Do you find your commercial floors never look clean? The solution might floor you.
Do you find yourself scratching your head looking at your floors wondering why they don’t look clean? Your janitorial cleaning provider swears they vacuum and mop them nightly but they simply don’t look clean when you show up the next day.
It might not be their fault. After all, the statement of work explicitly states they will “clean the floors” every night. And so they run a dirty broom over the exposed areas, slosh some water and a few soap suds up and down over the area to make sure they held up their end of the deal.
The problem is that commercial flooring—composed of vinyl composite tile (VCT), concrete, stone, and rock—requires a floor finish or floor wax.
Many times the reason the floor is dirty isn’t that the cleaning provider didn’t clean the floors, it’s because the floor doesn’t have any type of a floor finish on it. Or, if the floor has been finished, it’s faded and lost its luster.
Anatomy of a floor
You walk on them every day but it probably never occurs to you that you’re actually walking on concrete or stone that has a bunch of microscopic holes in it.
The very floor beneath your feet is actually very porous because there is no finish on it. The porous nature of the VCT or the stone, or the concrete is trapping in a lot of dirt and it’s keeping that dirt trapped at the surface of the floor.
But it doesn’t stop there.
That dirt—including detergent, dust, oils, whatever—is not only resting on top of the floor but it’s seeping its way deep into the flooring itself. And when that happens it makes your beautiful flooring look terrible, even when it’s mopped or scrubbed.
Part of the education process we go through with our clients is to share with them why a floor finish is required and should be part of a regular maintenance program.
4 Pillars of Professional Floor Refinishing, Cleaning, and Maintenance
When we do floors, there are typically four steps involved.
- First, we strip or scrub the flooring to remove the old finish and the dirt.
- Next, the cleaning of the flooring after you’ve removed the old finish and surface-level dirt.
- Then there is the vacuuming of the flooring to stop peppering from occurring with microscopic or smaller pieces of mop fibers or dirt that can lead to uneven finishes.
- The final step is the finishing of the floor itself, which requires typically four to six coats of floor finish.
In addition, part of a regular maintenance program on larger open areas might include buffing the floor regularly. If it can’t be buffed, the floor should be part of a more frequent, scrub and recoat of the processes just listed.
We find many properties and facility managers look at their floors and think that their janitorial company isn’t mopping them. Though that may be the case, more than likely, the janitorial companies aren’t educating their clients on the importance of proper floor refinishing. Without a finish, there is no barrier between the porous floor material and the contaminants themselves.
How To Tell If Your Floors Need A Finisher?
The protective finish barrier provides a layer of protection between the floor and dirt. That layer of protective floor finish is actually easy to maintain.
You can literally moisten a finger, wipe the flooring and remove scuff marks that easily. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty you could do it with a terrycloth towel or a mop head. When there is no floor finish, you need to agitate the floor dramatically just to get it clean. And because there’s no finish beneath the initial floor surface, the floor looks dull and lacks shine.