The Visual Arts Collective Joins the Movement and Stops the Mop
The Visual Arts Collective (VAC) in Boise, ID is a popular art gallery by day and a premier performance venue by night. The beautiful flex-space houses events from art openings to live concerts and theater performances. The 10-thousand-square-foot venue is also the home of two resident, performance-based companies. This means the VAC’s floors and restrooms see traffic from hundreds, if not thousands, of people per week.
The Need for an Alternative
For many years, the Owner/Operator, Samuel Stimpert, was the only person cleaning the polished concrete floors, restrooms, and bar area between events. On many occasions, this could mean mopping several times a day. After developing carpal tunnel syndrome from the many hours of swabbing the deck, Stimpert knew he needed an alternative to mopping.
“The carpal tunnel syndrome and mopping was killing me. I was having a hard time bartending after mopping. And my employee has joint issues, so I couldn’t have him mopping when he was on shift. I had wanted a floor scrubber for years, but they were cost prohibitive and not really designed for a smaller flex-space like mine. A floor scrubber wasn’t practical for the restrooms either because they couldn’t fit between the stalls and the toilets.”
Mopping Takes Its Toll
Stimpert felt the immense amount of time he spent mopping was taking its toll on not only his health, but it was also taking a toll on his bottom line and the work/life balance of he and his employees.
“It used to take four to five hours to mop the space, which was really problematic. Often times, performances end around 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. The gallery opens at noon. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for me to mop until 4 a.m. and then come right back in the morning.”
Even with all of the mopping Stimpert performed on a daily basis, he felt the floor was never really clean.
“Beer and wine stain the floor and leave a sticky, goopy film. Then the mop just smears it all around. Dancers would walk across the floor and have black feet even though the floor had just been mopped.”
A Versatile Solution
When Stimpert learned about Kaivac’s versatile, hard surface floor cleaning machines, he knew it could be the affordable solution he desperately needed. With high hopes, Stimpert decided to purchase the OmniFlex AutoVac with the Vacuum Wand and Hose Kit. He was not disappointed. Immediately, he saw a huge improvement in all areas of concern:
“The results, even with plain tap water, were pretty amazing. It cleaned the floor at least fifty times better than a mop.”
“The mop never really made the floor clean. Now I can run a white rag on the floor after using the Kaivac, and it comes up white. You could never do that with a mop. We get so many comments on how clean the floors and restrooms are compared to other venues in town. I’ve always prided myself on how clean I keep this facility. So, it isn’t all Kaivac, but it’s a huge part.”
Even some areas of concern that Stimpert hadn’t yet recognized as concerns were resolved with the introduction of the AutoVac.
“I even use it in ways that I didn’t expect to. I use the handheld hose attachment to clean all of my beer coolers. I scrub inside and then just vacuum it up. For the restrooms, I spray them down with a hose from the janitor’s closet, and then use the Kaivac scrubbing tool and vacuum it all up. If someone vomits in the bathroom, I don’t want to mess with it. Now I don’t have to. I just hose it down and vacuum it up. And, thankfully, cleaning the tank is easy. All you have to do is rinse it out.”
Saving Time and Money
In business, time is money. What use to take Stimpert four to five hours with a mop now takes 30 minutes with the Kaivac OmniFlex AutoVac. The only way he or his employees use a mop now is to clean up a spill quickly during a performance where the AutoVac would be too disruptive. Otherwise, the hard-surface cleaning machine does the lion’s share of the work in the facility.
“After a show, we remove the chairs and Kaivac the floor in about 30 minutes instead of four to five hours. And since there is no waiting for dry time, I can immediately reconfigure the space, which saves even more time. It has improved the physical comfort of me and my staff, and the overall health of the facility.”
The introduction of the OmniFlex AutoVac has provided so many positive changes for Stimpert and the staff of Visual Arts Collective that he emphatically states, “I just love the damn thing.” Because the AutoVac is so simple and effective, even his employee with joint problems is now able to help clean. Which is a huge improvement for both of them.
“My employee has gotten more hours, and it has helped my body a lot. For me, AutoVac has been a huge win,” Stimpert said with a smile.
See the AutoVac in action in this video.