Suggested Floor Care and Maintenance Procedures

Floor Stripping and Finishing Overview

Continuous and diligent floor care and surface maintenance is the only true way to ensure high-quality protection and appearance for a floor. Because of this, it is of the utmost importance to not only use the correct products, but the correct equipment as well. It is a symbiotic relationship when it comes to floor care products and floor care equipment. Each component has to be of the highest quality to ensure the best results. If one aspect is lacking in quality or cleanliness, it can ruin the entire process. For example, even if the highest quality floor wax or finish is being used, the product can still be rendered useless if it is applied with an unclean mop or bucket. There are a variety of products and equipment that are needed to maintain high quality results for your surfaces. Always make sure that the products and equipment that are being used match to the corresponding maintenance program that has been previously used.

Floor Finishes and Waxes are Applied for Numerous Reasons:
• To defend the floor’s surface for stains, scuffs, scrapes, cuts, and other daily wear
• To create a covering that allows for soil, dust, grime and dirt to be removed with ease
• Image-enhancing; the overall appearance of a well maintained floor can make an immediate positive impact to a room

The First Treatment: Stripping the Surface of Old Finishes
• An outline of the job should be made to plan out what areas will need to be completely cleaned. These areas will need to have all previous layers of wax removed from their surface. Due to edges and corners typically having the highest levels of buildup. Make sure to note that you should dedicate additional attention to these areas if needed. Take your time with this procedure as well. The surface has to be as clean as possible, as well as spotless before the next step (applying the floor finish) can be started.

• Assemble all of the required products and tools for the next phase of the floor strip job. Make sure to confirm that each piece of equipment is working properly.


• Sketch out a quick area map of where the items and furniture were in the room. This helps keep track of where the items were when the room has to be re-staged.


• Move any items (unused equipment, furniture, etc.) that would obstruct the full use of the stripping equipment for that area.


• Make sure to sweep the entire stripped area. Most feel that a soaked-in-water dust mop that has been properly treated works best for this final sweep to remove dirt and soil.


• All hard-to-remove stains and other difficulties like chewing gum should be scrapped away before the floor is stripped.


• Where build-up is heavy and visible (corners and baseboards), make sure to heavy duty stripping compound pre-spray.


• Make sure to display your “Wet Floor” icon signs throughout the designated area that is being stripped.


• Combine your strip formula. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s specified directions as designed.


• Remember, hot water is being used; it may evaporate quicker than typical warm water. This may lead to you not being able to properly strip a larger area. If you are using hot water, make sure you have the required manpower in your cleaning crew that the water is not sitting too long.


Follow these Steps to Successfully Strip a Floor:
• Mix the floor stripping formula
• Apply the floor stripping formula
• Allow for the stripper to sit for between 5 and 10 minutes
• Agitate the surface with your floor cleaning machine
• Remove the used stripping chemical residue
• Rinse the floor’s surface a minimum of two times if an alkaline stripping formula was used

The Second Procedure: Rinsing the Surface of Residue
• Pick up and dispose of any and all strip formula residue by using a wet-vac. This should be done before a rinsing solution is applied.

• Use a cleaned rinse mop that has been dipped in warm water. Apply the warm water liberally to the entirety of the stripped surface. A neutralizer can be used within the original rinse if needed.


• Once rinsed, pick up the applied water with either a mop or a wet vacuum.


• Follow the previous two steps again by applying a second rinse to the stripped floor. Once again use clean, warm water, then pick it up with clean mop or a wet vacuum. Make sure to use the mop to wipe any footprints or streaks from the area.


• Once the surface has successfully dried being rinsed, check the surface for residue with either a visual check or touch.


• If there is still a film, additional rinsing may be required. If so follow the rinsing procedure over once more.


• Once done, make sure to allow the surface to fully dry before you apply a finish or seal.

