BG-Bldg-Masthead_1920x440_template
Blog
  • Don't be THAT Person During Flu Season

    Sep 21, 2017

    When the flu season strikes, nobody wants to be known as the person that has passed along the flu to everyone in the office. It’s a reputation nobody wants to have; however, it is a hard one to avoid. Many times, we don’t even know that we are carrying a flu virus; symptoms may go unnoticed when you are the most contagious. So, how do you prevent passing along the pesky flu that nobody wants? Here are a few tips and tricks that might keep you from being “That” person.

    germ-hand-picture

    Be Conscientious- If you are ill, let that be known when greeting people as to why you refuse to shake their hand. A simple, “excuse me for not shaking hands, I have a terrible cold” will suffice. The people you encounter will appreciate your consideration of them.

    Keep your distance. If you are the sick one keep your distance from people. No hugging or close interaction that might cause germs to spread.

    Cough and sneeze into the bend in your arm or into a tissue, not in your hands. This will keep your hands a little more germ free for when an unexpected handshake or interaction occurs.

    Sanitize your desk, computer, keys and phone regularly. Your desk and work area is a germ infestation! Keeping the things we touch cleaned throughout the day is a big help. A general disinfectant can usually do the trick. Anytime you might touch something that is contaminated, make sure you wipe it down with a disinfectant and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

    Throw away used tissues after using them once. Don’t leave them laying around for others to pick up and throw away. Especially, don’t leave them on tables where someone else would have to dispose of them. They don’t want your germs either.

    b>Keep a box of tissues and hand sanitizer on your desk at work. It is always smart to have extra on hand. Others can use them if they feel a sneeze or cough coming on. Make sure you sanitize your hands as soon as you are finished using a tissue.

    Have some illness guidelines for employees. Be smart. Encourage employees to stay home if they are acutely ill or have a fever. If someone has a fever, it means they are still contagious. This will reduce the spread of illness throughout an organization.

  • 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.

  • Bulk Soap Dispensers

    Sep 21, 2017

    Millions of people use refillable (bulk) soap dispensers to wash their hands, but what they don’t know is they may be putting their health at risk. Studies have shown that bacteria levels found in bulk soap dispensers were in concentrations levels higher than what industry standards deem as “safe”. Why?

    • Inadequate cleaning – Germs grow inside the dispenser because they do not get properly cleaned or sanitized every time they are refilled
    • Airborne and environmental contaminants can land in the open container
    • Cleaning personnel not properly dressed in PPE (personal protective equipment, such as gloves)
    • “Topping off” or improper refilling – new soap is tainted when coming in contact with contaminated soap
    • Diluted hand soap – some companies try to save money and dilute down concentrated soap formulas

    The CDC (Centers for Disease Control), recommends the following:

    • Liquid products should be stored in closed containers and dispensed from either disposable containers, or containers that are washed and dried thoroughly before refilling
    • Soap should not be added to a partially empty dispenser because this practice of “topping off” might lead to bacterial contamination of soap and negate the beneficial effect of hand cleaning and disinfection

    Hand hygiene is the single MOST IMPORTANT way to reduce the transmission of germs from person to person that can cause infections. The following infections are associated with opportunistic bacteria that are found in contaminated bulk soap dispensers:

    • Respiratory Infections
    • Eye Infections
    • Skin Infections
    • Blood Infections
    • Urinary Tract Infections

    It is safe to say that by upgrading and standardizing your current bulk dispensers to closed sanitary sealed dispensing systems, you can prevent cross contamination and reduce the transmission of infections from person to person?

  • Why Wash Your Hands with Dirty Soap?

    Sep 21, 2017

    Keep in mind…

    Millions of people during their daily routines use refillable (bulk) soap dispensers to wash their hands, so think about this … every time someone washes their hands with soap from a refillable dispenser, are they putting their health at risk?

    Why wash your hands with dirty soap?

