As most janitors/floor techs do out of habit, I tend to look at the shine of a VCT (vinyl composite floor) and note any burned marks, dirty baseboards/corners and if there is a “dirty” shine instead of a clean, uniform, glossy appearance. Although I am the first to promote a matte finish that has a minimum of shine while being clean and safe to walk on, I realize that may customers want that “wet look” which at a distance may look clean but up close it shows every defect, especially in bright lighting.

With the advent of ultra-high speed burnishers (over 2,000 RPM), the possibility of leaving burn marks on any high spot increases dramatically. Most floor techs know a dirty secret about most floors and that is they are seldom level which means that when a burnisher passes over the uneven floor with a flat pad the high spots are going to get burned and need extra attention. This is usually where hand work comes in. I have seen workers use everything from a center (donut) circle from the floor pad (sometimes moistened with a little spray buff) to tennis balls to the heel of their shoes. My attitude in this area is use whatever works best and leaves the floor with that uniform, glossy appearance and the desired consistent wet look.

As to baseboards and corners, many buffers/burnishers tend to throw off dust and grit that collects along the walls. If this is not promptly swept or vacuumed up it can literally reintegrate into the existing floor finish and require labor intensive efforts to remove. Even if your burnishers have a dust collection bag, I highly recommend that the edges be cleaned promptly. Of course, in order to avoid damaging the floors, always sweep/dust mop (and if necessary scrub) the floors before using any buffing/burnishing system since the residue grit can severely damage the finish and shine.

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