Grassroots

5 Costly Floor Care Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

written by Chris Kuhn

Floor care is complicated, and when you add factors like snow, ice, and salt to the equation, finding the right floor care solution can seem nearly impossible. Businesses commonly make the same floor care mistakes over and over, and these mistakes can cost your business a lot of time, money, and labor to fix. Below we highlight some of the most common commercial floor mistakes and how they can be avoided.  

Mistake # 1 Eliminating the normal floor care maintenance because of budget constraints. 
Floors get an abundance of foot traffic (in all kinds of weather) and inadvertent damage from objects being dropped on and dragged or pushed across them. Properly maintaining the floor of your commercial building requires more care and attention than a quick mopping with soapy water or vacuuming whenever the floor looks dirty. A floor that is properly maintained and clean fosters a professional image for your place of business. That image goes a long way in attracting new clients and maintaining old ones.  Additionally, properly cleaning your flooring also reduces the risk of accidents. Slips, trips and fall injuries make up almost 20% of all job-related injuries. Unsuitable maintenance can slash the life of your floors by as much as half.  We understand the drive to cut costs can be strong, but even if your floors do not look dirty, they are. The main two issues with failing to regularly clean carpets and finish hard surfaces regularly are these. First, flooring manufacturers has set a regular cleaning schedule you must meet to have the full protection of your warranty. This is often yearly or twice yearly. Second, even if the floor does not look too bad, the dirt, grit and grime allowed to accumulate is ground into the floors surface and will remain even with vacuuming and mopping. Causing wear and dulling that is bad for the floor’s overall appearance and usable lifespan. Lastly, not regularly cleaning your floors means that small problems can grow over time, and present bigger and more costly cleaning challenges later. 

 

Mistake #2 Service providers that lacks transparency in their pricing. 
Choosing a service provider that lacks clear pricing will put you behind the eight ball every time. Not only should you know precisely what you are buying and what it will cost, you deserve the opportunity to ask questions, check references, to be sure you are receiving the best value for your facility. A service provider that is looking for a long-term partnership is happy to provide you with clear pricing and references to compare your options. A true partner will take the time to understand your budget and pricing constraints and provide value added solutions to work through these issues. It is also wise to ask the service provider if they have achieved professional certifications like the ISSA’s CIMS as they have been scrutinized and assessed as to whether or not they work to industry best standards.  

Mistake #3 Enlisting a cleaning company that uses the wrong equipment or poorly maintained equipment. 
Floor care equipment takes a beating and must be frequently checked, serviced, and even replaced. If your service provider is trying to cut corners with equipment service or replacement, it may be saving THEM money, but it can cost YOU. Poorly maintained or dated equipment is abusive to both soft and hard surface floors and will often fail to provide the results your facility deserves.  

Mistake # 4 Utilizing a company with poorly trained technicians. 
There are right ways and wrong ways to clean your floors.  A knowledgeable service provider will practice former and avoid the latter. Do you have vinyl flooring? Concrete? Wood? Brick? Something else? Service provider employees will know exactly how specific floor types should be cleaned, leaving your floor as clean and attractive as possible. Having your floors cleaned by people who are unfamiliar with the proper cleaning techniques for your individual flooring will likely lead to damaged floors when the cleaners are finished. The newest technology in floor care equipment and chemistry requires a higher level of technician training. In fact, some companies continue to use older, dated, and ineffective methods for the simple fact that it is easy to train new workers on. That is good for them, but, NOT good for you. Commercial floor care maintenance has become far more science-based than in the past. We understand a great deal more about the chemistry that goes with how to treat different stains, remove, apply finish, and work closely with the flooring manufacturer’s recommendations about their individual products. If your service provider is failing to adequately train their people on everything from how to use equipment most efficiently, to chemical safety, to spot testing new products or compounds, you are not getting the service or level of clean you deserve. 

Mistake #5 Using the predictive approach instead of a reactive approach to floor maintenance.  

  • Predictive – This is the “use technology to forecast when a problem will occur and provide maintenance accordingly” approach. 
  • Reactive – This is the “fix it when it breaks” approach. 

 The most common type of maintenance employed by facility managers is the “reactive” approach. According to a post by Akita Box on preventative maintenance planning, 85% of total maintenance is spent on reactive maintenance. With budget restraints of driving the decision making, the latter approach may be costing facility managers more money in the long run. Managers typically make two key commercial floor care maintenance mistakes:  

  1. Not having it cleaned or finished the right way (based on floor type and traffic patterns) 
  2. Waiting until the floor is visibly dirty or damaged to have it deep cleaned or stripped and finished. 

