When it comes to floor care, most cleaning professionals are aware of the importance of daily cleaning. Keeping grit, moisture, and soils off the floor on a regular basis is one of the most effective ways of keeping the floor clean and, for walkers, safe.
Professionals also are familiar with stripping and refinishing floors. This is the process where we remove all the current finish on a floor along with embedded soils, rinse the floor, and then apply several thin coats of floor finish.
But, according to the Swish 5CE (Critical Elements) Floor Care Program, there is one step right in the middle of these two floor care methods that is crucial: interim floor maintenance. This critical element of floor care involves scrubbing – not stripping the floor – and then recoating, typically by applying a thin coat of floor finish on top of the current finish. In most cases, this should be performed every three to six months.
Why is interim maintenance so essential?
The key reason is that it helps postpone refinishing cycles. In most cases, refinishing a floor is time-consuming, costly, often not environmentally healthy, and can be disruptive to the facility. Usually, an entire section of a facility will need to be closed off for hours at a time when a floor is being refinished.
But with interim floor care, we scrub off most of the top surface soils, grit, and contaminants, so they do not begin to eat away at the floor’s finish and its appearance. Floors can have a high gloss, even “wet look” shine, for months at a time if interim floor care is performed regularly.
But there are other reasons as well.
Interim maintenance helps make it easier for cleaning workers to maintain the floor. Plus, they can usually bring the high gloss shine back over and over again by merely using a burnisher and even a low-speed machine.
Further, interim maintenance helps ensure the slip-resistant properties of the floor finish are maintained. If the finish begins to wear off a floor, so does the slip resistance. For the safety of building users, it is important we take steps to prevent this.
However, one of the keys to effective interim floor care depends on the interim floor finish selected. Look for what is called a “one step” floor finish. This type of finish cleans as well as restores the gloss on most all types of floors. Plus, it helps improve the slip resistance of the floor. While it is often best to apply the finish with an automatic scrubber, some can also be applied simply by mopping the finish on the floor.
For more information on floorcare and keeping floors clean, healthy, and safe, contact a Swish representative.