Tag: floor care

From Strip to Finish

From Strip to Finish

From strip to finish

Do you feel how nice it is outside?!! Milder weather can mean only one thing in our industry—floor stripping and finishing season is upon us, friends!

If you are looking for information on the basics of floor stripping and finishing, I hope this post will help you.  I am including step by step instructions and procedural charts to outline  what you will need to complete these facility maintenance tasks. This will be particularly helpful for training or supplemental educational purposes. As always, if you have any questions at all, please email me at Katie@pennvalley.com and I will be happy to help you.

Steps to Floor Stripping:  

  1. Prepare the area for floor stripping by dry mopping the floor to pick up debris, taping off doorways and edges and putting out wet floor signs to warn others of your project.
  2. Put on protective wear to keep your eyes and skin safe.
  3. Mix the stripping solution with cool water at the proper ratio.
  4. Spray the baseboards with stripper and scrub clean with a pad and then rinse.
  5. When needed, scrub the edges and corners of your floor with Doodlebug pads to remove floor stripper.
  6. Apply stripping solution liberally to the floor and let it dwell for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Scrub the floor with black or hi-pro pads on your floor machine. Make sure the pads you are using are clean and flip or change as needed.
  8. Use a wet/dry vacuum to clean up the leftover stripping solution.
  9. Using a wet mop and clean water, mop up the floor. Change the water frequently to ensure you are not spreading left over stripping chemical around the floor.

Here is a procedural chart that you can print and hang in your janitors’ closets or hand out to your employees for reference: Floor Maintenance Procedures- Floor Stripping

Steps to Floor Finishing:

  1. Prepare the area for floor finishing and properly mark entrance ways with wet floor signs so nobody slips on the floor or walks through your work zone.
  2. Put on protective wear to keep your eyes and skin safe.
  3. Rinse your finish mop in cool, clean water.
  4. Line your bucket with a trash liner to protect the floor finish from whatever chemical residue may be in your bucket from previous projects. Pour your floor finish in the bucket.
  5. Once you have finish in your mop, wring out the bottom half of your mop until it stops dripping.
  6. Outline the area you are finishing. Fill the outlined area with finish from your mop, making figure-8s.
  7. Flip your mop as needed to get as much finish as possible from your mop.
  8. After 10 minutes, you may use a fan to help speed up the drying process. Make sure the fan is set up to blow above the finish and not directly on your drying finish.
  9. When the floor is dry to the touch, you may apply your second coat of finish. This may take 30-45 minutes or more, depending on the weather, humidity, ventilation and product involved.

Here is a procedural chart that you can print and hang in your janitors’ closets or hand out to your employees for reference: Floor Maintenance Procedures- Floor Finishing


Proper planning is necessary for a successful summer floor care season

Proper planning is necessary for a successful summer floor care season

A good plan saves the executor time, energy, money and manpower when completing a large task. Summer floor care is a task where a good plan is not just a nice idea, but a necessity. Between employee summer schedules/ vacations, buildings with limited accessibility, and the humidity in the air, a thousand things can go wrong if a site manager or custodial supervisor has not taken the time to create an action plan.

Here are things to keep in mind when making your summer floor care plan:

Survey the floors. Walk through the facility and make note of what types of floors you have, and what kind of square footage each kind of floor covers. Whether they are rubber, hardwood, carpet, marble, terrazzo or vinyl, these floors each require a unique cleaning and care plan.

Determine what needs to be done where. Some floors may need to be stripped and refinished. Others may only need a good top scrub and recoat. Calculate how many square feet of your facility needs which tasks and what kind of floor is in that location so you can start getting supply lists and employee hours organized for your summer floor care program.

Consider your workforce and plan employee hours. Keep in mind which employees have training in which kinds of floor care and make sure you have these individuals scheduled strategically to maximize your floor care program.

Evaluate your equipment. Look over your machines. Are repairs or PMs needed? Do you need additional parts on hand? Is it time to replace some of your equipment for newer, more efficient models? Keeping stock of your equipment like you would do for your other supplies will help keep everything running smoothly.

Planning for your summer floor care program will help your team avoid major issues and will save you time, money and energy. How do you keep your plans for your summer floor care program organized and moving forward? Feel free to keep the conversation going by commenting below or emailing me at Katie@pennvalley.com.

Matting 101

Matting 101

Time for a pop quiz, friends.

How many feet of proper matting does the average facility need in order to effectively wipe out virtually 100% of the moisture and debris from incoming foot traffic?

The answer is 30 feet. 30 feet of the proper matting will scrape away ice melt fragments and other debris and wipe away that winter slushy wetness from your employee and guests’ feet. 30 feet of the proper matting will save you hours of labor and gallons of cleaning chemicals. 30 feet of the proper matting will help reduce your chance of having a slip and fall accident on site by over 50%.

In the perfect world, your facility will have 30’ of a combination of outdoor scraper matting, indoor scraper/ wiper matting, indoor wiper matting. These three mats work together to clean off debris and moisture from foot traffic to not only keep people safe while walking indoors but also to protect your facility’s floors. We track in some pretty harsh stuff on our feet and floors can need a total overhaul by the end of winter if a facilities management team doesn’t properly care for the floors all along.

Remember last winter? How much inside care was your team providing when they were busy shoveling and salting and trying to make the outdoors safe for employees and guests? They probably had time to refill dispensers, do some spot cleaning and maybe swab some toilets. They weren’t focused on floor maintenance because there just were not enough hours in the day. And that is totally understandable. Matting is a solid investment that helps reduce the need of a daily floor maintenance routine in the midst of everything Old Man Winter throws at us.

If your facility doesn’t lend itself to 30’ of matting or if a three-mat system is not in your budget, having something is better than nothing. A small outdoor mat and indoor mat will still help alleviate the damage done to floors and protect your employees and guests. Don’t let a tight budget or space get you in to a heap of trouble later this winter.


Here is some more info about the three types of mats:

An outdoor scraper mat is usually made of a synthetic material like PVC, vinyl or polyethylene and has little blades to help clean off the larger chunks of debris. A good scraper mat will hold pounds of dirt per square foot.

A wiper/scraper mat has a deeply-grooved design that helps retain moisture and dirt. It is designed to scrape the dirt from shoes and hold it below shoe level while wiping water away.

A wiper mat is designed to do just that– wipe the moisture off shoes. When reviewing your options, you may want to consider an olefin mat because it can dry up to three times faster than nylon and polyester.