An Easy Inexpensive Way To Improve Employee Morale and Wellness

Standing for long periods of time hurts. We all know this. There is a solution to help prevent this. Ant-Fatigue Matting. Standing on a concrete floor for long periods of time, say anything over an hour can cause intense pain and discomfort in your feet, legs, knees, hips, back and shoulders. Anti-Fatigue matting can significantly help reduce this effect. Mats can help with this discomfort but can also help prevent other health problems, lingering aches and pains, and circulatory issues.

These are an inexpensive way to promote better health and safety among your employees. Anti-Fatigue matting comes in a variety of materials depending on your applications. It can be used in factory settings where dirt, oil or water may be present or in offices where you can use more decorative versions. No matter where it is used, people standing on quality anti-fatigue mats will experience a much more comfortable work setting. When the stress is removed, worker productivity and efficiency increases.

Some factors to be aware of when purchasing anti-fatigue matting:

Is the area dry or wet? Do you need to contain oil, water, debris or other contaminants from being tracked from one department to another? Does the matting need to be fire retardant or chemically resistant?

Many work areas may require ESD, Electro-Static Discharge Matting. These are designed to be conductive for a rapid discharge to the ground. Used in chemical plants and around the use and manufacture of electrical components. They are burn resistant and self-extinguishing.

Be sure to cover all areas where slip and fall incidents may occur. Matting is a great way to prevent accidents and the liability issues that accompany them.

Be sure the matting you use has beveled edges. It also helps if the edges are marked in a different color. Beveled edges allow rolling carts to easily pass over the mats and to prevent tripping and falling accidents. Coloring the edges adds another level of safety.

Many people may prefer to stand at their desk or work station. Standing burns more calories and may provide a better comfort level for some people. Anti-Fatigue matting has shown to reduce spinal compression and increase circulation. Anti-Fatigue matting comes in a variety of styles and colors to suit these applications.

In some cases anti-microbial matting may be a benefit. These mats have an added component that prevents mold, mildew and bacterial growth.

Determine the size of the area you need to cover. Most standard mats come in sizes ranging from 2’ X 3’ to 4’ X 6’. Runners can also be custom made to cover those larger areas.

For the right matting for your application contact Rhiel Supply. We can have one of our matting experts assist you in determining which matting is best suited for your facility. Click below to get the conversation started!


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Do You Have Dirty Sticky Floors?

This is a problem I run into very frequently and I hear a lot of concern on how to prevent this from happening. As it turns out there are a lot reasons why your floor can have a sticky/dirty appearance and the remedy is almost always the same. Routine Maintenance.

When using a mop to clean a floor you wet the mop in a bucket, wring it out, mop the floor and then put it back in the bucket. The mop is immediately contaminated with dirty water and you use that dirty water to mop the next section of the floor. The floor gets dirtier, and the sticky adheres to the dirt. You then start to notice a film of dirt on the floor and wonder why the floor is dirty since it is being mopped every day. In reality, much of the dirt is never being removed.

I am a huge believer in using automatic cleaning equipment when cleaning a floor. Here’s why. When you use an automatic floor scrubber to clean your floors you are applying clean, fresh water to the floor, aggressively scrubbing the floor and quickly removing the dirt, the residue and the sticky. This leaves a clean, dry floor immediately. Scrubbers come in a variety of shapes and sizes but they always do a better job than mopping.

Depending on your facility and your conditions there may be a number of reasons why the floors are sticky or dirty even if you have a routine cleaning program.

If you have a kitchen in the area, grease can be tracked on to the floor. Grease causes the acrylic to soften and become sticky and the grease can be hazardous itself if it is not removed.

Entry ways can have tracked in tar from a parking lot affecting the floor finish, causing it to become sticky/dirty and creating a dull effect.

If you are using a quaternary disinfectant the active ingredient in the quat can leave a build-up over time. Mopping will not remove this. The quaternary build-up can cause a browning or yellowing that can stain the finish and even the tile.

Restrooms that are not subject to routine maintenance can cause staining and discoloration from foot traffic leaving the restroom.

Too much chemical being used to clean the floor can also cause a build-up to occur. Always use cleaning chemicals by the recommendations on the label. If a little is good, a lot is not better.

The wrong chemical is being used. All cleaners are not created equal. Make sure you are using a cleaning chemical that is designed to clean your particular floor surface without adversely affecting the floor, the finish or the coating.

What’s the solution?

Scrub the floor with an automatic scrubber as often as you can. Use the recommended dilution of whatever chemical you need. Too high a concentration will leave a film. Use enough chemical to remove all the contaminants from the floor surface but not so much that you leave residue. Put a clean water rinse into floor cleaning routine every now and then. It’s amazing what flooding the floor and scrubbing with clean, fresh water can do to remove any excess residue and restore the clean look again.

