Diamond Pads Versus Floor Finish
I recently conducted a tech support visit to an account that has extensive terrazzo flooring in the front lobby and several wide hallways with VCT (vinyl composite tile) in the back areas. The VCT areas are scrubbed and refinished regularly with burnishing on a schedule to keep them looking great all the time. Unfortunately, the terrazzo in the front lobby always has scuffs and scratches regardless of finish or burnishing schedule. The customer (a medical clinic) does not allow walk off mats since they are concerned about canes and walkers not working on the textured surface. I do not quite understand their reasoning since many of the offices are carpeted and patients seem to be able to safely travel in and out of them without issue.
It should also be noted that the front lobby has extensive glass and lighting, which highlights every scuff and scratch making it even harder for floor work to be successful. After some testing and research, I recommended that the front terrazzo areas be stripped of all floor finish (a relatively soft, green product) and convert to a diamond pad system that usually has three colors (different abrasiveness) to render a matte finish that should not show the scuffs and scratches that detract from the first appearance now. I further recommended that if the customer would not allow walk off mats that the custodial team 1) blow/hose the outside concrete entrance nightly, 2) dust mop/sweep/vacuum the first 20 feet to reduce grit and 3) use a lightly dampened microfiber mopping system when possible to further protect the floor. The last suggestion was to experiment with a different floor finish that might resist scuffs/scratches better.
Do you have any other ideas on how to deal with this challenge? Your comments and questions are important. 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 CTCG50@comcast.net