Floor Care Expert Gives Instructions On Maintaining Floors in Commercial Properties

Chris Barsby industry veteran and Floor Care Guru, with over 30 years’ experience has agreed to be our guest blogger for November. Chris has taken a look at the new top end Sovereign Range of Floor Care Products from Jangro. While lots of the information given will apply to other manufactures products, be aware that some instructions are specific to the unique products in the Sovereign range.

In How To, Floor Care

Chris Barsby industry veteran and Floor Care Guru, with over 30 years’ experience has agreed to be our guest blogger for November. Chris has taken a look at the new top end Sovereign Range of Floor Care Products from Jangro. While lots of the information given will apply to other manufactures products, be aware that some instructions are specific to the unique products in the Sovereign range.

FLOOR CARE PROCEDURES.

Wherever possible identify floor type and any previous products used on it, there may be occasions where what appears to be one type of flooring is in fact totally different, this may change the way the floor is treated and the results achieved.

Always follow manufacturers use instructions and always use the correct safety equipment, always use warning signs and cordon off working areas.

Take care, test small area of Linoleum type floors with dilute stripper, check for reaction, and check polyurethane wear layer ( PUR ) that is being added to the finished surface of some vinyl and linoleum by the manufacturers, this can easily be checked by cleaning a section of the floor and looking for a slightly shiny wear layer, if this has worn away and has left the floor looking dull and patchy the floor will need to be protected with either a water based seal or emulsion polish .

FLOOR POLISH STRIPPING

Indications.

Old polish flaking off, dull patchy appearance, dusting, poor gloss even when buffed.

  1. Thoroughly sweep floor, remove all loose debris
  2. Protect any fixed objects, cover table legs etc
  3. Wearing safety glasses, overalls, gloves and work shoes, check manufacturers dilution rates and mix stripper i.e. Sovereign Heavy Duty Floor Polish remover or Sovereign Seal Remover with cold water.
  4. Depending on area to be covered use either mop and bucket, machine fitted with water tank or scrubber drier, apply stripping solution in manageable areas, do not flood the areas, apply sufficient amount that will not dry out while the product is reacting with the old polish.
  5. Allow contact time of 5/10 minutes, thoroughly scrub the area with a standard speed rotary machine (150 rpm) or scrubber drier fitted with Black stripping pads.
  6. Remove slurry with a wet vacuum or scrubber drier, if there are still signs of old polish i.e. shiny patches, repeat steps 3,4,5,6, until floor is completely clear of old polish.
  7. Thoroughly rinse floor with clean cold water to remove any stripper solution, do not use additives in the rinse water as they may cause a reaction with new polish.
    1. Allow to dry, inspect floor for any signs of dust or dirt, vacuum if necessary.
    2. Remove all stripping solution, machinery, used mops, cleaning equipment etc, clean shoes to remove any traces of stripper, floor should now be ready for undercoat/ pre seal/ polish application.

PRE SEAL/PRIMER/UNDERCOAT SEALS.

These can be used where the floor is old or porous or where a greater degree of wear resistance is required or where a deeper depth of gloss is desired. Sovereign Floor undercoat sealer generally has a matt or low gloss finish and can be used as a finishing coat if a low gloss finish is desired, they can be used on porous cement and concrete floors, unsealed tiled floors, linoleum,marmoleum floors etc, this sealer is extremely tough and cannot be removed using ordinary polish strippers, they can be removed using Sovereign floor seal remover.

  1. After carrying out stripping procedure and ensuring surfaces are now clean and dry, prepare to apply undercoat/primer seal.
  2. Using a clean dry flat micro fibre mop or polish applicator or Kentucky type mop, do not use a new mop as fibres may contaminate the polish.
  3. Apply a thin neat coat of seal either via the applicator or by pouring a small quantity directly on to the floor, apply in straight lines working a small area at a time do not overlap, try to minimise air bubbles, if to many are present change to another mop or applicator, reduce amount of product being used, do not “swirl” mop around floor as these marks will show when the product dries.
  4. Allow to dry thoroughly, usually at least 1 hour.
  5. Before applying second coat if required check floor for cleanliness, when floor is thoroughly dry, vacuum to remove any dust or debris. If air bubbles have dried into seal and are unsightly leave the floor for several more hours to thoroughly dry and harden. It is possible to remove any large air bubbles by gently using an old red or green pad on the affected area, thoroughly dust afterwards.
  6. Apply second coat as first, it is not necessary to apply the second coat right up to the edge of the wall, leave about 1 to 2 inches or between 2,5 and 5 cms, this will allow the seal to move and not build up on the edges.

7 Allow to thoroughly dry before applying emulsion polish as a guide the following times should be used. Touch dry 1 to 2 hours; light traffic 4 to 8 hours, heavy foot traffic at least 24 to 48 hours; full chemical hardness can take up to 7 days.

8 Coverage rates will vary due to the porosity of the floor, allow for 120 sq/mts per 5 Litres per coat on some very porous floors.

POLISH APPLICATION.

Choice of polish depends on what the floor is used for and what maintenance procedures are to be used eg a high solids “wet look” finish may not be the best if the floor is maintained by wet scrubbing with a scrubber drier as this has a tendency to dull the finish, if however the” wet” look is maintained using high speed buffing machinery the floor should retain its very high gloss characteristics. Always check the manufacturer’s specifications before use.

