Green Floors from Start to Finish

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Green Floors from Start to Finish
July 26th, 2011
Crawford R1 Schools in Bourbon, Missouri has found a new way for refinishing floors that is
GREEN from start to the finish now being used.
Green is a change of mindset and recently the entire custodial staff attended a one day workshop
that Rob Lewis, (Custodial Director) says, " It was a custodial health class". He is referring to the
Technician course from the Green Clean Institute, dealing with only Green information. There
are 3 core certification courses that will help any individual understand Green in custodial
services today.
The new G2 Green Finish from Essential Industries has proven to provide them with the "wet
look" shine that everyone from management on down is
looking for, thought not to be available before with a
GREEN finish. Finish products have come a long way as
manufactures have stepped up to the challenge. Green is
the way of the future and the products are coming up to
the standards that the consumers like Crawford R1
Schools are demanding.
The process of being Green with their floor program may
have finished this summer with the application of this
product, but the maintenance of the floor surface is about
to start in 3 weeks when staff and students start to use the
building that has been theirs all summer. During a recent
conversation with Rob and his staff, they tell me that
they are weeks ahead of their normal schedule due to the
changes they made before the summer began.
Those changes included the purchase of the Tomcat Edge
Stick machine and the Tomcat Mini Mag with Edge head. These two machines use a 14x20
oscillating pad that moves at 2500 rpm's and can remove the finish by either a dry method or
with the help of just a small amount of water only. Both processes have removed the need for
high VOC strippers that are unsafe to use and costly. The investment up front this year will pay
off many times over as the coming years budgets are not reduced by the cost of stripper.
"We have looked for ways to save time and man power on stripping floors. We have purchase
two machines one is the edge stick and the other is the mini edge autoscrubber. These two
machines have save us a lot of time on man power and time. One person can strip a normal size
room in about an hour that is stripping the room and doing the edges including putting a coat of
wax on the floor. This is all done by one staff member. With the two machines we are not using
any stripper, just water and a stripping pad that is made for these machines".

Rob Lewis, GCI Technician, Crawford R1 Schools

As you look at these results I want to tell you some of the Green attributes that Rob & staff
pointed out to me as I was handing them their GCI Certificates from completing the Green
Technician course.
Notice the covers on feet of the chairs and tables. This district started putting these on over 4
years ago and is not replacing them yet. Other than when a complete foot comes off, there has
not been a need to replace the covers due to wear or tampering. Every Christmas break they
clean them to keep debris from building up. What has this done for your floor program, was my
question. Rob tells me that it has reduced and eliminated the need for chemical stripping the
`black tracks" that were left behind before the covers where put in place. This has also reduced
the poor finish condition in the classroom during the school year. When summer comes, the
rooms are now wet stripped with water and the new Mini Mag.
The new GREEN process for summer refinishing is the use of the two Edge machines. Since
there is no chemical removal of the finish from the pores of the tile, there is no moisture put into
the tiles either. The removal of the chemical strippers has also removed the large volumes of
moisture from the air as well. Here in Mid-Missouri with summer temps in the high 90s and the
humidity in the 60s this means high humidity in the air already. The benefit here, less drying
time is now required and that now the desks and chairs can be put back in place sooner to enable
the crew to move on to other areas.
Another Green outcome has been the application of less Green finish. One of the fundamentals
taught in the GCI Technician course is that we need to focus first on reduction of our use of
resources; Sustainability. This was ever so evident here in the reduction of finish consumed to
acquire the look that Rob and his crew are after. Their application technique has improved this
process as they found that the first coat of finish now does not disappear into the floor. As a
result, the first finish coat applied is now like the 3rd coat used to be but done with less finish
and now the building process of finish on the surface happens at a much faster pace. This
complete process REDUCES the resources used; labor, finish, chemical, time and don't forget
budget.
This complete Green Floor Care process which is now being used by Crawford R1 Schools can
be found in the Green Clean Institutes - Green Floor Technician course. You can see some of the
clips on the Green Clean Institute YouTube channel.
Should you be in Mid-Missouri and which to acquire the needed equipment, supplies or Certified
Green training, see the GCI Certified Technicians at New System out of St. Louis, Missouri for
all your Green needs.
I would like to thank Rob Lewis and Crawford R1 Schools for providing this information and
sharing their successes with me.
Dave Thompson
Green Clean Institute Education Director