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Regular cleaning will help floors last longer

 

Consider the amount of pedestrian and industrial traffic to determine needs.

 

Boasting unlimited design options and excellent durability, resilient flooring performs well in many heavy commercial applications. But as with any type of flooring, a resilient floor will last longer and perform better when it is regularly cleaned and maintained.

 

When planning a maintenance program, remember that the amount and type of pedestrian and industrial traffic the surface will be subject to will determine the cleaning and maintenance needs of the floor. The type, style, color, and pattern of the floor also contributes to the frequency and intensity of maintenance needed. Solid-colored floors tend to show scuffs, scratches, dirt, and general wear more than patterned floors—especially those in light shades.


Once you determine the wear your resilient floor must endure and examine factors such as color and traffic pattern, you will be able to address your individual maintenance needs.

Practices

Light daily sweeping, dust mopping, or vacuuming will prevent dirt and grit from being ground into the floor. If the floor is diligently swept daily, a light weekly cleaning with a damp mop may be enough to remove dirt.

 

For more resistant soils and weekly cleanings, wet mopping will be required. Frequency of mopping will depend on the color of the floor and the nature and amount of soiling. Regular swabbing of entryways using a commercial-grade cleaner will help extend the life of the floor.

When choosing a floor detergent, look for products that are low foaming, general detergents that may be used in automatic scrubbers. A good detergent will also have neutral pH to remove dirt and protect polish and be highly concentrated to allow for a low dilution ratio.

Techniques

Apply your cleaner with an absorbent looped end wet mop. After the soil deposits have been loosened from the floor, mop up excess detergent and water. Rinse with clean, cold water to remove all residues, since any detergent film remaining will cause stickiness and will trap tracked-in dirt.

Do not flood the floor because excess water may harm floor seals and adhesives. Keep off the floor until dry.

Scuffs and Marks

Periodic buffing with a slow speed buffer will remove most scuff marks and light scratches. Buffing also will add luster while dislodging dirt and blending touch-up spots with the original finish.

Difficult scuff marks not removed by mopping or buffing can be removed using a nylon scouring pad. Use a solution of neutral floor cleaning detergent, rub gently and rinse well.

Floor Finish and Luster

Over time, high traffic areas will lose their luster and gloss. Touch up worn areas before the finish film wears through completely to prevent permanent damage or staining to the floor surface.

Never apply finish to a dirty floor because it will trap the dirt under the surface. Mop the floor if it has been exposed to traffic since the last finish application. Be certain no floor cleaner is left on the floor before applying finish. Applying finish over a cleanser film reduces the water resistance of the finish and may leave it spotted.


Good polishes contain high-performance acrylics and a high solid percentage. High solids allow for easy application, excellent leveling and buffing results, and dry bright without buffing. Once the floor is thoroughly cleaned, apply a light coat of polish to restore luster.

 

To Apply:

  1. Pour liquid into a clean, shallow pan.
  2. Dip with a sponge mop and wring out gently, leaving it saturated with finish.
  3. Apply finish to the floor by mopping in one direction to ensure a thin, even coat on the floor. Most finishes dry in about 30 minutes.
  4. To apply additional coats, make sure the first layers are completely dry.
Do not force-dry the floor, it may lead to a powdering of the finish.

Removing Build Up

Occasionally you may need to strip old layers of floor finish and apply a fresh coat.

Never use the same equipment for applying finish as you have used for removing it. Even small traces of stripper will prevent the new finish from adhering properly. Floor stripper or other products that are ammonia-free, fast-acting, and detergent-enhanced (allowing the chemicals to strip efficiently without harming the floor) are good product choices. Quality strippers will also be easy to use and won’t require the use of abrasive pads or brushes. They will have a high solid content for increased protection of the floor surface. Dilute a solution of stripper as directed and mop onto the floor. Let stand for 10 minutes and mop to remove the solution and unwanted build up. Rinse and dry fully, and then apply a fresh coat of polish as directed above.