Serving Virginia, West Virginia and Southern Maryland and the World Since 1996
Frequently Asked Questions about floor cleaning equipment!
1.) General Website Purchasing Information
2.) What is the Difference between Cylindrical and Disk Scrubbing?
3.) What do I do if my floor has expansion cuts that collect debris?
4.) What are the differences between a traction drive and a brush drive?
5.) Take caution when using a high foaming detergent in your machine!
6.) The importance of GREEN cleaning!
1: General Website Purchasing Information
Purchasing equipment from our web site is easy- we do not offer a direct buy option for our machines because we want to talk to each of our customers in order to help them find the perfect piece of equipment based on their specific needs and applications. Our process starts with a phone call so that you can discuss your options with Steve Baker, our general manager. He handles all of the web site sales. After Steve finds out what sort of machine you are interested in he will draft a quote for that floor scrubber, sweeper, burnisher, whatever it is you are interested in and e-mail or fax it to you. After that, the choice is your's to make but you will have everything you need to make an informed decision.
We want our web site to act as a catalogue, a place a person can go for detailed information and photographs on the best equipment available in the industry. Often times if you do not see something specific that you want listed on the site, if you give us a call we can see about finding it for you.
2: What is the Difference between Cylindrical and Disk Scrubbing?
Disk Scrubbing: Disk scrubbers wash, or strip wax from the floor. Disk machines offer easy to change, variably aggressive, pads or brushes. These features make disk scrubbers ideal for retail applications where pads are not only inexpensive, but offer a great deal of surface contact for scuff mark control and floor shine. When aggressive pads are coated with the stripped wax, they can be conveniently thrown away.
For industrial applications, disk brushes often make sense because they can accept greater down pressure than cylindrical brooms, and heavily soiled floors benefit from heavy down pressure. Example: A demonstration person can stand on a disk brush (in our case this is up to 250 pounds of pressure) and the brush bristles do not deflect. For this reason, your see them on machines that offer great down pressure such as the Advance and American Lincoln combustion engine cleaning machines. But you will note, these combination machines still include separate dry sweeper brooms to collect the solid debris.
Cylindrical Scrubbing: A cylindrical scrub brush system will (wet) sweep small amounts of solid debris into a removable tray while also washing the floor. You eliminate the manual pre sweeping of your factory or warehouse floor for greater productivity and fewer clogs in the squeegee section of the scrubber. Plus there is often no need for an additional separate sweeper or even a combination machine when a cylindrical machine will do the job.
Cylindrical scrubbers usually turn their brushes at a speed that is three times the rotation of a disk brush. This will often offset the greater surface area advantage that disk scrub decks offer. Cylindrical scrub brushes do keep less bristle surface in contact with the floor, but the these revolving line of bristles will rotate on the floor with three times the rotation frequency of disk brush bristles.
Which is better?
I give both versions a good rating on cleaning performance. Both will clean your floor!
Pro Disk: Disk scrub brushes have the advantage on the issue of lower initial cost and simplicity of maintenance. A disk brush will last longer and a replacement brush usually will cost less.
Cylindrical decks (as an option) will typically increase your scrubber cost by $500 to $1000.
Plus you really need to add side brooms to cylindrical systems to steer the debris into the path of the of the scrub deck and out of the outer edges of the squeegee.
Pro Cylindrical: Cylindrical scrub decks eliminate the need to pre sweep your floor and may save the expense of true combination sweeper/scrubber machines or separate dry sweepers.
3: What do I do if my floor has expansion cuts that collect debris?
Oftentimes when scrubbing a floor that has expansion cuts- the vacuum hose will become clogged with the debris that has been caught in these spaces. This is a typical problem on floors that have open expansion joints. There are only a few solutions to this issue which I have considered.
One is to fill the joints with grout, however this obvious solution is usually considered not practical due to either the financial cost, or other logistical considerations.
The second is to dry vacuum the joints in advance of scrubbing. This would seem to be a bit impractical and time consuming, so it is not a likely solution.
The easiest approach is to continue to operate the machine in a fairly routine manner until this small debris is removed by the suction of the squeegee hose. This may take multiple passes and involve a few short term headaches for the operator. (clearing the hose, etc) Any new debris that would normally hit the smooth floor surface and then eventually fall into these cracks should be captured by the sweeping action of the cylindrical deck and removed without settling into the joints. You will however need to continue to maintain the floors routinely to order for this to be successful. There should be fewer clogged up hoses long term.
Not that this advice is novel, but I can tell you that your situation is not uncommon and that it gets better.
4: What are the differences between a traction drive and a brush drive?
The brush drive system is used to propel a disk style scrubber forward when the scrub brushes are rotating on the floor. By tilting the brush deck forward, one or two inwardly rotating brushes grab the floor with greater friction on the leading edge. Since the two brushes oppose each other in their rotation, they tend to counter balance each others left and right spin and pull the machine forward while scrubbing. A single disk scrubber tilts in such a way that the machine "somewhat" goes forward. Of course when you are not scrubbing there will be no effect, and the machine relies on the operator for propulsion.
The price for a traction drive is greater because a typical scrubber will have an electric motor turning a differential which drives two pneumatic wheels positioned in tandem between a single axle (which projects left and right from the differential assembly). An operator controlled rheostat is required to regulate the motor speed and a actuator button on the handle starts and stops transport. All electronics are wired through a central controller card to tie in all the functions. To cover these costs, you can expect a difference in price of at least $1000 to $1500 on most small scrubbers.
All cylindrical scrub decks have transport drive provided by a motor as described above.
5: Take caution when using a high foaming detergent in your machine!
Soaps such as Simple Green are known to be a high foaming detergent. I would use caution because the foam can bypass floatation devices designed to restrict the recovery water from entering into the vacuum motor. Foam can carry both dirt and moisture with the air flow. Most vacuum motors are replaced due to the effects of dirt and moisture or from water splashing up from quick turns when the recovery tank is almost full.
• Dilute the Simple Green to low levels to reduce its foaming capability.
• Empty the recovery tank frequently to create more space between the top of the water level and the entrance to the vacuum motor.
• Use a defoaming agent - It is available from us or other suppliers. You can also purchase "Downey" water softener and put a cap full in the recovery tank to kill the foam. I understand that toilet "cakes" will do the same.
• Or purchase a low foaming cleaning solution.
6: The importance of GREEN cleaning!
We all know that as humans we have a large impact upon our planet. We produce a large amount of waste which is the whole reason we require cleaning machines in the first place. In an effort to address the increasing amount of pollutants and harmful chemicals that can end up back in our environment, many cleaning equipment manufacturers are developing more 'Green' ways to clean, including special chemicals and low-water usage systems. Needless to say, cleaning green in highly important to both us and our planet, and Caliber will be happy to help you find the perfect environmentally sensitive machine for your application!
Green Cleaning Measures:
• Clarke's BOOST Floor Scrubbers feature a cleaning deck which eliminates the need of stripping chemicals.
• IPC Eagle's ECS machines is a whole line of Green equipment which reduce water and chemical consumption anywhere from 80%-90% when compared to traditional scrubbers.
• Nilfisk Advance strives to include green cleaning standards in all of their equipment, and most of their commercial sized floor scrubbers meet the leading certification standards such as the 'CRI Seal of Approval', 'GS-42', 'NFSI', and earn points towards the 'LEED Green Building Rating Standard'.