Strip and deep clean a 9,300 sq ft floor, feed back on quote requested

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rick in Syracuse, New York

72 months ago

Carina in Tampa, Florida said: Hello,
I need some quick feed back on where my price range should be for a retail floor:9,300 all tile, a deep clean strip job, they don;t want wax, but maybe a protective sealant that absorbs into tiles. Not a whole lot of moving display units. I estimate the job with a large floor machine that has a 28" clean path and squeegies and a crew of 3 will take about 10 hrs.
The floor is not in bad shape at all, just a little discolored wax build up from last application in some visible spots.

Can any one tell me what the price range should be either per square ft of the whole job. I know where I want to be, but don't want to under bid or over bid of course. I guess the usual dilemma when you are new to this...
I appreciate any feedback!!
Thanks,
Carina


hey my name is rick most janitorial companies are getting around 30 to 50 a square my self i charge 30cents

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rich1942 in Northampton, Massachusetts

67 months ago

Paul in Verona, Wisconsin said: Say, what works good for my company, is to spray buff using a high speed burnisher. Depending if you get salt on it or not from winter months, you then might repeat monthly. Then, instead of wet mopping for daily maint. try using a micro fiber mop by spraying a diluted nuetral floor cleaner. You'll find the floor looks pretty good, then looks great after buffing. Then later on you can convince building manager or owner that stripping and waxing would be wise after time.

thank you!

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jj in Tupelo, Mississippi

60 months ago

The advice is very good! Let me ask a couple of dumb questions. I have 4 10000sq foot stores that want a price ASAP for strip and wax. Do you actually charge for the sq foot of the store or the tile itself? I am thinking aisles take up about 30 percent of the sales floor. 35-60 cents a square foot sounds very high-heard .17 to .22 on another sight. Thank you in advance!

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jj in Tupelo, Mississippi

60 months ago

Thanks so much for your prompt reply!!

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VCT in Toronto, Ontario

60 months ago

I have a contract for a VCT strip, seal and wax. I have since done that but would like to really make it shine and just regularly keep it shinning. I'm in Toronto. What can I do to achieve this. I'd like to have it SHINE till it looks like glass. I thought after the wxing it'd be shinning but I've seen better like in shops and hospitals. That's the sie I hope to achieve. Any help would be appreciated.

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Mike in New Hampton, New Hampshire

60 months ago

Try using a high speed burnisher.

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mch in Tampa, Florida

60 months ago

is there any body that does in tampa what is the going rate for cleaning windows

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Richard Watts in Southfield, Michigan

57 months ago

rich1942 in Florence, Massachusetts said: hello... my name is Richard. i noticed that a VCT floor i have been cleaning the sealant or wax is wearing out. the prevous cleaner used crappy cleaning solutions...the owner doesn't want to strip yet he wants to wait unitl early spring... how can i save this floor with out stripping?

should buff and seal the floors for now?

please help.

thank you

Use soap and water with red pad and soft scrub the floor.Then apply one or two thin coats of wax. With regular buffing it will last until spring. You may have to repeat the process once more before spring, but your boss will love it..... richardwatts225@yahoo.com

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Mike in Bristol, New Hampshire

57 months ago

I agree with Richard on this with the exception of multiple coats. I would apply one at a time and maybe do it 3 or 4 times.

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Richard Watts in Southfield, Michigan

57 months ago

The two thin coats will also cover the wax that may be removed durin the soft scrub. It will also give the floor a better shine after buffing

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marlo297@aol.com in Brooklyn, New York

56 months ago

I worked for the N.Y.C.D.O.E (321) AS a custodian. 5years experienced That job will run you about a day and a half. my price that i will charge you is 1,500!!!!!! cant beat that

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Jerry in Oxnard, California

56 months ago

Can you achieve a glass-like finisher with a high speed and not a propane high speed?
What is the amount of coats needed to achieve glass-like finish?

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Mike in Northwood, New Hampshire

56 months ago

Jerry in Oxnard, California said: Can you achieve a glass-like finisher with a high speed and not a propane high speed?
What is the amount of coats needed to achieve glass-like finish?

