Upper Merion School District

School District Aces Floor Care Despite Economic Challenges

Upper Merion School District Upper Merion School District


Without proper maintenance, floor finish can lose its glossy appearance and the ability to protect floors over the long term. Today, schools must carefully balance their budget with the desire to have clean floors that can withstand heavy foot traffic from students, faculty and visitors. 

Upper Merion School District, located outside of Philadelphia, has over 830,000 square feet of flooring, and a variety of floor types including cement terrazzo, epoxy terrazzo and vinyl composition tile. In 2006, the cleaning staff consisted of 37 people, including 2 floor care specialists who oversaw weekly burnishing using propane burnishers.

Following the economic downturn, weekly burnishing was not economically feasible and several positions were reassigned or eliminated to cut costs. With fewer staff members, the district sought cost-effective, efficient and sustainable solutions to keep floors looking their best. 



In 2010, the district reached out to Diversey for solutions. The TASKI Intellibot Hands-Free robotic floor cleaning machine offered quiet operation, high cleaning standards and safety sensors to avoid obstacles and people. Following a demonstration, the district purchased the DUOBOT 1850 robotic sweeper/scrubber and a second machine in May 2011. 

Full-time employees who previously focused on floor care were reassigned to other key areas, such as stairwells and classrooms. Because the DUOBOT 1850 works autonomously, employees simply prep it, position it and let it operate in the evening hours when HVAC systems have been shut down. School administrators monitor cleaning activity remotely through the machine’s recordkeeping and reporting mechanisms.

The district also selected TASKI IntelliPad, a 2-in-1 floor care pad that both cleans and burnishes, to use with its robotic and walk-behind floor cleaning machines. Both the 15-inch and 19-inch IntelliPads are being incorporated in their cleaning solution.

“Training is minimal for both of these solutions, and they are helping to protect our floor care investment and reduce the need for more costly and time-consuming cleaning methods,” said William Dillon, Custodial Coordinator, Upper Merion School District.



Since implementing Diversey floor cleaning solutions, the district has realized numerous benefits including:


Cost savings

The green features quickly translated into cost savings.

  • Because the units use less detergent, the district reduced its floor chemical budget from $7.20 per day to $1.68 per day, a daily savings of over 75%.
  • The district was also able to reduce its custodial operating budget by $504,000; use of the DUOBOT floor cleaning machines accounted for about 25% of these labor savings.
  • With a unique diamond formulation to increase durability, TASKI IntelliPad is long-lasting, helping to reduce total floor care investment. And because it is formulated to work with all machines, it is a universal tool.


Time savings

With the ability to both sweep debris and scrub in one pass, the DUOBOTs cut the time required for floor cleaning nearly in half.


Improved cleanliness

With the 2 DUOBOT machines, the Upper Merion School District has maintained the highest level of cleanliness when economic conditions were making it nearly impossible to do so. While the machines clean floors, janitorial staff address other key areas to ensure nothing gets overlooked.

TASKI IntelliPad delivers 3.5 times more cleaning than a standard red cleaning pad by removing micro-scratches from floor coatings that contribute to dirt embedment. After just one use, floors have noticeably enhanced clarity and gloss.


Enhanced sustainability

The DUOBOT cleans an entire school with just 15 gallons of water, saving the school and the environment 65 gallons of water a day, again over 75% reduction.

TASKI IntelliPad is made of post-consumer and industrial recycled waste. Because the pad can be used for most common floor care tasks, it reduces the number of required floor pads by 70% and ultimately cuts unnecessary waste.

“With the Diversey portfolio of industrial floor cleaning machines, we’ve overcome our cleaning challenges and are now ahead of the curve and able to maintain continuity in cleaning levels at each of our schools,” said Dillon. “TASKI Intellibot and IntelliPad have been great additions to our program.”

As the folks at Upper Merion School District have discovered, pursuing an innovative, more sustainable solution for their floor care needs was a success on all fronts.  The operation now saves time, money in both labor and supplies, and has reduced their overall use of resources, a solid nod to the environment.  All that at a time when economic challenges made floor care seem like the first place to cut corners.