Hard Floor Maintenance

care and maintenance of hard floor

Maintaining the flooring of your building is key to high-quality presentation and long-term protection. We have experience with stone, wood, vinyl, concrete and more. Whatever your flooring needs are, Compass can include them in your overall maintenance program.


Why us:

* Polishing of stone, concrete and Terrazzo floors
* Scrubbing, stripping and refinishing using only the newest tools and technology
* Knowledgeable technicians who know how to service your floors regardless of floor type
* Technicians who understand that preparation is 90% of a quality floor finish
* Understanding how to apply non-metalic floor finishes for clean room applications

What kind of floors do I have?

If you own a building or are responsible for the maintenance of your building or suite, this may be one of the best questions to ask, and if you don't know, you should ask a professional.


The reason this is such a good question is that every floor and floor type should be maintained differently. Floors come in both natural and man-made varieties. Stone. Wood. Vinyl. Rubber. Bamboo. Cork. Cement. All different surfaces, which require distinctly different approaches to cleaning. Having the proper knowledge regarding floor types and what conditions impact each floor type, is essential to proper maintenance.


Unfortunately there are untrained and uninformed contractors who believe you can treat every floor the same, that what you do on one floor you can do on another. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you want great results your contractor needs to know what kind of floor you have and what products and applications should be applied. In addition, they should have the skill sets to do the required service.


Hard Floor Maintenance

How do I take care of my floors?

Knowing what kind of floor you have is the first step, the second is knowing what needs to be done to maintain it properly. This is where things get confusing. Terminology and understanding what those terms mean is critical to a well maintained floor and saving you money. Too often we see work being done that is unnecessary and more costly than required. Below we have listed some terminology that is often used (often times incorrectly) to describe maintenance that needs to be done on a floor.

Stripping – Stripping is the process of removing a topical finish from a hard floor such as VCT, concrete or other types of resilient flooring. A solvent (stripper) is applied to a floor and a low speed scrubbing machine is used in conjunction with a black scrubbing pad to remove all of the topical finish. An alternative process is to use a 'dry prep' machine to effectively 'sand' the topical finish to prepare it for additional layers of new finish.

Scrubbing – Scrubbing is similar to stripping in that some finish is removed (top layers only) and a low speed machine is used to remove the finish. The big difference is that a cleaning solution is used instead of a solvent stripper and only the top layer of finish is removed.

Burnishing – Burnishing is a process used to polish a clean floor without scrubbing or adding fresh finish. The process requires a high speed burnisher or a propane burnishing machine. The process effectively heats up the finish and then quickly cools to remove scratches and scuffs. It is typically an interim measure between scrubbing to maintain a shine. Under some circumstances burnishing will also harden the finish and help it wear longer.

Buffing – Similar to burnishing in that the process helps to maintain a shine, in this case a liquid finish product is applied to the floor and a high speed buffer polishes the floor. It is required that the floor be cleaned thoroughly prior to this process as is the case in all finishing processes.

Cleaning – this is the process of either using a dry dust mop (preferably a microfiber mop) or a damp mop (again, preferably a Microfiber flat mop) to remove dirt, dust and food and drink from the floor. This is the best process to reduce damage and extend the life of your floor finish.

Floor Finish – While the term 'wax' is still used extensively in the cleaning industry in reality virtually all floor finishes today are synthetic compounds comprised of polymers, zinc and or ceramic particles. Typically polymer molecules are bonded via zinc particles to create a single solid layer of finish. In some cases where static can be an issue, like in electronic and chip manufacturing, bonding agents that are non-metallic are used to achieve the same effect.

Historically the finishing process required sealers to be added to the raw floor to allow for adhesion to the finish, but today the properties of the floor finishes make this unnecessary. The technology has also made it possible to put down fewer coats of finish but still retain a high level of polymer 'solids' on the floor and still achieve sufficient floor protection. What this means to the consumer is that a finish can be laid down more quickly which costs less while still getting satisfactory results.

How often should I have my floors cleaned?

The easy answer is, 'when it's needed'. But, who determines when it is needed? Developing the proper intervals between various types of floor maintenance requires a little experimentation. Again, the type of flooring has a great deal to do with this, as well as how much wear and tear a floor takes in a given period of time.

It also depends on what level shine is required balanced against your budget. Since any type of floor maintenance cost is mostly labor, the more often some type of maintenance is done the higher the overall cost will be. This is why your knowledge about what is being done is critical. Too often expensive refinishing may be recommended when really a simple scrub is all that is required.

Our goal is always to provide what you need, when you need it, and nothing more.