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Floor Care
  • Get with the Program: Go Green

    Sep 21, 2017

    Plant-Blog-RSS

    The move toward green cleaning is the next step towards further reducing the impact left on the environment. We can always continue to maintain and improve the health, comfort and aesthetics of our surroundings. We know that green cleaning creates healthier environments, but what does it truly mean to go green?

    Sustainable solutions minimize the impact of cleaning on people and the environment. More importantly, it is a process to protect natural resources for the future – not a single product alone. This means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

    Going Green is a journey that anyone can participate in. By being environmentally responsible, we can become more knowledgeable about the ingredients we are putting into products, leading to a healthier home and a healthier you. Wondering how you can help? Try these tips to get started:

    Save energy: Finished using something? Make sure you shut it off. You can easily conserve energy by turning off the lights or unplugging smaller appliances as soon as you’re done with them.

    Save water: No one likes a dripping faucet…especially the environment. From brushing your teeth to watering your garden, it’s important to be conscious of how much water you are using and how you can better conserve it.

    Reduce, reuse, recycle: These three R’s are the perfect triple threat. By helping to reduce waste, we can conserve natural resources and energy. When we reuse and recycle, we can avoid creating waste, reducing the amount of trash going to our landfills and keeping the environment healthier.

    It’s important to remember that every little bit helps when it comes to conserving natural resources within our environment. You can start out small and still make a positive impact. By focusing on maintaining the balance between people, profit and planet, we can protect our environment now and in the future.

    At Betco®, being environmentally responsible is a company standard. We are committed to developing products, programs and procedures that meet or exceed health and environmental standards while providing cost effective benefits to accomplish your maintenance goals. To learn more about our sustainability efforts and complete green program, please visit www.betco.com/solutions/sustainability for more information.

    Want to implement a Green Program at your facility? Click here to get started!

  • Creating a Facility Maintenance Program

    Sep 21, 2017

    Man Writing

    Developing a comprehensive approach to facility maintenance is not always an easy task to accomplish. While there are many best practices for creating a facility maintenance program, the path to finding and implementing a plan that meets the specific needs of your facility can be challenging. With efficiency as a common end goal, facilities are searching for ways to optimize opportunities without increasing costs. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you develop a maintenance plan that fits your facility.

    Dos:

    • Expect to Inspect. There is always room for improvement. Pay attention to the areas in which your facility maintenance program could become better. By determining what changes need to be made, you could increase efficiency and reduce expenses.
    • Calculate Costs. Assess the specific needs in your facility and develop a plan to convert to more innovative, cost effective solutions. When evaluating your current expenses and researching other options, you’ll feel more empowered to make a decision in your maintenance program and potentially get more bang for your buck.
    • Outline Opportunities. Building an effective facility maintenance program requires weighing the pros and cons. Presenting various options and showcasing the advantages of a proposed program will help you establish a customized plan for your facility.

    Don’ts

    • Rely on the Bare Minimum. You shouldn’t have to settle when it comes to the cleanliness of your facility. While your current maintenance program may be sufficient, there is always an opportunity to enhance it. When you analyze your program, you may discover new ways to achieve a higher level of clean.
    • Guesstimate. There’s no need to play the guessing game with your facility maintenance program. Many modern tools are available to you for free online to assist you in planning and executing the very best solution strategies.
    • Short-Change on Change. Every facility is unique and requires solutions customized to their specific needs. While modeling your maintenance plan off of another facility’s may be easy and effective, make sure you take the time to evaluate what’s best for your facility. Building an exclusive plan may present you with various new opportunities.

    For more solutions or guidance on creating a facility maintenance program, visit betco.com to learn about our innovative resources and training sessions.

  • Overcome the Challenges of Salt on Floors

    Sep 21, 2017

    When it snows, it salts. While salt trucks go about their business keeping the roads a little bit safer for all of us, it’s our floors that wind up in danger. As people come and go in a facility they stomp, shake and dump snow, slush and salt on floors everywhere. This can wreak havoc on both carpet and hard surface floors.

    A snowy, slushy mess doesn’t end after it dries as unmelted rock salt and stains can be left behind. The stains appear as white as snow across all types of floor surfaces. There is good news; these stains are actually preventable and your floors are savable. Salt stains are not harmful if attended to quickly.

    For an effective floor care solution to fight salt and other floor stains, use the FiberCAP 20 Carpet Machine with FiberCAP MP. FiberCAP MP is a low-moisture multi-purpose encapsulation cleaner system. Specifically designed to trap debris and lift it from the carpet fiber, the FiberCAP system is ideal for getting rid of stubborn salt stains in carpet.

    Another great solution to this winter weather woe is to use a reliable matting system. A matting system acts as a first line of defense against tracked-in contaminants on your floors. Over 80% of dirt and residues are brought in by people entering the facility; a good entrance matting system can trap 90% of this dirt and debris that is brought in!

    A successful matting system includes:

    • A high thread count mat with a rubber back to avoid slipping
    • Keeping outside entries clear by shoveling snow and ice up to 25 feet away from the building
    • Scraper mats in your entries, which contain rough threads that will trap more dirt and grime from shoes
    • Wider mats allow more time for shoes to dry before entering the facility
    • Regular maintenance cleaning can help regulate the amount of contaminants brought in—vacuuming floor mats daily can eliminate excess ice melt and dirt from entering the building

    It is important to keep in mind that hardwood floors are vulnerable during the winter. There is danger afoot due to a combination of increased moisture and salt that can potentially harm your hardwood floors and finish. A white film forming on the surface of the floor boards will appear from salt residue. The stain not only looks bad but if it remains too long it will begin to diminish the floor finish and shine. It is extremely important to use a matting system on high traffic entrances with wood floors. Keeping these entrances clean and free of debris, melted snow and slush is the most proactive step to protect your hardwood floor investment.

