Tuesday, December 26, 2017

To Burnish or to Buff: An Elementary Guide to Restoring Shine to Dull Floors


It has been said that your floors are like the “shoes” of a room.  It takes no time for them to get dull, dirty, and beat up considering they are the most used part of the room.  However, just as in what type of shoes you wear say a lot about you, so do your floors.  If you have on the finest outfit, tailored to perfection, looking like a star when you walk into any room, it could easily be ruined by a filthy pair of beat up, dull, grungy looking shoes.  Just like you wouldn’t want to give off the wrong impression by not looking the part, likewise, your floors say a lot about you.  To me, there is nothing worse than walking into a place of business and looking down to see dirty, ill-maintained floors.  How well you care for the cleanliness of your business says a lot about the care and devotion you put into your product, as well as your customers.  Looks are EVERYTHING sometimes, and remember, you only have one chance to make a favorable and lasting first impression.  So what are some ways that you can maintain that clean and polished brand new looking floors before you leave them to be eventually damaged beyond repair?  Today we will discuss a couple options.  The benefits and differences of floor buffing and burnishing.

What is a Floor Burnishing?


A floor burnisher operates at a high RPM (revolutions per minute) in order to produce a maximum high gloss shine to a floor.  When you are looking to blind anyone who walks in the room with that glossy, wet-looking appearance, floor burnishing is the way go. Depending on whether you need an industrial size burnisher for larger areas to cover, or if you are just looking for a machine to cover a smaller area for your home or small business, floor burnishers can vary between speeds of 1000 rpm to 2500 rpm.  Yet, all produce that smooth glossy finish on your floors that will leave them sparkling.  

Southeastern’s tip for floor burnishing:  Start on the edges of the room and work towards the middle.  Then after you have covered the entire area, if your machine doesn’t have an option to collect dust, take any dust mop to wipe up the excess dust that was removed during the burnishing process.

What About Floor Buffing?


A floor buffer is mainly used for the residual cleaning and polishing of floors.  Now, even though buffing will not produce as high of a shine that burnishing does, it will maintain your floors to keep them looking clean and smooth.  So if you are looking to preserve that shine your floors already have, buffing is the way to go.  

Southeastern’s tip for floor buffing:  A low-speed buffer can also be used for carpet cleaning when attaching a bonnet. Refer to our Carpet Extractors Buyer’s Guide.


Now that you have a starting guide to shining up those dull “shoes”, finish completing that dazzling outfit of your place of business or home by restoring your floors to the glory they deserve!


On a final note, here are our top recommendations for floor buffer and burnisher machines that can fit whatever needs you may have.  Our sales associates at Southeastern Equipment and Supply are waiting for your call to answer any more questions you may have and guide you to the best product there is for your specific needs. Give us a call at (800) 440-6723 today!

Low-speed Buffers


High-speed Burnishers





Now after having said all of that, what if you are thinking, yeah that’s great and all, but what if I have neglected my floors over an extended period of time, and it looks like they are going to need a little bit more than a buff and polish... now what are my options?  Fear not, because not all hope may be lost.  Stay tuned for our next blog post which will go over another technique for more thorough repair of floors called floor stripping.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Carpet Extractors Buyer's Guide


Why extract?

Regular carpet cleaning is a must in order to maintain a professional appearance and to prolong the life of your carpet. In carpet care, it is important to treat soiled spots quickly and periodically extract the carpet. This ensures that surface stains and odors are removed on a regular basis. If extraction is not done on a regular basis, stains can set in permanently, leading to costly carpet replacement. What is involved in carpet extraction, more specifically hot water extraction (HWE)? Quite simply, it is the process of delivering a cleaning chemical, agitation or pressure is applied and then a vacuum recovery system is used. This method used to be called “steam cleaning” even though no steam was being used to clean the carpet.

What to Consider

Here are a few different features to look for when purchasing an HWE.

  • Water pressure - A minimal amount of pressure is needed to distribute the water and chemicals to the carpet. Some manufacturers advertise their machines for using high-pressure systems. Too much pressure can force moisture into the backing of the carpet which leads to increased drying times, mildew and odor.
  • Spray nozzles - The advantage of using a single spray nozzle is that they have a larger opening for the solution to pass through. Multiple spray nozzles have smaller openings which lead to clogging and increased maintenance.
  • Powerbrush- An extractor with a rotating brush is almost always going to provide a superior cleaning result. Get an extractor with a brush if possible.
  • Water temperature - Pay attention to the manufacturer’s temperature rating for their machines. The hotter the water, the better.

What are the different types of carpet extractors?

There are a few different machine types of HWE in use today. The three most common machine types are self-contained/portable, walk-behind, and the large rider carpet extractors.

Portable Extractors

Viper Slider Canister Carpet Extractor
These small to medium extractors are the most popular type of carpet cleaning equipment. The beauty of these machines is that it includes the hoses, tools, power brush, spray nozzle, and tank. These portable and efficient machines are commonly used in residential and small business cleaning.

