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Facilities Management: New trends for maintaining hard- and soft-floor surfaces


An open forum on best practices was among the highlights of the facilities management workshop track at SPECS/2007. The forum proved an ideal venue for sharing and discovering best practices in such key areas as fire protection, contact/scope of work and material procurement.

Additional workshops addressed disaster preparedness and recovery, and the use of Web-based computerized maintenance-management systems in managing day-to-day facilities activities at multisite locations. The latest trends in floor-cleaning equipment and processes, for hard- and soft-flooring surfaces, were discussed in the session, “Innovative Floor Care Solutions.”

The speaker drove home the importance of good cleaning practices.

“Janitorial is one of the largest costs of facilities,” said Ian G. Greig, CEO, Daniels Associates, Phoenix. “Cleaning must be efficient.”

Greig, an industry consultant with clients around the globe, is an advocate of using wide vacuums on hard-surface floors and carpets.

“They get under display racks and pull the dust in, as opposed to just pushing it around,” he explained. “Start vacuuming your hard-surface floors—stop dust-mopping. Dust mops just blow particles into the air, and the particles then resettle.”

Battery-powered vacuums are ideal, Greig added. They are fairly silent, at 25 to 30 decibels, and can be used during the day.

“We’re not going to get people working nights,” he said. “You need to look at converting to day cleaning.”

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In other suggestions, Greig advised damp-mopping hard floors with a micro-fiber flat mop and dusting surfaces with a micro-fiber wipe.

“Micro-fiber is the way to go,” he said. “String mops haven’t been used in Europe in 20 years.”

The speaker discussed a new product, a Swedish innovation called Twister, which he predicted would change the face of floor cleaning. Distributed in the United States by Continental Commercial Products, it is actually a three-step system that consists of patented cleaning and polishing pads (with specially formulated cleaners) that can be mounted on existing standard cleaning equipment, such as automatic scrubbers. The process eliminates the need to use any other cleaning method or chemicals, including finishes and sealers, to restore and maintain the floor surface.

“The Twister pad micro-polishes vinyl, marble, terrazzo, concrete or stone floor, providing a high shine level and great slip-resistance—without using any floor finish,” Greig said. “It works beautifully on marble and stone, and actually cleans the grout. And it’s phenomenal on concrete.”

Using the Twister will reduce labor costs significantly, he added.

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