  • Extend Vacuum Life with Easy Maintenance

    Sep 21, 2017

    Vacuum cleaners may not be the most expensive piece of equipment in your closet, but for many it is the most used and abused. Operators tend to run over the power cords, forget to change filters and bags and even run them into walls and down stairs. These kinds of neglect can lead to maintenance problems later and can shorten the vacuum’s life.

    powerup-filter-150x150

    Changing the vacuum filter is one of the easiest forms of preventative maintenance on your machine, but is often overlooked. Filters should be changed every ten bags or so for two-motor upright vacuums. When filters continue to collect dirt and debris, the machine loses efficiency and can even hurt the motor.Mechanical parts aren’t the only areas that can suffer from filter neglect. Damage can also occur to the circuit board if accumulating dust covers the electronics.

    powerup-bottom-150x150

    Operators should pay special attention to the moving components, like the spinning brush underneath the vacuum. Simply removing wound-on debris with scissors or your hands can extend the life of your vacuum. Make sure to pay special attention to the belt-to-brush connector. If debris is caught around this component, the belt drive can become strained or damaged. If needed, remove the brush component for easier access to built-up debris.

    When using your vacuum cleaner, note the status of the power cord. Checking the cord for cuts, kinks, knots and frays is important to avoid an electrical shortage as well as prevent serious injury. Another good habit to extend the life of the electrical cord is to always unplug the cord from the wall by hand; never pull the cord out of a socket from a distance as this could cause strain on the cord and outlet. Cord replacement is a costly expense for vacuum cleaners as it could cost up to 50 percent of the original cost of the vacuum to replace.

    Regularly inspecting your vacuum cleaner for these common kinds of wear can help identify any issues before they happen. After each shift, check the brush, cord, bag fill and filter for built-up debris. Also wipe down the machine to prevent dust from covering the interior components. These practices will not only prepare your vacuum to be used the next day, it will improve its life expectancy.

  • Effective Floor Care Starts with Daily Maintenance

    Sep 21, 2017

    The Betco U Certification Program offers three important components to floor care: daily maintenance, interim care, and restorative care. Of the three, daily maintenance is the most important. Not only does daily maintenance help keep the floor looking its very best every day, but properly performed, it can delay interim and restorative floor care, which are typically more costly and more labor intensive.

    So what does daily floor care entail?

    The tools typically used for daily maintenance include buckets, mops, dust mops, dust pans, and a putty knife to remove such things as gum and grit that may stick to the floor. As to the mopping of the floor, it should be performed using a figure 8 technique. A figure 8 motion overlaps floor areas and helps ensure all floor areas are mopped clean.

    Additionally, cleaning professionals must know the mop and cleaning solution should be changed frequently. As the mop or cleaning solution becomes soiled, the mop and water can spread soils and contaminants over the floor that not only discolor the floor, but over time can increase interim and restorative cleaning needs.

    Additional tips: If you can use a light “back pack” vacuum cleaner to clean the floor instead of a dust mop, the removal of dry soiling is much more thorough. As to the actual cleaning, if you can move from mopping to machine scrubbing, daily cleaning will be far more effective.  Automatic scrubbers now come in all shapes and sizes, allowing them to be used just about anywhere a mop and bucket is used, so there should be a system available to address your scrubbing needs.

    Further, and this is very significant, an automatic scrubber reduces the amount of time to clean a floor to a fraction. According to a report by the University of Minnesota, “an automatic scrubber or riding automatic scrubber can reduce the time it takes one person to clean 5,000 square feet with a mop and bucket from one to two hours down to 15-30 minutes. Furthermore, choosing riders over walk-behinds reduces fatigue.”

    Whether using an automatic scrubber or mopping a floor, a highly effective floorcare cleaning chemical is also required. The chemical helps dissolve and “suspend” soils so that they can be removed with the machine or by the mop. Because this chemical will be used daily, a highly-concentrated heavy duty floor cleaner, diluted correctly, is the economical way to go.

    Eventually, daily cleaning tasks may need to be increased a notch or two. After several cleanings, a Restorer should be applied. Some Restorers can also be applied by an automatic scrubber or mopped on the floor. An effective Restorer provides the following benefits:

    • Cleans and reconditions the floor, improving its appearance
    • Increases the slip resistance of the floor, which regular daily cleaning may reduce
    • Further helps delay interim and restorative cleaning
    • Some Restorers also leave a fresh, appealing fragrance that most building users appreciate

    When selecting a Restorer, be sure and read the manufacturer’s instructions. Some Restorers require that the floor be burnished after application. The burnishing not only helps remove soils from the floor’s surface but puts a high-gloss shine to the floor as well, giving the floor the look and appearance you and your customer can be proud of and appreciate.

    Betco U Certification Program is one of the most comprehensive teaching and learning programs in the professional industry. Information is available on a number of topics from floor care to green and sustainable issues. Sign-up for free access to Betco U and take advantage of this important resource.

  • Green Floor Care Machines

    Sep 21, 2017

    Did you know floor machines have gone green? Betco®, a leading manufacturer in the cleaning industry, has developed green floor care machines specifically designed with sustainability in mind. However, it can be difficult to determine which types of floor machines are green and which are not.

    One way to determine if a machine qualifies as a green floor care machine is to see if it meets the requirements of LEED-EBOM credit 3.7. In general, this credit references floor care equipment that uses less water, chemical, and energy than older or conventional floor machines. Additionally, to promote sustainability, a green floor care machine is made to last longer and be more durable.