Advantages:
  • Compact, easy to maneuver
  • Multiple attachments
  • Best soil recovery

Disadvantages:
  • Not ideal for large area applications
  • Smaller reservoirs which may result in constant emptying and refilling

Self-Contained Pull back, Walk-behind and Rider Extractors


Nobles Falcon 2800 Plus Carpet Cleaner
Tennant 1610 ReadySpace Carpet Cleaner
These large machines are a must if you have a large area to clean. This automatic extractor dispenses the cleaning solution, scrubs, then vacuums away the solution into a recovery tank. Since these machines are self-propelled, it is the easiest of extractors for operators to use. Their soil recovery is not as good as portable extractors however, they make up for it in productivity. They are most commonly used in commercial businesses such as hotels, schools and government facilities on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. 

Advance Aquaride SE Rider Carpet Cleaner
Advantages:
  • Great for large areas that need to be cleaned on a regular basis
  • High productivity
  • Large recovery tanks
Disadvantages:
  • Soil recovery not as good as a portable extractor
  • Need a larger dedicated area to store the machine and charge if it contains batteries

Bonnet and Rotary Shampoo

Minuteman Frontrunner 17" Low-Speed Buffer
These methods of carpet cleaning employ the use of a bonnet pad or shampoo brush attached to a single-disk floor machine. With bonnet cleaning, the solution is applied to the carpet by means of a tank on the machine, a sprayer, or applied directly to the bonnet pad. A skilled operator is a must because the pad must be continually monitored. If the pad is too damp then residue will build up, too dry, it could damage the carpet. Rotary shampooing involves a carpet brush that is attached to the machine and the shampoo is fed to the carpet through the brush. The residual foam then has to be vacuumed away in a second step.

Advantages:

  • Fast drying time
  • Economic in the sense that the floor machine can be used on both hard and carpeted surfaces
Disadvantages:

  • Rotary motion tends to damage carpet
  • Low soil recovery
  • Could spread soil
  • Requires a secondary vacuuming step

Conclusion


When deciding on a carpet extractor, the area of the carpet and the frequency of cleaning are the deciding factors. A portable extractor is going to give you the best soil recovery but is not good for cleaning large areas. The higher investment of a walk-behind or rider extractor might be justified for the increased productivity. Bonnet/Rotary Shampooing is going to be your most economical choice but beware of the disadvantages that go along with using a disk machine on carpet floors.

If you have additional questions or still need more information, feel free to contact us and speak to one of our experts to assist you in choosing the right piece of equipment to suit your needs.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Pros and Cons of Floor Equipment Preventative Maintenance


It doesn't matter whether you have a large or small business, conducting effective maintenance on your equipment is essential. The term “preventative” or “planned” maintenance commonly refers to the practice of regularly servicing equipment on a pre-determined schedule so that it does not develop catastrophic failures and performs better over its useful lifecycle.

PROS

Some advantages recognized by utilizing preventative maintenance are;
  • Longer equipment lifecycle – When your equipment is being checked and maintained, it will be kept in its best shape, therefore extending its lifetime.
  • Less risk factor – Because your equipment is regularly checked, there is less risk of unplanned breakdowns.
  • Follows a set schedule - By following a service schedule, you are able to keep a budget while maintaining your equipment. You will also be able to have a maintenance history and be better able to make an educated decision when it comes time to replacing your equipment.
  • Money savings – Over time, you will see that less money is being spent because you will not have to replace equipment as often nor will you have to deal with costly last minute breakdowns. While there still may be some unplanned maintenance needed, the odds of catastrophic failures are greatly diminished with regular maintenance.
  • Fewer disruptions – Murphy’s Law will always have your equipment break at the most inopportune time. With regular checks, you will catch the small problems before they grow into larger ones that can cause complete equipment failure.
  • Safety – A properly functioning machine also ensures a safe machine. A machine that is neglected is more likely to have safety issues for the operator and anyone around it.
  • Reputation – Having a well-running machine that is regularly maintained contributes positively to the reputation of the company owning it. Customers see the care that is given to the machine which in turn relates to the overall care that the company is giving to their customer. The equipment is kept in optimal condition so that the customer’s site can be kept as clean as possible.

CONS

  • Planning – Some planning time is required and some research on the different types of “preventative maintenance” programs is required.
  • Cost – There is a higher upfront cost with “preventative maintenance”. However, long-term costs are very low compared to the cost of equipment failure. 

As you can see, there are more reasons to have a Preventative Maintenance program for your equipment than not to. Yes, it takes time to research and yes, it’s going to cost some money up front, but if you plan and budget properly, you can reap the benefits in the long term. 

About the Author:

Ray Reide
Ray started his career in 1987 as an electronic technician. Working for a smaller company, he quickly excelled and was promoted to different positions within the organization until he was running the entire Service Department and warehouse operations. Looking for more opportunity, he joined a larger worldwide company and was in charge of the Sales & Service region based at the corporate office. After 10 years of success within that position, he was offered the opportunity to create and manage a new department that focused on reconditioned equipment which became a highly profitable venture. Ray then joined Southeastern in 2015 and opened the first satellite branch which is based in NJ and covers the entire northeast US.
Ray brings to Southeastern a vast knowledge of sales, service, operations and the ability to develop and nurture customer relations.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Contract Cleaning vs In-House Maintenance


Contract Cleaning vs In-house Maintenance: The Things to Consider

For some time now the decision to keep your cleaning duties in-house or to outsource them has become a difficult choice to make, and now it is harder than ever. Many factors go into how to determine if this is the right choice for your organization and a one-plan-fits-all outline is no longer an easy path to follow. In this week's blog, we will go into detail on some of the things to consider when making this decision.

