Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Contract Cleaning

What is contract cleaning?
There are several types of contract cleaning jobs that are needed for certain types of business. Most of these types of jobs usually include a month to month type of schedule. It will often times include a restorative or deep cleaning every quarter that is deeper than the maintenance cleaning depending on the contract. The types of business that utilize these contracts vary from restaurants to grocery chains or high traffic retail areas. The contracts usually last the period of a year and are reviewed yearly for any price increases or additional services that can be added or subtracted. 
The better professional cleaning companies will be pro-active in evaluation of where they stand with the service being done and how the measure up to the contract. They also take pride in over performance and providing extra when available to secure a future contract. This can include giving demonstration of additional capabilities without charge.As easy as it sounds for the business owner to obtain a professional cleaner such as this, it is often not found as the good ones are almost always booked solid due to the way they perform and the relationship they have built through word of mouth. If you are one of those business owners who have tried the do it yourself method and have not experienced a professional contract cleaner that has the high tech equipment that provides those types of results- it may be time to step up. Results that you can see!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Fence Restoration & Presure washing

(Tips from Power Equipment Direct) courtesy of
Power Wash Fences  revised by Fast Finish

Wash the Fence
Rotating Scrub BrushApply approved fence detergent from the bottom up to avoid streaks, and allow 5-15 minutes to let it work. Continually add water to any areas that start to dry to prevent the detergent from staining the wood. ( Fast Finish utilizes several different custom mixed detergents for different types of wood) Washing  a fence may not be enough depending on the types of stain used prior. It is not uncommon for a fence to need stripping of old sealers(especially acrylics) before applying new stains and sealers. Failure of stripping will leave undesirable results from applying new modern sealers over old worn stain and sealers.  After stripping of sealers it is important to neutralize the wood. Fast Finish utilizes special neutralizing brighteners to achieve the best results.

Rinse the Wood
Pressure Washing a FenceUse a delicate low pressure spray pattern when rinsing. Wood is very soft, and you don't want to cause any damage to the surface of your fence. It is best to call a professional, however acceptable results can be obtained by the do it yourself types.

 Always, rinse the from the top down, and work with the grain of the wood. Cover 1 to 2 boards at a time, working in identifiable sections. Avoid to much pressure that will cause wood scars and damage that would need sanding or replacement. We are often able to clean and entire structure without the use of damaging pressure with the proper use and techniques of our chemicals.

Sealing your Fence
Staining A FenceAfter washing, let your fence dry for at least 48 hours. Then, seal your fence with paint or a sealer, according to the manufacturer's directions. We utilize the best proven stain/sealers that are available. None of them contain acrylics in the finish. We believe from experience that acrylics over time turn color from the UV and also peel like a sunburn over time. They are also inconsistent and require stripping and sanding to accept new sealers.They have the shortest protection life of all the sealers and do not penetrate the pores to protect the wood like penetrating oils. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pressure washing, Bad sealer

Bad sealer on concrete or aggregate driveways, patios/ walkways will generally come off when pressure washed. The age of the sealer and frequency of cleaning, along with the exposure to the elements plays a role in what will strip off the surface. The problem most people encounter is the sealer that remains. The home owner will discover that they are unable to remove large portions of the remaining sealer. Most basic pressure washing companies will also encounter the same issue, and they really do not know what needs done at this point. There are basically two methods of removal for old concrete sealers. They both have their place. The first method utilizes chemical strippers that re- emulsify the old sealer so it can be extracted. Extreme caution and care must be used with these chemicals an appropriate removal equipment is essential. A lot of inexperienced companies will pressure wash the emulsifier off , only to splatter it on surrounding structures etc.. Creating a bigger mess. If they don't have a vacuum system that extracts while it cleans they create a much larger problem.  The emulsifier will also strip paint from surrounding structures or leave the old sealer stuck to the surface when it drys.
The second method is media blasting the surface. This method is typically safer but does require a fair amount of clean up as well with a vacuum to remove the un recycled media that is left behind.
Fast Finish utilizes both methods of removal to insure the best bond for new sealers being applied. For regular cleaning of driveways, patios and sidewalks it is best to use a company that understands what is needed to finish the job correctly.  Application of new sealer over the old will create an unsightly look.
For more information regarding the removal and application of sealers or sealants on cement ,concrete or exposed aggregate call Fast Finish at 503-749-5001