    Some of the other criteria for LEED-EBOM certification include the following:

    • Electric and battery-powered machines have a shroud covering the base of the equipment as well as a vacuum system. These are often referred to as “dust control machines;” they help capture fine particulates, preventing them from becoming airborne.
    • Noise levels must be less than 70 decibels; there are burnishers now available that are far quieter than this, generating as little as 59 decibels of sound.
    • Automatic scrubbers use eco-friendly batteries; these batteries typically require very little maintenance.
    • Green floor care machines are ergonomically designed, with reduced torque and vibration to minimize user fatigue.

    Betco also utilizes cylindrical brush floor machines. These can be considered green machines because they use less chemicals and water. Whenever less chemical can be used when cleaning, it is usually better for the user and the environment.

    Some cylindrical machines are also exceptionally quiet. Noise can negatively impact the user and cause worker fatigue. Additionally, because they are so quiet, the machines can be used in day cleaning situations.

    Administrators and cleaning professionals should realize that when following a green cleaning strategy, it means that all components, tools, chemicals, and equipment used in cleaning should also be green. In many ways, green cleaning is only as effective as its weakest link. To ensure all facets of your green cleaning program are strong and effective, make sure to include a green floor care machine.

    Betco is an industry leader in helping building owners, managers, and cleaning professionals keep facilities clean, healthy and environmentally responsible.

    For more information on green cleaning solutions, visit Betco.com or call 1-888-GO-BETCO

  • Beat the Heat: Tips for Summer Refinishing

    Sep 21, 2017

    When the weather turns hot, a host of refinishing problems can pop up. Here are some common problems and tips for prevention.

    Streaks, haze, micro-scratches or bubbles after second coat:  One of the most prevalent causes of finish failures during the hot summer months happens during recoating.  When high humidity is present during drying conditions it causes the drying time to slow down.  When this happens extra time needs to be taken when recoating to avoid possible issues.  The use of a moisture meter before and after coating is the best way to solve this issue.  Simply read and record the moisture level before coating and after, when the readings are within one of each other it is safe to recoat.  Remember, in humid conditions give the first coat some extra time to dry before recoating.

    Small Bubbles after Drying: Whenever finish is applied with an applicator, the churning action of spreading works small bubbles into the floor surface. Normally the bubbles will break out in a few seconds, resulting in a smooth and even finish. However, when airflow is warm, the warm air blowing across the freshly applied finish will “freeze” the surface very quickly, trapping application bubbles on the surface. In an air-conditioned environment this can still happen, as the air conditioner pushes a large volume of air in order to keep up with the heat.

    Prevention: To avoid this problem, add a small amount of water to the finish in order to lower the viscosity. Adding a small amount of water allows a few extra seconds for any bubbles to break before the finish surface dries. If the ambient temperature is between 85◦F and 95◦F, add 5% water to the finish after mixing the finish with catalyst. If the ambient temperature is above 95◦F, mix in up to 10% water, adding a little water at a time until the working level is just right. As a good rule of thumb, 12 ounces of water added to one gallon of finish is close to 10%. Do not add more than 12 oz. of water.

    Hot Floors Cause Blistering and Peeling Finish: Solar gain is a difficulty any time of year but tends to be more common during hot weather. Sunlight beating down through windows, patio doors or window walls will considerably heat up wood floors. If a dark stain is on the floor, even more heat will be absorbed. Floor temperatures in these situations can reach as high as 180◦F. If finish is applied over such a hot floor, the finish will set up so quickly that the finish will blister. In addition, the finish may not wet the wood well enough to stay bonded, drying so rapidly that it never penetrates the wood and may later peel.

    Prevention: The easiest way to prevent solar gain is to cover any windows, doors, etc. with an opaque material that does not allow sunlight to heat up the floor. Another way to control solar gain is to work at a time of day when the sunlight does not penetrate the gloss. If it is not possible or practical to cover the glass, the work can be completed very early in the morning (4-6 AM) before the sun can heat up the floor.

    Hot Finish Causes Bubbles: Hot finish on a cold floor will create millions of tiny bubbles. If the finish is stored in the back of a truck sitting in summer sun, it can get as hot as 160◦F. When this hot finish is brought into an air conditioned job site and applied to a cold floor, the finish begins to penetrate the wood and heats up the air within the boards. This air expands as it is heated and is trapped by the swiftly drying finish. This is visible because the bubbles will be very small and at the end of the grain.

    Prevention: Bring all finish into the job site before beginning and allow it to come to room temperature before applying it. Never apply finish that is warmer than the floor.

    Job site problems in the hot summer weather are all too common. Stay cool as the temperature rises by using these simple solutions to stop problems before they start!

  • Is Your Floor Stripper In Hot Water? Should It Be?

    Sep 21, 2017

    Recently our Technical Services Manager, Barry Rosenthal had a question regarding floor strippers: Why is it that some of Betco's floor strippers are recommended to dilute with cool water and others with hot water? 

    Clearly, one of the factors of cleaning is temperature (others are time, agitation and chemical) so most assume that increasing the temperature must improve the performance of the floor stripper. Not always, certain strippers have chemicals which have a lower flash point. Using hot water causes these ingredients to flash off prematurely, actually diminishing the performance of the floor stripper. However, performance is not the only reason for cool water, Betco's Green Floor Strippers must be diluted with cool water to reduce the energy consumption of using hot water.

    Recommended temperatures for Betco Floor Strippers:

    Cool Water:

    #184 Extreme

    #888 Unlock

    #194 Extreme Ultra

    #541 Green Earth Floor Stripper

    Hot Water:

    #154 Ax-It Plus

    #104 Geraldine

    #561 Vanisher

    Just remember, hot water is not always better.  Always check the label and use the proper temperature of water to get the maximum performance from your floor stripper.