Services:

Over the past few years, the extent of services companies provide has increased from simple to extensive and include things like electrical, plumbing, security, and lawn maintenance on top of janitorial services.

If outsourcing specialty services that require specific machines can now be the responsibility of a separate company releasing the need of investing capital funds that could be positioned in alternative areas.

Convenience:

Tennant R3 Carpet Extractor
With the outsourcing option, you will have the ability to focus on what your business specializes in and not bog managers and employees with menial tasks that keep them from what they were hired to accomplish.

Services can also be scheduled for times that will not be in conflict with your daily operations. If you are keeping your services in-house, it does give you more control to ensure the needs you have at any given time are done in the time frame needed and not at the discretion of the company you hire.


Cost:

The factor of the cost savings will differ from company to company depending on if employees will be hired only to handle cleaning tasks.  The size of your firm will also factor into this and dictate the benefits over a short or extended period of time. Outsourcing passes on financial responsibility for taxes, insurance, and management can now move from you to a separate entity. Equipment cost and maintenance, as well as an inventory of chemicals and supplies, can now be the responsibility of the contractor and not a factor for you to manage.

Tennant T3 Orbital Scrubber with ec-H2O

Quality:

The quality of the final product should always be one of the most important factors to consider and checking reviews and getting current customer praises will be a step you will not want to skip. In-house employees are usually more in tune with your facilities specific needs and have more flexibility to focus on problem areas that arise real time in the day to day operations. Your employees will have a greater respect for the final product as well as accountability to complete the tasks given to them from day to day.

Conclusion

In conclusion, many factors go into making the decision discussed in this post, and we have only been able to comment on a select few. Do your homework and evaluate all your options making sure you are doing what is best for your organization as this is ultimately the only thing that matters.

Southeastern Equipment & Supply, Inc. works with both In-House and Contract cleaners to ensure quality products are always available as well as a wealth of product knowledge from anyone of our competent and capable sales staff.

About the Author
Darren Murphy

Darren will celebrate 10 years in August with Southeastern. During those years, Darren has become a resource to his customers and provides each customer with dedicated, personalized service. Whether it is field training for a night crew or advising an overseas customer in a land far away, Darren excels at providing an excellent customer experience. His equipment knowledge is vast and spans the numerous brands that we offer. A NifiskU graduate and Tennant trained product specialist, Darren is a valued resource and here for any questions you may have.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What Type of Automatic Scrubber Do I Need?

What Type of Automatic Scrubber Do I Need?

In last week's blog, we discussed on why we should scrub and the basic inner workings of the automatic floor scrubber. This week, we will go into detail of how to pick the right scrubber based on the size of the area that needs to be cleaned. Also, do you need a rider or walk-behind, disk or cylindrical?

Size

When it comes to deciding on what size of floor scrubber to purchase, there are a number of things to consider.

1. Square footage needed to be cleaned. Primary and secondary.
2. Storage area
3. Size of the fill/dump location/Doorways/Elevators

When determining the square footage, there is more to consider than just the largest areas needing to be cleaned.  To get the most use out of your investment, you may want to think about some of the smaller spaces too.  For example, a school may have in mind purchasing a machine to clean the gymnasium or the hallways.  The larger the scrub path, the quicker you can complete them. However, you may want to think about whether this machine will need to be used in the cafeteria, classrooms or even locker rooms.  You may want to consider a slightly smaller unit for these areas or possibly purchase two machines, one with a wider scrub deck and one smaller to care for these secondary locations throughout the facility.
Tennant T7

Another factor would be where the machine would be stored.  Is there enough room, ingress, and egress in the storage area?  You would need to examine the spec sheet to determine the width/length/height of the scrubber you are purchasing. 

Just as important as the storage area is the fill and dump location for the unit.  Most of the time, this would be done in a janitorial closet. Will the machine fit through the door of the closet?  Is there a hose long enough, or will the scrubber be able to get close enough to the water source to fill it?

Along with that same line, will the scrubber that I am looking for fit through the doorways on the way to the areas needing to be cleaned?  Most 32” machines would not fit through a 36” door unless the squeegee assembly was removed, as the width of the squeegee needs to be wider than the scrub path to pick up any slurry in the scrubbing process.  You can solve this problem by purchasing a smaller machine or by requesting a “tight-aisle” squeegee assembly on your scrubber.

So, the key would be to purchase the scrubber with the largest scrub path, while considering all the variables associated with the use of the machine.

Rider or Walk-Behind

Sometimes, people associate having a rider scrubber with use in only large areas.  The truth of the matter is that a ride-on machine is the most efficient, safest way to clean your floor, no matter the size.  In fact, a rider floor scrubber can use less operating space than a walk-behind.  Think about it, you sit within the footprint of the machine.  Because of this, you can safely scrub a smaller area, because you are not in the way. These units also come in sizes as small as 20”.  

Most rider units have a single drive wheel in the front of the machine.  This allows for a tremendously tight turning radius.  Basically, you just need a slightly wider area than the length of the machine to turn it around practically 180 degrees and scrub your way back out of an aisle or room.  

You may still decide, due to price or other factors, that you want a walk-behind floor scrubber. However, there may be more reasons to buy a rider scrubber that you haven’t thought of before.