The Third Procedure: Floor Finish Mop Application

• Mark the appropriate cleaning mop head that will be used for applying the correct floor finish, so that a mop isn’t used for the wrong task.


• Remember to soak each mop head within warm water, then to wring out the mop completely.


• Line a plastic garbage bag in the mop buckets. This ensures that the finish being used will not be cross-contaminated with previously used chemicals in that mop bucket. It will also allows for a much faster clean-up.


• Submerge your mop head within the finish formula bucket. Then lightly run the mop's head through a wringer. Make sure the mop is soaked with finish formula, but is not dripping. By gently twisting the mop's handle, this will remove excess finish.


• The floor finish should always be applied from the corner farthest away from the exiting point, and should start by outlining the baseboards.


• Once that is done, start to fill the areas that are within the edges that have been outlined. Make sure to apply the formula with an even stroke that overlaps the previous stroke.


• It is advised that when a finish is applied, it should be done in a thin to medium coating. When applying, submerge the mop often with finish, to ensure the finish has been applied in an even fashion.


• When applying finish, make certain to cover all of the closest areas before the next closest area has dried. Make certain to apply it as even and smooth as possible. This will allow for all of the floor’s pores are filled properly, providing long lasting protection.


• Let the original coat properly dry. This can take anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five minutes depending on the air flow and overall humidity. Once the first coat is dried, apply the second coat of finish in the reverse direction. Once done, follow the previously outline procedure for the first coat of finish for the second coat.


• All subsequent layers of finish should be put on the surface as stated above. Make sure to account for the proper amount of drying time in-between layers of coating.


• If you have chosen to apply multiple coats at once, put the first and second layers 5 to 9 inches from the partitions, walls, and display cases.

Floor Maintenance Overview

It is very important to monitor the durability of the flooring going forward if this is the first application. Once you have a good understanding of the foot traffic, and durability concerns, you will be able to respond accordingly.

The First Procedure: Cleaning the Surface Using a Damp Mop
• Sweep the entire area with a properly treated water-soaked mop to remove dirt and soil.

• Remember to chose a neutral cleaning detergent. Make sure to only apply a neutral cleaning detergent that has been mixed according. Especially if you're using an alkaline cleaner, this can damage, soften, and can provide an unattractive film, which would then need additional maintenance.


• It is paramount when wiping a surface with a wet mop to swap out old formula for new, when it has become visibly contaminated.


• Make sure to apply the formula liberally, and make sure never to flood. The solution should be on the surface for anywhere from 2 to 3 minutes. In difficult areas, physical agitation may be needed to remove dirt and grime.


• If you are employing the use of any type of alkaline cleaner, it make be needed to rinse all equipment.

The Second Procedure: Cleaning the Surface Using an Automatic Scrubbing Machine

• Sweep the entire area with a properly treated water-based mop to remove dirt and soil.

• Check on all equipment and products. Make sure all brushes, squeegee blades, pads, and batteries are all in correct working order.


• Make sure to chose a neutral floor detergent. Once done, make sure that it has been mixed according. Especially if you are using an alkaline cleaner, this can damage, soften, and can display an unattractive film, which would then need additional maintenance.


• First fill up the scrubbing machine’s tank with lukewarm water. Once that is done add the correct levels of chemical formula to the machine.


• Plan out an appropriate cleaning pattern that assures the coverage of the entire area. Once finished, scrub, apply, and wipe up the remaining solution by using the scrubbing machine. It is recommended that a wet mop be used to wipe up residue.


The Third Procedure: Dry Burnishing
• This procedure should be accomplished only after the surface has been swept, dusted, damp mopped, or scrubbed. Since all buffering machines are considered to be “controlled abrasion machines,” removing all soil before burnishing the surface can risk allowing the soil to become embedded into finish. This often leads to an unattractive yellowing of the floor’s surface.

• Make sure to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer when it comes to proper pad use for the floor machine, as well as the floor finish selected.


• Once finished dry burnishing, take a clean mop and run it over the surface of the floor.