  • How to Kill Floor Finishing Profits

    Sep 21, 2017

    Stanley Quentin Hulin, a frequent writer for the professional cleaning industry since 1975 recounts a true story of floor finishing misery. As Hulin describes, a job was recently completed in twelve hours … but it had been budgeted for eight. When the supervisor asks the lead technician to explain the extra time, he hears “that everything was going fine up until it was time to apply the floor finish. “Man, it took forever [for the floor finish] to dry, there was nothing else we could do.” The result - a disappointing loss of profit.

    According to Hulin, the hard-floor maintenance industry is extremely competitive with requests for proposals fairly common. Many cleaning contractors “jockey for position” he says to get these lucrative contracts. He goes on to say that many contractors have a problem even if they win their bids because they are based “on optimum conditions and the most aggressive productivity rates.” They neglect to consider vital but unpredictable time factors, particularly the length of time it takes for a floor finish to dry (drying time).

    Another cleaning contractor working in the San Francisco Bay area has a similar tale of woe.  The contractor and a helper set to work stripping and refinishing a long hallway in an office building. The hallway was nearly a city block long, but it was a “thin” hallway, so the contractor expected that if he and his helper begin the job at 6:00 p.m., they should finish by midnight or so.

    Once again, unpredictable drying time caused financial pain. The office was located directly over water, the humidity was relatively high but, the real culprit was the finish itself. The six or seven hour job became nine because the finish simply took so long to dry, keeping the contractor and his helper at work until about 3:00 am.

    There are so many factors that can impact floor finish drying times. However, the key reasons a floor finish may take as much as 60 minutes or more to dry and harden are the following:

    • Temperature, humidity, and air movement; always install air movers to speed drying time
    • The porosity of the floor (number of pores in the floor)
    • Coats are applied are too heavily; always remember to apply thin coats of finish
    • Textured floor surfaces can require more time to dry than smooth surfaces

    Before the job, review floor refinishing guidelines with a distributor or online, at Betco U, a free training and certification program for cleaning professionals. Invariably, even the most experienced floor care technician will learn something new.

    Select fast-drying floor finishes; new technologies have been developed that can reduce finish drying times to as little as 15 minutes, which almost guarantees you’ll finish the job quickly with money in the bank.

    Betco® is known for Floor Care and for delivering total floor care solutions for proven performance and durability. Visit the floor care section of Betco’s website or call 1-800-GO-BETCO. 

  • Developing a Floor Cleaning and Maintenance Program

    Sep 21, 2017

    Most cleaning experts suggest that facility managers have a floor cleaning and maintenance program to help make sure floors stay clean and safe throughout the year. The plan might list, among other things, when and how often floors are to be cleaned, scrubbed, and refinished.

    However, there are many variables that must be considered before developing a floor cleaning and maintenance program. The following are some key questions facility managers need to address before instituting a floor maintenance program.

    What is the budget?

    A floor cleaning and maintenance program can be costly. The first step in determining costs is to know how many square feet of flooring will need to be cleaned and how often. Many times, an astute janitorial contractor can help a facility manger develop a budget for floor maintenance.

    How important is the floor?

    Some floors, like a lobby floor, are more important than others because they contribute to a customer or user’s first impression of the facility. Other floors may require less attention because they are not in customer areas. Determine which floors are the most important and budget resources accordingly.

    What is the current condition of the floor?

    A floor cleaning and maintenance program requires that a floor audit be conducted to determine the condition of all floors. Is there damage? Is it salvageable? Are there safety concerns? When was the last time the floor was stripped and refinished? Is there yellowing or are there heavily soiled areas? Jot down the condition of all floors throughout the facility.

    What are the traffic conditions?

    It’s critical to have a good idea of what the traffic conditions are throughout the property and which floor areas are most likely to need more cleaning time and attention.

    When will floor care work be performed?

    In commercial office buildings, most floor cleaning and maintenance programs are performed after business hours or on weekends. If the floors must be scrubbed, recoated, or refinished, it gives the floor time to dry and helps protect tenants from potential slip-and-fall accidents.

    What types of flooring are installed?

    Certain types of flooring may have very specific cleaning and maintenance requirements. Stone floors will have different needs – and require different cleaning products and tools, than a more conventional VCT floor. Document the maintenance needs of all floors in the property and be sure these requirements are fully understood.

    What equipment is needed?

    Floor care and the equipment used to maintain floors have changed a lot in the past few years. For instance, mops and buckets are being phased out and being replaced with automatic scrubbers. Automatic scrubbers are highly regarded because they can vacuum, clean, rinse, and dry floors all in one pass. They also can reduce costs significantly. In one study, an automatic scrubber was found to reduce the time it takes one person to clean 5,000 square feet with a mop and bucket from one to two hours down to 15-30 minutes.

    Is there environmental and “sensitivity” issues?

    A decision has to be made when preparing a floor cleaning and maintenance program whether or not a green floor care program will be adopted to clean and maintain a facility’s floors. There are now a number of effective and cost effective green floor care chemicals, polishes, finishes, and equipment available from leading manufacturers such as Betco.

     

    These are just some of the questions that facility managers must consider when developing a floor cleaning and maintenance program. Betco is well-known as a leader in floor care issues. Contact a Betco representative for more information and help with your floor care needs.  1-888-GO-BETCO. For any other questions, please contact us at welisten@betco.com.

  • Floorcare Myths: A higher solids finish is more durable

    Sep 21, 2017

    Floorcare is one of the most challenging cleaning tasks cleaning contractors and facility managers must grapple with. It is time consuming, often stressful, and costly. Complicating matters, several myths have evolved that can make the entire process all the more challenging. One of the biggest myths involves floor finish “solids.”

    Usually expressed as a percentage of weight, floor finish solids are whatever is left on the floor after the coating dries and cures. A coating with 50 percent solids, for instance, will be half evaporated after it dries. This means that the higher the solids in the floor finish, the more coating you will have left on the floor after it dries.