You can obtain a glass like finish with ANY buffing method. I would apply 2 coats of sealer, then buff that. Next, apply 2 coats of at least 25% solids wax and buff again. If you want to see lasting protection, apply 1 more coat of wax and buff again. This will give you a long lasting, mirror like finsh. Good luck. This is the method I just used at a children's psych ward where I was not able to use my propane burnisher so I used a high speed electric burnisher. I do not recommend using a side to side unless time is of no concern. I really don't ever use a side to side except while stripping in places I can't use my propane stripper.

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Paul Loar in Paola, Kansas

56 months ago

Thank you for ur time u r a real asset to this site

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Paul Loar in Paola, Kansas

56 months ago

Length times width equal sq ft. Is the gym 12 ft wide? Take your square footage times the amount you are charging for the job. Your math above should have equaled $1260.00? Hope this helps.

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Mike in New Durham, New Hampshire

56 months ago

you need the square footage. if it is 300 sq then 1260 is your price. You have peaked my curiosity though, I have never seen a VCT floor in a gym. Usually they are wooden, n which case you should not use wax...

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David in Borden, Indiana

56 months ago

That is it and they have provide the chemicals and they have the buffer.

and i would like to thank you for you're reply i wish i could help you out in return but i do hardwood floors and do not know much about this industry.

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David in Borden, Indiana

56 months ago

kaslo in Fort Saint John, British Columbia said: what else are you doing in the contract.

That is it and they have provide the chemicals and they have the buffer.

and i would like to thank you for you're reply i wish i could help you out in return, but i do hardwood floors and do not know much about this industry.

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kaslo in Fort Saint John, British Columbia

56 months ago

kaslo in Fort Saint John, British Columbia said: what else are you doing in the contract.

Buffing 1x a month- 40-60 $$$
Buff and wax- .15-.25 per foot
Strip n wax-.40-.60 per foot

Hope this helps.

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Mike in Barnstead, New Hampshire

56 months ago

kaslo in Quesnel, British Columbia said: Hello people. My first time here, looks like a good site for tips. I have been in business for 10 years doing small locations where floors are done with a swing machine. I have recently gotten a 70,000' store and want to know if a propane stripping machine is the way. I have the auto scrubbers n propane burnishers but have not used the propane stripping way......Thx for ur input

@70k sq, I wouldn't even start without the propane stripper! That job will pay for so Id go for it. I love mine, it saves huge on man hours and gets the wax right up

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Mike in Barnstead, New Hampshire

56 months ago

David in Borden, Indiana said: I just got offered to bid on 3000sqft VCT floor and it is a regular maintenance they want me to buff each month
strip & wax once a year and I think buff & wax every 6 months.
What should i charge and are these the steps that you would take?

if you are looking at this i need your help. Thanks for you time

$.35 sq ft to strip and wax, $60 for monthly buff, $.19-.22 to scrup and wax. Hope that helps.

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Sam I AM in Tucson, Arizona

56 months ago

Hahahaha....

You might get .50 an hour because everything costs more in the NE U.S., but you sure as crap won't get that rate in most parts of the nation. Heck you can diamond polish concrete floors for .50 p/sq. And that's 12 steps each sq.

You simply aren't going to get $25,000 for a 50,000 sq strip and wax job. LOL...not gonna happen. NOT!

Here is how I do it:

You need to take into consideration how many people you use a night...and what those people need to make a night to get the best efforts out of them. If you intend to be one of the workers, do the same for yourself.

Estimate how many nights. Add in chems, gas, propane, equipment wear n tear, etc... and any other costs. Add it all up.

Add 20% to that total if you are new to this...add 5% if you know what you are doing. You should then be at 'cost basis.'

Finally simply add your profit percentage, whatever that is, and there you are. How do you determine your profit percentage? That's entirely up to you. 20% is a dang good rate in this biz. And since you already included yourself in step one, that profit should be put back into the business for costs and growth.

Just set a job MINIMUM of say $400. That should cover any job up to 1,500 sq. Drop by a penny or 2 every few thousand sq.ft.

Anything above 50K you should be at .10 for 4 coats.

