Removing Urethane Floor Finish
A reader comments: “I disagree with your suggestion of using stripper to clean the anti-microbial floor since it will damage the surface and make it harder to clean if it survives the process. How do you respond?”
You are absolutely correct as far as you go but you are not going far enough in this case. You must use the recommended products for the surface you are dealing with. This means that until you have successfully removed the top layers of seal you cannot use the anti-microbial products to maintain the original floor. Remember that there are multiple coats of seal that must be dealt with by products designed to remove them. Only after these layers have been removed can you use the recommended products to maintain it.
Since the original suggestions were published we have learned that there is a urethane finish that was applied as another cure all. This new fact complicates the process one hundred fold in that regular stripper may soften and damage the urethane coating but will not remove it completely. In most cases, urethane can be removed by using pads of varying grits. The best process is to use a little moisture to reduce the dusting although there are pads that can be used dry followed by vacuuming. The problem with this option is that the aggressive pads usually prove to be too much for the original flooring. Remember that this product is relatively thin and was never designed to be scrubbed, much less stripped with aggressive pads and brushes. Chemical processes that dissolve/soften the urethane have similar results as to damaging the original flooring.
I cannot stress the importance of testing a small area thoroughly before proceeding. The cure may be worse than simply keeping the damaged floor clean. Please, no more finish, urethane or other products that were never made for this type flooring. 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