Disk or Cylindrical

Tennant T500 Cylindrical Scrubber

There are a number of factors in deciding the type of scrub deck that you want.  

Basically, disk scrubbers work in more situations than the cylindrical decks do.  They offer more brush pressure and a more aggressive scrubbing motion.  You are also able to use disk floor scrubbers with pads or brushes.  This gives you nearly unlimited versatility in types of flooring and cleaning procedures.

Two locations where the cylindrical scrub method might be better is ceramic tile or a warehouse setting where there are only dust and small debris on the floor.  Cylindrical floor scrubbers typically have a small debris tray at the back of the deck.  This allows you to pick up small dirt and items on the floor.  Thus, saving time sweeping in front of the machine.

In most other applications, we would recommend the disk scrubber.  With the increased brush pressure, you can clean a floor more efficiently and remove stains better with the more aggressive method.

In Summary

Picking the right scrubber for your business takes time, research, and effort. But making the right decision will last your business for years to come. Here at Southeastern Equipment and Supply, we are available to help you make that right decision. Please call (800-440-6723) or email us today and one of our experts will assist you in making an educated choice.

About the Author


Jerry Wallace

Jerry's extensive career in facility cleaning and maintenance started in 1985 at a 1,000,000 square foot facility in Brooklyn NY.  In 1992, he started a contract floor cleaning business in Tennessee. Through the years, he has gained experience in maintaining and restoring concrete, epoxy, terrazzo, marble, vinyl composite tile, ceramic tile, and carpeted surfaces.  In 2009, Jerry came to Southeastern Equipment to impart his knowledge and expertise to our customers as an Account Executive.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Automatic Scrubbers Buyer's Guide

Why Scrub?


For years, the only and most effective way to clean floors was to use the “old fashioned” mop and bucket. In fact, this method is still widely used today although it is not the most efficient nor the most sanitary. There are some negative aspects to consider when cleaning with a mop and bucket. First and foremost, the cleaning solution is quickly contaminated as the mop comes in contact with the dirty floor and keeps getting submerged back into the cleaning solution. Before long, dirty water is just being spread over the floor. Additionally, mopping cannot clean the grout in tiled floors and baseboards tend to gather dirt from the mops. Mopping tends to “wipe” as it cleans without providing any real pressure to deep clean the surface and mopping large areas is very time-consuming. Realizing all of the pitfalls associated with mopping, most businesses have turned to the automatic floor scrubber. The automatic scrubber is an excellent way to clean effectively and efficiently.

What to Consider

What is the basic concept of an automatic scrubber? How does it work? To ensure that clean water is always being delivered to the floor, 2 tanks are used, one for clean water and one for dirty water. The solution system delivers the clean water with the solution and the scrubbing system cleans the floor. After the floor is scrubbed, the recovery system comes into play. A squeegee collects all of the dirty water and then in is vacuumed into the recovery tank. How are scrubbers powered? They are powered either by battery, corded electric or engine. The engine scrubbers are reserved for large industrial rider machines and use liquid propane, gasoline, or diesel. When choosing the right scrubber, a few factors need to be taken into consideration.

Cleaning Area Size


If you have a large area to be cleaned and are using a small scrubber, you will end up spending more time and money in labor over a long period of time. Here is a chart that can help you decide what size scrubber to acquire. These numbers may vary depending on the manufacturer of your machine.

Type of Scrubber Tank Size Cleaning Path
Micro Scrubbers 5-6 gallons 17 in or smaller
Small Scrubbers 6-15 gallons 17-24 in
Mid-size Scrubbers 16-25 gallons 24-34 in
Large Scrubbers 25+ gallons 26-38 in
Riding Scrubbers 20-100+ gallons 24 in+


Solution System

The solution system is key to providing the cleaning solution to the floor. The solution tank holds the water and chemicals which are delivered via either a gravity feed or pump feed. This ensures that dirty water never contaminates the cleaning solution.


Scrub System

There are a few types of scrubbing systems to consider depending on your needs.


Cylindrical Brush
  • Cylindrical Scrubbing-The cylindrical brush is going to be better on your grouted, rough and uneven floors but more expensive. Pre-sweeping is usually not necessary if you are using a cylindrical scrubber as it also performs "light sweeping" due to its design.
  • Disc Brushes
  • Disc Scrubbing-The disc style machine is better suited for smooth floors and has more down pressure than a cylindrical style machine. Also, pads or brushes can be used depending on your needs. Pads clean smooth floors better than brushes and there are a wide variety of pads available depending on how aggressive you want clean the floor. However, they are not as "green" as brushes because they have to be replaced regularly. With that in mind, brushes may be a better value than pads depending on the type of floor that you are cleaning.

Recovery System

After the solution system delivers the water and chemicals and the scrubbing system loosens the dirt from the floor, the recovery system retrieves that dirty water. The rear squeegee collects and wipes the water and provides a seal for the vacuum to remove the dirty water. The type of squeegee you choose depends on what you are cleaning. 
  • The most economical option is gum rubber; it provides good performance on smooth floors but will wear quickly on rough floors due to its soft compound.
  • Linatex is a good option if you are cleaning a floor which has a high concentration of petroleum base dirt, such as a factory.
  • Polyurethane will be your most expensive option mainly because it has the best abrasion resistance.

