Do You Know Enough To Ask The Right Questions?

by Compass Cleaning Solutions • February 29, 2016
Flooring questions, contact Compass Cleaning Solutions
If you have hard resilient floors it is critical that you make the right choices to protect your investment. Starting with the right questions will help you identify what you need and who is best equipped to meet those needs. Last week we talked about terminology which will help you understand your Janitorial Service Provider and what they are recommending and it will help you communicate what you actually want. In this post we wanted to help you identify some important questions that can help you determine what is needed, how often and what alternatives are available.

Should my floors be stripped and refinished?

This is a question that seems to have a lot of debate. If the floor is 10 years or older and the floor has not had any finish maintenance done for two or more years it very well could require a complete strip and refinish. Even newer floors that have not been maintained properly could require stripping and refinishing.

Having said that, resilient floors do not need to be stripped every time you refinish a floor. There are several reasons to resist stripping as much as possible. First, when you strip a floor you are not only removing the finish but also incremental layers of the floor tile as well. This will reduce the life of your floor and require replacement much sooner than necessary. It also creates a rough surface on the tile which makes it increasingly difficult to regain the original shine without laying down more and more coats of finish. Second, stripper is a solvent and therefore gives off VOC gases that are not all that pleasant and pollute the indoor air quality. Third, the residual liquid ‘slurry’ that is picked up from the stripping process must be disposed of in a proper manner, which frequently is not done.

How often should my floors be stripped and refinished?

Let me answer this by saying that the frequency of any service is dependent on the amount of foot traffic your facility receives on a daily or weekly basis. Having said that, if a floor is properly maintained and cleaned, you could go indefinitely without having to actually strip the floor and refinish it. A regular program of frequent cleaning (dry and damp mopping) and Scrubbing and Refinishing periodically during the year will keep a floor looking good for a long time. A couple of advantages to this approach are the reduced impact on indoor air quality, reduced waste disposal and extending the life of your floors which will end up saving you money.

What are the alternatives to stripping my hard floors?

As we said earlier a regular schedule of cleaning and scrubbing and refinishing are the best alternatives to constant stripping and refinishing. A hit and miss approach to floor maintenance typically means that service occurs after the damage is done to your floors. Scheduled cleaning and refinishing based upon your particular traffic and use patterns is the best possible solution.

What about wood and ceramic tile?

Because in general water is an enemy to wood, wet mopping of any wood floor should be avoided. Using a damp Microfiber flat mop is preferable when cleaning spills from wood floors. Using a Microfiber dust mop should be used consistently and often to remove as much dust and dirt as possible. Laying finish on wood floors requires an experienced professional who understands the unique process for preparing a wood floor and for laying a finish on wood. Just because your cleaning crew does an adequate job on your tile doesn’t mean they know anything about wood. In this case knowledge of one is not transferable to the other.

Ceramic tile is another matter. Topical finishes (any finish that is put on top of a hard surface is a ‘topical’ finish) are not recommended for ceramic tile. Finishes do not adhere to the glazed face of the tile and will quickly peel off. However the grout lines can be sealed. Sealing the grout is a process where sealant is allowed to penetrate the grout line and all remaining sealant is removed and cleaned from the glazed surface of the tile. Sealing the grout line will help prevent liquids and dirt from being absorbed into the porous grout, but it is not an absolute solution. After all grout is porous.

If you have other questions about flooring or any other issue related to your janitorial service, contact Compass Cleaning Solutions today!