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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Question

The floor is comprised of ceramic tile that came pre-finished, no sealing or top coating necessary due to a special coating applied during production of tiles. The floor is uneven due a combination of a bad foundation and the fact that it was built on swamp land. We use a ride-on auto-scubber by Tennant, model T-16, every night on it. A 3M chemical solution is used every other day, alternating with just water. The problem is that there are water spots everywhere, despite changing speed, chemicals, drivers, and adjusting the squeegees in various ways, and spot mopping up the bad spots.. Mopping the whole thing is simply not feasible because we only have one person at night cleaning the floors. Trail-mopping is not very feasible either due to the square footage we have to clean. Because the water spots are everywhere, we would be just mopping the entire thing. Basically, the floor cleaning crew is at its witís end trying to do things better so we stop getting complaints about the floors. Is there anything you can suggest to help?


Answer

Due to a poor tile installation, you have a floor with highs and lows. It is uneven and will not allow the squeegee on the machine to do a complete pickup of solution or water put down by the T-16.
So far, every adjustment to the machine and its speed has failed to provide a full pickup and it appears that you will not see an improvement until the floor miraculously evens itself out.
You donít say what the sq. ft. area is, but if mopping to pick up what has been missed is not possible, you are left with the procedure of having your floor man cover a selected area with the rider, stop it, and then go over what was scrubbed with a wet vac and floor tool of such a width that it will not bridge the puddles. Then, he moves to the next area and repeats the operation. The wet vac will be faster than mopping and the spots will be gone. Just donít go so far on the rider that the puddles start to dry.
In some situations we have to be realistic. No wide squeegee can remove all the solution from an uneven floor and when the dirty solution dries to the air, noticeable spots will be left. The real problem rests with the folks who approved the poor tile installation, and if they want to have the floor cleaned, they should be willing to pay for the extra work needed to solve the problems caused by the unevenness.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com