Informed Buyer's Guide to Automatic Floor Scrubbers

Viva La Motor Scrubber (Infographic)


We put together a short infographic to help you optimize your Motor Scrubber’s life. If you don’t have a motor scrubber yet click here to check it out! If you do then take a look at this infograph for some pointers. The button below has a printer friendly version so you can hang a copy where you store your portable powerhouse.

What Do I Do About All Of This Rain?

As you already know, there has been a significant amount of rain over the past few weeks. This not only keeps you from using your pool, but it also creates problems for your swimming pool maintenance. I wanted to take a second to answer a few questions I have been asked during the past few days. The questions are as follows:

  1. All of this rain has increased the water level in my pool; what is the best way to drain it?
  2. What can I be doing to make sure this rain doesn’t create a problem in my pool?
  3. I have already spent a ton of money on chemicals this year; what is the best way to do my pool maintenance with minimal time, effort, and money?

All of these are big concerns that you might currently be worrying about so it is my goal to help you keep your swimming pool crystal clear and safe for swimming.


This largely depends on your equipment setup, but I’ll try to address this question the best I can. I’ll list some common equipment and the best way to drain water using each. If you don’t find something that works for you then email me your equipment setup at and I will find the best solution for you.

For all these methods be sure to drain before adding any chemicals. This will reduce waste and save you money! Also keep in mind that the water should be lowered just about an inch below the top of the skimmer to the skimmer to do its job.


Sand Filter

If you have a sand filter then the best thing for you to do would be to shut off your pump, turn your valve to “Waste”, and then turn the pump back on. This will send water straight from the pool out your backwash port. Run this until you reach the appropriate water level (half way down the skimmer opening for most pools) and then turn of the pump, set the valve to filter and turn the pump back on.

Make sure your backwash port is draining to an area that can handle the amount of water you need to drain. If it isn’t draining to a good place stop into one of our stores and we can help you brainstorm a solution that will work for you!

Cartridge Filters

For Cartridge filters your best bet is to unscrew the drain plug and drain from there. To do this turn off the pump, remove this cap, and then turn back on the pump, water will begin pouring out. Putting a plug in the return can help ensure that the water doesn’t reenter the pool. With this method you can let gravity pull the water out (if it is above ground) or you can turn on the pump to speed up the process.

Make sure the water drains to an appropriate place. If that is where your filter is then that’s fine, but if it needs to go elsewhere you should attach a backwash hose and drain to an appropriate spot. If you need help hooking that up come pay us a visit and well help you make something work.


D.E. filters are a bit different because there are so many variations. The thing to do in this case is to turn off your pump, open the drain cap, and let gravity pull the water out. Just like a cartridge filter you may need to use a backwash hose to route water somewhere else.



rhiel-saves-you-moneyI didn’t forget to answer question 2, I intentionally am answering these questions together because the answers are the same. The best thing you can do is routinely monitor your pool. This could be daily, every other day, or depending on your system, weekly. By monitor I mean pay attention to slight changes in clarity or color (this means you can’t leave your solar cover on for more than a day at a time) and also test your water at least once a week. With the poor weather we have had I would suggest testing at least every other day.

The question now is what do you test for? You are particularly focusing on alkalinity and sanitizer. These two are very important in having a chemically balanced pool. If you notice that either reading is off then take the appropriate action to correct. If you do not know what your ideal readings should be or how to change them then stop into one of our locations or give us a call. Also if your levels are severely off then bring a water sample into our store for testing.

Keep in mind: A water sample or test should never be done during or immediately following the rain. Not doing this can result in an inaccurate test result and the addition of an unnecessary amount of chemical.

*During periods of heavy rain, monitoring alkalinity is especially important. This is because alkalinity buffers your pH by acting as guard against the generally acidic environment in which we live.

This all well and good, but how does it save you time, money, and effort? The bottom line is that regular and routine maintenance is the best thing you can do to prevent swimming pool issues.

I hope this has been helpful and that you can use this information to keep your pool crystal clear all summer long!


7 Factors That Should Impact Your Choice In Floor Finish

The most common types of flooring found in commercial buildings today are either terrazzo or VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile). Although there are many new flooring systems being introduced, these 2 are the most common that require floor finish. Most common finishes are water based with an acrylic polymer that is applied wet. The water evaporates and the acrylic polymer film remains to protect the floor. Depending on your needs and expectations a few or several coats can be applied. More coats typically results in a deeper shine. This is a relatively simple process, but many aspects should be taken into consideration.

Solid Content – This is the film that remains on the floor after drying.

High or Low Gloss – Finishes have different gloss levels.

Hard or Soft – Hard or soft will determine the amount of maintenance required.

Cleaning Chemicals – Consider using finishes and cleaning chemical made by the same manufacturer.

