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How to choose a flooring company

Apopka Boys and Girls Club Reading Center get's new finishes sponsored by the Orlando Magic.

Apopka Boys and Girls Club Reading Center gets new finishes, sponsored by the Orlando Magic.

You know by now that Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment does a lot more than install flooring, but flooring continues to be one of our most popular product lines. When installing wood, rubber, or PVC flooring, projects that necessitate quality products and a professional team, we want to help you be certain you’re taking the steps to maximum the value for your investment.

Perhaps you’re on the fence about choosing a flooring company, so how do you choose the best one for your needs? We at Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment have been in this business for years, and we know there are several things customers are looking for when it comes to flooring installation. From quality, price, reputation and customer service, to terms and conditions that cover the transaction and the support team, there are several factors that play into what really makes a flooring company the best choice.

First, let’s talk about quality and price; we know both to be huge factors in choosing a flooring installer and servicer. While choosing a flooring company is an important economic decision in the short term, it’s also important decision with regard to the lifetime of the facility in which it’s being installed. Research the quality of the materials the company sells and installs. Ask your representative for references to whom you can ask, “What’s the quality of installations this company has performed?”  Remember that a poorly installed floor, while it might appear like a well-done undertaking initially, can become a long-term cost issue.

Find out from the company if they invest in the latest tools and equipment. And, what do they do to guarantee product standards? For example, Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment buys products in bulk and warehouses them, thereby buying products directly from the manufacturer and becoming a distributor. By being a distributor, Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment ensures product quality, and in turn, saves cost for the end-user.

Next, research the reputation and customer service of the company you’re considering hiring. Refer back to those references, and ask questions about the details of the company’s service. How efficiently did the team work, and were the products installed properly? How did the company handle concerns or complaints? Consider looking for reviews about the company online, too. Can you find positive reviews, or are you seeing negative ones?

Understand the terms and conditions that cover the transaction you are about to embark upon.  Before you sign, understand the product warranties, the contract terms, and verify that the product you receive is the product that you expected.

Another important aspect of hiring a flooring company is the team behind it, including sales and installation. Do you have a sales person specifically assigned to your account who is readily and openly answering your questions? Are the company installers certified and professionally trained?

Another tip: Make sure the installers are employees and not subcontractors. Of course, to protect you and your company, make sure the flooring company is insured and bonded, too. If they are, they often provide quality guarantees and extended service.

These are just a few things to keep in mind as you research a flooring company. We hope you’ll include Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment in your options, of course, but no matter who you choose, remember that the company you call upon should be ready and willing to answer your questions. That way, you’ll have a better chance at getting the most from your investment today and for years to come.

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Synthetic Flooring Installation: The SSE Team in Action

Take a peek at a video of our Southeastern Surface & Equipment team as they install synthetic flooring.

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Space Divisions: Create Unique Spaces Affordably with Operable and Moveable Partition Walls

Modernfold Encore - September 2012 installation by Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment

These Modernfold Encore partitions were installed by our team in September 2012.

Operable and movable partition walls are cost-effective ways to optimally utilize spaces within schools, community centers, churches and more. Choosing the right partitions and movable walls for your space is as important as thoroughly maintaining them over the usable life of the product, too. The service professionals at Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment have the expertise to both install your best solution and maintain it for life.Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment is an official Modernfold distributor partner for operable/moveable walls; we are proud to contract with this industry-leading company that’s known for high-quality, custom wall solutions.

What are the different kinds of operable/moveable partition walls available? Movable walls  can include acoustical operable partitions,  accordion partitions, sight dividers, and movable glass walls. Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment can install and maintain all of them in order to ensure products’ longest life. Our general preventative maintenance program for operable/moveable partition walls include many elements, all of which are performed by our factory-certified mechanics, such as:

  • Inspecting and adjusting internal panel cables and other mechanisms;
  • Lubricating drive and return sprockets;
  • Leveling and adjusting panels;
  • Inspecting, cleaning, leveling and lubricating track and carriers;
  • Inspecting and correcting accessories to ensure proper function/operation;
  • Tightening of all attachment points, kick plates and hinges;
  • Checking for proper voltage and reporting electrical issues to owner; and
  • Demonstrating proper operation after maintenance.

How customizable are partition walls? Operable/moveable partition walls can customized in terms to accommodate flexible stack configurations, designer finish options, and vision requirements.  There are a wide variety of finish options available – ranging from traditional vinyl, carpet or fabric, to high end veneers, laminates, glass, and metals.  You can also customize the partitions to be a combination of solid and glass panels, depending on your sight and acoustic requirements.  Moveable partition walls can be meticulously fully customized to aesthetically blend with their surroundings (or alternatively, have their own stand-out design elements).

Whether you need to create quiet spaces within larger ones, or to add acoustic elements to an existing space, the variety of movable wall partitions available can fit nearly every unique need.

