Green Still Matters to Clients in Hornell, NY, 14843 - ACS Facilities Services

Choosing Chemicals Based On Varying Floor Types BY Becky Mollenkamp Sponsors Geerpres® Single-use Mops Eliminate Cross-contamination Buy Advantex® Single-use Mop Zephyr Manufacturing Your one stop source for quality cleaning products Green Still Matters to Clients in Hornell, NY, 14843 - ACS Facilities Services Go To for free articles. When developing a hard-floor maintenance program, there will inevitably be a question about which chemicals to use. As with frequencies, however, there is no easy, blanket answer. “As a floor inspector, I deal with a lot of broken floors,” says Rob McNealy, president of Safer Walkways Association. “When someone asks me what to use to clean a floor, my response — almost invariably — is whatever the manufacturer recommends. It sounds like a cop out, but if you don’t use what the manufacturer recommends, you could void the warranty if anything goes wrong.” Even if a flooring installer or your distributor’s salesperson recommends a particular chemical, McNealy suggests verifying that information with the flooring manufacturer. To find flooring manufacturers’ cleaning recommendations, managers can look inside the box of materials for a maintenance guide. If the original flooring packaging cannot be accessed, visit the manufacturer’s website or call their technical department. If managers don’t know who made the floors, hire a floor inspector to identify the manufacturer. Inspectors are available through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) or the National Institute for Certified Floorcovering Inspectors. “If you create a maintenance program without knowing certain things about your flooring, you may damage or destroy it,” says McNealy. “That can be very costly, especially in a large facility.” If all else fails, and the floor’s origin cannot be determined, experts agree it’s best to use neutral cleaning agents. “Neutral cleaner is a surfactant cleaner that has a pH of or around 7,” says Hulin. “It’s not going to damage any type of flooring, although using it with water on wood is not recommended. That should be damp mopped only.” Using an acidic (low pH) cleaner on travertine, marble, limestone, or terrazzo can etch and ruin the tile and grout, as well as wear away any sealer on the floor. “Some workers have accidentally removed grout entirely by attempting to use an acid cleaner for maintenance and to remove stains,” says Harris. At the other end of the pH scale, alkaline cleaners can also have damaging effects. They can penetrate natural stone tiles and cause the floor to pockmark, for example, or remove finish from linoleum or VCT floors. Using the wrong products isn’t the only mistake janitorial crews can make when it comes to chemicals. “The number one mistake I see with cleaning in general is people are not diluting chemicals correctly,” McNealy says. “Using the glug method often results in too much chemical. This allows soil and surfactant to build up on the floor, leaving a sticky haze. That creates future maintenance issues when more soil combines with the existing residue and creates a big mess.” To eliminate this potential problem, McNealy recommends single-use cleaning chemicals, rather than dispensing systems. “With a predetermined amount of cleaning chemical that you just tear open and use, you have fewer dilution or mixing mistakes,” he says. “They tend to be a little better for avoiding improper mixing.”
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