Floor Care Tips

Well, for those of you who don't have much experience in the floor care process of stripping, buffing, machining and refinishing floors…. heads up…. this information will be extremely valuable to you. Whether you own your own an industrial, commercial, or residential cleaning business or you are the purchasing agent for a large facility, we will give you a close-up look at what it really takes to have beautiful floors. For those of you with some floor care experience or who have an extensive background in floor care, this will be the best refresher course you ever had-short, simple and correct. Chemistry changes all the time, therefore, new methods of floor care require less maintenance and produce better results that last longer.

Lets start with stripping floors. We will focus on the four most common types of floors found today. Vinyl composition tile (other wise known as VCT 12"x12" tiles), vinyl asbestos tile (old 9"x9" or 8" x 8"tiles), Terrazzo and Linoleum. Vinyl asbestos and Terrazzo are two older types of flooring that are found across the country due to yesterday's technology of stone mixed with a mortar (concrete base mix). Today, some facilities and schools are still using Terrazzo for their choice of flooring, but it has become very costly to install these floors. Vinyl asbestos floors have been replaced by the vinyl composition tile (VCT) flooring simply because of its asbestos make-up. These asbestos tiles are extremely brittle and may bleed if you use bleach or too aggressive of a cleaner on them…..which leads us into the chemical end of our discussion.

General Rule: Most Dirt on any surface has an acid base, which means you should clean with alkaline cleaners. If a surface has alkaline residues, soap build up, etc., you should use an acid base cleaner for dirt removal.

Choose the right stripper
Because vinyl asbestos is susceptible to alkaline burning and bleaching, you should only use SUPER STRIP or REVITE. This is the most aggressive solution you'll be able to use on this type of flooring. Anything else will burn these tiles, leaving a "white lightning" effect.

These products work best for each one of the following types of floors:
VCT use HOT SHOT or ONCE N' DONE or RUBY
Vinyl asbestos use SUPER STRIP or REVITE
Terrazzo use HOT SHOT or ONCE N' DONE or RUBY
Linoleum use SUPER STRIP PLUS or RUBY

Note: If any one the above surfaces are new, especially VCT, simply machine the floor as you would in the stripping process but only use a neutral cleaner, either EMERALD or RINSE FREE.

Choose the right sealer
Once you have stripped all the finish off the floors, you are ready to seal. First, you need to determine whether you will need the stain-blocking ability of a sealer or if you are working in a lightly traveled area that will not need a sealer. For example, a food preparation area, a cafeteria or an automotive/mechanical repair facility will need a sealer. If for some reason the floor area is a high-traffic area, a small and confined area, a laboratory or an area where you will be using throw mats (rubber or plastic), you will want to use FLOOR SAVER. This is a permanent stain resistant floor sealer that has stain block characteristics that surpasses any so-called comparative product on the market. The best time to use this product on any one of the surfaces mentioned above is when the floor is new or when it is stripped down and the pores of the floor are open. If your not 100% sure if you need this type of sealer or not, use it because chances are you will probably wish you did two years from now.

If you are sure this stain blocker is not necessary for your facility, proceed to applying FIRST STEP. This will provide an excellent adhesion bond between the floor and the finish coats.

Note: It is important that you use a rayon, nylon or blend mop head. Do not use cotton!

Choose the right finish
Okay, now down the home stretch. We need to make another decision as to whether we are going to implement a high speed maintenance program on this floor or if we should expect it to last now that we finished (waxed) the floor. The following will help you choose the right finish.

  • Mop and scrub application: This is basically a low maintenance sweep and mop application. These finishes may be spray buffed or high speed burnished when needed. Use ULTIMA or X-CEL PLUS or CLASSIC 250 or CLASSIC 220.
  • High speed floor program: This is a daily maintenance floor program with excellent dirt release and unsurpassed wet look shine. Use SAPPHIRE or PRO STAFF.

For a total high speed maintenance program please see the Gemstone System.

Choose the right floor maintainers
Maintaining floor gloss is an easy job as long as you use the right cleaning chemicals. For daily wet mopping you should use a mild neutral cleaner with optical brighteners, such as EMERALD or RINSE FREE.

When we say floor maintainers will keep your floor's finish alive and sparkling we mean whether you will be using a slow speed buffer or a high speed burnisher. (Slow speed machines are usually around 150 rpm to 500 rpm, and high speed burnishers are usually 1,000 rpm and up. If you choose to use a slow speed buffer, use FLASHBACK Spray Buff. If you choose to use a high speed burnisher use TOPAZ or FLASHBACK mop on restorer or REBOUND.

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