This Hainesport Day Care Center’s owner, although shiny, suspected he needed a deeper restoration to get them looking shiny and uniform. Yes the floors had ‘some shine,’ but they lacked brilliance. You could see waves of discoloration across the floor surface. Knowing this and being dissatisfied, he began looking for solutions. He did admit the crew polishes the floor. However, he also could not remember the last time the wax was stripped off. Honestly when this scenario is described, the potential resurrection process could and can be unpredictable!
The tile in the school is as a typical commercial floor commonly used in schools, cafeterias and commercial buildings. Called “VCT, “or vinyl composite tile, it is a resilient floor ideal for a day care application. Often selected for high traffic use, it is also ideal for areas prone to spillage or exposure where the floors are exposed to moisture, food, pets, germs, etc.
When installed, these commercial floors require skilled management, especially a day care center. Herein lies the conundrum. Many cleaning crews capably handle the daily maintenance, but are not equipped nor compensated for the ancillary services. And, often they lack the skilled expertise.
The bottom line. Janitorial contracts cover the daily nuts and bolts. But, they are usually bare bones because the ancillary services cost money- things like refinishing floors, carpet cleaning and window cleaning, for example. Janitorial contracts are watered down and bid bottom line, so there is no room for extras. They simply are void of skilled manpower (who command a premium.) And, they exclude the specialized equipment and expensive floor care coatings needed.
To bridge the gap, some daily crews will use floor buffers. They may give a once over to shine the floors, merely a superficial treatment. And rightfully so, their hands are tied.
Without knowing it, this was the dilemma this particular owner faced. So, the hunt began to seek professional help.
Dave, the owner, went surfing and found our company. He called, and Wendy (our inside sales consultant) remembered him. She asked him, “Dave- do you live in Medford, in Brookside?” Surprised, he responded yes, and asked her how did she know. Well, with a memory better than an elephant, years ago she recalled doing an estimate for him. And, her crew did the work. (Actually they cleaned 19 different homes on his street alone, and perhaps more than 30 in the neighborhood, and about 35 in the development next door. So many, a neighbor some years back, with the direct mail marketing and cleaning we did, told her, “you were the talk at our Christmas Party!” Talk about a success impact in a neighborhood!)
After that quick conversation, Dave was pleased there was a prior connection, and simply asked when could we come look.
Chris went over lickety-split, and evaluated the floor. Well, there was barely a shine. But, there was also waxed-wavy- shined- dirty floors. His first question to Dave, was when was the last time the floors were stripped. Dave couldn’t remember, or said, at least 10 years. Yikes!
A crystal ball is not usually a tool Floor Guys have in their tool box, but boy would it be helpful. Therein lies an example of janitorial work performed without a cost allocation for proper floor care. Formulating a plan, Chris relied on experience and packed in a bit of luck. With technology beyond what most floor teams would dream for, he was fairly confident his program would be a win-win. The estimate was given and a deal was made.
If all went well they would be done in 3 hours. If not, who knows how long it would take!
Chris selected his team. Although a little light, 4 skilled floor guys should suffice. Secondly, and the secret to our ‘floor care sizzle’, he had the most powerful truck-mounted equipment to “steam rinse” the floor, a process traditional floor care teams simply don’t utilize. Also, using superior stripping agents and superior wax coatings will tip the scales and give the desired results- a clean, crisp, uniform look that will be so brilliant it might even be blinding!
Now a 50-50, the floor will soon show its hand! And boy… did it! Not totally surprised, Chris realized they would be in for the long haul. And modestly prepared, he was confident all would work out.
Room No 1, stripped a first time- still has that stale wax appearance. strip no 2, still has a stale residual wax layer. Strip no 3, now they got underneath it, and down to the virgin surface. If room No 1 was any telltale sign, this was going to be a long day.
Most rooms took 2-3, some even 4 strippings. When reality hit Chris reported back to the office, it would take all day. With a few requests, extra equipment were delivered to hopefully help.
Sticking their nose to the grind, they continued to slog thru. But just as they tackled each room successfully, the next ones seem to prove more challenging.
Taking their time, each room was taken back down to bare floor. No short cuts were possible, just stick to it’d-ness (is that a word?)
Finally our ‘Master Floor Extraordinaire’ could finally finesse the wax on the floor. A seasoned and perfected technique, this would create the master piece! And boy did it. Dave kept popping in and out, and this time to his delight, he caught a glimpse and was thrilled, telling Chris–“now that’s what I envisioned!”
As each floor was ready, the waxing would begin. However more concentrated efforts on the stripping continued. A couple floors needed to be stripped even 4 times. AND, the team had to ‘jump on’ and scrape the floor by hand. So much so they started a chain-gang, each with a 4″ scraper, on hands and knees, side by side, working from one end to the other (reminded Chris of a convoy of snowplow trucks working the line.)
Literally cutting through the insane buildup of wax was speeding things up to remove the layers, if you could consider 4 guys on hands and knees hand scraping as a way to speed things up! Good timing, because they were saving the best for last– The Foyer, the shiniest floor with the abc’s, as easy as 1-2-3 (not!)
Now they were getting below the wax, and singing that song just like Michael Jackson, Chris could do more dancing with the wax, instead of the microphone (jk!)
With the hard work now 9 hours in, Chris sent 2 of the guys home. Dave dashed in one more time, this time a bit apologetic the job took so long. Truly Chris told him, without a crystal ball, it is hard to tell when a floor job will blow up like this. Until you get in to it, there is no telling.
Dave began asking for a proper floor plan to avoid this disaster moving forward, and Chris gave him some initial ideas on a better plan. Saying they would talk later, a plan would be initiated so a more even floor appearance would be maintained, without this extraordinary recovery effort. Being Sunday night, Dave gave Chris instructions to lock up, as it was nearing 5pm. Shortly thereafter Chris, with a sigh of relief put the finishing touches on the floor, and called it a rap!
At completion Chris recommended that a pH neutral cleaner be used for on-going care. He is formulating a periodic buffing program to maintain shine, and to avoid waxing over dirt. The floor is not only brilliant now, but with a concerted effort and balance of buffing and a scrub and coat technique, the floor will shine for months to come!
In the end, Team Sparkle got to go home, and gained one very happy customer!