Whether you own a commercial cleaning company or oversee the maintenance of a sizable facility, keeping floors clean no longer has to be a laborious task.
Gone are the days of the mop and bucket brigade – today there is a wide selection of floor cleaning machines to suit every need, whether it be simple sweeping or scrubbing and polishing.
These machines can be an expensive purchase but selecting the right one for the job doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some of the most common pitfalls to avoid when choosing a floor scrubber.
Not Properly Considering the Area to Be Cleaned
One of the most important factors in purchasing a floor scrubber machine is selecting the correct size for the area that needs to be cleaned. Cleaning a 30,000 square foot warehouse with a walk-behind model will take much longer to complete than doing it with a ride-on unit.
Don’t forget to factor in the width of any doorways, hallways, aisles, or other tight spaces that will limit the machine’s manoeuvrability. The last thing you’ll want to do is make a purchase of this size and then find that the unit doesn’t fit through the door.
The type of debris that needs to be cleaned up is also an important thing to consider: Is there tough dirt that requires a pre-sweep brush? Do you have calcium or hard water stains that require a higher spinning speed in order for the brush heads to lift them? Also, make sure to select the model that is meant for your floor type.
Choosing a scrubber meant for concrete floors may cause damage to wooden floors, and the oversight will likely affect the cleaning equipment capacity in the long run, as well.
Choosing the Wrong Power Source
Floor machines come with a wide variety of power sources – plug-in (or corded), battery-powered, and fuelled. The least expensive types are the corded models.
If you go with this option, keep in mind you will need consistent access to power outlets throughout the area to be cleaned, the actual length of the cord itself, and how the machine will need to be manoeuvred to avoid tangling or running over the cord. Battery-powered machines are a little more expensive, but they do not produce exhaust as the fuelled units do and the operator won’t have to worry about navigating around cords and outlets.
Don’t forget to consider how long the battery’s charge will last – you will need to choose a unit with a battery that has higher amperage if you have a large space and need a longer run time to finish the job without recharging. If you plan on operating a scrubber in more cold and harsh conditions, you will probably want to consider a fuelled model. These units run on gas, propane, or diesel and are the most expensive options.
Not Checking on Replacement Part Availability
Many people do not consider how easy it will be to get replacement parts in the event their floor scrubber breaks down. Any machine with moving parts has the capacity for failure, and the last thing you will want to find out is that a key part is no longer being manufactured or is difficult to get after it breaks.
These parts do not come in a “generic” form and can be pricey to purchase. Keep in mind that the longer your machine is down, the more it will affect your facility’s cleaning schedule. Before you purchase a unit, double-check that all the parts are readily available and take the opportunity to work their replacement costs into your overall budget.
Forgetting to Factor in Maintenance Costs
The longer you are able to keep your scrubbing unit in operation, the better its long-term value will be to you. Proper maintenance will help to prolong the life of your floor scrubber. Daily tasks like emptying the cleaning solution and recovery tanks will go a long way towards protecting the unit from damage, and regular rotation of the brushes will maximise its performance.
Keep tabs on the health of the battery and consider having a spare one in hand in case of emergencies. Also, most floor scrubber vendors offer service agreements that you will want to work into your purchasing budget since regular tune-ups by their technicians will help to catch smaller problems and correct them before they become bigger, more expensive repairs.
Buying a floor scrubber can be a big step towards raising the efficiency of your cleaning team. Getting the most out of your purchase will not be difficult if you consider all of these things and factor those costs into your budget before you purchase a machine. It is easier and less costly to consider all the aspects of your building’s maintenance requirements before making a purchase and then match the unit to your specific needs.