#1 Public Enemy Number One—The Hose
Who has seen a hose in their kitchen? Do you know what that hose is actually used for? We see hoses in about 85% of the kitchens we visit and the staff loves them! Typically, your contractor does too. As long as there’s a hose, there will be water damage, which means more work for your contractor. Realistically, your least skilled staff member is in charge of cleaning—this means he’s not considering the studs behind the FRP he’s just soaked with the hose while trying to “clean” the walls. He’s not considering the uncanny ability of water to find its way into any cracks or faults in the tile and its tendency to rot away the subfloor of your kitchen. He’s not considering the overspray that’s left on your kitchen equipment, making way for premature rust and unsanitary food storage. He’s not considering these things, but YOU should be.
#2 Capitalizing Your Floor
As pioneers in the capitalization of a epoxy grout program, we can’t emphasize enough how much implementing this or a similar program will help increase your ROI. We’ve found Facility Managers, Operators, and those at store level avoiding any possible projects that might affect their bonus. The first thing they avoid is their grout. We’ve seen associates go as far as to put concrete tiles back into place to avoid the costs incurred by a proper repair. I’m sorry to tell you, you’re costing yourself CONSIDERABLY more in the long run. By using epoxy grout and capitalizing your grout program, you’re not only saving yourself money—you’re saving yourself time and the headache that may be a rotted, spongy subfloor.
#3 Puddles of Water – Deeper Issues
We’ve all been in a kitchen and seen standing water, but what does that mean to a contractor? We are able to immediately identify that there are underlying issues and a plethora of potential hazards. First and foremost, it allows us to identify that the kitchen does not have a proper drainage system in place. Regardless if the drains are clogged, the floor is not properly slanted to the drains or there simply are no drains at all, this boils down to a drainage or plumbing issue. As a Facility Manager, General Manager, or Director, you probably know this is a huge slip and fall hazard but here’s something you may not know. Those puddles of water, if around your food storage areas (coolers, prep station or cook line) can potentially contaminate your food. It’s no different than when you briskly walk through a puddle outside—the water splashes up. In a kitchen, the stagnate water could potentially splash onto food, opening yourself to a huge liability if anyone consuming that food gets sick. Although we typically see these puddles after we’ve cleaned the floor, the water is nowhere near sanitary. Sitting water usually doesn’t just sit. It will find its way into any crack, crevasse or grout line that is available, causing obvious rot, mold and other major issues. With all the potential hazards, it’s obvious why you should address any standing water issues.