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On the road with Wm R. Griffin

LAS VEGAS — Las Vegas, where what happens here, stays here — unless you are at the World of Concrete (WOC) show where you gather up and take with you all the latest information and samples related to concrete, one of the most widely used materials on earth.

That gray slab that we walk on each day is technically know as concrete — often incorrectly called cement — and turns out to be a phenomenal material with almost unlimited possibilities and uses.

Here are some of the trends that I noticed at this year’s WOC show:

Cleaning in the USA – Hard Floor Care Trends

Hard Floor Care Trends
You can expect to see more pre-finished floor coverings on the market in the future. It started with laminates, moved over to wood and is now finding its way into resilient flooring. The use of aluminum oxide/mineral based coatings that do more than provide a shine will see wide spread use and application. Examples include wear and scratch resistance, anti-microbial protection and anti-slip characteristics. One example is a recently introduced wood floor by Mohawk Industries that incorporates 3M ScotchGard advanced repel technology to protect against staining. (more…)

Cleaning in the USA

Mold 2004 and Beyond
I recently had an opportunity to attend the new four-day IICRC approved Applied Microbial Remediation Technician  (AMRT) course. This was an intense hands-on workshop on how to properly identify, remove and dispose of mold and sewer contamination in residential and commercial buildings. The program I attended was instructed by Peter Sierck and Patrick Moffett. It was sponsored by the Carpet and FabriCare Institute (CFI), and held at the World Floor Covering Association (WFCA) headquarters in Anaheim, CA. (more…)

The Economy – Cleaning in the U.S.A.

The Economy
Signals are mixed. There is quite a bit to talk about a recovery or signs of things getting better and key segments of the economy holding their own. But for the most part, on the street, we’re not seeing it yet. Although some areas of the country and market segments remain strong, others are truly suffering from the impact of cutbacks, closings and consolidation. The government is doing what it can to stimulate the economy and encourage growth with tax cuts and keeping the interest rate low, at the same time, jobs are being lost and budgets are being slashed in most market segments. Housing starts and sales remain strong and gas prices have peaked after a 25-cent per gallon increase during September and now appear to be headed down.

Economy, War, Jobs – Cleaning in the U.S.A.

Economy, War, Jobs
Anyway you look at it these days, things don’t look good. The U.S economy is still on the skids. Every business and customer that I know of is looking for ways to do more with less. In most cases this means reducing labor costs and laying people off. Everyone is hanging on, but it is getting tougher and tougher to do as the days go by. The stock market continues to lose value and is no longer considered a safe investment strategy. Interest rates are so low now, that there isn’t any room left for the government to use them to artificially prop up the economy. The President talks of tax cuts, while at the same time his administration raises the debt limit another trillion or two, so meaningful cut aren’t going to happen anytime soon.

Cleaning in the USA

Summer is a busy time of the year for me. I travel a lot, attending shows and seminars wherever I can find them. In the last couple of months, I’ve been on the road at least three weeks each month, often returning home for a day or two before heading off in search of another learning adventure.
Here are some of the highlights of my June and July travels.

Cleaning in the USA

IICRC Carpet Standards Revision Committee Meets in Virginia

The last official meeting of the committee was held in Williamsburg, VA immediately following the International Society of Cleaning Technicians (ISCT) Convention on July 15. Committee members had lengthy discussions on a number of topics that ranged from who should vacuum the carpet and what equipment should be used to whether the word “should” or “must” was the most appropriate term to use in various phrases of the standard. Everyone agreed that pre-cleaning vacuuming must be done and should be emphasized throughout the standard.

The committee discussed and then recommended recognizing and adding the “Mist and Scrub” method to the standard. Changes where suggested to wording related to how and where to clean area rugs. It was pretty much agreed that the standard should outline how carpet cleaning should be done under ideal conditions, yet allow technicians some discretion, depending on the specific circumstances of each job. (more…)

Cleaning in the USA

Watch Pro-Team Inc.

This month I got a behind the scenes look at Pro-Team Inc. in Boise, ID. Pro-Team is famous for it’s backpack vacuums and as the originator of the Team Cleaning process. Although I have previously toured their manufacturing plant and offices, I’m always amazed at the efficiency of the operation. This time I was particularly impressed with how much the company has grown and expanded its line of backpack vacuums over the last four years. (more…)

Preventing Slip And Fall Injuries And Liability


Slips and falls are the leading cause of death and injury in the work place, with 1,500 deaths and 300,000 injuries a year. 80% of employees who fall will lose days from work, and 12% have to be hospitalized. These accidents can cause broken bones, strained muscles, twisted/dislocated joints (knees, hips, ankles, shoulders), head injury and spinal damage. The average compensation from an employee’s fall injury is $4,700 and average medical expenses are $2,000. (more…)

Floor Care Basics

Successful floor care is based on a comprehensive program that includes prevention and ongoing maintenance procedures performed on a frequency that meets the specific needs of each area of the building. (more…)