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Protect Your Rubbers, Squeegees That Is!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Whether it is an American Lincoln 7760 Rider Scrubber, a Tennant Model 465 Walk-Behind Scrubber or a Factory Cat 29. These machines all have one thing in common; all of them use a rear squeegee assembly. This device is designed to mount in the rear of these machines. They squeegee the dirty water off the surface of the floor so it is a necessity for all scrubbers. Many owners buy squeegee blades in multiples; hence storage now becomes an issue. I recently received an e-mail regarding this problem.

He stated that when he went to put a new set of squeegee blades on his unit they had changed color and became brittle. He also stated that they were less than two months old. When I asked where he was storing them, he replied, “in the furnace room.” I asked if it was dark. I was informed that it had skylights.

So, no, it was not dark. I told him that he had two problems, #1 the light and #2 furnace means an electric motor. This was a complete no, no!

Today I will discuss proper and improper storage of your rubber squeegees. Even though there are different types of materials for squeegee, they all should be stored in a similar manner. First of all let’s go over the different materials. They are gum rubber, neoprene, linatex and natural urethane, just to name a few. Their reaction to the environment is so similar, storage should be the same.

When storing squeegees things such as temperature, sunlight, and ozone can adversely affect them. Other things that affect them are oils, solvents and other corrosive liquids.

#1 TEMPERATURE
The ideal temperature to store squeegee blades is 50° low to 70°F high. I know that this is unlikely for some. So, the maximum of 10°F/ 20°C on the low side and a maximum limit of 100°F/ 38°C on the high side. Any squeegee stored below 32°F/ 0°C will become stiff and the need to be warmed before use is advised.

#2 OZONE
Squeegee blades should never be stored near electric motors, electric equipment etc. Anything that may generate ozone will affect the characteristics of the rubber. In some cases the affects appear to be a melting or mushy appearance.

#3 SUNLIGHT
What is there to say? Avoid any sunlight, direct or indirect. Always store in a card board carton or a plastic bag that is dark color (black). No clear bags.

#4 HUMIDITY
Always remember to store in a dry area. The squeegee will absorb dampness and mildew, therefore actually rot.

#5 ROTATE
Think of these squeegee blades as you would a food product. If your stocking a lot of blades, rotate your stock like the local stock boy does in the grocery store. When they stock the shelves they bring the old stock forward and put the new stock in back Squeegees stored for a long period of time could deteriorate.

#6 CONTAINER
Again, always store your blades in a cardboard container or something similar. Never store them open to the atmosphere.

#7 HEAT
Squeegee blades should never be stored near sources of Heat, radiators, warehouse gas furnaces etc.

#8 RODENTS
Some rodents will damage your rubber products. Keep them off the floor. I have heard of this so it is not so rare as one may think.

So, the perfect situation is the warehouse area that is cool, dark and dry. If you follow these rules of thumb you will have protected your rubbers too!

If you have any questions or comments you can e-mail me mikec98423@yahoo.com or call at 800/346-2319. As always, thanks for reading my articles.

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