Wondering about the unique benefits of each kind of operable/moveable partition walls? We have a ton of great information about operable partitions, accordion doors, and moveable glass walls on our website for you. Check it out!

Need to know more? We welcome your call to learn more about operable/moveable partitions and space division options available through Southeastern Surface & Equipment. Call us today at (800) 644-8875.

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Don’t Sweat it: Maintaining Gym Equipment is Simple, But Important!

At Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment (SSE), we want you to have the safest and most efficient gym around, and we’ll help you get there. Our technicians are factory-certified Performance Sports Systems “ORANGE ZONE”-certified mechanics.

With all new installations, we offer a level-one, factory-required inspection. It’s a quick overview of the athletic equipment we install, and we perform this inspection at no cost to the client. During the inspection, we take care to check the overall condition of the equipment as it is used, while also checking the machines’ safety controls.

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Subsequent to a level-one inspection, our SSE team offers either an annual or multi-year service agreement to our clients. Often, schools are trying to do more and more with smaller staff; they don’t have the time or experience required to maintain their gymnasium equipment. That’s where we can help. SSE recommends, at minimum, that our clients engage in an annual review of equipment, during which time we service the equipment with cleaning and lubrication, and if need be, order parts and make repairs. Annual service and maintenance is vital to the longevity, safety and efficient operation of gym equipment; it’s an ideal way to protect your investment!

Wondering what you can do to keep your gym equipment running smoothly between visits by a gym professional/mechanic? Here’s a list of suggestions from our experts:

  • Keep an eye out for cuts or tears in any vinyl or mesh products. If detected early, small cuts or tears in your wall safety pads or gym divider curtain can be patched. If left undetected, these small defects can become major requiring either complete re-cover or even replacement.
  • Listen and watch as your equipment is operated! Is the winch making an unusual noise? Do the backstops or gym-divider curtains raise higher than usual? Is the operation of the equipment “jumpy” or not smooth? Often, early detection of a problem can be easily corrected with additional lubrication or adjustment. Left to worsen, these minor problems can become major ones.
  • Tighten any loose screws or bolts as soon as you’re aware of them. Keep screwdrivers and wrenches handy for quick corrections.
  • Inspect often for any obviously broken or malfunctioning components. If it’s broken, get it inspected ASAP and make sure patrons are not using it in the meantime.
  • Watch your cables! If your cables become frayed or loose or tangled, call a service technician immediately.
  • Keep the owners’ manuals for the equipment handy, too.  These guides are essential in providing you with a better understanding of your products and what to expect for their functioning.
  • Keep a maintenance log. Write down any repairs that you’ve made to the equipment, as well as any issues that are forming. This will be a handy reference for when your Gym Professional/Mechanic makes a visit to your gym, too.
  • As with any specialty equipment, if you’re not sure or you need a thorough inspection, call the professionals!  Often, getting the expert insight from the get-go is the best solution for gym equipment maintenance.

Reference: www.Livestrong.com

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What kinds of shoes should you allow on your flooring?

They may be fashionable, but stilettos and flooring rarely have enduring relationships.

In many Eastern countries and Scandinavia, removing shoes before entering a house is a cultural custom. An obvious side benefit of the long-standing tradition is that it saves floors from significant damage that can be caused from all different types of shoes; shoes that leave pesky pocks, indentations, scuffs and marks.

In our lives and times, it’s usually not reasonable to ask a person to take their shoes off before they walk upon your new floor, and we all know athletes need to wear shoes in a gym, for example. But stiletto heels and rubber soul shoes have damaging effects. Some should be prevented, while some can be easily remedied.

One of the one of the most abusing types of shoes on nearly any kind of floor are spike-heel stilettos. Damage from stilettos has been found in not only resilient flooring products such as rubber, but also in hardwood floors. Though they may be the perfect accessory to the even more-perfect outfit, stilettos wreak havoc on floors because they channel so many pounds of pressure per square inch; a 100-pound woman in stilettos can equal 8,000 pounds per square inch (psi) of load! Even the toughest floors usually can withstand only 2,500 psi of static load. The targeted pressure of stilettos leaves behind a trail of pock marks that are nearly impossible to correct inexpensively.

Shoes with rubber bottoms can leave marks on flooring, too. Much less damaging than spike heels, scuff marks from rubber soles can usually be easily removed, but can prove time consuming. For small scuffs, use a pencil eraser to remove the mark. For larger marks, use a tennis ball to buff it out. (Cut an “x” at the top of the ball, and insert a broomstick handle into it. Rub the scuff marks with the ball until they disappear.)  Baking soda paste also is a useful scuff-mark cleaner. Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with warm water until it makes a smooth paste (not runny). Dab a soft cloth with the mixture, rub, and give the area a final touchup with a dry, clean cloth. Be careful to test all areas to make sure the removal process is not overly abrasive.  Overly abrasive or aggressive removal can damage your floor.

