Tennis Balls are Dust Bombs in Classrooms

The back to school season is upon us and I just wanted to share a bit of information with you about the tennis balls that are used on chairs.  A study that shows: “Asthma is the major chronic illness of children in America. Nearly 9 million children under the age of 18 (that’s 12% of all children) have been diagnosed with the condition and children miss much of their schooling due to chronic illness from the condition (over 12.8 million school days are lost each year according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology)”.

The dirty tennis ball in classroomtennis balls are a health hazard because they emit respiratory irritants, accumulate dust and
dirt and literally become dust bombs by the end of the school year. The large dark interior of the
tennis ball is also a perfect breeding ground for mould, bacteria and dust mites.
Let’s face it tennis balls were never made for chairs.

Is noise preventing kids from learning?

Did you know May is national speech language month. As such I wanted to write a blog about noise reduction.
Is noise preventing kids from learning?

Many studies from the Acoustical Society of America have shown that a person’s speech comprehension or Speech Intelligibility decreases drastically when ambient noise levels increase. This is even more so the case for children with hearing difficulties or with English as a second language. Now as a parent you may be surprised to know that the noise generator in a classroom is furniture! In order to reduce the spine twisting sound of chairs scrapping on the floor, many schools have started putting tennis balls at the end of the chair legs to try and reduce the noise. It’a s great idea right? Well not so much, here is where it becomes an issue,
Many educators have told me that the brightly colored balls draw the kids’ attention. The teachers must now apply disciplinary measures to keep the students from playing with the tennis balls. Being a parent I would prefer if that time was spent educating my child instead of lecturing on not playing with tennis balls. To make things worse they tell me custodians are fetching dozens of tennis balls off the school roof tops every month. It all seems like a big waste of resources.
I’ve tried cutting a tennis ball myself and I must admit it’s a difficult and dangerous task for teachers and custodians. I can’t see this being a very cost effective and it takes hours to install.
I think everyone can agree that reducing the noise in the classroom and improving our kids’ learning is a wonderful idea. I think reducing maintenance costs thus leaving more money to the schools is also a great idea because ultimately as tax payers we are all paying for the school expenses. So there has to be some quality chair leg covers on the market that can accomplish this that isn’t just an unhealthy tennis ball.
Fortunately there is. My invention the Flexi-Felt is a floor protector that has a thick high quality wool felt that really dampens the noise.
So please leave the tennis balls where they belong on the tennis courts and get a quality solution that really works to help our children in the classrooms.

How to maintain your brand new hardwood floors

You just had a beautiful hardwood floor installed and it looks great. However, your investment does not stop with the decision to purchase new hardwood floors. In order to retain the value, your hardwood floors must be properly cared for and maintained. Here are a few tips to keep your hardwood flooring looking as good as new.

1. Do not use Murphy’s Oil Soap. Murphy’s works great on wooden furniture, but don’t make the mistake of using it on your hardwood floors. You won’t notice anything wrong after applying it once, but if used consistently, residue will build up and leave your floor with a dull appearance.

2. Do not use a Wet Swiffer. A Dry Microfiber mop is great for collecting dust, dirt, and pet hair from your floors, and it is also less abrasive than a vacuum cleaner. If you need to use a wet mop to remove dirt use a high quality microfiber mop slightly dampened with clean water. A Wet Swiffer can cause major long-term damage. The chemicals in the cleaning solution can break down the urethane finish on your floor and leave it dull, faded, and lifeless. The damp microfiber will clean effectively and leave no residue and is much more eco-friendly as you are not using chemicals or throwing anything away. See our new line of 99.9% germ free microfiber mop line www.flexifelt.com/c-18-flexi-felt-clear.aspx.

3. Place area rugs anywhere that might collect water. Prime areas are in front of the refrigerator, by the dishwasher, and near any sinks. Make sure that the floor is protected in any spot that is susceptible to minor leaks and water collection. The rugs should be made of absorbent material such as cotton or microfiber. A pool of water is the quickest way to destroy your floor.

