A good piece of advice I heard last week was that the first step in planning your retirement is to know where you want to live. This knowledge helps springboard the steps you need to take in achieving your goal of living comfortably later in life. Can understanding how to manage your investments be the same as creating a total floor care portfolio? Let’s investigate!
Like your house, the choice of flooring can be one of the largest expenses that you may incur when building a new facility. When maintained properly, it can be well preserved over its useful life, maximizing your investment.
One simple method (that is often overlooked) in maintaining a floor is to start by understanding what the floors should look like if/when you are successful. By understanding the “functional look you need”, it will be easier for you to have the discussion with your supplier on the proper selection of equipment, sealer, finish, cleaners, maintainers and tools. If you want to understand the impact of your choices, your supplier should be able to provide you with the cost expectations for various maintenance methods over a period of time. This knowledge is as valuable as an expert financial advisor.
Some areas you may want to plan for at this stage include:
- MATTING– necessary for any type of hard floor- how much do I need and what type of matting best protects your floor investment?
- TIMING – Start early! Talk with your supplier BEFORE making a final choice of design or type of flooring so that you do not get hit with unexpected labour costs over the usable life of the flooring
- AVAILABLE LABOUR BUDGET – Look at how many hours will be needed to maintain the look. The hours will be based on the size of the CLEANABLE floor space, the FREQUENCY to maintain and the DESIRED GLOSS LEVEL.
- GLOSS LEVEL – Is “the desired look” the best option for the activities and people in the building? Very shiny floors require more labour to maintain an acceptable and consistent gloss level. If you only have the labour budget to buff or burnish every two weeks or less you need to choose a gloss level that matches this. If you have heavy carts and tow motors crossing your floor on a daily basis, a high gloss floor may not be your best option.
- BUILDING CONSTRAINTS – Is the building used 24 hours a day? Are there high traffic areas that may require a different flooring option or different maintenance program to maintain your desired look and cleaning standard? Can the look be achieved given ALL constraints of the activities within the building?
- SAFETY – Will seasonal weather require a different maintenance program? What steps do you need to put in place to reduce the potential for slip, trips and falls in the facility?
To achieve our financial goals, we need not place our eggs “all in one basket” but to maintain a proper balance of many types of investments. For a successful floor care program, we need to balance our TIME and INVESTMENT in three activity areas:
- Work should not be adjusted on a daily basis. It is important however, to have a daily program that is adaptable if change is needed. Emergencies happen. Your daily program should include how to IDENTIFY and CORRECT these CHALLENGES without compromising your desired look and cleaning standard.
- Work with your supplier to design a workable program that will prevent extra costs later in the life of the flooring. Floors with excess dirt and particulate will wear down finish or the surface of the floor more rapidly than expected. Extra costs can be incurred when floors need to be stripped and refinished unexpectantly due to an improper daily program. Your goal is to maximize your investment in your flooring choice.
- Maintain your entrance matting so that less soil gets onto your hard surfaces. Less soil entering your building equals less damage to your floors.
- Plan for the level of DUST & PARTICULATE as they require different techniques for capture and removal.
Interim (sometimes termed “as required” or “preventative”)
- Budget your cleaning activities to maintain a level surface. A flat, even surface will be easier to remove soils and maintain over the life of the floor. Buffing and burnishing are two cleaning processes that can help keep floor surfaces flat and even.
- Soils (dust and particulate) are about 9 times easier to transfer from hard floors (as compared to soft floors) so it is important to keep these soils off the floor and avoid them being added to our breathing zones. Maintain cleaner, more even surfaces with proper equipment and restorers to help your building stay HEALTHIER.
- Are you budgeting for preventative maintenance to avoid any downtime? Will winter affect the soil loads on your flooring? Do you need to budget a deep scrub and recoat to prevent a full strip and refinish procedure?
- When floor cannot be repaired to an acceptable standard, floors will need to have restorative work to get back on track. Sometimes your best efforts cannot prevent the erosion of the floor finish. Floor with little or no floor finish are difficult to clean and maintain, and can leave your floor exposed to permanent damage.
- Choose STRIPPERS based on the floor sensitivity and available time. Stripping and refinishing floors is a time consuming process. Make sure you are planning with your supplier and the building management team to prevent compromising daily activities of building occupants during any cleaning activity.
- Will you have the same workers available later this year? In 2 yrs? In 5 yrs? If not, plan the equipment purchases wisely.
- Do you have an exit plan for your equipment if plans change?
Financial advisors provide the expertise to achieve your desired lifestyle but you need to provide the goals. All worthwhile goals require some balance of time and effort. This is the same for any strong and healthy floor care portfolio.
Wood Wyant has many experts across Canada with the ability to help you reach your goals, whether they are richly defined or need some tweaking. Wood Wyant has the latest knowledge for incorporating LEED, CIMS-GB, CGSP (CSSA, ESP) or EcoLogoM programs within your goals.
Dream big! Wood Wyant will ensure you get there!