    Studies have shown that bacteria levels found in bulk soap dispensers were in concentrations levels higher than what industry standards deem as “safe”:

    Causes are:

    • Inadequate cleaning – Germs grow inside the dispenser because they do not get properly cleaned or sanitized every time they are refilled
    • Airborne and environmental contaminants can land in the open container
    • Opening dispensers to refill soap in unsanitary reservoir, such as a restroom, where fecal bacteria is exposed
    • Cleaning personnel not properly dressed in PPE (personal protective equipment, such as gloves), have cleaned toilets, and then moved on to refill the dispensers
    • “Topping off” or improper refilling – new soap is tainted when coming in contact with contaminated soap
    • Diluted hand soap – companies try to save money and dilute down concentrated soap formulas

    The CDC (Centers for Disease Control), recommends the storing of products as follows:

    • Liquid products should be stored in closed containers and dispensed from either disposable containers, or containers that are washed and dried thoroughly before refilling
    • Soap should not be added to a partially empty dispenser because this practice of “topping off” might lead to bacterial contamination of soap and negate the beneficial effect of hand cleaning and disinfection

    Hand hygiene is the single MOST IMPORTANT way to reduce the transmission of germs from person to person that can cause infections.

  • Cold and Flu Season – Health Advisory Alert.

    Sep 21, 2017

    Cold and Flu Season – Health Advisory Alert, Stay Safe! Wash Your Hands!

    The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) suggests samples taken from current reported flu cases shows the current flu vaccine may not be a good match for this season’s flu strain circulating the US.

    The US health agency issued an advisory to doctors noting these samples showed that just under half of these samples were a good match for the influenza A (H3N2) component contained in flu shots for the 2014-2015 season, suggests the virus has drifted.  According to the CDC, the flu season has been low but increasing with the Influenza A (H3N2) being the predominant strain with cases detected all over the US.

    The CDC is stressing doctors should be prepared to use antiviral medications when needed and start treatment protocols early. This will help:

    • Shorten the duration of the fever and illness symptoms
    • Reduce the risk of complications from influenza (otitis media in young children and pneumonia requiring antibiotics in adults)
    • Reduces the risk of death among hospitalized patients

    CDC continues to recommend a three-pronged approach:

    1. Get vaccinated
    2. Use antiviral medications when indicated for treatment or prevention
    3. Use of other preventative health practices that will help decrease the spread of influenza – hand washing, respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette, social distancing (staying home from work and school when ill, staying away from people who are sick

    *Incorporate skin care products, hand washing steps and the following links

    • Influenza Vaccines available in the US, 2014 – 2015 Influenza Season

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccines.htm

    • Information for healthcare professionals on the use of influenza antiviral medications:

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/

    • Summary of influenza antiviral treatment recommendations for clinicians:

    http://www/cdc/gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/summary-clinician/htm#summary

    • Interim guidance for influenza outbreak management in long term care facilities:

    http://www/cdc/gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/ltc-facility-guidance/htm

       

    For more information, follow the link below:

    http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00374.asp

    HAN

         

    CDC's Health Alert Network (HAN) is CDC's primary method of sharing cleared information about urgent public health incidents with public information officers; federal, state, territorial, and local public health practitioners; clinicians; and public health laboratories.

    CDC’s HAN collaborates with federal, state, territorial, and city/county partners to develop protocols and stakeholder relationships that will ensure a robust interoperable platform for the rapid distribution of public health information.

  • Ten Ways to Protect Your Hands This Winter Season

    Sep 21, 2017

    With winter right around the corner, Betco®, a leading manufacturer of professional cleaning, disinfecting, floor care, and skin care products, reminds those in the professional cleaning and building management industries that now is the time to start thinking about hand care.

    “The dry, cold weather can really damage the skin on your hands,” says Lindsay Tippin, Betco marketing coordinator. “It’s important to start moisturizing before this happens to prevent discomfort that can take weeks to heal.” Tippin also notes that dry chapped hands can evolve into hand dermatitis, a disease that can be very serious, even result in a visit to the emergency room if the condition worsens.

