When the only tool you have is a hammer, all the problems you encounter begin to look like nails.
In other words, when you think like a traditional cleaner — waiting for the soils to present themselves — you always see restoration cleaning as the answer when, in fact, you could clean easier with a routine or periodic service.
Most cleaning procedures would be easier to perform if we did not wait so long to complete them.
If we wait too long, the cleaning becomes more like damage control, not soil removal.
The answer to this issue is to create a cleaning schedule for each step of the cleaning process.
In all cleaning schedules, we begin with the first things first: Initial cleaning procedures.
These tasks are completed when the flooring is first installed in the building.
This could include vacuuming carpeting that has been freshly installed to remove the clippings, stray fibers and tufts.
It could also include the light stripping of the new vinyl composition tile (VCT) flooring for complete acceptance of the floor finish your company or facility uses to achieve the high-gloss finish that makes you so proud.
Initial cleaning processes could also include any construction cleaning necessary after the construction is complete.
The construction company typically performs many of these construction cleanup tasks; how well they are performed is anyone''s guess.
The beginning of the maintenance process, especially for flooring, is a key element for the lifespan of the flooring material.
To place this critical timeline in the hands of anyone except a trained, professional floor care technician is bordering on a flooring crime.
Does anyone realize how much flooring is replaced prematurely because of incompetent initial procedures?
One would guess the amount is extremely high when taking into account the billions of square feet of commercial flooring available.
Architects and other construction professionals assume that one flooring choice is as good as another, as long as it appears to match the color scheme.
They also assume that every cleaner that swings a mop can handle any flooring that is installed, with any soiling conditions that are met each season.
That''s a lot of assumptions.
The way around this mess of assumptions is with the strict scheduling of tasks.
From the maintenance of the outside of the structure to the selection of mats inside the doorways, to the stripping and refinishing schedule of the VCT flooring, we must remain in control of the soil entering the building.
Seasonal information needs to be implemented to ward off frequent buildup of ice-melt compounds, sand and other gritty substances or more entrance mat changes per week in rainy seasons.
We must be in control.
Once soils enter the structure, they must be collected and removed using dry techniques wherever possible to ensure complete collection and removal from the flooring.
This dry soil removal process ensures longer lasting floor finish, prevents carpets from releasing fibers from dry soil damage and stone floors from needing less abrasive honing and polishing during the flooring life.
In other words, longer lasting flooring will require less maintenance and therefore use less budget allowance.
This is a win-win for everyone.
If you are looking for different ideas to foster better relationships with customers, contact Dane Gregory, a business consultant and trainer specializing in working with companies in the professional cleaning industry. He currently trains technicians in the use of cleaning protocols for stone, tile and masonry surfaces for Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). He also presents a consulting program for industry veterans as well as newcomers in the cleaning industry to help their company''s reach the next level of success. Gregory can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.