Cleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 30th March 2023 Issue no. 1058
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Restoring the splendour of your floors
Paul Hillman, managing director of Farnborough-based CleanKing, shares his thoughts on floor cleaning and maintenance. One of Paul's teams has recently delivered a fantastic floor restoration and clean for Homebase which received incredibly positive feedback. Other 'big brand' clients include Boots and The Range...
"Over time, floors can become very unsightly if they are not properly maintained. Luckily, damaged or lacklustre floors don't always have to be replaced - often, it is a case of restoring them to their former finery. For example, concrete can be polished rather than putting a new surface down, which is much cheaper.
Many floor finishes can be stripped, sealed and polished. This process removes dirt, glue, carpets or the old top finish - replacing it with a new protective coating and creating beautifully shiny floors which enhance the overall look of the building. Most floors should be stripped and polished at least once a year, depending on the ongoing maintenance.
In and around your building, you will find many different types of flooring - from hard stone floors such as marble and granite to solid wood and laminate flooring, ceramic tiles, concrete, terrazzo or even basalt (which comes from lava and is one of the hardest types of flooring).
All floor restoration projects should, therefore, begin with a thorough assessment of the area - allowing the surface material composition and any issues to be identified. This will ensure the correct care and approach is applied to achieve the desired end result.
Equally as important as understanding the type of flooring material, is knowing which sealer or finishing product will work best for each surface. Sealer protects floors by soaking into the pores found naturally in highly absorbent materials, clogging them so that staining agents can't get down into them - while finishing products create an invisible protective layer over the surface of the floor, acting as a barrier against staining agents.
The three main categories are polyurethane, water-based and solvent. Poly creates the strongest and most permanent coating but has a distinct lingering odour and can also be somewhat toxic. Solvent-based products are strong but can also be quite toxic, meaning they need to be applied only in well-ventilated areas. Water-based products are more environmentally friendly but can be less effective.
Some products are multi-purpose, while others have particular restorative properties; for example, they may have been specially formulated to handle specific types of hazards such as oil stains or chemical splashes. This is useful in locations such as garages and warehouses, where a wide variety of materials and liquids will come into contact with the flooring. By creating gentle traction across its surface, slip-resistant sealers or finishing products can also improve safety in heavily trafficked areas.
Floor restoration is a skill that takes time to learn, with valuable experience being gained from every completed job - so it is vital to look for a fully qualified professional when seeking a contractor to carry out the service.
CleanKing's experts in the field have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to restoring, cleaning and sealing a range of surfaces - enabling us to reinstate the shine and splendour of a variety of floors.
CleanKing recently undertook a large project at the old Homebase in Salisbury, following a takeover by The Range. We were called in to remove the old tiles from the floor. This was done using a ride-on tile remover and then a floor grinding machine to remove the glue.
The result was a smooth concrete floor, which was then covered by new laminate flooring. However, the flooring had some form of oil residue over the surface, meaning the water and seal just dispersed instantly. As a result, the mobile cleaning team had to work longer days on-site to scrub off the residue before the floor could be sealed.
Nevertheless, the project was delivered within the required timeframe with great results.
Grahame Baker, property project manager at Homebase, said: 'My expectations of the finished state of the existing flooring (which was in a poor state) was exceeded each and every time! The flooring that had, in some cases, been laid for in excess of 10 years was restored to look as though it had just been installed'."
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20th June 2019