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Hotels, motels and resorts need to ensure that their floors are clean and pristine in order to enhance the experience of guests and visitors. We give some useful advice on the best machinery and methods to clean hard floors in these facilities.

First impressions count – especially in the hospitality sector. Paying guests rightly expect the hotels, motels and resorts they visit to be perfect in every way, and the cleanliness of the facilities is a crucial element. Dirty floors not only look bad, they represent a hazard to health and safety, not something that will attract repeat business, or encourage positive publicity.

Hard flooring surfaces vary greatly within and around facilities, including concrete, terrazzo, marble, slate, stone and vinyl. These all have different properties and cleaning needs, but thankfully technology has allowed floor cleaning machinery and equipment to evolve so that every possible requirement is covered.

Outdoor issues

The exterior spaces surrounding venues need specific maintenance, as these are the first things that visitors will see. Pavements and parking areas that tend to be concrete need to be kept free from debris to ensure the safety of pedestrians, and to provide a welcoming environment.

Facilities managers should look for lightweight machines that are easy to manoeuvre, but also robust enough to cope with an outdoor environment. Any machine should also have the capacity to pick up a variety of debris from hard floors. This could include polystyrene, leaves, cigarette ends, crisps and other foodstuffs. Models that incorporate adjustable side brushes will also allow for up to the edge sweeping, which is useful for cleaning right up to the kerbside.

It is also wise to invest in machines that allow you to adjust the main brush pressure, enabling you to deal with different floor conditions and types of debris. Some models even incorporate ‘anti-wrap’ technology, which prevents threads, wires and any other long, thin materials from getting wound up on the brush shaft and causing damage.

Scrubber dryers – the adaptable option

Multi-purpose scrubber dryers that wash, mop, scrub and dry on both hard and soft floor coverings in one single pass are perfect for hospitality settings. Managers are rightly attracted by their adaptability, because any floor surfacing material can be cleaned. Models featuring optional side brushes are also available, enabling cleaning to ‘skirting board’ level, which is especially important with safety flooring, which tends to curve up the wall before it finishes, and in places like wet rooms and gym areas.

Productivity is a very important issue for facility managers as cleaning needs to be as quick and efficient as possible. A machine that gets a job done in half the time taken by another model allows cleaning operatives to move on to other tasks more quickly, using their time more efficiently and delivering an enhanced service to clients. A scrubber dryer that can do its work speedily and effectively thanks to ergonomic design, innovative technology and easily accessible on-board batteries is an attractive proposition for managers working in the hospitality sector.

Factors such as the amount of liquid used and the speed of drying also make a big difference to overall productivity. By using less water and drying the area more quickly, time efficiencies – in terms of how long it takes the operative to the do the job, and how quickly staff can return to work because the floor is safe and ready to walk on – can be achieved. Models that use less water and chemicals to clean will also contribute to productivity thanks to a ‘greener’ way of working – saving money and energy. But quality of results should not be sacrificed just for speed. If a floor has to be cleaned again because standards are not up to scratch, the time ‘saved’ on the initial clean would be lost – and customer satisfaction rates could fall as a result.

When choosing a scrubber dryer there are a number of factors to consider that will have an effect on productivity including the length of battery run time, ease of use, and comfort for the operator. Other points to consider are:

  • Cost of consumables – this might sound obvious, but it can sometimes be forgotten. Always check the cost of replacement pads, brushes, etc., plus how widely available they are and how quickly they will be delivered from the time of ordering.
  • Reliability – always check the guarantee terms and speak to colleagues and contacts about their experiences with particular machines. A machine that’s out of action for just one day can be costly in terms of time and money, so this is very important. Also speak to the manufacturer/distributor about the repair services they offer.
  • Training – Using a scrubber dryer correctly will ensure you achieve optimum cleaning results, so ask whether suppliers will carry out training for your cleaning staff.

A polished performance

Rotary polishers and burnishers are more versatile than many people think, as they are able to tackle a number of cleaning tasks very effectively, as well as producing a high shine on hard floors. In order to tackle different cleaning tasks, the right speed and pad or brush must be selected correctly. To maximise investment dual speed machines can offer a flexible solution.

A variable speed rotary can be used to scrub any water-resistant hard floor, such as concrete, tile, stone or slate, and it can also strip existing polish off a surface. Spray cleaning and buffing to erase scuff marks and dirt is possible, as is the task they are most commonly known for – imparting a high gloss to any smooth surface that should be glossy, be it marble, terrazzo or oak parquet which would be carried out by a machine that is capable of at least 1000 rpm.

All the different tasks that a rotary burnisher can, in theory, be used for should be carried out with the correct colour-coded pad for the job, and at the correct rotational speed. The main guide is, the lighter the colour of the pad, the softer it is. Light coloured pads are for polishing and scrubbing; medium for daily scrubbing and light stripping; and dark for heavy duty stripping. It is vitally important that you get this right, because using the wrong combination of pad and speed will not get the results your customer wants. In extreme circumstances you could actually damage the floor surface, a result that is unlikely to generate repeat business.

There’s no doubt that flooring in hotels, motels and resorts have to stand up to a lot of harsh treatment, so cleaning has to be thorough and regular in order to maintain the high standards that guests expect. However, with such a wide range of cleaning equipment available, catering for every need and specialist surface, this is perfectly achievable, ensuring that everyone who uses your facilities will want to return for another stay.

For further information, contact Alphaclean on 1300 655 598.

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