4. Use floor mats in spots where people step on the hardwood directly after being outside. In addition to protecting against wet or muddy footprints, floor mats will help collect any sharp or abrasive materials stuck in the treads of shoes. This step will help prevent accidental scraping or scratching. Make sure the mats have a water resistant bottom otherwise the melted snow will destroy your hardwood floors in no time.

5. Use properly sized high quality felt pads when moving furniture. Or better yet, lift the furniture off the ground
instead of sliding it across your hardwood floor. Inspect your felt pads frequently to make sure they are free of any debris. Even if a grain of sand is under that pad when heavy furniture is set upon it, your floor could receive some serious gouges when it is moved.

These steps will help ensure that your home retains its value by protecting your hardwood floors against major damage.
Accidents do happen, however, no matter how careful you are. If your floor becomes damaged, contact the manufacturer or the installer for advice.

Receiving guests for the Holidays? Protect your floors

I know like me a lot of you are going to be inviting friends and family over for the Holidays. As you well know this high traffic can really destroy your floors. So make sure your guests remove their shoes when coming into your home and make sure you have good felt floor protectors on your funiture footing, this is especially important for hardwood floors and soft laminates.

Best wishes for the New Year to you and your loved ones

Silence that squeaky hardwood floor

As you may know we stated the Flexi-Felt chair leg cover product line based on the fact that it reduced 90% of the furniture noise in the schools, instead of the dirty tennis balls that they used to use. Noise reduction is always a major concern for us and as such we wanted to give you a few tips on how to remove hardwood floor squeaks.

The squeaks start occurring when the hardwood flooring dries up and loosens up. This could’ve been avoided by proper installation in the first place but now we are in damage control. If the squeak is minor and in a low traffic area you can try graphite powder. Make sure you get POWDER not the liquid lock lubricant and you will damage your hardwood floors. You put a small amount of graphite powder in the noisy crack, you place a paper over the area and you walk back and forth over it to get the graphite to sink into the crack and stop the squeak. You might have to pace a lot and put more graphite during the process. Once the squeak has been vanquished simply vacuum the remaining graphite.

This is not a permanent solution you might have to apply more graphite to that squeaky section of your hardwood floor once in a while.

What if your hardwood floor is already scratched?

So you didn’t get felt floor protectors quickly enough or you didn’t think you needed them. Well as you can see it takes very little to scratch a beautiful hardwood floor. It’s no use lecturing anyone now. Let’s see what we can do to fix the damage or at the very least dissimulate it.

The first step would be to ascertain the level of damage. If it’s gauge deep over a large area, unless you’re an experienced floor refinisher I wouldn’t do it on my own. Get a local flooring expert to refinish the hardwood floor and this time protect it carefully using high quality wool felt floor protectors.

Now if it was just a minor scratch then you can use a few tricks to fix or hide the scratch. The first trick is to use a wax crayon. Make sure you use a color that matches you flooring color. You just fill in the scratch gap and then polish it with a soft cotton cloth.

If the scratch is deeper you’ll have to use a wood filler that is appropriate for your type of floor, make sure buy the repair kit from an experienced flooring retailer so they can guide you with your selection. Follow the steps and don’t try to speed through the process as you will have a mess that looks worse than the scratches to deal with afterwards.

Finally I can never over state this, protect your flooring with high quality wool felt floor protectors that are properly sized to reduce friction.

New Youtube Videos

We have created a new YouTube video to sensitize clients to the real deal behind using tennis balls for classrooms. You can see our first video here No More Tennis Balls in the Classrooms video. This is the first of a series of videos that we will be making to either give you tips and tricks about the Flexi-Felt or to show the side that not many think about when they buy tennis balls for the chairs in the classroom.

Wool felt pad hardwood floor protectors, the ultimate adhesive felt protection

Now we have a chair leg cover that lasts for years that covers about 80% of the furniture, well what about the rest of the 20%? Our floor protectors cover everything from 5/8” to 1-5/8”. For larger odd shaped furniture we went with an adhesive felt pad. However, we didn’t want to use the same cheap double face tape everyone else was using. After years of engineering we came out with a new type of adhesive that is heat activated. It’s unlike anything else out there as the more porous the surface the better the adhesion.