Most flooring will encounter shoes, of course, but you may find it necessary to put limits on which types are allowed on your floors, depending upon use and surface type. You may find there is never an appropriate time to allow stilettos on your new floor, and now you know how to remove pesky scuff marks, too. Making users aware of the appropriate shoes for your surface and how to keep it mark-free will help maintain its beauty and quality for years to come.

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Florida Gulf Coast University Refurbishes Alico Arena

Florida Gulf Coast University  in Fort Myers gave its Alico Arena a facelift in 2002, in partnership with Southeastern Surfaces & Equipmentof New Smyrna Beach, Fla. 10 years later, the University’s relationship with our company continues today.

Alico Arena at Florida Gulf Coast University

Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment installed new gymnasium floors, portable backstops, folding backstops, and retractable in the arena in 2002, and University representative William Blood continues to speak highly of the organization.

“We chose Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment because we found the team to have a competitive pricing structure, and customer from the beginning has included immediate response, support, and problem-solving,” said Blood. “I would recommend Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment to any other facility; they are committed to customer satisfaction.”

The relationship between Florida Gulf Coast University and Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment continues today, with routine maintenance and safety inspections.

“I recommend Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment for the quality of their products, value for price, expert installation,” said Blood. “We had a positive first-use experience, and have experienced the benefit of consistent and professional repeat service and maintenance from the professionals at Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment.”

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Five ways to maintain the beauty of your wood flooring and protect your investment

NW Quadrant Recreation Center

N.W. Quadrant Recreation Center in Jacksonville, Florida. Bleachers and Flooring by Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment.

Perhaps you just had a beautiful, new wood floor installed, or you realize that the wood floor you’ve had for a while could use a little TLC. One of the most popular and long-lasting flooring options is the hardwood floor, and we have tips to help you keep it looking its best for years to come.

Secure a maintenance program with your new floor. At Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment, we provide maintenance on all the hardwood flooring products we install. But no matter who does the installation for you, it’s always a worthy investment to budget at least a five-year coverage plan with your initial flooring investment. Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment’s maintenance program, for example, includes all the necessary materials and finishes required to clean, screen and recoat your flooring. The maintenance is conducted by trained personnel and we always follow manufacturer’s recommendations. You should expect nothing less from your maintenance program.

Understand what your warranty provides. Warranties are limited on most new floor installations. Customers play a vital role in ensuring that warranties remain intact by maintaining proper care of the floor and building controls throughout the agreement. Be aware that most warranties won’t cover improper maintenance, vandalism, water intrusion or damage as result of natural acts such as hurricanes or tornadoes.  Furthermore, most warranties cover the wood floor system itself, and not the paint and finish.  As the finish wears, your painted game lines and logo’s can become damaged—items that can be very costly to repair and are not covered by your warranty.

Consider an oil-based sealer.  Oil-based sealers, also called oilmodified polyurethane finishes, offer excellent protection for wood floors. Oil-based sealers go on smoothly, and will provide your floors with a beautiful glow as well as protect your gamelines and logos from premature wear. For best results, contact Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment and ask about our maintenance programs.

Water-based sealers are a great option, too. Water-based sealers are just as easy as oil-based finishes to apply to hardwood floors, but have little odor. Additionally, as time passes, water-based sealers don’t darken or yellow (oil-based sealers often do, though modestly). Water-based sealers are a bit more costly, and  don’t typically produce the ‘glow’ of an oil-based finish. Speed of re-coating and ease of clean-up adds benefit to your selection of a water-based product.

Remember that you may need to drum sand your floor every 8-10 years.  Keeping up with your annual screen and recoats will allow your floor to maintain its appearance for about 10 years.  After this time, the MFMA recommends that all the accumulated paint and finish be completely removed and the floor taken down to the bare wood.  Trained crews will sand your floor down to bare wood and start the finishing process all over.  New sealer will be applied to your newly sanded floor along with re-application of updated gameline markings and logos.  Your floor will be left looking brand new!  Since most wood floors can be sanded 4-5 times, this means with proper maintenance, your wood flooring system could last an amazing 50 years! Contact Southeastern Surfaces and Equipment for more information on a complete refurbish of your wood floor!

Do you wonder what kind of maintenance your hardwood floor may need? Our experts at Southeastern Surfaces & Equipment are happy to answer your questions. Give us a call at 800-644-8875 and ask us about the products we have available for care for your wood floors, our annual maintenance programsor complete refinishing of your floor. We’ll help you get the most life from your products.

You’re wise to take the time to learn more about how to care for your wood flooring. It’s a worthwhile investment that will last for decades with the proper care and maintenance.