This article concludes the series on how to fix a deteriorating composite floor that has been improperly maintained with the wrong cleaning products.

As we researched this product we learned that it was installed incorrectly and has been maintained against the manufacturer’s directions. We noted that your floor techs are maintain a VCT floor correctly although they are still using too much finish along the edges and baseboards. Part of the confusion has been that they have tried to use these conventional processes on the more sensitive, biodegradable, anti-microbial flooring with less than satisfactory results.

We have more than one challenge with this floor. First of all, we need to bring in our chemical distributor/rep to assist with finding the safest, most effective way of removing the heavy buildup on the floors, in the corners and along the baseboards without severely damaging the flooring itself. We have determined that application of a harsh stripper to the floor will cause it to “bleed out” resulting in loss of color as well as the protective surface. We learned that gently scraping the softened finish indicates multiple layers of product thereby indicating the possible need for multiple strips over time to avoid damaging the floor.

So far, the best approach has been to use a mild solution of stripper (same manufacturer as the finish for compatibility purposes) with reduced contact time and a green scrubbing pad (black is too aggressive). As the finish comes up it is turning a milky color. Upon closer examination with a scraper, there is evidence of more coats that need to be removed. Under no circumstances should there be any more finish applied until the floor has been taken down to the base or at least an acceptable level. Then the finish and cleaning processes recommended by the manufacturer should be followed from that point forward.

The final solution will be to replace this flooring correctly or with another surface such as VCT (Vinyl Composite Tile), ceramic or quarry tile that is more durable.

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