Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: What is your process? Is it a sealer, a coating a paint?
A: It is classified as a microscopic acid etch. You can not tell by touch or by looking that it has treated the surface, but under a microscope you would be able to see the results. BATHTUBS: It doesn't leave the surface rough or gritty feeling. Wouldn't you rather be sitting down on something like this as opposed to those sandy strips or a rubber bathmat?
Imagine a glass filled with water to above the rim, you have that snow-coned shape to the top. A tile bathtub surface has thousands of little cups and when those cups fill up with water you have a condition known as 'Hydroplane" This is what causes you to slip when you come in contact with the surface while in motion. Our process eliminates this 'Hydroplane" thereby making the surface a great deal less slippery!
Q: How long does it last?
A: Our standard warranty on floor surface treatments is 2-5 years depending on the type of surface treated and where the surface is located. I.E. Kitchen tile, bathroom tile, exterior walkway, entry tile and so on. The more activity and grease that the area is subjected to determines the length of the warranty. On porcelain and enamel-on-steel bathtubs the warranty is three years and for fiberglass showers it's 18 months (but we charge less).
Q: How much does it cost? Do you charge by the square foot?
A: The amount of square feet is one of the determining factors in our pricing. We also take into account where the work is to be done, whether there are drains or not. Without drainage we have to either move the rinse water to the nearest drain to the work area or wet-vac up the water. We also determine how much preparation is needed to get the area ready to treat: Such as tables, chairs, and plants. Does the floor need to be pre-cleaned with a special cleaner before work starts? When will we be doing the work? At night? On a Saturday or Sunday? On a holiday? Will the location be closed? Will we have to work around employees or the public. Do safety cones, barricades and signage need to be erected to keep unauthorized persons out? But after all this the average price is around $1.75 S/F. The larger the area, the lower the price. The average bathtub in a Hotel setting is $49.00 per tub with price breaks at each 1,000 bathtubs treated. We can give you an exact quote at your location after we have had a chance to look things over to determine what will be needed to do the work.
Q: How long does it take to do the work?
A: Each installer can treat approx. 300-400 sq.ft. an hour with drains, without drains approx. 1 1/2 hours. Bathtubs take 5-10 minutes each to treat.
Q: How long does it take to dry? When can I start using the area again?
A: Once an area has been treated and rinsed, normal activity can be resumed within 1 hour. Bathtubs/Showers can be used within 1 hour. Our goal is to keep your down-time to a minimum, with as little inconvenience as possible.
Q: Can this be applied around people and foodstuffs?
A: Yes! The process is actually heavier than air. There is an odor (not harmful) that is deliberately in the process to discourage unauthorized personnel from coming into the work area, and to let us know by smell that the process is working. Because the treatment is down on the surface, it can be used in kitchen or 24-hour operations where you can't shut-down completely. We do ask that anything closer than 18" from the surface that could be damaged by contact with water be protected or removed.
Q: Will I have to use special cleaners to maintain my bathtub, will they be harder to clean?
A: No, it will actually be easier in the case where you were previously having to clean bathtubs where non-slip strips or bathmats were being used. * * Fact: Because of their ability to grow and maintain bacteria, hospitals are not allowed to use strips or bathmats. You will never find strips in a 5-star hotel. A quality rubber bathmat is approximately $10.00. In high occupancy service, the life of the mat is less than one year. The suction cups of the bath mat collect fungus if not properly cleaned and sanitized after each use. The cleaning process represents about 2 minutes of distasteful labor. Many people would rather risk a slip-fall than pick up and use a bath mat and have even pulled up the safety strips from the tub in their hotel room and thrown them in the garbage, rather than come in contact with them. A bathtub without strips or mats look cleaner and is easier to clean. Friction "glue down" tapes are costly because they are always popping up and require frequent replacement and labor intensive maintenance. It is widely recognized that they are unattractive, but more importantly they collect dirt, mildew and bacteria. Everyone dislikes them - guests, management, housekeeping and the Health Department. But lacking knowledge of our treatment, they are the best means for slip-fall protection available. You will find that some hotels have gone to the additional cost to purchase a "Safety tub" that has a factory non-skid bottom. You will immediately recognize this type of tub by the sandy texturing in the bottom in the form of dots, lighting-bolts, rectangles and so on. They will also (99.99% of the time) be black!! This is a result of the absorbent nature of the "safety" aspect of the texturing. It has drawn down into itself, body oils, soap scum, residue from cleaners, etc. (Please note: the safety grids in addition to getting dirty, lose their effectiveness on average in 18 months. They lead your guest into a false sense of security, based on a prior safe experience, and the fact that you can see them, because they are BLACK from grime!!) Our treatment is one of the few viable options to be used in this circumstance. Because we can eliminate the black from the tub bottom without voiding the "appearance" warranty, we can offer you 2 options: A tub that will be the safest in the marketplace and nice and clean looking, or a clean looking tub that will also be non-slip. AND the cost is the SAME!! (Ha! Ha!) The cost of our treatment will always be less expensive than any of these options and to have a 90-100% reduction in slip-fall accidents NS-2000 is highly effective. Don't wait for trouble. To not have your floor/bathtub treated because no one has slipped yet is equal to the continued driving of a car with faulty brakes because you haven't had an accident yet.
Q: How long does it last? A: It will last anywhere from 2-5 years in high traffic areas, in a bathtub- 3 years. It has been documented by the National Safety Council that more than 25,000 people go to the hospital every day because of slip-fall injuries and of these, 47 result in deaths. The majority of slip-falls in the home (2/3), occur while getting into or out of the bathtub/shower.
Agencies that you will typically have contact with:
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics - has documented the 40-50% of all work place accident are slip-fall accidents and 75% of all man-days lost are due to slip-fall accidents.
EPA - Environmental Protection Agency - The mission of this government agency is to protect the public at large and the prevention of pollution of the environment from contaminating materials and chemicals. M.L.Thornton Enterprises, Inc.'s NS-2000TM contains some chemicals which fall into this category but not enough to cause significant concern. In bathtub applications the amount of chemical used is quite insignificant when flushed with large amounts of water, as is the case. In floor applications larger quantities are used but with normal rinsing procedures the effluent is completely neutralized and can be disposed of down the drain without special handling.
UL - Underwriters Laboratory - This deals with safety of electric devices and our only concern is that we use equipment that is maintained in safe working condition with proper grounding procedures when using electricity.
USDA - United State Department of Agriculture, working in conjunction with County Health Departments, is concerned that no sealers are to be used in the kitchen over quarry tile (Tile type specified here in the U.S. for use in food preparation areas.) We have no conflict here. Also the USDA does not want foreign substances coming in contact with food. Our treatment is heavier than air, so it is kept close to the floor. We also require that anything that might be damaged by contact with water be removed a minimum of 18" from the floor. We maintain regular contact with all appropriate agencies to ensure than we are in compliance with their regulations, as a result, we are able to anticipate needed changes before they become issues.