This is the busiest time of year for retailers and as foot traffic increases, floors can really take a beating, including the floor's finish. Many stores have VCT (vinyl composition tile) floors installed. While these floors are extremely durable, their shine may not be.
Usually at holiday time, floor cleaning, scrubbing, and polishing cycles are increased in order to keep VCT floors shiny and looking their best.
However, according to Doug Berjer, product manager for Tornado Industries, not only foot traffic but the actual equipment used to clean, scrub, and polish floors may be marring their appearance.
He has found that when a floor is scrubbed with some rotary floor machines, small scratches, similar to hundreds of microscopic canals, can be cut into the floor's surface. In time, soil and moisture can become trapped in these scratches. When this happens, the floor's gloss and luster can be seriously diminished.
"I'm convinced the scratching of the VCT is a real problem in floor care, costing customers lots of money and making it harder for floor care professionals to maintain their customers' floors," says Berjer. "If we can prevent the scratches, we can produce a higher-gloss shine that is less expensive to maintain and can reduce the number of strip and refinish cycles."
To accomplish this, Berjer suggests the following:   
• Sweep, vacuum, and damp mop floors at regular intervals.
• Instead of a rotary system, use a cylindrical floor scrubber. "These machines will not scratch the VCT because they use soft roller brushes."
• Vacuum the floor using a wet/dry system and squeegee to collect all solution, rinse water and residue.
• Recoat using a high-quality floor finish.

"Following these procedures improves the appearance of the floor, reduces the possibility of residue becoming trapped in the surface, and lowers the long-term labor costs associated with maintaining a store's floor," adds Berjer.