    To help us protect our hands, Tippin offers the following Ten Ways to Protect Your Hands This Winter Season:

    1. Wear gloves every time you go outside; frosty cold air can dry out hands very quickly
    2. If you wear rubber gloves for work, wear a light pair of cotton gloves underneath; this helps protect the skin from the drying effects of moisture and perspiration trapped by the rubber gloves
    3. Facility managers should place bottles or dispensers of hand moisturizer near all sinks so they are readily available for use
    4. Keep a bottle of hand moisturizer nearby and use it frequently
    5. Apply lotion or hand cream over all areas of the hands, including cuticles and nails
    6. While regular hand washing is imperative, in the winter months, use lukewarm water and wash hands longer; hot water strips the skin of natural oils
    7. Studies have found that foam soaps are not only more cost effective than liquid hand soaps but they also require less water; the water is what wipes away protective lubricants
    8. Use hand sanitizers more frequently; although they could make hands dry, they may be a bit gentler to the skin than soap and water
    9. Use foaming hand sanitizers manufactured with non-alcohol formulations
    10. Take the guesswork out of hand care. Work with a manufacturer/distributor familiar with skin and hand care to select the best products to meet your specific needs
    By listening to today’s needs, Betco sets new standards in Cleaning Innovations That Matter. Betco engineers innovative cleaning programs, products and equipment sold through distribution partners internationally.
  • 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.
  • Germs, Germs, Everywhere!

    Sep 21, 2017

    Get this…the average student gets between 6 to 10 colds per year. The fact is colds and flu cause more doctor visits and missed school days than any other illness. So how can parents and school administration work together to prevent this?

    cold-and-flu-in-school-blog
    Here are 5 ways to achieve this:

    1.) Get Immunized – Prevention is the best medicine. Keep up to date on scheduled immunizations for school-aged children. Remember, vaccines only work against specific types of influenza virus for which it was designed for. There is no universal vaccine that will protect you against common cold viruses.

    2.) WASH YOUR HANDS! One of the most common ways of catching a cold or flu is not washing your hands often enough or well enough at school. Studies have shown middle and high school students about half washed their hands after using the bathroom and only 33% of girls and 8% of boys used soap!

    3.) Provide Hand Sanitizer – When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. To make it effective, you should rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands and fingers until dry which is about 30 seconds. Note: Children under the age of six should not use without supervision.

    4.) Proper Germ Etiquette – Cover coughs and sneezes to prevent spreading germs if you think you may have the cold or flu. Sneeze into a tissue and discard then continue to wash your hands!

    5.) Beware of Germ Spots (Touch points) – Studies have shown that bacteria levels are 80% higher on drinking fountains and locker doors than on a toilet seat. Likely because toilet seats get cleaned regularly.

    "Stopping germs where they breed is the best preventative action."

    Here is a great resource on how to survive cold and flu season!

    http://www.today.com/health/how-survive-cold-flu-season-2D12015077
  • 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.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Beating Hospital-Acquired Infections

    Sep 21, 2017

    With the onset of antibacterial products and modern scientific advancements, it seems a safe assumption that we are winning the battle against infection. In actuality, the fight continues against new, more resistant disease-causing microorganisms.

    Healthcare-Acquired-Infections

    A primary area for concern in health care facilities is hospital acquired infections (HAI)—which rank among the top 10 most frequent causes of death in the United States. In response to the growing number of HAIs, as well as to the number of immune-deficient patients, health care organizations have an increased awareness and interest in cleanliness, sanitation, and disinfection techniques. Across the U.S., health care facilities are implementing programs that help maintain a cleaner, healthier environment that can stop HIAs before they occur.

    A significant part of any sanitation program is worker awareness—which starts with understanding the most common ways microorganisms move from one person to the next. One of the best ways to reduce cross-contamination is frequently washing your hands. In fact, hand hygiene is recognized by infection prevention and control experts as the single most important factor in decreasing the spread of infection within any facility, especially healthcare. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) identify the following hand hygiene “touch points”:

    • Before touching a patient
    • Before cleaning and aseptic procedures
    • After bodily fluid exposure
    • After touching a patient
    • After touching a patient’s surroundings

    If no soap, water and towels are available, hand sanitizers limit the spread of microorganisms.

