Problems underfoot

Five common hard-surface flooring dilemmas
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
By Mike Englund

Hard-surface flooring is selected because it’s practical. Spills can be easily and quickly cleaned up with little or no damage to the floor. However, this doesn’t mean hard-surface flooring is impenetrable.

Here are five of the most common floor problems and tactical solutions to resolve them.

1. Floor appears soiled or lacks shine after mopping or refinishing.
There may be a number of reasons for this but the cleanliness of the mops used to maintain the floor and apply floor finish is likely the culprit.

Before performing floor care tasks such as refinishing a floor, select new, unused mops. Also, mops used to clean and rinse the floor should not be used to apply finish – keep “finish mops” separate.

2. Poor gloss or no shine.
If the floor does not shine after refinishing, not enough finish may have been applied. In most cases, the gloss shine does not develop until the third coat of finish is applied. Four to six coats of finish is advisable. This will produce the shine and protect the floor.

3. Finish does not adhere properly to the floor.
Environmental conditions can impact how well finish adheres to the floor. In most cases, it is best to finish floors when it is not too cold, hot or humid.

It is also advisable not to store floor care chemicals and finishes in cold, hot or humid areas. They should be stored in areas that have moderate temperatures throughout the year.

4. A fine, light coloured powder forms atop the floor.
Sometimes a floor’s finish starts to disintegrate shortly after it is applied. This can happen for a variety of reasons.

Some new floors have a protective coating to shield the surface during transport and delivery. If this coating is not removed before finish is applied, “powdering” can occur.

Powdering may also occur if the wrong finish is applied. If a low speed finish is applied to the floor and then a high speed machine is used to polish it, the finish can disintegrate. The same is true if a low speed machine polishes a floor with a high speed finish.

5. Excessive scuffing.
If there appears to be more scuff marks than usual shortly after the floor has been refinished, this might indicate the finish coats were applied too thick. Each coat should be thin with the goal of applying several coats of finish. Four to six coats of finish should provide adequate floor protection to prevent excessive scuffing.

Mike Englund has more than 30 years experience in the professional cleaning industry. He is a trainer and product manager for Powr-Flite, a leading manufacturer of professional cleaning equipment.

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