Talked to some new services this week, and some old services this week that do not do floor care, or carpet cleaning. The most common answer I get is, were planning on adding some floor care programs for our customers soon.
Makes me always wonder... why don`t you add it today? If your a janitorial service, any type of cleaning service you cannot make any greater money than floor care programs. Selling floor care is easy, almost everyone has a floor right?
So are you one of the services not performing floor care, either carpet or hard floor cleaning? What is holding you back?
In my opinion, you need to do both. Floor care cleaning and carpet cleaning is like Apple pie and vanilla ice cream. I also guess it is hard for me to understand how your doing a janitorial service, without floor care programs? Are you turning down the work in the buildings your cleaning? Or subbing it out to another service?
An example was a job yesterday. New construction job we did, in a old building. A church daycare. They laid 2000sq. ft. of new VCR (3 classrooms, 1 lunch room, bordered by 800 sq.ft. of new carpet that they just wanted the dust out of.
Chemicals: $6 for a vinegar wash on floors, $50 in sealers and finish, $8 in carpet cleaner. 1 cleaner doing the work 6 hours.=$60
We do a vinegar scrub on all floors, prior. Mainly because most the handymen and women , even many of the commercial VCT layers these days do not know which side of the tile to put up, and which side to put down. So there will be mismatched tiles, some with the factory finish up, some with the factory finish down. We compensate their error from the start.
Take a good look at your next new tile job when the floor is clean, you will see what I mean.
I have only saw a couple of vct tiles put on upside down in area where I am at. I still cannot see how that would as you say, compensate for the mistake. I always have recommended that newly vct tile be stripped and waxed. Reason is that the shinny side has a cheap coat of finish on it and it should be stripped off to make sure the new finish will adhere to the tile properly. IF the factory finish is left on the tile then there is a chance that it could cause new finish to flake off or bubble up. I have saw this happen when someone insist that I just clean the new tile and apply finish without stripping. They had to pay me again to come back and strip the floors. I would not recommend just cleaning with vinegar and applying finish. I would also suggest that you learn how to strip and wax and how to clean carpet by hands on or in classes before adding it to your existing business. Thats just my opinion and it is different but feel I should express my thoughts. Yes it might make you more money but it could end up costing a lot more.
Ok..... I think I understand where your coming from Dan, and threads like this give a world of experience. If you are doing new Armstrong tile, with the factory finish on it, you stay strip it regardless. I say vinegar wash. In my opinion vinegar takes off the factory finish, before the process starts. You say stripper. I think that the the cheap factory finish comes off simply with the acetic acid that is in the vinegar. You are just chemical stripping the floor prior to any work?...right?
Perhaps we just have a play on words. You said , vinegar wash and to me that means cleaning without removing finish. I have never heard of stripping with vinegar . I have never tried vinegar. ???I have tried scrubbing the finish off with neutral cleaner but it left light and dark spots . But as far as using vinegar I believe no more than a mild solution of stripper cost and the difference in the air born odors between stripper and vinegar than I will just stay with the stripper . Since I have not tried vinegar to strip with I cannot say it works but if you say it does than I believe it does.
Just talking about this makes me want some corn bread , pinto beans and some turnip Greens to put vinegar on. lol
In either case , I don't recall anyone mentioning neutralizing the floor before applying finish. Using the vinegar, (which I wouldn't consider or stripper requires neutralzing the floor before applying finish. Also, I would never apply a "sealer" on new VCT. I am now thinking old school of sealers without the metal interlock and only long chain polymers. If your floor ever gets beat up so that it gets dirt through the top coat of finish and into the sealer IT IS A BEAR TO STRIP OUT. I haven't tried the new finishes without the metal interlock, perhaps someone can give a report on how they perform, since green doesn't want the metal interlock in the finishes anymore.
Hey Bill. In reference to your post, In 24 years I have never neutralized a floor before applying finish. I have never had a problem. We do a rinse with plain water and squeegie it off. I have heard of neutralizing the floor but find no need for it with the strippers and process I have used. (knock on wood) As far as sealers to best of my knowledge serves two purposes. 1. Used where iodines or staining materials are used to create a harder surface to penetrate. 2. Used on porus floors to help level out pores and make a smoother surface. Most finishes on market today are self sealing finishes.
Let me see if I can explain more. When we use vinegar on new VCT, it dulls the factory finish. We are doing a 50/50 vinegar and water, not saturating it just damp mopping it and running a black floor pad, sucking up the slop, followed by a rinse. It also loosens and removes the remaining adhesive that is on some of the tiles, or the extra that squirted out on the outside of the seems. Are intention is not to remove the factory finish, just blend the tile, and clean the tile prior to work.
This has been a great topic so far. Just wondering if anyone knows what exactly is the Fast Factory Finish on the Armstrong tiles.? Sent them an email and did not get a response yet.
Hey Dan:, in essence by rinsing with plain water you are neutralizing the floor to a certain degree, I simply rinse with a neutral pH detergent in the water. Using straight water you are diluting any alkaline residue that may remain from stripping. I haven't used a sealer for years, you are right , the polymers in the sealer are larger molecules and are used to fill up the pores of rough or new tile. However, I stand with the fact that without a metal interlock , they are a bear to strip up if your floor gets bad enough that the dirt is in the sealer. I have had to strip sealer 3 to 4 times to get to loosen, finish one time or two at most at a 1:10 dilution ratio.
Wow, I miss a couple days, and this topic takes off
First, I personally have never used vinegar on a floor for anything, as there are plenty of solutions that I trust to work. I don't know a lot about the science of floor work, but I do know that strippers and degreasers are alkaline(approx 11.0-12.0 pH), which is what makes them work. Neutral cleaners are, of course, neutral (approx 7.0 pH). The only time I've cleaned anything with an acid is some sort of stone floor, or a toilet, lol. On top of that, I personally would never leave any trace of the factory finish on a floor before finishing it myself. If I'm going to go through the work of transporting/setting up my equipment, using the swing machine, the buckets, a shop vac, etc...I figure I may as well do the full job, and strip it right down.
As for neutralizing the floor, some of my past employers have insisted on it. Some used vinegar in the rinse water(an acid to neutralize the alkalinity of the stripper), some have used manufactured neutralizing powder, and others have simply added a small amount of neutral cleaner to the rinse water. I have never seen any difference. My personal choice is to rinse several times with clean water, and nothing else. Just because it works for me.
And when it comes to sealer...well, my mother taught me that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all
Again I say, with the new finishes I do not apply a sealer. Yes it is less expensive, however, because it is made up of long chain polymers with no metal interlock, it is extremely difficult to strip off. If your top coat floor finish gets worn through to the sealer and the sealer gets dirty then you are in for a bear of a strip job. I simply use my floor finish for all coats #1 through to #5. No more than 5 at one time to guard against powdering, depending on the humidity.
I usually do not listen to the suppliers . They are sales people . Most do not have the knowledge of what works from experience. Not all of them , but alot of them talk the talk and can make you believe anything. Most, I said most floor finishes on the market today are self sealing finish. No need for sealer. But if they can sell it to you then they have done their job well. I never just put two coats of finish on. I always put minimum 3 , sometimes 4 and five only on special request. The good gloss/wet look starts to appear on second and then really comes out on third and fouth coats on vct. Hands on experience will teach you more than anything else along with talking to others that actually have hands on experience and not just sales people . Ask these questions to your distributor and see what his answers are, What is sealer? What does sealer do? When should I use sealer? Is the floor finish you sell, self sealing finish? If it is not then ask why it is not? Ask if he or she ever had their own floor cleaning business? You would be surprized at all the different answers you get .