Number of Coats – How many coats do you need?

Humidity – Humidity levels are crucial when applying floor finish. They will impact cure time.

Daily Maintenance – The amount of maintenance will directly impact your labor costs.

For the best results contact your local representative. They can make recommendations on the type of finish best suited for your staff, facility and budget requirements.

Prep Your Pool For July 4th [Infographic]

Here is a quick infograph to make sure your swimming pool is crystal clear for your 4th of July party!


A Quick Refresher On Floor Stripping

It is now the time of year when a lot of people will be stripping floors. Many people still don’t realize there are different ways to achieve the same results. The traditional method is still to use liquid floor stripper and a floor machine or an automatic floor scrubber. When using this method there a few areas of concern.

  • Make sure you know what type of floor you are stripping and the type of finish you want to remove. Most floors will be VCT tile or terrazzo.
  • Choose the stripper that is most appropriate for the finish you are removing. The stronger the stripper in general is better. But make sure the stripper you choose is not so strong that it bleeds the color in the floor.
  • Dilute the stripper at the proper ratio with cold water and apply to the floor with a clean mop. It is important to use cold water because you want as much dwell time as possible and hot water evaporates more quickly. Cold water enables you to keep the liquid diluted stripper on the floor longer. Do not allow the stripper to dry out on the floor. Work in small areas and completely saturate the floor surface.
  • Agitate with a floor machine or an automatic scrubber or a floor using an aggressive stripping pad to remove the finish. When the stripper is removed vacuum the floor, vacuum the slurry mixture with the scrubber or a wet/dry vac.
  • Rinse the floor well with a neutral cleaner to neutralize the caustic nature of the stripper. Without proper rinsing the new floor finish may have adhesion problems.
  • Always use proper Personal Protective Equipment such as gloves, goggles, and non-slip shoes or safety slippers. Stripper is extremely slippery and caustic.

The newer and safer method to strip floors is by using an orbital scrubber that can be used dry or with only water. These machines can safely remove floor finish without the use of chemical stripper. These offer many advantages.

  • No need to buy expensive chemical stripper.
  • Works on all floor surfaces.
  • Reduced slip and fall accidents since the floor is always clean and dry.
  • Strips into corners that a floor machine can’t reach. Reduced labor using hand tools to get into hard to reach places.
  • Don’t have to clean up the baseboards because stripper & finish is not splashed by the use of a typical floor machine.
  • Strips the same amount of area as typical chemical strippers in about 20% of the time.
  • No flushing caustic chemical strippers down the drain.
  • Eliminates finish adhesion issues since no caustic chemical is used.

The Essentials To Daily Floor Scrubber Maintenance [Infographic]

Here is an infographic to recap last Monday’s post about daily automatic floor scrubber maintenance! This is great material to post near the area you keep your auto scrubber.


The Circle Of Battery Life Maintenance

More and more facilities are now using battery powered floor scrubbers to clean their floors. They are faster and much more productive and efficient than the traditional mop and bucket. They also require more attention and maintenance. One of the biggest concerns is the batteries. This one area seems to be the most neglected. Maintenance staffs will perform daily maintenance to clean out the dirty water, clean the squeegees and brushes, pads and filters. Not as often do they pop the caps on the batteries to check and correct the water levels. This one task is crucial for the machine to function properly since most machines have wet/cell batteries. Batteries should be checked at least on a weekly basis.

Here are a few basic tips and when used together they create the circle of battery life maintenance. Check out the image below for a more visually appealing representation.

  • Check the water levels at least once per week.
  • Use only distilled water when filling the cells.
  • Cover with enough water to cover the lead plates but not to the top of the cell.
  • Clean off the terminal posts.
  • Make sure the cable connections are tight.
  • Charge the batteries before you fill them completely. (Assuming the water level covers the lead plates)
  • Always plug the charger into the machine first, and then plug into the wall outlet.
  • When Charging is complete remove plug from wall first, then the machine.
  • After charging check the water levels and fill to the water level mark in each cell.

Following these simple steps will result in longer running time and increased longevity for your batteries. Batteries are expensive. Good maintenance will reduce your cost and expense.


Considering The Purchase Of An Automatic Floor Scrubber?

So you are considering purchasing an automatic floor scrubber to clean your floors. There are a lot of options available. So which one do you choose? Let’s consider the basics. A single person can damp mop about 5,000 sq. ft. per hour using a mop and bucket. The same person with an auto scrubber can do five to ten times that and the floor will be much cleaner. A scrubber puts down water and cleaning chemical, scrubs the floor and vacuums the floor dry. They all perform the same basic function, but there are huge differences in the design, reliability and durability.


Download our free buying guide so you can be sure you are asking the right questions!

Informed Buyer's Guide to Automatic Floor Scrubbers