Traditionally places of worship have very active gathering areas such as the cafeteria and kitchen.
How many times have you attended a church pancake breakfast, bingo or any food gathering to raise money. Or, how many have attended service and ended up in the cafeteria for coffee or tea. Perhaps there has been a special occasion like a bris, a baptism, a first communion, or a solemn one like a funeral.
All in all the synagogue or church kitchen and cafeteria is after services, are very busy places.
Here, our client, St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Burlington once again called us for stripping and re-waxing of their terrazzo floor.
As discussed below, these folks, contact Barbara Frake, and Father Connor Haines asked for stripping and refinishing of their terrazzo floors. Considered the “heavy lifting,” we provided the more complicated floor refinishing that got the floors back up to a good shine. Then their staff will be able to continue the regular floor cleaning maintenance on-going. And although they are set with the cleaning technique, they did ask us to recommend what (daily- regularly scheduled) products should be used. Out of the gate we recommended, as discussed further below, a pH neutral floor cleaner. We then gave them a website, with the highlighted product to order. Utilizing this cleaning solution will no doubt optimize the performance and the appearance of the floor.
So that is exactly what happened. The floors were stripped and refinished in one quick visit, and they were set to continue with the regular cleaning, and they were thankful for the quick response!
Want to see an active and past list of worship clients we have done work for click here.
What we find when churches and places of worship maintain the floors themselves.
It is always hit or miss when congregants or a designated committee handle the floor care themselves. Some in charge are experienced and do a great job. Some, with the best of intention do the work, but either don’t have the skill and knowledge, or most often don’t have the right equipment, floor cleaning chemicals to maintain the floors properly. And some may have a hint, but don’t know how to store and care for the equipment. At the end of the list, most don’t really understand on-going floor care and how to strip, scrub, apply wax, or know when to strip it off and build the wax up again to restore the shine to the floor.
Most of the time we find a hybrid effort that takes care of the regular on going care, but the turn to professionals for periodic care. (But once in a while congregants may endeavor to do the scrubbing and waxing without really understanding the technical aspects to stripping, refinishing, buffing and/or applying wax.
With more experience than he cares to admit, Chris is “The Man” when it comes to refinishing and maintaining VCT floors.
When called upon for advice, our experienced technician (usually my husband Chris), asks the pertinent person what is currently being done. Then he will ask about what is done to periodically maintain the floor. i.e. strip, scrub and wax procedures.
Inevitably, after a brief explanation of being told what is done, he asks to see “the proof in the pudding-” the janitor’s closet!
Just about when they tell him what is being done, how and how often, he asks “to see the proof in the pudding.” In other words, he wants to see the evidence. He can tell the condition of the floor based on the how the closet looks, what is in there (equipment and cleaning products), and how the equipment is stored.
- is there a mop bucket, are the mops appropriate, and are they stored properly- classic mistake that will affect the floors is, is the mop left wet to store in the bucket? this is a big no-no because the mop should dry between use. If left wet it will “sour” and hence become a dirty germ ladean mop that will affect the appearance of the floor. The mop should be hung, ideally so it dries.
- are there mop replacements- changing them or laundering them helps the floor look and stay clean
- is the bucket a professional one, with a wringer that makes it easy to wring out the mop before use- a professional mop bucket makes the job easier, plain and simple
- what mop solution is used-a look at the solution used in the mop water will tell volumes! A pH neutral floor solution is the only thing recommended for daily floor care. No Sp__ n __, no T_p J__, no P__S__, or Fab_L__. These products have heavy additives that build up as residue and easily discolor the floors.
- would the floor benefit best from a “two-bucket” method of rinsing-if there is the presence of a lot of grease, as in from a busy kitchen, having 2 buckets helps keep the water cleaner and helps it last longer between changes.
- is there a buffer on hand- Nine times out of 1o there is not. And if there is, is there a pad driver and pads designed to help maintain the floor. Are they the right type of pad?
- what kind of wax product is on hand- again, chances are it is not in the inventory on hand.
After seeing what is stored, and how, gives us a telling picture about what is happening to the floor.
The next thing, Chris will assess the condition of the finish on the floor.
Is there even finish, or a raw surface? Is the old, yellowed finish on the floor that looks nasty and in great need of being stripped off. Or, conversely is there so much wax on the floor, between being old, yellowed and built up, it kinda even resembles that of a turtle shell. Add to that, inspect the cove base on the edge of the floors, it will be assessed whether it too has nasty build up, or is it neat and tidy.
It is at this point Chris concludes if it will be best for us to step in (and it usually is) to provide the heavier floorcare procedures.
With some guidance and advise usually Chris makes recommendations to them that they can adopt and implement themselves for their daily or weekly cleaning needs. Therefore, they can save money while having a program that enhances their floors.
But most places of worship do not have the experience, the equipment, the manpower or the desire to replicate the work needed to restore and maintain a shine on the floors.. So we encourage them to let us provide those services, and much of the time they find it a win-win!
This includes stripping the floor, and our secret “steam extraction rinsing, rewaxing it, and buffing the floors. Then once we do that we give them a schedule about when we should return and scrub and top coat. This may be done for a number of visits depending on the use and the volume of traffic. So in the end the organization has a floor action plan, and idea of cost, and are able to forecast out and budget for future visits, and when contracted, they have a carefree floor that looks great!