Stripping and recoating hard floors is both costly and labor-intensive. With limited financial resources building owners and managers would prefer end users to develop daily floor maintenance programs that improve the floor’s appearance and keep it looking good for as long as possible.
“For years, customers accepted the fact that floors had to be completely stripped and recoated after a certain period of time,” says Chris Martini, director of marketing and special projects for Central Sanitary Supply in Modesto, Calif. “The mentality is shifting toward a scrub and recoat process and a focus on how we maintain the floor in between, as well as how we prevent dirt from getting on that floor finish to begin with.”
The daily grind
According to jan/san distributors, an effective daily maintenance program is the first line of defense in reducing the frequency of stripping and recoating.
“A good floor care program always begins with the daily,” says Jeff Zluticky, senior territory manager for Massco, Wichita, Kan. “As a general rule, I recommend that you dust mop and autoscrub floors daily. If you can’t autoscrub, I recommend that you wet mop the floor.”
Microfiber dust mops can be used to remove soil, says Zluticky. He also suggests using cold water and a good neutral cleaner for daily scrubbing. But most importantly, he recommends sticking to a floor maintenance schedule.
“If end users can’t [clean floors] every day, then they should have some kind of schedule to keep it clean,” Zluticky says. “So many times people ask their floor finish to do too much. They put down a few new coats and say, ‘We’re going to abuse you, and we’re not going to clean you very well, but, by golly, we want you to look good for six months.’ We need to be fair to the finish and give it the help it needs to look good.”
Bill Allen, a sales rep for Fagan Sanitary Supply, West Elizabeth, Pa., has helped end users improve their floor maintenance program by changing their dust removal procedure.
“By going to a backpack vacuum with an attachment for hard floors, [end users] can collect close to 100 percent of dust and debris,” Allen says.
Allen recommends using the least-aggressive pad possible when autoscrubbing and a neutral-pH, green-certified chemicals to clean floors, whether autoscrubbing or wet-mopping.
“If people don’t have access to an autoscrubber, I recommend microfiber mops versus cotton, and dust mops and wet mops that are looped and sewn so that they can be laundered for multiple uses.”
While autoscrubbing can be done daily, Allen believes that effective dust mopping and/or vacuuming in conjunction with a good matting program can reduce the need for daily autoscrubbing.