    These solids are often a blend of several ingredients, each having a specific purpose. These ingredients help the finish resist scuffs, reduce bubbling, improve adhesion and slip resistance, and last but not least, determine overall durability.

    However, the term “solids” can apply to anything that does not evaporate during the curing process. This may include ingredients that do not contribute to a safe, high-luster, and protective coating, which ultimately is our goal. To cut down on these unwanted, potentially harmful ingredients, when selecting a floor finish, read the label and find out what ingredients are used to make up the solids in the floor finish you are considering and what each of them is designed to do. Merely comparing finishes by the percentage of solids—which is very common—is not an adequate test of their capabilities and performance.

    Cleaning professionals, building owners, and managers should also know that the ingredients used to improve slip resistance or to control bubbles may add to the solids, but they often do little to enhance the durability of the finish. However, floor finish technology has improved and some manufacturers now use superior polymers, plasticizers, and waxes that combine to form exceptionally durable floor finishes. And the more durable the finish, the fewer refinishing cycles, making one of the most challenging cleaning tasks a whole lot easier.

  • Healthy Living in Healthy Communities

    Sep 21, 2017
    Hazard

    There are many infection control guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities, especially with the emphasis on bodily fluids.  Removing bodily fluids on carpet can be tricky.  Timeliness, a good process and the right chemicals are all important factors to get the job done. Some spots are much easier to treat than others, but what do you do when you have bodily fluids to remove?

    To get started, you will need the following supplies:
    • Wet floor signs
    • Protective goggles
    • Gloves
    • Clean white towels
    • Clean water
    • Spotting Kit
    • Carpet extractor
    • Vacuum
    The process:
    1. The first step when removing bodily fluid stains in public areas is to place caution or wet floor signs near the stain. Use appropriate personnel protective gear such as goggles and gloves so that you do not get in contact with the fluids as well.
    2. Blot the stain to remove excess liquid using a white absorbent towel. A white towel prevents dye transfer to the carpet.  Be sure to blot and not rub the spot to avoid further penetration into the carpet fibers.
    3. A good spotting kit will have an assortment of chemicals, safety gear and a chart to determine which spotter to use. After you identify the stain, use the chart to know which product to use.
    4. Apply the spotter in a circular motion to the outside perimeter of the stain. Always work toward the center of the stain to avoid spreading the stain. Allow appropriate dwell time then use a tapping brush and a clean white towel to absorb the soil.
    5. Follow the spotter with an enzymatic treatment which will digest the stain and control the odor.
    6. A carpet extractor is an excellent tool to use when done to rinse the area with clean water to remove any residue of the spotter. This step helps prevent any chemical or soil residue from attracting new soil which could reappear later as a new stain. If you do not have an extractor available, simply vacuum the area when dry to remove any residual residue.
  • The Stealth Microrider™ - Your Answer to Daytime Cleaning

    Sep 21, 2017

    Have you noticed the dramatic shift from night time janitorial services to daytime services these days? Why you might ask? Daytime cleaning has several benefits for the facility and the environment.  Daytime cleaning can save your company money along with reducing your business’s carbon footprint. The extra energy usage for a nightly janitorial service can rack up your electric bills. By having a daytime cleaning crew, your company will be seen in the public eye as more efficient with their time and environmentally friendly. Daytime cleaning will also reduce your facility’s employment turnover rate. By having a position(s) available during the normal business hours, you are more likely to keep someone in that position longer than someone who has to work throughout the night. By hiring a daytime janitorial service you are improving the quality of life of your employees.

    While there are several benefits to hiring on an internal daytime cleaning staff, there are also negative aspects. Daytime cleaning can provide a potential safety hazard for your employees. If employees are active during the day, there is an increased chance for a slip and fall accident. Another aggravating disadvantage to daytime cleaning would have to be the noise aspect. Employees may be concerned that their work will be disrupted by the hustle and bustle of cleaning equipment. So, what is the solution to these obvious shortcomings? The answer is simple; Betco Corporation’s StealthMicrorider will eliminate these burdens and leave your facility clean and back to operation in no time. The Stealth Microrider was developed to provide optimal results by saving your facility up to 36% in savings. This auto scrubber is also the quietest machine on the market by operating at only 54 dBA. The Stealth Microrider makes daytime cleaning a reality!

  • Care and Maintenance of Luxury Vinyl Tile

    Sep 21, 2017

    One of the fastest growing floor surfaces being installed in North America is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). We have all seen it, synthetic vinyl surfaces manufactured to look like natural stone, marble, wood, or other exotic ceramic tiles. The possibilities are endless when it comes to LVT.  As these floor surfaces continue to gain popularity in the institutional market, facility managers struggle to develop the proper care and maintenance procedures to ensure their LVT floors look as good in year five as they did on day one.

    LuxuryVinylTile
    Basic Floor Care

    The first step to maintaining any floor surface is to prevent dirt and debris from entering the facility in the first place, and LVT is no exception. Every entrance to the building should have some type of matting system to capture soil before it tracks onto the floor. As floor matting goes, more is always better. This is a cheap and easy way to extend the life of any floor surface.

    Daily Routine Maintenance for LVT Flooring

    Regular maintenance is very similar for LVT when compared to traditional flooring. Dry sweep or dust mop the floors on a daily basis and then damp mop the floor with a mild neutral cleaner, such as daily cleaners with a pH of 7, or better yet, a neutral peroxide cleaner. Most peroxide cleaners are not only safe for the environment, but can be used on a variety of hard surfaces and carpet. There are even peroxide cleaners that disinfect while they clean. The last rule of thumb for regular maintenance is to clean spills as quickly as possible, not only to protect the flooring, but also to reduce the potential for slip and fall accidents.