In ALL jobs, productivity is profit. Strip / Wax as many sq. as you can with precise planning and rapid execution. This is where good equipment comes into play.

And RULE #2... Never do a job by yourself. I don't care what anyone else says. A one worker strip crew is the most inefficient system you could ever think of. Totally the definition of inefficiency.

Save the small jobs when you can double your work sites in one night. 1 guy jobs may put ALL the $ in your pocket but you will never ever grow beyond a one man crew with this type of thinking.

Plus, you'll never get from behind that dang mop...lol.

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Sam I AM in Tucson, Arizona

56 months ago

kaslo in Quesnel, British Columbia said: Hello people. My first time here, looks like a good site for tips. I have been in business for 10 years doing small locations where floors are done with a swing machine. I have recently gotten a 70,000' store and want to know if a propane stripping machine is the way. I have the auto scrubbers n propane burnishers but have not used the propane stripping way......Thx for ur input

---------------------

If this is a 1X job, I wouldn't invest in the propane strippers. I would stick with an autoscrubber. If you can rent a power stripper, then yes, you should use it.

However the secret to success with these monster machines is TO KEEP IT RUNNING ALL NIGHT...NEVER SHUT IT OFF EXCEPT TO CHANGE PROPANE TANKS!

If you intend to get serious with your business and do large jobs or a lot of small jobs on a nightly basis, then yes, you should look into these power machines.

Just remember though to keep it running...otherwise you defeat the purpose. Usually you need a 3 man crew to accomplish this and get the full benefits from it. You almost need a full time person laying down the stripper in advance so the power machine never stops.

I run 5 SideWinder 32" propane machines at once on the big box retailers. We can knock out a KMart in 3 nights.

: )

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Ronald 2196 in Gastonia, North Carolina

56 months ago

652

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Sam I AM in Tucson, Arizona

56 months ago

Ronald 2196 in Gastonia, North Carolina said: 652

652???

Perhaps these are the security numbers you had to type in to post?

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Michael in Richmond, Virginia

56 months ago

What about if store want to get clean just all edges ( 1inch from baseboard ). Last company didn't clean up corners when they strip and they put wax over dirty corners. How much can I charge for that? I have no idea how long will take, (MAYBE 50hours), but I know that for strip store they paid $2,500.

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Sam I Am in Tucson, Arizona

56 months ago

Your question is a bit confusing.

When I sell a strip, it includes all the edges. What it does NOT include are the covebase or baseboard themselves...no vertical spaces.

If they are asking you to do just the edges and not the floor, odds are you hit them too high on the job.

This can be a messy adventure...not sure if its worth it to either party. FIrst you gotta strip that stuff clean which means you should tape and plastic off to do a sharp cut-line. If you dont d that, stripper will spill spray and spatter on to the wax you are trying to keep...and sure you can be an artist and do it but it might take you half an hour a foot.

So you gotta lay straight as an arrow tape to make it.

Next I assume it needs to be done by hand. BRUTAL WORK. Usually done by razors.

I assume the covebase and baseboards are crapped up as well. More hand work.

I'd rather spend that time pounding the phones looking for someone who wants a full strip n wax. Sam I Am wouldn't do that work for less than .40 a foot...but thats me.

The wide open spaces are the easy part of this business. It's the edges and details that make a floor look awesum. Anything on edges and verticals that isn't done properly is what makes a job look like hell.

Sell the whole job.

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Michael in Richmond, Virginia

56 months ago

Yes, like you said, it has to be done with spray botle with strip and then done by hand with razor.

Baseboards are clean and paint.

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Mike in Barnstead, New Hampshire

56 months ago

stripping covebase is easier than some of these guys are saying. While you will need to tape and plastic, Hillyard sells covebase stripper in an aerosol can that simply wipes away, no rinse needed. Unless you really need the work or really like these people, I would convince them the whole job needs to be done again. Youll have quite a time trying to blend new and old wax.

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Sam I Am in Tucson, Arizona

56 months ago

If the baseboards are wood, I would be careful of any hot strippers, no matter who sells it.

If the baseboards are covebase / vinyl, painting it will look like hell.