Propulsion System

There are 3 different types of propulsion on a modern day automatic scrubbers. Micro-scrubbers use manual propulsion. Smaller scrubbers use pad or brush assist propulsion. The pad or brush assists the machine along the floor. Traction drive propulsion is used on small to rider scrubbers to effortlessly move the machine.


What are the types of scrubbers available?


Type of Scrubber Tank Size Cleaning Path
Micro Scrubbers 5-6 gallons 17 in or smaller
Small Scrubbers 6-15 gallons 17-24 in
Mid-size Scrubbers 16-25 gallons 24-34 in
Large Scrubbers 25+ gallons 26-38 in
Riding Scrubbers 20-100+ gallons 24 in+

Walk-Behind Scrubbers


Walk-behind scrubbers come in a variety of sizes. Micro-scrubbers with a cleaning path of 17 inches or smaller are great for small areas. Then there are the large, 26 inch plus, scrubbers that can cover large areas quickly. 

Advantages:
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Battery or corded electric options on smaller scrubbers
  • The smaller walk-behind scrubbers are great for small areas such as bathrooms
Disadvantages:
  • Larger areas can take longer to clean and may lead to operator fatigue
  • Corded scrubbers are limited to length of cord
  • Limited sight-lines since operator is walking behind the machine

Rider Scrubbers


These scrubbers have high productivity in mind. Rider scrubbers will normally have a 24 inch or larger cleaning path with large recovery tanks. These machines will be battery powered and need to have a dedicated charging/storage area. They are relatively easy to use and can clean large areas very fast. 

Advantages:
  • High productivity
  • Maneuverable
  • Better sight-lines since operator is sitting in the front of the machine
Disadvantages:
  • Need a large area to store and charge them
  • Not built for small spaces

Chemical-free Scrubbing


Relatively new on the scene is chemical-free scrubbing. In these days, every effort is being made to be environmentally friendly. While all chemicals are not bad for the environment, it’s been found that going “green” can also save money! For example, Orbio’s ec-H2O technology electrically converts water into a cleaning solution. Testing has shown that this method effectively removes soil while significantly improving floor traction. No more chemicals mean fewer accidents and greater productivity. Scrubbers with this technology can clean up to three times longer on a single tank.




Advantages:
  • Save money on chemicals
  • Helps the environment
  • Improves floor traction
Disadvantages:
  • Higher initial cost

Conclusion

There are many factors to consider when buying an automatic scrubber. Adding a scrubber to your cleaning arsenal will greatly increase your floor appearance, sanitation and productivity. With any machine, be sure to provide proper training to your operators as well as follow a well-planned maintenance schedule. This will ensure you get the most out of your scrubber. 

If you have additional questions or still need more information, feel free to contact us and speak to one of our experts to assist you in choosing the right piece of equipment to suit your needs.

About the Author:

Dave Abercrombie started out with Southeastern Equipment in 2002 as an equipment technician and rejoined in March of 2016 to manage their e-commerce.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Brushes vs Pads, Which one will you go with?

DECISIONS, DECISIONS


So you have decided to buy a floor scrubber and your salesman has gone over the machine and answered all of your questions and you are ready to pull the trigger.  Then, there’s a question out of left field, “Do you want poly brushes or pad holders with your unit?”  You may be thinking, “Huh? I want the floor scrubber, what do you mean by pad holders or brushes?”  The part of the automatic scrubber that comes in contact with the floor and performs the cleaning is the pad holders or brushes. If you don’t know the difference it can be very confusing but let me try to help you when it comes time to make that decision.

The two things that I try to help the customer consider when making the choice between the two is durability versus versatility.

Pad Holders=Versatility: 

Pad holders offer a more versatile way to scrub the floor because there are so many different pads to choose from.  With a set of pads, you can be as passive or aggressive as you want to be with the floor. You can use a white pad to polish the floor, or a green pad to clean the floor, or even a black pad to strip the floor.  Depending on the pad, you can change the way the scrubber scrubs the floor.  This is what I normally recommend if you have several different types of flooring within the same facility (i.e. VCT tile, concrete, marble, ceramic tile) because you have more control in the aggressiveness of your scrubbing.

Poly Brushes=Durability: 

Poly brushes offer a more durable way to scrub.  While pads may be effective for approximately 40,000-60,000 square feet per set (depending on several variables), poly brushes can be used for up to 100-125 hours under normal circumstances.  This can be particularly effective in warehouse settings with a lot of concrete or other facilities where there is only one type of flooring (i.e. concrete).  That being said, a brush can only scrub a certain way, there is no way to change the aggressiveness of a brush without getting a different brush.

Both=Versatility and Durability:

In some circumstances, customers may feel a need to get a set of both poly brushes and a set of pad holders.  Depending on the circumstance, this would give the end user the best of both worlds, the durability of the poly brush; while also being able to remove the brushes and use the pad holders and pads to be more versatile.  One circumstance we see is when a client has a concrete warehouse to clean and they also have a tile showroom to clean. Brushes may be more effective in the concrete warehouse and pad holders may be more efficient in the showroom.  Another circumstance where more than one set of brushes or pad holders may be used is if you are using the equipment in two different environments, such as outside and inside.  You may want to consider ordering 2 sets of brushes or a set of pad holders and a set of brushes so that you do not cross-contaminate the brushes or pads that you are using (i.e. bringing something from the outside in or vice versa).