    Aggressive Cleaning For Smooth LVT

    More aggressive routine cleaning will be required if you want to keep your LVT floor looking as good as possible. For smooth LVT surfaces, use a rotary disk automatic scrubber equipped with a light scrub pad and neutral or peroxide cleaner. The combination of mechanical agitation and vacuum extraction with the automatic scrubber will remove the dirt left behind from your daily mopping process.

    Routine Cleaning For Textured LVT

    Routine cleaning for textured LVT is slightly different. In this case, your automatic scrubber should be equipped with a light duty all-purpose scrub brush.

    LVTFlooring

    Again, use a neutral cleaner or preferably a peroxide-based cleaner in the machine. The brush will do a much better job of scrubbing in the textured recesses of the floor and the vacuum motor on the scrubber will lift the solution and suspended soils from these areas. Textured LVT has a very refined look, however, if not cleaned properly it can quickly lose its luster and appeal from the dirt and debris that collects in the valleys of these textured areas.

    Coating LVT Flooring

    Some manufacturers recommend that LVT products be coated with a protective layer of floor finish. This process provides protection for the surface and increases gloss level. However, there are a few concerns with coating LVT, which includes effective floor finish adhesion and eventually stripping the finish without damaging the tile.

    Not all floor finishes will adhere to LVT tile and not all LVT tiles allow finishes to adhere to them. The best practice is to test finishes for adhesion in an inconspicuous area first.

    Inevitably, a coated LVT floor will need to have the finish stripped off at some point during its lifecycle. You should be aware that chemical stripping solutions may cause discoloration or other damage to some LVT products. The best advice is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for coatings and stripping. If you are not sure which products are compatible, test them in a discreet location before coating the entire surface.  This will help prevent a major crisis years down the road.

    Keep in mind that there are many different types and styles of LVT flooring being developed, so these recommendations should be used a general guideline. Your actual procedures may vary depending on the specific type of floor that is installed in your facility.

  • The Life Cycle of Floor Care, Phase 2: Interim Maintenance

    Sep 21, 2017

    Phase two of the Life Cycle of Floor Care is interim maintenance, or commonly referred to as top scrub and re-coat. The top scrub and re-coat procedure is employed when routine maintenance no longer produces the desired appearance levels you demand, and if further deterioration occurred, the floor would require more expensive stripping. During the top scrub and re-coat process, the top, dirty layers of the floor finish are removed. Two or more coats of finish are then applied to restore the original shine of the floor. This allows the floor care program to start over with phase one of the life cycle, Routine maintenance. Read part one in this series on routine maintenance here.

    Floor-Care-Equipment-300x292

    Supplies Needed for Interim Maintenance

    To begin this process, you will need to gather supplies. This includes a good top scrub cleaner, a quality floor finish, an automatic scrubber and a premium value green pad or a blue scrub pad. You will also need a long handled floor scraper or putty knife, a baseboard scrub kit, a clean untreated dust mop, doodlebug, floor squeegee, clean mop buckets and wringers, mop handles, two all-purpose wet mops, a finish mop and trash can liners.

    A Step-by-Step Process for Interim Maintenance

    1. Clear the area you will be top scrubbing and use a putty knife to remove any gum, tape or stickers from the floor.
    2. Next, prepare your equipment and cleaning solution by filling the automatic scrubber with the cleaner. Make sure you use proper dilution rates to ensure optimum performance.
    3. Attach the green or blue pad to the automatic scrubber.
    4. Prior to using the automatic scrubber, use the doodlebug to go along the edges with top scrub solution.
    5. Then squeegee the solution to the path of the scrubber for pickup. I recommend using a double scrub method by making one pass with the solution on and the vacuum and squeegee off, then make a second pass with the vacuum and squeegee on to pick up the solution.
    6. When you are done, check for a consistent look. If there is still embedded dirt and discoloration, the floor will need to be stripped. If the floor is clean with an even appearance, you are ready to apply two coats of Betco® finish of your choice.
  • The Life Cycle of Floor Care, Phase 1: Routine Maintenance

    Sep 21, 2017

    The life cycle of floor care consists of three stages of maintenance processes that a typical floor undergoes as the floor is stripped, coated, maintained, and then eventually stripped again. A properly coated and maintained floor can essentially last indefinitely, avoiding costly stripping procedures. Most floors are often subjected to large amounts of traffic and soils, and a subpar maintenance program causes the life of the floor finish to diminish quickly.

    Routine-Floor-Maintenance-300x293

    The three phases of the life cycle of floor care are routine, interim and restorative maintenance. This blog will address the procedures used in phase one, routine maintenance.

    How to Extend the Life of Your Floor Finish with Routine Maintenance

    Appropriate routine maintenance is necessary to maintain the desired appearance level of the floor and to extend the time between more costly Interim and Restorative Maintenance Procedures. Maximum floor appearance can only be achieved when the floor finish is as clean and smooth as possible.  A properly coated floor with a smooth clean surface protects the floor, providing excellent shine and easier maintenance. As the floor is exposed to foot traffic, hand carts and soils, the surface film is slowly abraded, causing wear. Soils penetrate the protective finish causing the film to become rough, less slip resistant and less reflective. In order to extend the life of the floor finish, routine maintenance needs to be performed.