    In addition to hand washing, you can outsmart germs in your facility by keeping critical touch point areas clean and sanitary. Critical touch point areas include:

    • Floors and hallways—Organisms survive up to 5 months on floors.
    • Chair arms—More than 90% are rarely cleaned, and millions of micro-organisms live on chair arms.
    • Door knobs—Viruses such has H1N1 survive from 24 to 48 hours on these surfaces.
    • Bed rails— Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) survives at least 7 days on bedrails.
    • Sinks and faucets—75% of all sinks contain extremely high levels of microorganisms.
    • Toilet seats—Norovirus survives on toilet seats for 12 hours.

    You can keep these critical touch points clean using chemicals such as:

    • Sterilizer—To destroy or eliminate all forms of microbial life.
    • Limited disinfectant—To use against a specific major group of microorganisms.
    • General disinfectant—To use against a broad spectrum of microorganisms.
    • Hospital disinfectant—To use throughout a health care facility.
    • Common surface disinfectants including:
      • Synthetic phenols—For killing a wide range of organisms; often used in operating rooms.
      • Quats—Highly versatile and cost effective, used to kill a wide range of microorganisms; often used in schools, institutions, supermarkets and hospital settings.
      • Hypochlorite/Bleach—For use as a disinfectant or sanitizer, but not for cleaning; never mix bleach with another chemical.
      • Hydrogen Peroxide—Versatile, sustainable cleaner for glass, hard surfaces, carpets and restrooms.
      • Iodine—Due to its staining properties and acidic qualities, use is restricted to specialized areas, such as surgical settings.
      • Alcohol—For disinfecting smaller surface areas.
    • Sanitizers—For reducing, but not necessarily eliminating, microorganisms from the environment; normally used in food service, food preparation, food processing areas and hand care products.

    Remember these important statistics:

    • Infections are one of the primary reasons patients are admitted to hospitals.
    • Proper disinfection prevents 36% of HAIs.
    • Proper disinfection reduces VRE by 50%.
    • The CDC recommends implementing a critical touch point cleaning program in every health care facility.

    Work with Betco to design a comprehensive program that helps you create a healthier, cleaner environment for your patients, visitors and staff—one that outsmarts germs and stops HAIs before they begin

    Top image via Wikipedia
  • 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
  • Clean Hands Affect Your Brand

    Jul 11, 2017

    foam-soaps-save-water
    Creating a home away from home is something that every healthcare facility strives to accomplish. Patients want to stay in a quiet, pleasant and safe environment. Most importantly, cleanliness and environmental hygiene in these facilities are critical to patient safety.

    While thorough cleanliness is crucial to preventing the spread of infection, data shows that patients perceive a high-level of cleanliness as a prerequisite for safe, high-quality care. From restrooms to the entrance and lobby, a patient’s perception is impacted and a healthcare facility’s brand and reputation is affected.

    In a healthcare environment, cross contamination is the number one concern for the healthcare facility, caregivers, patients and their families. With multiple touch points such as door handles, keyboards and sink faucets, it’s no wonder why hand hygiene compliance is a serious issue. Approximately 80% of all infections are transmitted by the hands.

    How can you implement an effective hand hygiene program at your facility? The World Health Organization recommends 5 essential elements for a successful hand hygiene program.

    Step 1 – Gaining Commitment from all operating areas of your facility is critical. All facility and staff are key advocates to reinforce this commitment.

    Step 2 – Educating those chosen to be hand hygiene advocates on the impact of this implementation is the next step.

    Step 3 – Create a Roadmap by surveying your facility for proper placement of both sanitizing and handwashing stations.

    Step 4 – Implementation of the dispenser installation needs careful planning. Optimizing the educational function, or site zone, of the dispenser along with message reinforcement will greatly assist your facility campaign.

    Step 5 – Developing a communication strategy to drive hand hygiene compliance is critical.

    Healthcare facilities must focus on preventing cross contamination for the well-being of patients and healthcare workers. By regularly researching and determining the most effective cleaning practices, healthcare facilities will be able to achieve a higher level of clean, positively impacting the patients’ health and overall experience.

    For more solutions or guidance to proper hand hygiene, visit betco.com to learn about our Compass Program.

  • 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.

Recent Posts