Another Option

As one of our newest offerings at Southeastern Equipment and Supply, we now offer the EZ Snap Floor Care System.  The EZ Snap Floor Care System is a tool free brush system that is designed with the aggressiveness of specific floor pads.  You can accomplish the same thing that you would be able to with a floor pad while enjoying the added durability of a brush at considerable savings.  

Conclusion

In summary, whether you are cleaning a brand new floor that was just put in or a warehouse floor that has seen its better days; there is a pad or brush that is designed with that specific floor in mind.  With a little bit of research and some help from your friends at Southeastern Equipment, we can work together to make the best decision to keep your floor scrubber operating at its most efficient.

About the Author:

Thomas Mitchell has been part of the sales force for Southeastern since 2006. With his years of experienced selling new and reconditioned equipment Thomas has positioned himself as one of the Nation's top sellers of commercial/industrial floor care equipment and a valuable resource for customers and the company alike.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gym Floor Maintenance

Imagine for a moment, 12 individuals grinding out the last few minutes of a 20-minute high-intensity workout consisting of two 25 feet overhead walking barbell lunges, chest to bar pull ups, and bar facing burpees over the bar. Not just 20 minutes to complete these movements, but 20 minutes to complete as many rounds of these movements, and by a round I mean 25 foot overhead walking barbell lunges with 95 pounds on the bar for men and 65 pounds on the bar for women, eight bar facing burpees over the bar, 25 foot overhead walking barbell lunges (same weight), and eight chest to bar pull ups. Yes, all of that is one round! Seems like a lot of work, right? Let’s add some variables to that equation: it's 98 degrees outside, so inside a non-air-conditioned facility it could be anywhere between 85 to 90 degrees with a slight breeze. This means lots of sweat. Don’t forget the humidity factor. That doubles the sweat. Since they are sweaty and they have to use a barbell and do chest to bar pull ups, they also are using a lot of chalk so the bar does not slip out of their hands nor their hands slip off of the bar. Did I mention it is 20 minutes of this? Now imagine the clock has ticked down to the last second and all 12 individuals stop where they are, thankful they have survived another grueling workout and just lay out on the ground gasping for air (even the hot, humid kind) creating what is affectionately called a “sweat angel”. Their sweaty bodies have now made contact with a gym mat that has had countless of people do the exact same thing as they have done- worked out, got sweaty, and laid out. That gym floor has also seen lots of dirty shoes and that pesky chalk dust we talked about. This is what most typical CrossFit gyms are like. I know what you are thinking, “Another CrossFit cult victim writing another CrossFit article because all they can think and talk about is CrossFit.” Before you stop reading, let me assure you this article is not about the cultish CrossFit movement. It is actually about that gym floor I had mentioned.

If that gym floor that just endured that workout along with those 12 individuals did that five or six times that day, six times that week, with the stifling heat and humidity factors without being cleaned properly, it has now become a cesspool of germs- a breeding ground for a very dangerous infection known as staph. So, now begs the question, “How can this be avoided?” Well, I’m glad you are still reading.


  • Train members to clean up after themselves. I don’t have a fancy hyperlink for this but I can tell you what I tell my athletes, “Wipe down your bars and if you created sweat angels or used chalk, clean them up.” This step, although third on this list is really important for maintaining the cleanliness of a gym and it’s just hygienically well mannered.

Three short, easy steps can keep a CrossFit gym clean and safe for all athletes. You do not even have to pay a cleaning company to come in and clean your mats for you. This is something that can be done by you, the manager, the last coach of the night, or a member that is looking for a discounted membership. Your investment in these vital products will save you lots of money and time in the long run, not to mention the safety of your athletes. If you take anything away from this article, let it be that CrossFit gym floors can get very dirty, so just give us a call to help you clean your gym.

About the Author: 

Maile Miller has been part of the team at Southeastern Equipment & Supply since early 2007. Growing up as a Military Brat, Maile developed the essential trait of adaptability and honed her problem-solving skills; Both of which have proven to be key ingredients to Maile's personal success with the company. Over the years, Maile has worked in nearly every department. However, while finding ways to make regular contributions throughout the company, she currently focuses her energy on Managing the Accounting Department. For the past four years, Maile has dedicated much of her spare time toward her love for CrossFit; Through which she has - as we have come to expect - found competitive success as well.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

**Batteries May Be Included

*batteries not may be included


In the world of commercial scrubbers and sweepers, there are many different options and features. One of the features weighing on a purchasing agents mind is going to be what kind of propulsion system to go with. While LP (Liquid Propane) is an option for certain types of sweepers and a small selection of scrubbers, the overwhelming majority of machines are going to be designed for battery power. This is because for the majority of commercial scrubber and sweeper use cases - whether ride-on or walk-behind - a battery system provides the correct balance of safety, usability, and convenience.