    5 Tools Needed for Routine Maintenance

    1. Floor Matting: A proper routine maintenance plan should include the use of adequate floor matting to prevent damaging soils from being tracked onto the floor. A majority of these soils are tracked in from the outside and keeping them at the entrance is an effective first step to keep your floors looking great.
    2. Daily Vacuuming: The entrance matting should be vacuumed on a daily basis in order to remove any soil that could make its way onto the floor.
    3. Dust Mopping: Removes soil and debris which can cause premature wear of the floor finish.
    4. Daily Damp Mopping (or automatic scrubbing): Use a neutral or daily cleaner to remove soils that a dust mop may leave behind.
    5. Restorers: When daily mopping no longer produces desired appearance levels, a restorer should be used to clean and condition the top layer of finish. Restorers are products that clean while restoring the top layer of finish. The floor is then burnished, which restores it to a smooth, reflective shine. This process also extends the time before the Interim Maintenance method of top scrubbing and recoating needs to be performed.

    Routine maintenance can be performed as long as the floor meets your desired appearance standards. Once routine maintenance no longer produces the results you would like, it is then time to move onto the second phase, interim maintenance. Stay tuned for part II, where all the steps to interim maintenance will be discussed.

  • Worst floor-care mistakes — and how to fix them

    Sep 21, 2017

    As you consider keeping the floors in your healthcare facility clean and sanitary, remember the following Top 10 worst floor-care mistakes you can make — and how best to fix them.

    Floor-Care-Mistakes-Proper-Floor-Care-242x300
    Mistakes to avoid Corrective actions to take
    Beginning a floor-care task without first reading the cleaning product label. Before beginning any cleaning task, your workers should fully understand how to use the chemicals and equipment required for the job. OSHA regulations state that every employee has the right to know about chemical hazards within their workplace. You should post Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) at strategic locations throughout your facility; these sheets should include all pertinent information regarding the cleaning products and chemicals your workers use. Supervisors should be ready and willing to talk to your workers if they have questions about an MSDS or product label.
    Using a cleaning product that was not meant for floor-cleaning. Workers should use cleaning products specifically designed for use on floors. They should never mix chemicals, which could cause serious or even fatal injury.
    Caring for floors with unprotected hands and eyes Workers should always wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to guard themselves against exposure to cleaning chemicals and body fluids. PPE is typically worn when cleaning patient rooms, emergency rooms, operating rooms, rest rooms and any area that contains blood or body fluids, or where chemicals are mixed.Typical PPE items are:
    • Gloves for all contact with blood, body fluids and most body surfaces of patients
    • Gowns or aprons if soiling of clothing is likely
    • Masks if the patient is coughing
    • Eye protection glasses or goggles and masks if splashing, spraying or aerosol dispersion is likely
    Being unfamiliar with the standard clean-up procedures for any area where blood or body fluids may be present, such as an operating room, delivery room, morgue, or rest room. Workers should read, learn, and follow OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard with regard to blood and body fluid cleanup. In general, this standard requires you to:
    • Establish an exposure-control plan
    • Update your plan annually
    • Implement the use of universal precautions
    • Identify and use engineering controls
    • Identify and ensure the use of work-practice controls
    • Provide PPE
    • Make available hepatitis B vaccinations to all workers with occupational exposure
    • Make available post-exposure evaluation and follow-up to any occupationally exposed worker who experiences an exposure incident
    • Use labels and signs to communicate hazards
    • Provide information and training to workers
    • Maintain worker medical and training records
    Beginning a floor-care project with a poorly stocked cart. Workers should be instructed to review the supply checklist and stock their cart at the beginning of their workday or before performing a floor-cleaning task. Doing so will ensure greater efficiency and productivity—with fewer trips to the stockroom.
    Caring for a floor with no “Wet Floor” signs being posted To ensure no one slips on a wet floor, workers should post the proper caution signs before cleaning, and leave them posted until the floor is completely dry.
    Being unsure of how to use a floor-care product, but using it anyway Workers should receive training before they use a new cleaning product. Supervisors should be available to answer questions about a floor-care product before workers perform a cleaning task.
    Cleaning haphazardly, with no set strategy or pattern Cleaning is a methodical task that is better accomplished by:
    1. Always cleaning from top to bottom
    2. Cleaning from dry to wet
    3. Wiping in a pattern
    4. Cleaning in the same pattern every time
     

    Follow these steps for best floor-cleaning results:

    • Place the Wet Floor sign.
    • Dust mop the floor, collect debris, and deposit in a trash can.
    • With a clean, microfiber mop, damp-mop the floor with the designated cleaning/disinfectant solution.
    • Allow the floor to dry thoroughly before taking down the Wet Floor signs.
    Failing to follow the #1 rule for controlling HAIs Set the standard throughout your facility that workers must wash their hands after every floor-cleaning and floor-care task.
    Leaving chemicals, cleaning products, or solutions in buckets or on equipment from one day to the next. To keep your environment safe, instruct your workers to:
    • Properly discard unused cleaning products/solutions at the end of their shift or at the end of a workday.
    • Wash equipment at the end of their shift or at the end of a workday.
    Work with Betco to implement a floor-cleaning strategy that best suits your organization’s needs. Together, we can ensure that the services you provide add to the well-being of patients, visitors, and staff. With Betco products and services, you can take significant strides in creating a cleaner and healthier environment.
  • Top Five Floor Care Mistakes that Cause Streaking and How to Fix Them

    Sep 21, 2017

    Clean shiny floors show that you and your Long Term Care Facility take care and pride in cleaning and maintaining the floors. Applying floor finish is a relatively simple process that we may take for granted. All too often, we as floor care professionals, may skip a step or take a shortcut (hard to believe, but it happens). When we get complacent, mistakes can happen. One of the most common floor care complaints is streaking on freshly coated floors. Streaking is unsightly and if you end up with a streaky floor, there are ways to fix it.

    floor_care_streaks-300x200

    Here are the top five floor care mistakes that cause streaking and how to fix them:

    1. Poor rinsing of an alkaline floor stripper

    A lot of strippers today are no rinse strippers but if too much residue has been left on the floor surface or if an alkaline stripper was not properly rinsed prior to applying floor finish, this will cause your finish to streak. Re-stripping of the floor will be required to fix this and of course, be sure to thoroughly rinse.