For all areas where general maintenance i.e., wet scrubbing , damp mopping,spray cleaning. Is used

  • Sovereign Total Floor Treatment
  • Sovereign Heavy Duty Floor Polish
  • Sovereign Heavy Duty Floor Polish Satin Finish

All products are dry bright heavy duty emulsion polishes with superb wet cleaning resistance, except the Satin finish which has a lower gloss finish.

All products can be high speed spray cleaned or damp mopped and buffed

All Sovereign floor seals and emulsion polishes respond superbly to ultra high speed burnishing machines i.e. up to 2500 rpm, with no dusting.

EMULSION POLISH APPLICATION

This should be carried out in exactly the same procedure as outlined for pre seals/ undercoat application.

In general it is better to apply the second coat at right angles to the first ( EXCEPT Total Floor Treatment) i.e. first coat down, second coat across, this maximises wear rates and gives thorough coverage. Up to 6 coats of polish can be applied depending on the finish required, normally 2 to 3 would be sufficient, allow each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.

WARNING

When using Sovereign Total Floor Treatment apply polish in the same direction for each coat, this is due to the unique formulation of this product and will ensure a very tough wear resistant finish.

Coverage rates. Depending on porosity of floor.

Sovereign Heavy Duty and Heavy duty Satin, up to 250 square metres per 5 Litre

Sovereign Total Floor Treatment, up to 200 square metres per 5 Litre

WOODEN FLOORS.

It is essential that existing and previous treatments be identified before any work commences. Water based polishes or seals will not adhere to previously waxed floors without professional preparation i.e. sanding or thorough wax removal.

Polyurethane treated floors often have a glass like appearance and do not require further coats of water based products to protect them.

Oleo resinous floors can have a lower level of gloss due to a percentage the product being absorbed into the floor as well as providing surface protection, this type of floor finish can be further enhanced by the use of water based polishes.

Waxed floors have a hard wearing finish that is enhanced by further applications of the solvent based product during its maintenance cycle, this finish is usually identified by its smell and appearance.

Providing that all previous treatments have been removed floors can be treated with a water based polyurethane finish i.e. Sovereign Wood Seal or Sovereign Total Floor Treatment, this can be applied in the same way as polish or pre seal, it will give the floor a superb depth of gloss and enhance the natural look of the wood.

If the wooden floor is porous or newly sanded a Sovereign pre seal or undercoat should be used prior to the application of Wood seal.

Coverage rates.

These will depend on the porosity of the surface, wood is generally more porous than most other surfaces i.e. vinyl’s, thermoplastics etc.

Sovereign Wood Seal, up to 120 square metres per 5 Litre.

Sovereign Total Floor Treatment up to 200 square metres per 5 Litre.

MAINTENANCE

Daily maintenance of floors is essential and can vary according to local conditions, there may be some areas that only require sweeping or dust mopping whereas other high traffic areas require damp mopping and buffing or scrubber drying and burnishing to keep the floors and their protective polishes or seals in good condition.

Good daily maintenance can prolong the life of the floor and result in a better work environment and the enhanced look of the floor whilst giving the building a better image

  1. Sweep the floors thoroughly to remove all dust and debris.
  2. Using manufacturers recommended guidelines make up a solution of Sovereign Floor Gloss Restorer High Solids for use either through a mop and bucket, scrubber drier or spray cleaning system.
  3. If using mop and bucket, damp mop area using very little water, buff floor with a high speed,300 rpm or above, or ultra high speed up to 2500 rpm machine , generally the lighter colour of the pad used the greater the gloss achieved.
  4. Tan pads will not remove as much soiling as red pads but they usually give a greater gloss. Some floor pad manufacturers provide specialist pads for ultra high speed buffing i.e. pale blue, these give a superb finish to the floor but do not tend to remove soiling, they tend to rely on heat build up in the polish layer to give a thermal reaction thus “melting the polish to give a better finish.

All Sovereign seals and polishes are thermally active and will give consistently good results when used with high or ultra speed machines.

  1. If using a scrubber drier, fill the clean water tank with a solution , usually around 50 to 1 of maintainer and cold water, the machine is usually fitted with red or in heavy soiled areas green pads. When floor is dry, buff with high or ultra speed machine to revive gloss.
  2. Spray cleaning is carried out using a high speed machine fitted with red pads and either a built in spray device or a small hand spray, dilution of maintainer to water can vary between 20 to 1 and 50 to 1 depending on soiling or results required.
  3. If required a thin neat coat of Sovereign Floor Gloss Restore High Solids can be applied to refresh the surface, this thin coat dries in approximately 10 minutes and imparts an immediate gloss to the floor surface. Up to 2 coats can be applied. Normal buffing need not be carried out until the following day.
  4. Some customers may not want to use a seal or an emulsion polish but still require a good level of gloss to be imparted to the floor, in this instance Sovereign Floor Gloss Restore High Solids is ideal, it will not build up with use and will never require stripping, the gloss level can be enhanced by further high speed buffing.

Regular inspections must be carried out; this will identify high traffic areas, areas that require more maintenance than normal, other areas that need slightly different treatment i.e. weekly instead of daily etc.

Ensure all staff are trained correctly in the use of machinery and chemicals wherever necessary.

Follow manufacturer’s guidelines and procedures, if in doubt contact first for advice.

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