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Monday, July 28, 2014

Question

For some time, I have been conducting time studies on the amount of square footage that can be stripped and refinished by our team members. I have seen several articles on benchmarking, but no one comes out and says, "On average, you should be able to complete xxxx square feet per eight hour shift." Is there an industry standard that would provide that? Granted, there are a number of variables (well, a lot), but on average, with average equipment and ample materials, what can be expected from a team of floor care techs?


Answer

There are probably too many variable factors from floor to floor and building to building to establish an average stripping number that reflects reality. The supervision and workers' skills and dedication vary on each project. The temperature and relative humidity affects work times, drying time, evaporation of stripper, etc. One floor has eleven coats of finish with build-up while the floor above has scarcely three coats and no build-up.
The closest thing to industry times standards are in ISSA's "540 Cleaning Times", but even these times cannot take into account factors like overlap of machines, load of stripping pads, and optimum product selection.
Applying coats of finish (no one uses "wax" today) is a different matter and fairly simple to estimate. Look up the applicator type and size in the "540 CT" to learn the hourly coverage time. Divide the total sq. ft. by the hourly production rate and multiply that by the number of coats required. The result is the approximate finish application time.
Stripping, in my experience, is the least predictable set of cleaning tasks. You virtually never know what you are getting into when you start a stripping project.

John Walker
President, ManageMen, Inc.
Founder, Janitor University
Former ISSA Director of Education and Training