Proper Care of VCT Flooring
A reader writes: Our school district work is mostly vinyl composition tile and it is in our contract to wax the new VCT after install. I am looking for a penetrating sealer or something in that range that would hold up longer than wax.
Response: A thought to consider is that “new VCT” needs time to cure/off gas before any serious moisture or product is applied. Be sure to remove the “factory finish” (a plastic protective coating) that can easily be scrubbed off with a mild detergent (neutral or less than 8 pH) with a red/green/blue scrubbing pad. Rinse thoroughly and allow plenty of time to dry before first coat of anything is applied. I highly recommend you allow plenty of curing time between coats since this can reduce powdering and early deterioration later on.
Just remember that anything that goes down eventually has to be removed. If you are in for the long haul, that additional labor needs to be taken into account. How the product is applied (new or old floor) and how it is maintained (simply neutral or less than pH of 8) and the daily wear and tear (schools are rough at best) all play an important part in what will or will not work.
Lastly, there may be a lot of points I am missing that could impact my final suggestions if I knew more. These questions include your level of expertise in hard floor care, your crews’ experience, equipment and products you have available and whether you will continue to maintain these floors once you finish them.
Be careful of taking on work that you do not have the experience to handle since there are cheaper ways of learning how to treat a hard floor. Good luck and please update me on progress.
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.