So that’s it - Battery is the way to go for your new scrubber, right? Well, not so fast… Now we have to consider what TYPE of battery is best for YOU. The truth is, all of the currently available battery configurations have strength’s and weaknesses respectively, and the best way to know which one is going to be right for you is to be thoroughly familiar with all of the differences and features. Let’s start with the most popular:

‘Old Faithful’ - Flooded or “Wet” Lead Acid Batteries – 

Flooded batteries are a great option for your scrubber because they provide an excellent balance of output, efficiency, and cost. They are by far the cheapest option and are typically readily available when it comes time for a replacement. The flooded batteries in your scrubber are much like the flooded batteries in many of our vehicles that help us start our cars; They are comprised of a series of lead plates surrounded by a solution of sulfuric acid and water. The fundamental difference between the cranking battery in your car and a “Deep Cycle” battery that will do well in your scrubber, is the thickness of the plates themselves. While this reduces the initial cold cranking ability of the battery, it dramatically increases the overall storage capacity allowing for longer run-times while also providing the durability needed to withstand the continual recharge and drain consistent with using a scrubber. However, this type of construction means that what you gain at accessibility and in price, you lose in the area of maintenance and many times longevity if not given the proper ‘TLC.' In fact, the primary difficulty our customers run into when their machines get put out for use is executing a solid maintenance strategy that results in a battery lifespan consistent with manufacturer expectations. Have no fear, the strategies, tips, and tricks to keep your batteries running great are here:

  1. Never leave your batteries discharged for an extended period of time.
  2. Always try to recharge your batteries completely each cycle.
  3. Always keep the terminals of your batteries clean.
  4. Be sure to regularly check that the terminal cables are tightened.
  5. Water levels should be checked daily and reservoirs filled using Distilled Water Only.

‘No Maintenance’ - Sealed Lead Acid Batteries

You may be in a situation where the maintenance requirements of a flooded battery are not desirable. For instance, if the scrubber is going to be used by others; Particularly if there are going to be multiple individuals or teams using the equipment without direct supervision, it can become difficult to ensure the proper maintenance steps are taken on a consistent basis. If this poses too much of a risk to the longevity of your batteries, then sealed batteries may be a good alternative for you. 

Sealed batteries come in two main categories – Gel batteries & AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat). Both styles are constructed with a series of Lead plates much like their flooded battery cousins. However, instead of being submerged in an acid solution, the electrolytes necessary for the battery to function are suspended in either a silica gel substance (In the case of Gel) or in a specially designed glass mat (In the case of AGM). The voltage limit will differ from a flooded battery of the same specification so If you are going to go with one of these battery options for your scrubber, be sure to tell your sales person so the appropriate charger can be included. The primary drawback of sealed batteries is going to be their cost. Sealed batteries can cost anywhere from 50% - 100% more when compared to their flooded counterpart. Though, don’t get too stuck on the cost; Sealed batteries (AGM in particular) can offer the following advantages:

  1. Faster Charging times
  2. Instant/On-demand high load currents
  3. Glass mats allow for greater lead density leading to a better power to weight ratio
  4. Better performance in colder temperatures
  5. Low to little maintenance means a greater chance of achieving the full lifespan of the battery
  6. AGM batteries do much better at withstanding deep cycling applications such as in a battery powered scrubber

‘The New Guy’ – Lithium-Ion Batteries 

Tennant T1 with optional Lithium-Ion Battery
A relative newcomer to the battery field, Lithium-Ion batteries are increasingly common in consumer electronics like cell phones and laptops. Lately, they have also begun to make an entrance in the renewables field, and we are even seeing floor cleaning equipment manufacturers implement the technology. Compact scrubbers such as the Tennant T1B, leverage the incredible power to weight ratios a Lithium-Ion battery provides to allow for world class specifications in a compact package. A properly implemented Lithium-Ion Battery can provide the overall best performance of all the options discussed through:
  1. Greater depth of discharge
  2. Less self-discharge
  3. Will have an overall longer lifespan
  4. Requires little to no user maintenance
  5. Charges very quickly with the appropriate ‘Smart Charger’
If you’re thinking “Well that settles it, the lithium-ion is the way to go”, You will first need to consider that a Lithium-Ion battery option is not always available for every scrubber. As the technology continues to grow, the options will expand, but being a niche product in the cleaning field, the cost may at times be prohibitive depending on the use case. Don’t forget to add to the conversation the need for a ‘Smart Charger’ – This is not only for the health of the battery but to avoid a potential fire hazard.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN??

Batteries may often be an afterthought when considering your cleaning equipment purchase. When you look at things closely, though, you see that there are a lot of factors to consider. The decision can be a huge piece in your equipment performance puzzle and greatly affect your long term satisfaction with the machine. The bottom line is that there is going to be an option that is best for you and with a little research, and hopefully some help from our spectacular Sales Team, we can make sure you end up with YOUR best solution.

About the author:

Philip Carmona has formally been with Southeastern Equipment since February of 2016. He has brought with him more than 12 years of successful team building, project and operations management experience from his previous entrepreneurial endeavors. His background provides a unique perspective and invigorating energy to the Southeastern Management Team, that positions the company to capitalize on their stellar track record of success. Originally from Upstate New York, Philip and his family have recently relocated to Columbia, SC from Charlotte, NC to be at the Main Operations Center daily.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Protecting Your Investment

Your new or reconditioned floor care equipment has just arrived!

How do you protect your investment?

This is a question many ask themselves after they have purchased floor care equipment. Here are a few tips on how you can protect your investment.

Maintenance Routine
Depending on the make and model of your floor care equipment you will want to perform some and/or these tasks daily...