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richard watts in Southfield, Michigan

56 months ago

If it was not done right it has to be done over

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Tatiana in Newark, Ohio

55 months ago

Guys! i've just started a commercial cleaning business and have been reading this forum today. Please, everyone, give me an advise what services should I provide, what equipment to buy, how to do the floor etc. Or where to get all these information. I live in Ohio, so it won't be any compatition with you guys. Thanks~

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Tatiana in Newark, Ohio

55 months ago

well, thanks :-) Congratulations on succeeding in the business.
Don't think that if you are doing fine today, noone can replace you or life can't bring a "surprise " oneday. I've been doing other kinds of businesses, so I'm not that helpless or stupid.

Good luck.

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Sam I Am in Tucson, Arizona

55 months ago

Well obviously you took my reply with disrespect.

I know far well that every day, the world turns on those on top of it. There is no lack of humbleness on my reply.

Point is, you come here posting, to quote, "I just started a commercial cleaning busines...what services should I provide, what equipment to buy, how to do the floor etc."

Frankly, that's a strange post.

Hey, I just opened a heart transplant center. Can anyone give me ideas on what services I offer, what equipment I need to buy and can you tell me how to do it?

As for my offer to buy your accounts, if you have any, certainly no disrespect was intended there, either. In the commercial cleaning business there are 2 ways to grow...sales or the purchase of other commercial cleaning businesses.

It was a legitimate offer, not a slight to your efforts.

I'll sign off on this thread issue wishing you, indeed, the best of fortune. There is plenty of work out here for everyone and everyday in this business someone is getting fired and someone is getting fired.

Besides...I enjoy competition in this business.

Competition breeds excellence.

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Tatiana in Newark, Ohio

55 months ago

Thanks, Sam.
Yes, all i wanted is some advise what to do the best in the business and ,maybe, how to...
When I first started my other business, I was learning it BY MYSELF for 2 years, made many mistakes, of course. Then I became a Pro.
Now I'm trying to chagi it for the commercial business. It would be nice if someone said what kind of mistake do not to make.

I'm not upset, of course. If I were able to get upset I was not a business woman, of course :-)

Good luck again.

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Tatiana in Newark, Ohio

55 months ago

this is what i was looking for :-)
janitorial-equipment.net/

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Sam I Am in Tucson, Arizona

55 months ago

Tatiana in Newark, Ohio said: this is what i was looking for :-)
janitorial-equipment.net/

Well Tatiana, what you have found is simply a place that will sell you equipment. You other thread asked for a few additional items.

What I will do is share wtih you what I learned over the years that I wish I had known earlier. Success leaves clues, so here you go:

1) Unless it is very new, or a simple steal at a price, do not buy used equipment.

2) If performing work as a subcontractor for a general contractor, expect to eventually, get screwed over one day. Budget for it.

3) When sumbitting a proposal, NEVER call it a "bid." Instead refer to it as an "OFFICIAL CERTIFICATION," or "PLAN FOR SUCCESS." DO not think the 'bid' will be able to sell better on paper than you can in person. The bid should be a formality...not the sales tool.

4) Never submit a propsal, never do so, without first attempting to pryout what the customer is willing to pay. After you have sold yourself, just ask, "what's the job pay?"

5) Avoid using illegal labor. Sticking the head in the sand is dangerous these days. (Ever see a roofing crew full of Americans laborers?)

6)Remember that generally every account you begin, requres an investment and usually a period where you will need to float your payroll.

7)When in danger of losing an account, the worst thing you can do is make any excuse. The best thiing you can do is express the passion you feel for correcting sub-par performance.

8)Follow a self imposed rule that "No company in America will provide a service superior to your services." Just do not allow this to happen.

9)Think BIG. You almost always wind up with what you settle for.

10) Go for residual business. The one timers or once per year jobs will always and forever keep you chained to looking for more work...vs. work looking for you.

I hope that helps you one day in some way!

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tbone5574 in Corpus Christi, Texas

55 months ago

Hi,

I have a bid that requires me to strip and wax 3000 sq. ft. in one night. They are providing all the chemicals and I provide the labor and machines. What should I charge? They also want me to sweep, mop and burnish 2x mo.

