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[Friday, September 23, 2011]
We currently use Frescomax and Vectra floor finish using a mop and bucket system. We're thinking of moving to the Prospeed system with the same chemicals. Has anyone changed methods and seen actual savings in terms of chemical cost, or is the savings all "theoretical" labor savings and increased productivity?
Hard & Resilient Floor Care - Jay Smith


You should experience reduced finish usage from decreased discard levels, not from thinner coats of product applied. Let me explain.
Prior to cleaning the finish mop, there normally remains 6-16 oz. of floor finish that is rinsed down the drain. Ok, I have never actually measured the exact amount. And, it does vary by mop size and amount of downward pressure exerted by the mop press on the bucket. I have calculated the inverse absorption level. It is not uncommon for a 24 oz. rayon mop to require a quart of finish before it is ready go.
In addition, it’s not uncommon to dump out 1-2 quarts of contaminated finish from the mop bucket during clean-up. A daily routine with this level of waste is certainly costly. With the flat mop application system; there is possibly 2-3 oz. of product in the pad. And, with the absence of a bucket, zero finish to discard.
It is unlikely there would be any product savings from the application technique. If three heavy coats are applied by a standard mop to produce the desired gloss level, then a flat mop application would normally require four to five coats to obtain the same gloss level. This example would vary depending upon the solids level and actual thickness applied per coat.
Here is the problem; heavy coats can double the drying time, and they may result in streaking from inadequate leveling and possibly incur reduced scratch resistance. Wet mops normally require a heavier application in order to reduce skips.
The design of a microfiber flat mop lends toward a uniform application of thinner coats. As mentioned, thinner coats speed up the drying time, improve the appearance, and can increase durability.
Diversey/Johnson, the manufacturer of the finish you use, suggests an “average” coat of finish might leave 3 microns of finish per coat. Of course, this varies with the percent of solids and the thickness of the application. With a recommended application of five coats, this would produce 15 microns or 3/5 of a mil.
No matter how you apply the finish, and using the above guidelines, you would still shoot for 15 microns to obtain optimum appearance and durability. You could do that with three coats, but five thin coats are better.
From an appearance standpoint and for ease of application, you will find a flat mop superior to the outdated mop and bucket. You should experience labor savings, as the flat mop width can be twice that of a wet mop. You could always try one out and calculate the savings for your own operations. Normally, the workers love the reduced drag and diminution of back muscle strain.
If you plan to attend the upcoming ISSA show, stop by booth 3761, as all the Ask the Experts/ICAN board members will be on hand to answer any additional questions.
Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112www.nationalproclean.com

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