Tips To Restoring Old Terrazzo Floor
Contract cleaners know the best way to make a good impression on a new client is to turn a problem area - or in this case a problem floor - into something everyone will be proud to see.
Terrazzo floors were very popular in North American commercial facilities in the 1930s through the 1970s. So it is very likely a new client in an older building will have terrazzo floors installed.
Made of Portland cement and marble chips, terrazzo floors are very durable, but their appearance can vary, depending on how and how well they have been maintained over the years.
If your new client has a dark, dull, or scuffed-looking terrazzo floor, the following restorative steps should help improve its appearance considerably:
• Use a high-quality floor stripper and thoroughly strip the floor; very often a dull terrazzo floor is the result of several coats of sealant or floor finish applied over the years
• Thoroughly rinse the floor; this may need to be repeated two or more times
• Following the product's instructions, apply a thin coat of penetrating sealer to the floor; this does not necessarily put a shine on the floor, instead its purpose is to help protect the floor from heavy foot traffic
• Once dry, buff the floor with a low-speed buffer.
"From here, it's just a matter of daily maintenance," says Matt Morrison, communications manager for Kaivac, manufacturers of restroom, floor, and surface cleaning systems. "Daily sweeping or vacuuming and 'wet cleaning' is all that is necessary."
Morrison uses the term "wet cleaning" because using a wet mop on terrazzo can cause "mop lines" and make the floor dark and dull once again. Instead, he suggests using an auto-scrubber or a less costly auto-vac alternative to wet clean the floor.
"Use a professional, neutral cleaner made for cleaning terrazzo. And by using an auto-scrubber/auto-vac system, moisture and soils are vacuumed up quickly, helping to prevent soils from drying back onto the floor."