  • Recovery tanks should be emptied and rinsed.
  • Clean and shut-off filters, make sure to leave lids off so that they can air dry.
  • Solution tanks should be emptied.
  • Brushes/pads should be cleaned and rinsed.
  • Vacuum ports and squeegees should be cleaned 
  • Jets should be cleaned regularly (expert tip: soak jets in a mixture of vinegar and water overnight to keep down mineral deposits.)

These simple preventative maintenance steps performed either by you or an employee (the equipment operator) on the equipment daily can really go a long way in protecting your investment.
A solid maintenance routine can prolong the life of the equipment and catch small problems before they become big ones. Additionally, routine maintenance will reduce costs over time because equipment will perform better and last longer.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Keep Equipment Manuals. Keep manufacturer information where you can find it easily.
  • Follow a daily maintenance task list. Daily maintenance needs usually are listed in the owner’s manual. Create a daily maintenance task list from those recommendations. 
  • Train employees and all equipment operators. Always train a new employee/equipment operator on how to use the equipment.
  • Track equipment use and maintenance.  Keep a record of maintenance, including a description of service and who did the service.
  • Don’t hesitate to call in a service technician. Service technicians are typically factory trained and give you someone to call in when there’s a funny noise or a vibration that doesn't feel right. Catching a potential problem early may save you money and time in the long run. 
  • Budget for replacement costs. Regardless of how well it has been maintained eventually equipment must be replaced. Be proactive and build that replacement cost in your budget You’ll eliminate downtime and improve productivity by being able to replace the equipment right away. 

While following, these steps will ensure you get the most you can out of your equipment, sometimes you might need a little help. At Southeastern Equipment & Supply we know how important it is to have someone to call on when you need help. That is why we offer an extensive inventory of OEM parts, aftermarket parts, have a knowledgeable helpful customer service staff and employ factory trained maintenance/service technicians.

For more information visit our website at www.southeasternequipment.net or call us at 1-800-440-6723 or 803-252-0100.

About the Author:

Emily Martin has been part of the Southeastern team since our start in 2001. Her extensive sales and marketing background makes her an essential part of our marketing group and she works with our Orbio team to deliver new technology options to our institutional customers. Born and raised in SC she has extensive local knowledge, but her bilingual abilities, allow her to work fluidly in Spanish and English markets.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

3 Steps to Keep Your Business Floors Clean During the Winter

Snowy Footprints
When I was thinking of writing on this topic, I realized that this may only benefit a small number of our subscribers.  A number of our customers are either in a warm climate, in the southern hemisphere (where it is currently summer), or you just don't have that much snow.  Where we are in South Carolina, snow comes maybe once or twice a year.  However, the principles of caring for your floors in the winter time can apply in any setting. Here are the tried-and-true commercial floor cleaning tips we recommend:

1. Entrance Floor Mats
This tip is pretty intuitive but incredibly important to emphasize. Snow, rain, slush, and ice can be a huge headache for your business, not only from a safety perspective but also from a floor wear perspective. Salt melt that is tracked into your home or business can be detrimental to your floors.  A manageable solution is ensuring that you have proper matting at your entrance.  Have a good floor mat at your place of entry captures a majority of the salt granules, dirt, and moisture that is tracked in from people's shoes.  It has been recommended to have at least 15 feet of matting to stop most of the contaminants from ever reaching your floors.

Viper ShovelNose Wet/Dry Vacuum
2. Eliminate Moisture
In order to ensure the longevity of your flooring, it’s important to remove moisture as soon as it accumulates. Mops are one solution to this issue, but they aren't able to effectively sop up all of the wetness, and your floors are left slick. If you’re looking to reduce manual labor and increase efficiency, a better option is using an industrial vacuum to suck up puddles and cover a greater surface area. We suggest our New Viper ShovelNose Vacuum—it comes mounted with a 2-foot-long squeegee attachment.

3. Routine Maintenance
Entrance matting is only the first line of defense for protecting your floors.  Most of those in colder climates use some sort of ice melt in their parking lots.  Ice melt is composed of sodium chloride which is very harmful to floors.  Sodium chloride deposits can harm floor finish and create a slippery film.  The best way to combat the salt build up on your floors is regular cleaning with a neutral cleaner.  Neutralizing excess calcium chloride buildup should be near the top of your “to-do” list in order to ensure salt does not fester and become difficult to remove. If you’re looking for a DIY neutralizer, channel your inner chemist and mix vinegar with water.

For a more effective solution, we suggest selecting one of our neutral ph cleaners—they’re specifically designed to lower calcium chloride pH to the base level of 7. After melt chemical residue is removed, apply an industrial strength degreaser to eliminate all remaining traces. If you’re consistent in repeating this process every few days, you can avoid the stress of tackling this daunting project all at once. The neutral cleaner will keep the floor clear of salt and prevent damage to your floors. Keep an eye on the “shine” of your floors. If you start to notice a dullness in your floors, increase the frequency of your floor care routine or burnish if necessary.  A word of warning, be sure your floor is completely clean of salt and dirt before you buff your floors.  If you burnish while there is any residual build-up, irreversible damage could occur.

Conclusion
Caring for your floors in the winter takes a lot of time and energy. Just by taking a few simple steps you can save future costs and labor in repairing or replacing your floors.

Do you have any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting, emailing or give us a call!

About the Author:

Dave Abercrombie started out with Southeastern Equipment in 2002 as an equipment technician and rejoined in March of 2016 to manage their e-commerce.