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Pressure Washing Mistakes

There are several ways of cleaning concrete , but there are some that cause more damage than can be seen with the naked eye. The main ingredients to good clean concrete are Time/Heat/Agitation.
This is accomplished by application of the right emulsifiers to the surface to help breakdown the stains to be removed. The most common concrete cleaner has a high alkaline content that breaks down the most common soils, oils and greases that are often found on the surface. The other most common stain is molds and mildew that embeds into the pores of the cement. (SEE PIC BELOW)
Most pressure washing companies DO NOT utilize all the proper techniques to get the best clean possible for the surface. What they often do is apply more pressure from the washer due to not having heat or knowledge of the proper chemicals to apply to the surface. Unsuspecting home owners hire the basic pressure washing company to clean and have their cement blasted away at for hours to get the surface clean. What they don't know is that the top layer of concrete is blasted away with the cold water. The top layer or cream of the cement is the layer that provides protection and the finished cement that keep it together. After that is gone it starts to wear quickly with further weather and washing. Fast Finish utilizes less pressure and more heat to clean more efficiently. Combine emulsifiers and extensive knowledge of chemistry / PH levels and a concern for the environment makes for the best scenario for concerned home owners.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Online Reviews For Cleaners

"Don't believe every online review" 
 BEWARE: Bogus online reviews are more plentiful and seductive than ever. The phony review industry has become so pervasive that it has set off an arms race of sorts between "opinion spammers" and sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google+ Local and Citysearch that depend on honest posts from real people for their bread and butter. "If you look at the trend over time, Yelp went from having 6 percent of its reviews filtered (questioned) to having 20 percent identified as fake reviews," says Michael Luca, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School who co-authored a September 2013 study of phony restaurant reviews on Yelp. "And their own internal estimate is even higher." Barely a blip on our collective screens a decade ago, online reviews have grown exponentially in presence and importance with the advent of mobile social media. And where the masses meet, manipulators have followed, spawning worldwide review mills that churn out balderdash on demand for companies desperate to get an edge on their competition. FAST FINISH has real customer reviews based on great service not {shills) that are paid or encouraged to write up a phony review.
How to spot phony reviews
1/3 of our customers come from Angie's List and they follow up with the client after service is completed and then the company is graded.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2013 Angie's List Super Service Award Winner

Fast Finish Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service
Fast Finish has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013.

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Fast Finish competes with in Salem, Oregon are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

Angie's List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to healthcare. More than 2 million paid households use Angie's List to gain access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List Magazine and the Angie's List complaint resolution service.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014 means better cleaning for tile, carpet and hard surfaces.

Let me start out the year with a very bold prediction."The cleaning business is going to drastically change." There, I have said it! It has been on my mind for some time now, and with good reason. Consumers are smart and getting smarter. They can google anything and attempt the (DIY) " Do It Yourself" on many projects around the home and business in some cases.  We applaud and welcome this as professional cleaners and surface restoration specialist. Fully informed people make better decisions, and one of the reasons they choose us to do the work. We will always do the jobs that people don't have time for or don't want to do. They also know that knowing what to clean with and what to use is only half the battle. Some jobs are difficult even with the right tools. ( I can attest to that personally)   I can't tell you how many time we had to be detectives for some surfaces in order to get them back to acceptable. I can also tell you that we fix more DIY jobs gone wrong than any other type, so I feel that we are in a safe position business wise.

As time goes on we should see the face of cleaning companies change. 2014 should see a lot of change in this industry. Companies will be forced to comply with stricter EPA regulations and it will if it hasn't already become a cleaning company's big brother to doing business. And if you didn't know, local and federal government is putting tons of money into resources for this so they can properly enforce already existing laws that are in place. You can't just pressure wash a driveway and watch the waste water trickle into the streets. Many cleaners have already found out the hard way with 5-10k fines and storm drain clean up citations.
So what does this mean to the business owners? It means upgrading to hi volume waste vacuum systems and filtration. This is something Fast Finish has already taken steps to address. The upfront cost was significantly more but worth the investment by avoiding the scrutiny that comes with improper cleaning involving waste water.