Troubleshooting Hard Floors

Hard floors are a common floor type in a variety of commercial and residential buildings. Below we have a list of tactical solutions to resolve many types of problems.

Floor appears soiled or lacks shine after mopping or refinishing
Obviously, a number of issues can cause this scenario but at the top of the list is the cleanliness of the mops used to maintain the floors and apply finish. Are the mops clean? Before performing many floor care tasks, such as refinishing a floor, it is best to select new, unused mops for the job. Also, the mops used to clean and rinse the floor should not be used to apply finish—keep “finish mops” separate.

Poor gloss or no shine
If the floor does not shine after refinishing, it may simply be that not enough finish was applied. In most cases, the gloss shine does not necessarily develop until the third coat of finish is applied. In a lobby, four to even six coats of finish are advisable. This will produce the shine and protect the floor.

Finish does not adhere properly to the floor
Environmental conditions can impact how well finish adheres to the floor. In most cases, it is always best to finish floors when it is not too cold, hot or humid. Heat, cold and humidity can impact how well the finish adheres to the floor. This also applies to the storage of floor care chemicals/finishes. They should be stored in areas that have moderate temperatures throughout the year.

Sometimes the floor’s finish actually starts to disintegrate shortly after it is applied. A fine, light-colored powder forms over the floor, referred to as powdering. There can be a variety of reasons this happens. Is the floor brand new? Some new floors have a protective coating to shield the surface during transportation and delivery. This coating should be removed before finish is applied.

In some cases, the wrong finish is applied. Remember, there are essentially two types of floor machines: low speed and high speed. A low speed finish is polished using a buffer rotating at 350 rpms or less. A high speed finish is polished using a burnisher with rpms typically of 1,000 or higher. If a low speed finish has been applied to the floor, yet a high speed machine is used to polish the floor, it can cause the finish to disintegrate, causing powdering.

Excessive scuffing

If there appears to be more scuff marks than usual shortly after a floor has been refinished, it can indicate that the coats of finish applied are too thick. Each coat should be thin with the goal of applying several thin coats of finish. 

In some cases, not enough finish is applied to the floor. In still other situations, too many coats are applied. As referenced earlier, four to six coats of finish should provide adequate floor protection to prevent excessive scuffing.

Use of outdated technology

Another issue to address is the equipment used to perform floor care. New technologies and more advanced floor care machines are available today that were not available even five years ago. These machines tend to be greener, more efficient, more ergonomic, and easier to use—helping users perform floor care tasks faster, which can also translate into cost savings.

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