Removing Multiple Layers Of Floor Finish


Cleaning: Floor Care Chemicals

I have learned that although I know what I “meant” to say, it can easily be misinterpreted or misapplied and guess who gets the blame in most cases? The challenge is for the recipient to see through my eyes or for me to somehow translate what I see to what he/she understands. This is not always an easy task.

In one way, hard floor care is simple and straightforward. Utilize clean solution, clean tools and processes to keep the floors clean. Of course, it becomes more complicated when applying seal/finish, buffing/burnishing, scrubbing/stripping and other processes are involved. It becomes even more complicated when a customer wants a “shiny” floor on a surface not intended to accept finish (aka wax) resulting in a much more expensive (think labor, supplies and equipment) than was originally intended and probably budgeted. Please understand their intentions are great: to have an inviting entrance way, hallway or other area that looks clean and is safe to walk on.

In a prior article I mentioned a ceramic tile floor with 15-20 coats of finish that was creating all sorts of challenges in removability while attempting to protect the adjacent carpeted areas. After looking at all the options available, I suggested that an orbital floor machine be used with the maroon pad so that the top layers could be removed without chemicals. As each layer was removed, we used a backpack vacuum system and dust mop to pick up the finish residue. Please note that this took multiple passes with the machine and we burned through a lot of pads but avoided the slurry nightmare associated with using chemical strippers.

Once the floor was brought down to one last coats, we used a stripper solution (while protecting the surrounding carpet edges) to remove the final coats. We then had to use a different pad system and chemicals to clean the grout lines of residual finish.

The result was a dull looking floor with clean, uniform grout lines. In another article we will consider how to give this unfinished floor a low luster shine without having to resort to floor finish.

As always your comments and suggestions are welcome. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.