Steve Brown with Infinite Floorcare in Atlanta shared with us an experience on a recent job where his team’s knowledge, training, and education helped to avoid what could have possibly been a flooring disaster if left in the hands of lesser qualified technicians. The project scope was a post construction cleaning where the main focus was on a newly installed rubber floor. The job also included sheet vinyl along with tile and grout, but those areas of flooring were of secondary concern to the job’s project manager and, as stated on the work order, were to be cleaned as needed.
Once done cleaning the rubber and sheet vinyl, the Infinite crew moved on to quickly “buzz over” the tile and grout as instructed by the project manager. In most cases, an acidic cleaner would be used, but because cleaning this area was of minimal importance to the customer, the Infinite technician used a neutral cleaner with a 175 rotary floor machine and a medium brush. After cleaning the tile, the tech noticed that the floor looked hazy and matte in appearance and connected with Steve for further instructions. Steve told his technician to use an acid cleaner to remove any haze from the tile that may have been left from the grouting process.
Following proper protocol, the technician tested a small, inconspicuous area first to be sure there were no adverse reactions between the floor and cleaning chemistry. On the test area, the chemical fizzed on the surface and absorbed into the floor, etching the tile. Because of his training and education, the Infinite tech knew immediately that he wasn’t dealing with porcelain or ceramic tile and again reached out to Steve, who was also on the job in a different location, to troubleshoot.
Steve and his team took the time to communicate with the job superintendent and locate attic stock. They discovered that the tile they were cleaning was actually cement tile, and if left in the hands of another company with lesser trained technicians, the floor could have been badly damaged or destroyed, requiring costly repairs or replacement. Steve also pointed out to the superintendent and project manager that per manufacturer recommendations the tile needed to be sealed to protect against potential everyday staining and etching from acidic based products, such as soft drinks, juices, coffees, teas, or toilet bowl cleaners.
Time and time again, training and education pay off in commercial floor care. The Infinite team did everything right on this job, but one misstep along the way by an under educated technician from another service provider certainly could have created an emergency situation costing time, money, and a potential hit to a company’s reputation.