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Monday, September 01, 2014

Question

A cancer treatment facility that I maintain was recently remodeled and the flooring installed in the infusion suite, where chemotherapy is administered, is made by LONSEAL. The product is not holding its own and looks horrible, although my staff has followed the care instructions to the letter. The suite is a high traffic area with a couple hundred people walking across the floor on a daily basis. Recently, the factory rep visited to look at the flooring. The practice manager threw me under the bus, claiming that I was not following recommended guidelines. The management, furthermore, will also not allow me to do any more than I am doing due to cost overruns. In addition, some other company has been called in to handle the floors, despite my staff doing what was recommended by the factory. Any thoughts?


Answer

The Lonseal website shows 17 various Warranty Exclusions including gloss reduction from routine wear and traffic. They undoubtedly covered themselves from claims relating to appearance problems. Additionally, they have their own floor care line (buffing, cleaning, stripping and floor finish). It appears that the only valid complaint would be if their floor finish did not provide an even gloss - assuming professional application procedures. Possibly, your only response would be to use their products and procedures, and video document your conformance to the requirements.


Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com

Editor's note:
Any floor covering used in a heavy traffic setting such as you describe needs finish protection and that finish needs maintenance. However, there is no standard maintenance frequency for all floors and so one of the above mentioned warranty exclusions for a recommended Lonseal finish is "Gloss reduction from routine wear, or irregular visual appearance from traffic path, or excessive soil build-up due to lack of or improper maintenance."
I read this as a poorly worded way of saying that any poor gloss appearance means you are experiencing routine wear, showing traffic paths, and/or have excessive soil build-up due to poor maintenance. They won't warranty against those possible conditions. Obviously!
This is one of those "Duh!" statements often used to explain the obvious.
Put down a finish, maintain it properly, and it will continue to protect the flooring and look attractive.
If the finish itself is at fault and you are locked into using it, you are stuck. However, this is probably not the case, or the company looks bad recommending it.
That leaves the irresponsible management decision to stay with a maintenance program (probably frequency-based) that is clearly not working for this location. It is far easier to blame the contractor than it is to work on developing a maintenance program that addresses the specific issues of a difficult location and make the necessary adjustments in either product or frequency needed to correct the problem.
Nonetheless, when the flooring fails or is destroyed by chemicals or traffic, we'll see how management's concern for cost overruns works out.
Your only recourse, apart from getting the management to address the unusual wear problems in this location, is to let time make your case. If others now have the responsibility for the floors, let's watch to see if they can make an improvement. If they follow the directions you have been adhering to, I would not expect much to change. Keep us informed, please.

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