By no means is this a “dig” on cleaning services or janitorial services. Quite honestly, some of my best referral’s come from professionals in this industry. Not all cleaning companies and or janitorial companies think about or know about the implications some products or processes have on the longevity of a hard surface floor covering and it’s finish.
If you are a business owner, facility maintenance manager or other that is responsible for the care of a facility or simply and employee who takes pride in the appearance of
their workplace, I have a few tips and suggestions for you.
Many times, the floors in your place of work or business will be the first impression your customer’s or employees will have of you.
As a floor care professional, my #1 goal is to satisfy my costumer’s even after my services have been rendered. In order for this customer service to continue long after I leave, I need to educate the customer on the care and maintenance of their hard surface floors.
In commercial settings I come across ceramic tile, mosaic tile and grout floors usually found in the bathrooms of these facilities that have been coated with an acrylic coating other wise known as floor wax. How can you tell? Grout is not shiny. Another good indication is when the person applying the improper wax / sealer, got sloppy and got the mop to close to the rubber, ceramic or porcelain, kick plate and got wax on it.
Acrylic floor wax is intended for Vinyl Composite Tile, (VCT) not ceramic tile or grout. In most cases the tile and grout was simply mopped clean prior to the wax being applied. When the grout is not properly cleaned prior to the wax being applied you are simply sealing in the dirt. Any chance of those grout lines coming clean with daily mopping are slim to none and slim just left the building.
In order to have any chance of cleaning these waxed surfaces you will need to strip the wax off with special strippers and equipment. Only then will you have a chance at getting the grout lines clean.
VCT (vinyl composite tile) floor coverings that are intended to accept an acrylic wax can shine like a diamond when first applied and for months after. In order to get the “shine like a diamond” months after ; the janitorial company or cleaning company must maintain it and maintain it properly.
First off, the floor should be dust mopped daily or more depending on the amount of foot traffic. Dirt, grim and sand can act as a sandpaper on the finish. Wet mopping daily using a neutral cleaner and cold water, is recommended for longevity of the shine and durability of the wax. Any cleaner that is high in Alkaline will prematurely take some of the finish off the floor and create a “dull” appearance. DO NOT use a disinfectant cleaner unless the cleaner is a neutral disinfectant cleaner, 7.0 on the pH scale. Some disinfectant cleaners contain a chemical property that can actually stick to the floor and attract dirt making it very difficult to remove the dirt. I recommend to my customers using Snap All Purpose Natural Concentrate . 1 cap to 1 gallon of water will provide a 7.0 – 7.5 pH level which is safe for cleaning and protecting almost all acrylic finishes.
Green Bay Floor Restore can work with you, your business and your maintenance personnel on the specific issues or concerns you may have to assure your floor coverings are maintained at a level that gives your customers a great first impression and from having to prematurely strip and wax those resilient floor coverings. Be sure to check out some of the photos on my web site Gallery to see the before and after photos of some resilient floors.
Jamie Strohmeyer / Green Bay Floor Restore
IICRC Certified / Clean Trust Firm