The Forth Procedure: Top Scrubbing and Re-coating w/ Single Disc Cleaning Machine
• Sweep the entire area with a properly treated water-soaked mop to remove dirt and soil.

• Consider how deep of an overall penetration into the floor’s finish film you are intending to go for your top scrubbing procedure. Make sure to employ a powerful all purpose cleaning formula if you are looking for a deep penetration, or chose a detergent that is neutral for a lighter penetration. As far as pads go, a green colored pad is ideal for light to intermediate scrubbing, while a blue colored pad is made for deeper scrubbing.


• Make sure to apply the formula liberally, and make sure never to flood. The solution should be on the surface of the floor for anywhere between 2 to 3 minutes. In difficult areas, physical agitation may be necessary to remove dirt and grime.

• Once finished, use a mop or a wet vacuum to pick up the residue. If needed, use a detailing mop, soaked in clean lukewarm water to wipe away any footprints or dirt.


• If you are looking to enhance the look of your floor, a dry buff look may be the way to go. While it is optional, it enhances the overall appearance of the surface by knocking off any rough edges and smoothing the surface before administering a new layer of coating.


• Administer one layer of floor wax finish to the high foot traffic areas. If you notice lines where the new finish was applied, wait upwards on 1 hour, then dry buff the edges.


The Fifth Procedure: Top Scrubbing and Re-coating w/ Automatic Scrubber
• To begin, use the same process for The Second Procedure: Cleaning the Floor Using an Automatic Scrubber. This scrub provides 2 separate passes before the formula is wiped up. This method normally uses an aggressive brush or pad.

• During this process, lay the solution down during the first overall pass, use a squeegee machine in it's up position. Once done, make a return pass through the same course with the formula turned off with the squeegee down.


• Make certain to keep a detail mop cleaned and ready to wipe up any lines or trails that may still remain from the scrubber.


• By choosing a neutral cleaning formula throughout this process, you will not have to rinse out the floor. However if administering an aggressive top scrubbing process, then rinsing may be necessary and must be done before re-coating.


• If you are looking to enhance the look of your floor, a dry buff look may be the way to go. While it is optional, it enhances the overall appearance of the surface by knocking off any rough edges and smoothing the surface before applying a fresh wax coat.


• Administer a single floor finish coat to the high traffic locations as illustrated in
The Third Procedure: Mop Application of Floor Finish process. If there are lines, wait 1 hour and buff the lines evenly.

The Sixth Procedure: Spray Buffing
• Follow the same method for The Second Procedure: Cleaning the Floor Using an Automatic Scrubber.

• By choosing a spray buffing formula, gently mist directly on the floor while moving in front of the buffing machine. While spray buff formulas may vary, their purposes are the same: providing lubrication to the surface of the pad, while assisting in eliminating heavy scuff marks from the surface of the floor. This helps to better facilitate blending throughout scratched areas.


• Buff the applied surface until it is dry. Pay attention to worn areas, as well as the full depth of the finish gloss.


• To finish, dust mop the floor once it has been spray buffed.


The Seventh Procedure: Restoring
• Follow the same method for The Second Procedure: Cleaning the Floor Using an Automatic Scrubber.

• Follow the recommendations for dilution from the manufacturer when looking to restore. Additionally, always make sure to use a fresh or cleaned bucket and mop when applying.


• Line a plastic trash bag in the mop buckets. This ensures that the restorer being used will not be cross-contaminated with previously used chemicals in that bucket. It will also allows for a much faster clean-up.


• Submerge your mop head within the mop bucket that holds the restoring formula. Then lightly run the head of the mop through a wringer. Make sure the mop is full of restorer formula, but is not dripping. Make sure to apply evenly throughout all areas, then allow for ample time to let the surface air dry.


• Once the surface has dried, follow the procedure steps as detailed in the course of action for The Third Procedure: Dry Burnishing.


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