Janitor mopping the floor

Many floor finishes can be stripped, sealed and polished. This process removes dirt, glue, carpets or the old top finish – replacing it with a new protective coating and creating beautifully shiny floors which enhance the overall look of the building. Most floors should be stripped and polished at least once a year, depending on the ongoing maintenance.

In and around your building, you will find many different types of flooring – from hard stone floors such as marble and granite to solid wood and laminate flooring, ceramic tiles, concrete, terrazzo or even basalt (which comes from lava and is one of the hardest types of flooring).

All floor restoration projects should, therefore, begin with a thorough assessment of the area – allowing the surface material composition and any issues to be identified. This will ensure the correct care and approach is applied to achieve the desired end result.

Equally as important as understanding the type of flooring material is knowing which sealer or finishing product will work best for each surface. Sealer protects floors by soaking into the pores found naturally in highly absorbent materials, clogging them so that staining agents can’t get down into them – while finishing products create an invisible protective layer over the surface of the floor, acting as a barrier against staining agents.

The three main categories are polyurethane, water based and solvent. Poly creates the strongest and most permanent coating but has a distinct lingering odor and can also be somewhat toxic. Solvent-based product are strong but can also be quite toxic, meaning they need to be applied only in well-ventilated areas. Water-based products are more environmentally friendly but can be less effective.

Some products are multi-purpose, while others have particular restorative properties. For example, they may have been specially formulated to handle specific types of hazards such as oil stains or chemical splashes. This is useful in locations such as garages and warehouses, where a wide variety of materials and liquids will come into contact with the flooring. By creating gentle traction across its surface, slip resistant sealers or finishing products can also improve safety in heavily trafficked areas.

Floor restoration is a skill that takes time to learn, with valuable experience being gained from every completed job. It is vital to look for a fully qualified professional when seeking a contractor to carry out the service.

Paul Hillman is the Managing Director of CleanKing, a cleaning and restoration company based in Hampshire, England.