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Sam I Am in Tucson, Arizona

55 months ago

tbone5574 in Corpus Christi, Texas said: Hi,

I have a bid that requires me to strip and wax 3000 sq. ft. in one night. They are providing all the chemicals and I provide the labor and machines. What should I charge? They also want me to sweep, mop and burnish 2x mo.

Folks, there are many variables that exist in this business that make it almost unlikely to be able to give a decent price for a strip without knowing more about it.

How many feet of it is edge work??? That alone can be the difference in .10 a foot. That edge work sucks balls.

Anyhow, 1 night of labor for you is worth_________? You fill in the blank. Simple.

If you own the machines, fine. If not rent them and add 10%.

I'd ask for $750...based on your specs.

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tbone5574 in Corpus Christi, Texas

55 months ago

Sam I Am in Tucson, Arizona said: Folks, there are many variables that exist in this business that make it almost unlikely to be able to give a decent price for a strip without knowing more about it.

How many feet of it is edge work??? That alone can be the difference in .10 a foot. That edge work sucks balls.

Anyhow, 1 night of labor for you is worth_________? You fill in the blank. Simple.

If you own the machines, fine. If not rent them and add 10%.

I'd ask for $750...based on your specs.

Thanks Sam,

That is actually the price I came up with and submitted. Its a new store so it should be relatively easy.

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Richard Nc. in Charlotte, North Carolina

55 months ago

Thanks alot I appreciate it. When you say DO NOT touch within 1" of the edges.are you talking about aver lapping with the mop. Sorry I don't mean to be to dumb with the questions. And when he talked about a walk behind ,he's talking about the floor scrubber with the squeagy on the back and the pads on the front?

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Sam I Am in Tucson, Arizona

55 months ago

Yes on the walk behind.

As for the wax, imagine you are standing between two grocery shelve ailes.

THe idiot or lazy janitor will dump his mop in the bucket of wax, wring it out a bit, then slop it on the floor and start mopping back and forth...usually slinging the mop against the baseboards or kick plates.

When mopped like this, a disproportionate amount of wax is pushed and pulled to the edges. The janitor will do this over and over and over, as many as 5 or more coats.

At this point, you have more wax on the edges than you would need for 10 years. This is how you identify the quality of training or work ethic of any given floor guy.

Shoppers then go thru the same aisle but rarely do they walk or push carts along the edges, rather, they go down the middle. After time, the wax down that middle gets worn off.

Then the idiot janitor does a re-coat and does the exact same thing...sometimes every 3 months. When it comes time to strip out, guess what?

When I do the same job, I too, dump my mop into the wax bucket...pull it out, let the run off drip back...and then lightly squeeze it in the wringer just enuff to prevent dripping of the wax from the mop.

I then carefully lay the mop head on the tile, one inch from the edges, and pull the mop along. I make sure the mop head is flat and I draw a stright pull line along the length of my wax area.

This process will allow the wax to obtain a good flow rate from the mop head without bubbles being made or puddles being created.

I then follow the exact same procedure on the other side of the aisle.

I then load my mop with wax although this time i wring it just a tad more. As I wax the center of the aisle, I do a figure 8 circle all the while working backwards down the aisle.

As I hit with the mop in the area that I laid the straight line down, the mop will pickup some of the wax from that initial pull straight line and will help to feed the mop with wax as I go along.

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Sam I Am in Tucson, Arizona

55 months ago

Done this way, you keep the edges from getting wax pushed or pulled there and prevent build up.

On subsequent coats, you do the same thing, only this time start about 6 - 10 " inches further in the aisle. Follow the same pattern.

Follow the same path for remaining coats.

The idea is stack your CENTER MAIN TRAFFIC WAYS with multiple coats while NOT throwing gallons of wax on the edges of the floor where you get your buildup and then when I have to come strip it out my job sucks! lol.....

Stack you coats of wax heaviest where the traffic is. If people clean mopped this pattern too, you wouldn't see dirt on the edges against the baseboards either. Just another sign of the quality of janitor or training of him / her.

