in restoring the floor. It also gave us a chance to experiment with the right ‘prescription’ of tasks, cleaning agents and tools for results we all wanted.

From our standpoint it was an honor and privelidge to be of service to Westmont Hardware. They are a pilar in the community and a well respected family generational local business!

Like our small family business, who thrives on shop local, and shop small, we were honored to work with the Goetzinger family. They have proudly served the community for almost 75 years now. Like us, when you shop local you support the livelihood of a neighbor and friend.  And we were glad to support them. So giving them some splash and dance for their floors was our pleasure! And to be able to make their floors shine just as good as a box store, well you betcha we were all in for that!

The demo was scheduled on a Sunday, about 4pm, close to closing.

Frankly we weren’t really concerned about the demo, and knew it would be an amazing transfortmation. And just as planned, what a turn around, and what a happy customer! Bill was excited, and said “when can you start, I can’t stand these floors one more minute!”

So while we knew it would look fantastic compared to the current state, we did have time management concerns. It would be challenging to get it done working around their long hours of operation.

So the agreement was to divide the job into three visits, right at closing, after 6 pm, during the week. And the team gathered accordingly.

Night one after closing.

The guys convened and were all over the floors, working in concert they got down and dirty real quick. As always when a job starts there is an assessment of how the floor responds to what we were doing. Although the demo cleaned up nicely, and quick, there was question if all the floors would respond the same way.

Turns out instead of nasty chemicals and absorption in to the VCT tile itself, it was mostly dirt and dried up puddled mop water. This soiling was trapped under the racks, so it wasn’t visible or reachable until the racks were moved. The surface soil released both with the stripper application, and rotary scrubbing (with the buffer. Nor did it withstand the steam cleaning. Day one was a complete success.

Day two and three went like clockwork as well.

Bill was on hand all three days when we executed our work. Needless to say he was really pleased. What started as a real hot mess of a floor turned into an acceptably cleaned, shiny floor and what would expect for a hardware store. In fact, as he chatted with Jeff, Jeff asked was the level of shine acceptable, which went as follows: ‘Hey Bill, is this good enough for you? I can stop here, but if you want your floors to look like Macy’s I can do that too. It’s just going to take more time for that.” And without missing a beat, totally satisfied with the way it looked currently, Bill responded, “Well, this is no Macy’s!”

So the mutual conclusion for both Jeff, our lead cleaner/waxman, and Bill the owner, was that the level of shine was surprisingly good and the floors look great, and certainly welcoming for a hardware store.

Jeff further discussed final instructions with Bill for daily care, and periodic treatment.

Being a hardware store, it’s reasonable to think Bill has access to cleaning equipment and supplies, and he does. In fact Bill actually has an automatic scrubber. He also sells mops, strippers, waxes and floor cleaners. Jeff perscribed a daily pH netraul floor cleaner. (And at time of publishing this case study we are not sure the floor cleaners meet the pH neutral criteria.)

So Jeff implied that I would make sure he had the correct daily floor cleaner product on hand. He also informed Bill that I would get him the contact info of the supplier of the produect we use.  (Which I happily dropped a sample bottle off to him with instructions on where to get it.)

He further reviewed the daily practices of mop care. This includes the use, storage, and swapping out of the daily mop so that they wouldn’t over use it. A common mistake is to overuse a souring mop that contaminates the floor, not clean it.  It clouds up the shiny clean floor with dirt residues, and detracts from the work we created to shine the floor. Instead of overusing a mop Jeff suggested swapping them out maybe every 2 weeks a new one. And since Bill sells them, it is probably a $2-3 dollar investment that is well worth it.

But when Bill asked Jeff if he should take the ball and apply wax down the way a bit, to which Jeff responded,

“All due respect Bill, the answer to that would be a “NO!”, don’t you touch my floor!” (LOL)

With a gentle chuckle Jeff meant what he said. And further said, “Bill if you want these floors to continue to look like this we need to assess the condition say 2-3 months out, and then Chris can establish a periodic floor treatment for you. This will preserve the results we have obtained. Not necessarily requiring a full on team effort, one tech can return to gently coat, and maybe spray buff the floor. Jeff reaffirmed that moving forward we will work out an optimal program for you.”

And from what Jeff tells me, Bill was pleased and totally welcomed a plan to preserve the clean and shined appearance is store floors now have.

Team Sparkle ‘Aced’ the floor stripping and refinishing all the way, making a silk’s purse out of a sow’s ear for sure!

Stay tuned for the next visit!

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