Although floor finishes appear to dry hard, they still are vulnerable to foot abrasion and scratching.  An ongoing challenge is to keep them bright and consistent in appearance on a daily basis.  Scuffs and scratches are inevitable in any area that has floor traffic. Determining how to maintain them is the challenge.

Here are some most likely causes of scuffs and scratches and how to fix them: 


Cause: Wrong scrubbing or buffing pads/brushes

Solution: Use approved pads and brushes


Cause: Excessive dirt and grit on floor

Solution: Use approved mats and runners. Thoroughly dust mop before cleaning


Cause: Not scrubbing or buffing often enough

Solution: Verify areas are correctly classified as main or secondary traffic area. Follow recommended procedures


Cause: Unequal pad pressures on twin pad scrubber/buffers

Solution: Adjust pressure


Cause: Stones, grit not picked up by auto scrubber or mop (grit buffed into floor or dragged by squeegee)

Solution: Check work area to avoid this problem. Dust mop again prior to buffing in problem areas (doorways, etc.)


Powdering of floors is usually the result of poor practices and/or misuse of chemicals.  


Cause: Applying coats too thin

Solution: Utilize medium coats


Cause: Wrong buffing pads or brushes used (too aggressive)

Solution: Use recommended pads and brushes


Cause: Floor not rinsed before floor finish applied: Heavy cleaner residues can prevent good adhesion

Solution: Floor must be thoroughly rinsed before applying floor finish


Cause: Dirty buffing pads being used

Solution: Change or rotate pads during buffing and clean pads after each use


Cause: Fans used to force dry floor finish:  Surface may dry too quickly and not allow finish to form a good bond.  Also occurs with coats that are applied too thin (see above).

Solution: Never direct fans at floor finish: If fans are used, aim upward for air circulation in area


Cause: Finish designed for low speed buffing is being burnished

Solution: Always match the chemicals to the buffing RPM


Cause: Finish applied before floor or previous coat dry causing finish to not stick to floor.

Solution: Strip, rinse, and allow floor to dry before applying finish


Cause: Stripper residue left on floor due to poor rinsing (finish not sticking to floor)

Solution: Strip, rinse thoroughly, and reapply finish


Cause: Old floor finish not completely removed (incompatibility of coatings)

Solution: Do not apply soft buffable finishes over harder finishes


Cause: Factory finish not stripped off of new tile before finishing

Solution: Strip, rinse, and reapply finish


Cause: Frozen floor finish (may bead up on floor during application) 

Solution: Do not proceed with finish. Replace with good product


Can you think of any other causes and solutions related to these poor outcomes? Your comments and questions are always welcome.  I hope to hear from you soon.  Until then, keep it clean…..


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or