Hope this helps.

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Sam I Am in Tucson, Arizona

55 months ago

And to be fair, when I say idiot janitor, that only applies to those that know the proper waxing technique and then freely choose not to do it and in turn slop wax all over the place.

It doesn't in any way refer to the new, untrained or those who have a different technique.

Thanks

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Richard Nc. in Charlotte, North Carolina

55 months ago

Thanks alot. I appreciate it, I'm sure the way you have explained the process to me will greatly help and I feel that it will be done properly. Thanks a million. I'm sure your customers are happy with your work, seeing you dont take the fast, sloppy way to do things. AGAIN THANK YOU!!!!

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KRWright49 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

55 months ago

Hello everybody!
This is a neat site. I'm new to this site and this business. I sure could use some of your expertise. I have (1) large customer. They are a 350+ apartment complex. There are 5 main buildings houseing these individual units. I fell into this acount. I live here with my daughter. In the spring of 2008 they asked me if I would do some light painting. Then some apartment cleaning. Then some building cleaning. Then some special construction projects. They eventually fired the old housekeeping crew (2). One of which had been here 30 years. Now my daughter, myself and (1) other guy clean the entire complex. The problem is that they have a simple market. Poor people, short timers (short leases). They don't put alot of money in the complex (bare floors, carpets, anything). The floors & carpets are in ruff shape. They have very little equipment (Carpet Extractor, mops, buckets and a slow speed tank scrubber. I am a neat freak and a perfectionist. I would like to bring this place into shape. I am buying a high speed burnisher & auto scubber. I own a good floor sweeper (24") a carpet extractor & 20" scrubber (no tank) The largest area of bare floors is approx. 6000 sq. ft. the rest is small lobbies, side entrance hallways and carpets. They are used to poor work, strip & one / two coats of wax. Their main concern is the lobby's and 1st floor side hallways. The 6000 sq. ft. building is anybodys guess. It's all bare floor. I was told it is Vinal / asbestos flooring? I charge them buy the hour, per person. They furnish all the raw materials. I have little experience in bare floors, just what I have learned here. They have been happy. I want to do the big building. I know that they will pay the labor on the small stuff. Not sure on 6000 ft area. How many total labor hours to strip, rinse & wax 3-4 coats. How may people total needed.

PS: My sales with this customer have gone from 24K in 2008 to a guarenteed 90K this year.

I 23 yrs other bus exp.

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KRWright49 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

55 months ago

Me Again.
Could I strip the floors once per year and apply some type of spay buff solution on a week / monthy basis using auto scubber & burnisher. Just to impove the foors if they won't spend labor on doing the floors corectly. They would probibally go for just an impoved finish, not perfect.

Thanks

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richard watts in Southfield, Michigan

55 months ago

You could strip/wax once a year, but once a month soft scrib the floor with soapy water and red pad and apply 2 thin coats of wax. that will keep the the floor looking new. oh, make sure you buff it daily

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Sam I Am in Tucson, Arizona

55 months ago

KRWright49 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio said: Not sure on 6000 ft area. How many total labor hours to strip, rinse & wax 3-4 coats. How may people total needed.

Depends on previous wax build up.

If the floor is vinyl or that cheap stuff that is rolled out like linoleum, as opposed to VCT, all you want to do is mop / srub it. Dont waste your time waxing it.

Any stripper you put down will get underneath it in the seams and eat aways at the adhesive.

If it is VCT, 6K would take 2-3 people a good nite to strip with one scrubber and only 1 person would wax the next night.

As well, only cheap wax requires daily buffing. 1X a week is fine, IF it is VCT.

Good luck! And, congrats!

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Jblang in Delray Beach, Florida

55 months ago

Thank you all for taking the time to share your questions and experience. My question is regarding VCT in guardhouses, I have a couple guardhouses with staff that wear boots with thick rubber soles that leave black marks and some are not easily removed with mopping, this happens daily. when I top scrub it the floor looks amazing but the next morning black marks all over.

What kind of a maintenance plan would you recommend, it is roughly 600 sq. feet. Thank you in advance.

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