Specialty Flooring: Cleaning And Maintenance

Orig. Post June 15, 2012 by CleanLink | Re-Post February 25, 2015

Concrete floors don’t require stripper, but are they really maintenance free?

Nothing is maintenance free. Proper care must be taken to keep the floor clean and preserve the appearance.

Dr. Vikram Asher, R&D Research Manager, Rochester Midland Corp., Rochester, N.Y.

The popularity of polished concrete, especially in retail establishments, has taken hold due to its attractive appearance and low maintenance requirements. Far from maintenance free, to obtain the initial appearance the concrete surface must be polished with diamond abrasives using an expensive and labor intensive process. Regular maintenance like dust mopping and cleaning/scrubbing will help the polished look appearance last as long as possible. However, high traffic will take a toll on the floor, requiring the surface to be periodically re-polished.

A promising method to prolong the appearance of these floors is to use special diamond abrasive cleaning pads on floor scrubbers. Regular use of such pads keeps the floor appearance at a consistently high level. This of course, adds to the cost of maintaining these floors. As with any floor, the better you maintain it, the longer it lasts.

Mike Tarvin, Vice President, Multi-Clean, Shoreview, Minn.

Any horizontal walking surface will require some level of maintenance. The degree of maintenance is more directly related to the amount of traffic and aesthetic expectations, rather than the specific type of substrate. In cases of high traffic, more frequent regular maintenance (dust and damp mopping) will be necessary than in cases of lower traffic volume. If a matte finish is desired, less regular maintenance will also suffice. However, if high gloss is demanded, considerably more dust mopping, damp mopping, and restoratives processes (i.e. recoating, stripping, burnishing) will be necessary.

Rebecca S. Kaufold, Chemist, Spartan Chemical Co., Inc., Maumee, Ohio

What chemicals should be used on bamboo flooring?

Bamboo flooring is wood flooring. Wood coatings designed for bamboo and as recommended by the manufacturer of the flooring should be used. Mild, neutral cleaners are most suited to clean bamboo floors.

Dr. Vikram Asher, R&D Research Manager, Rochester Midland Corp., Rochester, N.Y.

Bamboo flooring usually comes from the factory with a urethane type wear layer or is coated after installation with a permanent coating. In some cases, old fashioned paste type wax is even used, although infrequently. When the bamboo itself is properly protected, regular dry dust mopping and wet cleaning with a water-based, dilutable floor cleaner is advised that doesn’t leave a residue. However, it is important not to over expose the floor with too much water, so microfiber cleaning systems using the recommended cleaner are typically advised.

Mike Tarvin, Vice President, Multi-Clean, Shoreview, Minn.

Bamboo is a type of wood flooring, so wood floor cleaners, coatings and procedures should be employed. Bamboo is engineered in various different fashions; some is factory finished with a UV cured coatings, while other types are raw. The finish, or lack thereof, will determine the best products, but always remember this is wood flooring, so only wood floor products should be considered.

Rebecca S. Kaufold, Chemist, Spartan Chemical Co., Inc., Maumee, Ohio

What chemicals are recommended on no wax vinyl?

Regular floor finishes can typically be applied over no wax vinyl. Previously, these factory-coated surfaces were primarily for residential applications. Improvements in the factory applied coating has resulted in these no-wax surfaces finding its way into commercial application. The problem is that if the surface is put into a very high-traffic situation and not maintained, it will show wear patterns that will require the possible application of a floor finish.

Mike Tarvin, Vice President, Multi-Clean, Shoreview, Minn.

No wax vinyl is usually factory finished with a more permanent coating. These coatings are generally very chemical resistant and have decent scratch resistance. Classic preventative care (walk-off mats and regular dust and damp mopping) are the first step to proper maintenance. Depending on the traffic and the manufacturer’s recommendations, an occasional scrub with a slightly alkaline cleaner and a light pad will reduce heavy build-up. Eventually, the factory coating will scratch and the floor will lose gloss. At this point, it may be necessary to investigate a floor finish to ensure the substrate is protected from traffic damage.

— Rebecca S. Kaufold, Chemist, Spartan Chemical Co., Inc., Maumee, Ohio

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