- THE MAGAZINE
Last month, we discussed methods for keeping dirt and soil out of the facility and how to remove superficial, moderate, heavy and lightly embedded soils from the floor covering or coating by using dry service and wet mopping techniques. In this installment, we will address the periodic and restorative/salvage maintenance methods that are performed when the daily or routine methods are no longer effective. The Periodic Service Procedures
These types of maintenance methods require more knowledge, equipment and chemicals to perform, but are generally performed less frequently than the daily or routine methods of maintenance. This doesn’t mean they cannot be done daily or routinely. In some cases, the facility, environment, traffic conditions or the customer may require them to be performed as daily or routine services within a preventative maintenance program. Although they may be performed daily or routinely, they are considered periodic because they are done after dry services and/or in conjunction with the wet services. Polishing
This procedure definitely resides in the gray area of daily or routine maintenance and periodic maintenance. Polishing is the act of smoothing and brightening the surface to improve gloss. Because there are various floor coverings and coatings, we have developed other terms to identify these different polishing procedures. They all restore gloss to the floor surface, but the method to accomplish the task may require different equipment or be performed more frequently.
The term polishing, when used for stone floors, is one step above honing. By using diamond abrasives, such as a pads or powders, these services can be performed in heavy traffic areas as frequently as weekly, but will more likely be done only when restoration services are no longer affective.
Restoration methods for stone may incorporate oxalic acids or chemicals used in the crystallization process. These are predominately for marble or other calcium carbonate type stones. The frequency for these restorative procedures will vary depending on the traffic.
Polishing or buffing wood type floors is done with a soft bristle brush or pad to smooth paste wax. Because of the softness of the wax, it’s generally applied on a daily or routine basis. Buffing resilient floors is similar to polishing in that it’s used for softer waxes or floor finishes. Floors with soft finishes should generally be buffed daily to remove superficial scuffs. Spray buffing can be used on many types of surfaces that have a softer floor finish. A restorer type product or diluted floor finish is used to fill in tiny scratches. This procedure can be performed daily or periodically, depending on the traffic conditions. Conditioning and Burnishing is the most frequently used polishing method used on resilient. It’s a combination of chemical restorers or conditioners used with high-speed or ultra high-speed equipment. This is the system that gives retail and grocery environments the desirable “wet look.” Like most polishing procedures, it too can be performed daily or routinely or on a periodic basis. Scrubbing
Scrubbing is the act of agitating a cleaning solution with an appropriate pad or brush to remove soils that may be superficial or embedded in the floor covering or coating. Aggressive scrubbing is used for resilient floors that have coatings with encapsulated soils.
The light scrub is performed when aggressive mopping is no longer effective. The combination of a neutral cleaner and an appropriate pad will remove superficial soil. This type of procedure is generally done on a daily or routine basis, and is quicker to accomplish than wet mopping. It may also be used where minimal or soft foot traffic is present or on floors that are sensitive to abrasion.
The medium scrub is more aggressive than the light scrub. This service can also be used when a small amount of floor finish needs to be removed due to dirt, scuffs or marks that are apparent beneath the floor finish itself.
This may be accomplished using a stronger dilution of neutral cleaner (a more powerful cleaner if necessary) and a more aggressive pad (generally blue or green). The objective is to remove the embedded or lightly encapsulated soil or finish without removing the lower coats of protection. In resilient or floor finish situations, medium scrubs are usually followed with 1 to 2 coats of floor finish and burnishing (optional). This service is generally performed on a periodic basis such as monthly, quarterly or semi-annually depending on traffic conditions.
The heavy or aggressive scrub is necessary when difficult soils, such as grease and oils, are present or heavy build-up of floor finish needs to be removed. Aggressive chemicals (heavy-duty all purpose cleaners or degreasers) are usually the difference between a medium and heavy scrub. Pad selection can be green or blue, or a used brown or black pad may be used in extremely soiled conditions. Thorough fresh water rinsing is required. When floor finishes are present, the heavy scrubbing procedure is usually followed by multiple coats of floor finish are applied. This procedure should be done on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis, but can be performed more frequently in very soiled conditions or less frequently in lightly soiled conditions. Restorative or Salvage The restorative, rescue or salvage operations are the most extreme. Concrete floors may require sanding or shot blasting with new coatings applied. Stone floors may need to be honed or polished with diamond abrasives, wood floors require sanding and refinishing, and resilient floors generally will be stripped and refinished.
Some of these procedures span into multiple floor coverings such as aqueous coatings on concrete, stone or resilient floors.
Some salvage operations, such as stripping, may be done as frequently as quarterly, but are generally done on a much less frequent basis such as semi-annually or annually. Concrete, stone and wood salvage operations most often happen many years apart. Summary
Performing the right service at the proper frequency for any given facility will enable you to optimize your equipment, supplies and labor resources that will produce a better profit for you and/or your company.