 

Both may be done for cost-saving purposes—and both will probably cost you more money in the long run. Properly caring for flooring can seem like an excess expense to many managers. That is, until they discoverthe cost of restoring or replacing the commercial flooring. The best solution:A floor preventative maintenance program. By having your floors regularly cleaned and maintained, you can cut a lot of high-cost repair or restoration work—and even potentially push back a planned carpet replacement. A consistent maintenance program can extend the life of flooring by many years depending on the facility and traffic pattern and that can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in savings a year. 


Residential Options Participates in “The Kindness Rocks” Project

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

Residential Options, an affiliate of Challenge Unlimited, provides services to individuals with disabilities. Residential Options assists approximately 135 individuals live in the community at seventeen homes in Madison County and seven homes in St Clair County and several individuals residing in their own home. With current restrictions in Illinois, many of our residents have not been able to go to work or have activities in the community like normal. We continue to try to be creative as an organization in providing fun, educational, and new ways for our residents to interact with each other and in the community. We have chosen to participate in The Kindness Project in the upcoming year. Kindness Rocks is a viral trend where people paint rocks or stones with inspirational messages, sayings, images, and colors. Then they leave them in public places for people to find. The intention is to spread kindness and love to people around the world. We hope that people will find our rocks and then post pictures and/or stories about finding the rock using the #ROkindness hashtag so that we can share with our residents.

Through a generous donation made by Element Turf and Outdoor Solutions, we were able to provide our residents with rocks to decorate and leave in the community while on walks in the park or on their “socially distanced” trips into other community locations. The back of the rock will direct people to use the #ROkindness hashtag when posting about the found rocks to help share kindness and joy on our Facebook page. We will also share the finds with our residents who will delight in their rocks being found. We can’t wait for our rocks to be found!


Residential Options Participates in 2019 Speak Up Speak Out Summit

Thursday, October 31st, 2019

By Carina Jones (Director of Clinical Services at Residential Options)

The self-advocacy committee, a committee comprised of 15 clients from Residential Options, participated in the Speak Up Speak Out Summit held in Springfield, Illinois at the Wyndham Hotel and Conference Center October 28th through the 30Th. This year’s theme was “Hear My Voice, Support My Choice”. The summit was developed by the ARC of Illinois and funded by the Illinois Council on Development Disabilities. The clients were able to apply for financial assistance to assist with hotel, registration and transportation fees.

Clients arrived in Springfield on October 28th for early registration, since the summit started its sessions on October 29th. Arriving early allowed the clients to participate in a tour of the state capital. While legislators were in session, their schedules did not allow time for individual conversations with the clients. The clients were excited to see the offices and meeting rooms while stating, “We will be back to talk another time.” After the tour, the clients shopped at the local mall and had dinner before resting so that they were ready for the next day’s events.

The event was comprised of keynote speakers, break out sessions, and Fun time! The clients were able to listen to stories from individuals with disabilities who have faced adversity and still accomplished their goals and achieved their dreams. The breakout sessions included trainings on Respect, the power off self-advocacy, and internet safety, just to name a few. The clients were even able to sit on a panel and given advice and support to other individuals. One of our clients stated, “It felt good to be called on to share with the group…. I felt really good.”

As always, the event makes sure to make time to have fun and boy do they know how to party. A Halloween themed dance was held on October 29th and everyone was encouraged to dress up while dancing to all the latest hits provided by the DJ. Now if dancing wasn’t your thing, then a Wii was set up for some good competitive bowling. The next morning, all the clients were dragging into breakfast saying things like, “Boy, I partied like it was 1965!” Another client said, “I’m getting old.” But everyone agreed the dance was one of the top favorites when discussing activities that are provided at the summit.

It was sad on Wednesday when all things came to an end as the team packed all their bags and loaded the van back up to head back to Alton. One client stated, “take me back.” The self-advocacy had one last meeting over lunch to discuss the event and what they had learned. One client said, “I learned that in order to get respect I have to give it, that’s where it starts, and that’s with my staff, my family and my friends.” Another client stated, “I learned how to make an action plan to help me achieve some of my goals- moving out on my own. I had to list when I wanted to do this and who I needed to get help from.” Staff stated, “it was nice to see the clients taking notes and actually paying attention.” Everyone agreed that the summit was an event not to miss and that they must continue to work to stay on the committee so that they can attend next year’s summit.


