The new year is a good time to strip and wax commercial floors. Over time, floors develop a buildup of old wax, dirt, oils and grime. Depending on the floor’s surface, the process of stripping and waxing can be an arduous task. Although some business owners and facility managers attempt to undertake this task themselves, using a professional cleaning service will ultimately produce a more desirable result.
Why Floors Require Periodic Stripping
Waxes or other finishes are traditionally applied to commercial floors to create a protective barrier to preserve the flooring surface and make it easy to maintain. Over time, depending on traffic levels, these finishes degrade, gradually providing less protection. Dirt and grease build up, creating conditions that make the floor look dirty, hazy or just plain dingy. Although wet cleaning and the reapplication of wax may provide a temporary solution, eventually the old surface coating must be stripped away completely and a new coating applied.
Types of Commercial Flooring Sealers
The most common commercial flooring surface is known as resilient tile, also called VCT or vinyl composite tile. Other flooring products that may require stripping include linoleum, vinyl, laminate and terrazzo. Rubber flooring, useful in many commercial settings, has unique requirements for sealing and maintenance. Cork floors are gaining in popularity, thanks to their sustainable nature and soft, springy texture. Finally, natural stone such as marble, travertine and slate require special care for both protection and slip resistance. The type of sealer used on your floors depends on your facility’s flooring materials as well as your needs for stability, durability, static discharge and slip resistance. Each type of sealer requires a unique approach for both application and removal.
Methods for Stripping and Waxing Floors
Floor stripping involves an extensive process using caustic chemicals and specialized equipment. Commercial floor scrubbers and wet vacuums are almost always necessary, unless your area is small. Goggles, gloves and other safety equipment are required, including personal respirators for poorly ventilated spaces. Stripper is applied, then scrubbed with brushes, pads or a mechanical scrubber. Depending on the level of buildup, the process must be repeated until all traces have been removed. Floors are mopped clean and dried, then wax or sealer is applied in stages. Some sealers require up to five or more coats, each of which must dry completely before the next layer is applied.
Town and Country Office Cleaning recommends having your facility’s floors professionally stripped and sealed annually, or more frequently if foot traffic is heavy. Their experienced professional technicians have the knowledge and equipment to perform these services quickly, safely and effectively. Stripping and waxing your commercial floors will not only make your facility look great, but increase the lifespan of your flooring.