Our felt pads are made with the same high quality wool felt as the rest of our product line, you can cut it to any shape or size like other felt pads. However, nothing lasts as long or holds on as well onto your furniture Flexi-Felt Pads

Inventing a felt hardwood floor protector part 2

With this feedback we created a true floor saver that would answer all those requirements. We didn’t make something and tell the clients what they want like many other manufacturers do. We asked our clients what THEY wanted and created it for them. So in essence you all contributed to the creation of the worlds best chair leg cover and floor protector. As you can imagine I’m the instigator of the inventive process but there is an entire team of designers and engineers working with me when we create new product lines like this. It’s never a singular task. That will be a great subject for discussion later but for now let’s go step by step on how we did this.

Durability and softness

We needed to drastically increase the life span of the floor protector because the currently used synthetic polyester pads weren’t cutting it. Our clients told us that in a high traffic area they were changing their sticky felts on average once every 4 to 6 weeks! To go from lasting a month to lasting a year, we had to do a major change. We started looking at different felts available and to make a very, very long story short decided to use wool felt. It is a natural fiber that is very well known but is not used to the benefit of the much cheaper polyester fiber. From our tests simulating 400 lb people we noticed that wool is simply unsurpassed with regards to durability and softness. In many cases our high density wool felt pads would outlast sticky pads 20 times to one under heavy weight trials and clients have told us “it’s like my chairs have soft wool slippers on them”.

Stay onto furniture
I mentioned before that no stick-on felt pad on the market would stay onto a ½” bar stool leg right? Well that assumption was no different for us. So if no adhesive would resist maybe we needed to create a sleeve like our beige commercial product line. First we thought we would make a black and white model like the competitive products out there but then, we thought, why not make it clear so it will blend well with any décor, flooring and furniture type or color. Now we knew we wanted a clear sleeve this still didn’t resolve the holding onto the furniture leg part. Making the sleeve out of hard plastic would mean we needed to create dozens maybe hundreds of models to accommodate all the types of furniture on the market. Instead we decided on creating a flexible elastic sleeve that would mold to many shapes and sizes of chair legs as well to grip onto the furniture. With just 4 models we cover 80% of the furniture market. As an added benefit our chair leg cover not only protects the flooring very well, the transparent sleeve also protects the furniture from impacts, dings and scratches.

Easy to install and washable
We now have something that will hold on quite welll onto the ½” bar stool leg without any screws or adhesives. Simply roll them on. See our spokesperson Katy explain that to you www.flexifeltclear.com . Finally we made sure the components we used were washable so even if your kids spill juice on your floor you can clean them.

How do you invent a great floor protector? … You listen.

Now that you have a really good idea of all the various types of chair leg covers or furniture glides out there, allow me to bring you into the invention process I went through to create my Flexi-Felt Clear product line. As you may know we have been selling a commercial beige chair glide to schools (to replace tennis balls), restaurants, bingo halls, retirements home and hospitals for years now, if you haven’t seen this already feel free to visit the website www.FlexiFelt.com . Throughout the years we kept getting a lot of customer feedback telling us that they loved our commercial models for the schools and businesses. They wanted something similar for home because they were sick and tired of the little sticky felts that didn’t hold on. However, they told us beige is great for the beige commercial VCT flooring but not so nice for hardwood floors at home. Getting more and more of those comments from our clients we set out to create the best residential chair leg cover on the market.
How would we know it’s the best floor protection? Well simply because we would ask. We asked our clients what they wanted, what properties would they expect from the best floor protector. Here are some answers we got back:
The best floor protector would
– be very durable last more than a year
– be very soft on floors
– would not fall off
– would be discrete in appearance
– require no damaging hardware
– easy to maintain (washable)

Your floor deserves more.