Falling dust, dirt and spillages, compounded with the punishment from foot and trolley traffic mean that floors often require the most amount of cleaning activity. Without the protection of a quality sealer system, non-resilient hard floors will wear out faster, reducing the life of this valuable asset and making it look shabby, detracting from the overall appearance of the area.
Good preparation and thorough maintenance of sealed floors will save money and ensure a higher, more uniform standard of appearance. While there is no denying that correctly maintaining a flooring system requires time, reducing the number of strip and seals needed and extending the lifetime of the floor, ultimately reduces expenses.
These seven tips have been designed to ensure you can consistently maintain a beautiful, durable floor care system, while protecting the flooring investment.
1. Use a double action cleaner & resealer detergent daily
The daily use of double action cleaner and resealer detergents such as Agar’s Sympol and Scrub & Shine will continually replenish floor sealer, reducing or eliminating the need to reseal, saving both time and money. A great combination to clean and maintain floors is to alternate daily use of Sympol and Autoscrub.
Cleans floors and applies floor polish in one step
Helps replenish the floor’s coating of polish
Yields a super-glossy shine
Maintains a constant film thickness on the floor eliminating costl stripping and resealing procedures
Very glossy with tremendous depth of shine
Resists black-marking and dirt pickup and prevents powder problems
Scrub & Shine –
Powerful detergent for polished floors
Two in one action: cleans the floor and replenishes
Step down from Sympol in terms of resealing ability but still yields a glossy shine
Affordably priced, similar to floor cleaners
Reduces the frequency required for resealing
Resists black-marking and dirt pick-up and prevents powder problems
2. Use the correct detergent at the right dilution rate
Sealed floors should be autoscrubbed or mopped daily using the correct detergent and dilution rate to help extend the life of the sealer. Good daily cleaning is required to remove soil residue, preventing it from becoming embedded in the sealer film, which can lead to discolouration of the film. If daily cleaning and buffing is not an option, it is better to clean the floors rather than to buff, as buffing will push dirt into the sealer.
The wrong detergent can be too harsh and prematurely strip the sealer, while the wrong dilution rate can cause unnecessary waste and sticky or slippery floors.
Recommended detergents for cleaning sealed floors –
Low-foaming to suit autoscrubbing
Packed with powerful grease cutting agents
Specially formulated to be gentle on sealer
Attacks dirt and soilage rapidly
Designed for cleaning floors coated with Agar sealers
GECA licenced – environmentally preferable
Removes all soil and spillages
Recommended for use on alkali-sensitive surfaces such as terrazzo, marble or ceramic tiles
Concentrated, cost-effective option
Dilution Rates –
Quite simply, always follow the dilution rate available on the product label and Product Data Sheet.
Too strong –
Residue creates sticky floors
Floor resoils faster
Too weak –
May not remove all the soil
Floors can go dark and discolour
May get slippery because of soil residue
3. Choose the right pads for cleaning and buffing
Autoscrubbers make light work of cleaning large areas daily but it is important to use the correct pads to ensure floor
polish is not wearing away. As a rule, always use the softest pad that gets the job done.
Slow speed Autoscrubbing
Use a Red (Spray Buff), Tan (Polishing) or White (Super Polish) floor pad.
High speed polishing with gas or electric buffing machine
Use Moose, Jackaroo or Jackaroo Lite pads. One pass with the buffer will restore a brilliant gloss and remove marks
from the previous day’s traffic.
Uneven floor systems
Linoleum and rubber floors with slip resistant tread can be difficult to clean using floor pads, instead opt for Autoscrub
brushes, as they will get into the groves and provide a much better clean.
4. Cut back and clean up prior to applying additional layers
Cutting back is gentler on the floor substrate than stripping because the floor is not exposed directly to strong chemicals, saving wear and tear over the long term. Cutting back floor polish with Agar’s Florprep gently removes the top layer of floor sealer, taking with it any embedded dirt and discoloured sealer. Re-sealing provides a quicker
alternative to stripping floors, yet reveals similar glossy results on those which are well maintained. Dilute Florprep 1:20 – 1:30 and clean using the blue autoscrubber pads.
Removes dirt and discoloured floor polish
Fast and effective
Gently removes top layer, easy to control
Low-foaming and free-rinsing
5. Save a failing finish
When floor polish begins to fail and the process of stripping and sealing is on the close horizon, adding in a base coat after cutting back can return the floor to good condition for the interim. To do this, simply clean and cut back the floor with Florprep (using 1:20 and green autoscrubber pads), then add one coat of First Base or Granoseal depending on the floor type. This will fuse the old layers of sealer together with the new layers, creating strength and hiding blemishes in the old sealer. Reseal the floors as usual.
Superior base-coat sealer
Gives floors a clear, protective coating
Shields floors from traffic, spillages and weathering
Water-based, odourless, non-flammable and environmentally responsible
Suitable for interior and exterior applications
Glossy, clear sealer
Extra-strong adhesion to marble, granite, terrazzo, slate, concrete and all types of stone floors
Effective when normal sealers just flake off
6. Focus on the high traffic areas
Sealer wears away in proportion with the level of traffic and cleaning/buffing intensity. For this reason, high traffic areas require more attention and should be the focus of cleaning and buffing with an emphasis on re-coating regularly and always ahead of time. Limit the amount of re-coating of low traffic areas and edges, otherwise the film may build up because there is not the traffic to wear it down. Excessive build up may cause headaches when its time to strip. Once you have cleaned and cutback your floors using Florprep, reseal using a product such as 3D Gloss with a focus on the high traffic areas. Depending on the level of sealer required, use one – two coats of sealer over the high traffic areas and finish with one – two more coats over the whole floor. This will help maintain a consistent, beautiful finish.
Super-glossy sealer finish for vinyl, timber and stone
Fast cure-rate for use in supermarkets
Buffs up easily under UHS buffing machines
Provides crystal-clear, dazzling gloss
Non-slip in dry conditions
Stays shiny for longer because of its high scratch repair
Re-coats well because scratches have been buffed out
Responds to both gas and electric buffing machines
7. Do the job right, the first time
Preparation, attention to detail and quality products will create a beautiful, durable floor finish which will provide both protection and enhancement to what is a valuable asset. Floors are exposed to unrelenting abrasion from foot and trolley traffic, spillages from a vast array of substances and even dirt and sand that enters from outside. Without protection, the abrasion combined with attack by aggressive soils will
cause dulling, increase surface porosity and wear the floor away.
To find about precision floor stripping and sealing plus insider tips, watch out for Agar’s next article “How to strip and seal floors like a professional”.
If you have any questions, require further information or would like to get some more information on the products covered in this article, please feel free to contact Agar on 1800 301 302 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.