    2. Too little floor finish in your mop during application

    Too little floor finish on your mop during application means you are not applying enough finish. This creates streaks on the floor but it can be easily fixed. A scrub and recoat is all that is needed to repair the streaking. Just be sure not to overwork your mop and avoid wringing out the mop too much.

    3. Finish applied too thick

    Floor finish that is applied too heavy can cause the finish to streak. The solution to this is to wait until the finish is completely dry, then dry buff with a blue pad and reapply thin even coats.

    4. Use of a dirty or contaminated mop

    A dirty or contaminated mop will leave streaks of discoloration in the finish. The floor may need to be completely stripped to remove all of the streaking if a dirty mop was used on the first coat. Be sure all of your mop heads have been washed thoroughly before reapplying finish. Throw away old, worn or stained mop heads to avoid accidently using them for applying floor finish.

    5. Not enough dry time between coats

    When you do not allow enough dry time in between coats, also known as “rushing coats”, you can get streaking. This generally will show up after three coats of finish have been applied. The top coat of finish will appear to be dry when subsequent coats are applied and this can trap moisture in the finish causing the “streaking”. If this happens, you should stop applying finish and let the floor completely dry. After the floor is dry, dry buff the surface with a polish pad and recoat.

    Image C/O eHow.com
  • Mitigate the Risk of Costly Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents

    Jul 11, 2017

    slipandfall
    Imagine the impact signs have on us today. We use signs to direct us while driving; find groceries at the store; warn us of potential hazards. With so many signs around, is it no surprise that some signs are just blatantly ignored?

    When it comes to reducing the risk of slip and fall injuries, the most used and abused sign is the wet floor sign. Custodians and other facility management personnel who use these signs abuse them by leaving them out when they are no longer needed, which lessens their impact in the facility. By leaving a wet floor sign out for extended periods of time after the floor has dried, how can guests and tenants take them seriously? Even more ironic is that an abandoned wet floor sign itself can become a trip hazard.

    In most cases, the problem with ineffective wet floor signage isn’t the fault of the sign itself. The problem lies with improper use and training of cleaning professionals on how to use the sign in an effective way. Signage should certainly be used to protect everyone from harmful slip, trip and fall accidents. Your wet floor sign should:

    • Cover the actual wet area; isn’t placed before approaching or after entering wet area
    • Stand 28-39 inches tall for increased visibility
    • Be yellow in color with black lettering
    • Be visible from 360-degrees
    • Have a stable base to avoid falling or being easily knocked over
    • Clearly say “Caution: Wet Floor”
    To decrease some risk of accidents, signs should be placed early to give advance notice of the hazard when possible. If a large portion of a floor is expected to remain wet for a long period of time, it may be a good idea to place a barricade around the area.

     

    Assuming proper signage fails or is misused, property owners and managers could be leaving themselves open to costly slip, trip and fall litigation. It doesn’t take much grace to walk without falling, but sometimes we fall and are lucky to get up with just a bruised ego.

    Others are not so lucky.

    For those who are injured, they join the rising multi-billion dollar industry of slip and fall accident litigation. According to OSHA, the average cost of a slip and fall accident is $22,800 per accident but there is no limit to how much companies may pay.

    Rather than follow stricter safety procedures, some companies quickly settle claims for slip and fall accidents because the cost to do so is built into their budgets. This is a major mistake because the cost of these claims will also come in the form of increased insurance premiums, which gets passed along to their tenants, consumers or guests.

    An imperative solution to reduce the number of slip and fall accidents is to use an alternate method to clean floors that is not only more effective than a wet mop and bucket, but one that also simultaneously leaves the floor dry. This means that no signage may be necessary as the risk of slipping during cleaning is successfully mitigated. Our latest cleaning innovation is the MotoMop™ small area cleaning machine. To find out why MotoMop is right for your facility, visit Betco.com and use our automated cost calculatorto calculate your savings or call customer service at (888) GO-BETCO for more information.

  • Don’t Let Winter A-SALT Your Floors

    Jul 11, 2017

    Floor-and-Salt

    Winter is in full swing and is taking charge with snow, slush and ice. While bundling up and staying warm inside, make sure you don’t give your floors the cold shoulder. It’s important to be aware of the dangers that the winter elements can leave behind on both carpet and hard surface floors.

    As people come and go in a facility they stomp, shake and dump snow, slush and salt on floors everywhere. This snowy, slushy mess doesn’t end after it dries and leaves behind un-melted rock salt. Stains as white as snow can be seen on all types of floor surfaces. While these stains are pesky and damaging, they are preventable and your floors are savable.

    Salt stains are not harmful if attended to quickly. The faster you remove the moisture and chemicals, the less time they have to damage your floors. Keep absorbent towels or rags near your doors to clean up the messes as they occur, and a vacuum or broom to remove any dry residue.

    Use a reliable matting system. A matting system acts as a first line of defense against tracked-in contaminants on your floors. Over 80% of dirt and residue are brought in by people entering a facility; a good entrance matting system can trap 90% of this dirt and debris that is brought in!

    Boots-in-Frost

    Prevention is the best defense. It’s important to keep in mind that all floor types are vulnerable during the winter. Using a daily maintenance cleaner is one of the most important steps to extend the life of your floors.

    It is important to keep in mind that your floors are vulnerable during the winter. While there is danger afoot due to a combination of increased moisture and salt, remember to practice the above tips to avoid havoc on both carpet and hard surface floors.

    If you have any questions, please visit http://www.betco.com, call (888) GO-BETCO or please contact us at welisten@betco.com

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