Floor Finish

How to Protect Finished Floors: Creating the Best Solution for Every Individual Facility

by John Howard

A guest’s impression of overall cleanliness can strongly influence their experience and impact whether or not they are a repeat customer. One area that is a direct reflection of the overall cleanliness of a business is the flooring. Keeping up the appearance of the floor can sometimes be difficult, time intensive and costly for maintenance professionals, but the truth is that it doesn’t have to be. Taking time to focus on the proper floor care for your unique facility can translate into long-term cost savings and deliver a positive guest experience.

FLOOR CARE SOLUTIONS AREN’T COOKIE-CUTTER
Finished floors are often one of the biggest investments an establishment can make. As a result, protection and maintenance become critical tasks for cleaning professionals. In the current economic climate, businesses of all types are challenged with maintaining finished floors with limited budget and personnel. This places a renewed emphasis on efficiency and productivity.

One way to keep costs down is to reduce the need for frequent burnishing while still keeping floors looking clean and shiny. Using products specifically designed for this purpose, such as the P&G Pro Line Floor Care System, can help achieve your desired results. P&G Pro Line ensures the stripper, finish and cleaner are all formulated to work synergistically with one another, delivering superior results to extend the length of time between maintenance cycles. The P&G Pro Line system also features seven different types of finishes and two different types of cleaners to meet the unique needs of various types of flooring.  Focusing on efficiency, the Pro Line Finished Floor Cleaner removes 59% more particulate soil than the leading competition!

Floor waxes and polymers that provide a more durable finish have been formulated to resist dirt and scratching, and therefore require less frequent burnishing. This makes it possible to maintain the floor surface with fewer labor hours and less product use. Ultimately, the result is a lower operational cost. These products, coupled with proper routine maintenance for your particular floor type/finish, can help keep finished floors looking good all year round.

PROTECTING FLOORS BEFORE DAMAGE OCCURS
A great first step towards protecting finished floors is implementing a mat program. Outdoor and foyer/entryway area mats can remove much of the dirt and debris from shoes, preventing it from being tracked inside and onto your finished floors. Inside matting can also help to remove the final bit of dirt, including moisture.

FLOOR CARE MYTHS AND FACTS
Here are a few floor care myths and facts to be aware of when working to create the best possible maintenance program for your facility. 

  • FACT:  For better cleaning performance, never add more cleaning chemical to your mop bucket or auto-scrubber than the instructions recommend.  Less is more! Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended dilution because the cleaning chemical is designed to be most effective at that level.  Adding more cleaning chemical can soften the finish, making it sticky as well as contribute to leaving a dulling residue behind.
  • MYTH: I do not need to clean the floor before burnishing or buffing.There are many reasons to clean before buffing, including:
    • “Shiny dirt” – the dirt on the floor receives the buffing!
    • The Dirt can become imbedded into the floor finish
    • Burnishing pads can pick up dirt which can then scratch and dull the floor finish
    • More dust and dirt is generated during burnishing
  • MYTH:  I can have a great high shine finish and get away from burnishing regularly by using a high-shine burnishable ultra-high speed (UHS) finish.  Burnishing is necessary to “polish” a UHS finish and to restore and maintain its high-shine. Strongly consider high speed burnishingbecause:
    • It is more efficient than low-speed buffing
    • It will repair the floor’s finish so that it has a smoother shine
    • It will delay the need for recoat, saving time and money
  • FACT:  I can extend the time between scrub and recoat with a routine floor maintenance program.  Proper cleaning and maintenance, along with the right floor care product usage – like P&G Pro Line Finished Floor Cleaner – can help extend the life of the floor’s finish. However, you should scrub and recoat when buffing or burnishing is no longer enough to maintain the shine you’d like. Tips for effective scrubbing and recoating include:
    • Deep scrub first with an appropriate cleaner
    • Your Pad choice and pad time are critical
    • Pads are usually designed by specific floor types -- this is often indicated by color
    • Clear water rinse before applying finish
  • MYTH:  I should strip and refinish frequently, rather than waste my time cleaning the floor.  You can delay stripping and refinishing indefinitely if you maintain a clean floor on a regular basis. You’ll know when it’s time to strip and refinish because the floor will have darkened or yellowed and scrubbing and recoating will no longer give it that “new” appearance.

In summary, a fundamental, routine floor care program can lead to improved floor appearance, help achieve a better customer impression of your facility, and help contribute to an overall reduction in labor and product costs resulting in a win-win for your business.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John Howard is currently a Category Account Executive for the Market Strategy and Planning Organization within P&G Professional.  John is responsible for the national launch of the P&G Pro Line Floor Care System, which is a unique lineup of floor care products formulated to work synergistically to deliver unsurpassed long-lasting shine, extending time between scrub and recoat.  John is an ISSA CIMS certified expert and an alumnus of Western Michigan University.