Challenge Unlimited Joins Advocacy Effort for Growing Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

Friday, June 7th, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 03, 2019) – On June 3rd through June 6th, Challenge Unlimited, Inc. joined SourceAmerica and more than 50 other nonprofit agencies for a 3-day event – the SourceAmerica Grassroots Advocacy Conference – to highlight the impact of public policy on employment for people with disabilities.

Challenge Unlimited self-advocate, Keith (pictured right), poses next to Senator Mike Bost (middle) at the 2019 SourceAmerica Grassroots Advocacy Conference.

The conference was held in Washington, D.C. Each year, SourceAmerica engages in a variety of grassroots advocacy activities aimed at educating members of Congress about the need for increased employment options for people with disabilities. Leading up to the event, Challenge Unlimited took part in SourceAmerica training sessions for nonprofit leaders, self-advocates and their family members on how to share stories and help with the advocacy effort.

This year, the Challenge Unlimited team was joined by self-advocate, Keith Pendegraft. Keith is a talented young man with a disability who works at one of Challenge Unlimited’s AbilityOne contracts at Scott Air Force Base. Keith has greatly benefitted from the AbilityOne program and truly enjoys his job. Some of his favorite aspects of his job include the camaraderie, teamwork and assisting his other coworkers when they need help. Keith has stated that his wish is for others to understand that people with disabilities are the same as the general public—they have hopes and dreams, and they also deserve access to meaningful employment opportunities.

During the Grassroots Advocacy conference, Keith, his mother and the Challenge Unlimited team visited Capitol Hill to meet with legislators from the five states in which Challenge Unlimited holds contracts through the AbilityOne program—Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina and Wisconsin. These in-person visits are designed to remind lawmakers that the work they do in Washington affects the economy and livelihood of the constituents, including people with disabilities, in their home districts.

“We look forward to bringing these individuals to Capitol Hill so they can share their personal stories and help shape their legislators’ disability employment decisions,” said Challenge President and CEO, Charlotte Hammond. “It’s critical for the self-advocates to make connections, have their voices heard and affect policy at a local, state or national level.”


SourceAmerica Grassroots Conference 2018

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

In June 2018, Challenge Unlimited participated in the Annual SourceAmerica Grassroots Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.

During this annual conference, individuals with disabilities participating in the AbilityOne Program, family members and nonprofit agencies from across the country converge on Capitol Hill to discuss with their Members of Congress how legislative changes impact the disability community and the importance of the program.  Last year, AbilityOne employee and CU client Shane, his father, CU President and CEO Charlotte Hammond, and other CU team members represented our organization on the Hill. During their visit, they met with 10 Members of Congress. 

We are very proud of Shane and the CU team for being that beacon for Shane to flourish as a worker and citizen in his community. 


Local Legislators

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Challenge Unlimited – Local Legislators


Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA)

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Challenge derives power from the people we serve, stakeholders and the community, seeking to engage people in the political process at the local and national level that impact people with disability.

The bipartisan WIOA, signed by President Obama on July 22, 2014, created a new vision for how America prepares an educated and skilled workforce that expands opportunity for workers and employers. The Administration laid out a vision for our job training system that “trains our workers first based on what employers are telling us they’re hiring for and helps business design the training programs so that we’re creating a pipeline into jobs that are actually out there. This collaborative system will deliver integrated, job-driven services to job seekers, including youth and those with barriers to employment, as well as to workers and employers.

Attaining competitive integrated employment is a goal for all individuals with disabilities receiving vocational rehabilitation (VR) services in WIOA. However, it appears the integrated location criterion in the final regulation is based on an overly simplistic and inaccurate understanding of the types of jobs that are provided through the AbilityOne Program. As a result Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) is no longer recognizing employment in the AbilityOne program as a viable employment opportunity for people with disabilities because RSA incorrectly views these jobs as “not typically found in the community”. AbilityOne jobs are real jobs with integrated settings and wages well above the federal minimum wage. Challenge is requesting the following action:

  • Rescind the guidance and clarify to state VR agencies that job opportunities are not to be automatically disqualified simply because of their affiliation with the AbilityOne program.
  • As required by law, determinations should be made on a case-by-case basis, not through blanket disqualification.

    Let's Talk

    Request to speak with a Challenge Unlimited representative about your needs.

    Partners

    Source America, IARF, CARF, and Ability One
    Diverse Business Leaders