Commercial hard floors require a robust maintenance program to keep them protected and looking great. There are three phases of floor maintenance:
Daily floor maintenance is intended to keep your floors looking great and help reduce the damage of daily foot traffic and outdoor soils.
Periodic maintenance, sometimes referred to as interim maintenance, is necessary to help restore floor shine and reduce the need for more labor and time-intensive maintenance. Periodic maintenance is performed less frequently than daily maintenance but more often than restorative procedures.
Restorative floor care is needed to repair damage and restore your floor finish once it has noticeable wear and tear that will no longer be resolved with periodic maintenance.
Each phase consists of its own detailed procedures to help keep your flooring investment safe.
Below, we’ll cover the basics of a hard floor care program and help you understand when to perform each phase. We’ll also provide the steps to each of the various floor care procedures.
Daily/Routine Floor Maintenance
Soils and debris are routinely tracked into your facility with each person who enters. Dirt is hard and abrasive, easily scratching and dulling your floor finish. Removing these soils as soon as possible is key to preventing unnecessary scratches and other marks.
Daily floor maintenance is designed to pick up dirt and protect hard floors against more serious damage that would otherwise require a scrub and recoat or a strip and wax to restore your floor’s look.
When To Perform Daily Cleaning Procedures
It is likely obvious by the name, but daily maintenance procedures should be performed every day.
What Are Daily/Routine Floor Care Procedures
There are 4 key floor care procedures that should be performed daily:
- Clean/Empty Entry Matting
- Dust Mopping or Vacuuming
- Damp Mopping or Cleaning with an Autoscrubber
Use the article link below to find out how to correctly perform each of these cleaning tasks:
As a part of daily/routine floor care, you may also need to burnish your floor finish. This is typical of high shine, wet-look finishes.
For low maintenance finish, you will not need to burnish every day. This can be routinely performed based on foot traffic, desired shine, and finish type.
What is Floor Burnishing?
Burnishing is a process in which a floor burnisher is used to polish and bring back shine to a floor finish.
Periodic Floor Maintenance
In combination with daily floor care, you will need to periodically revive your floor’s appearance.
Once foot traffic and soils have caused a noticeable level of wear and tear on your floor finish then daily procedures like vacuuming and damp mopping will not be able to remove scuffs or scratches. As a result, you’ll need more intensive procedures to restore or revive your floor’s appearance.
When you think about restoring your floor’s brilliance, you might automatically assume that means you have to perform restorative procedures like floor stripping and refinishing. But, floors don’t always need to be completely refinished to return to their best shine.
Scrubbing and recoating, the most common periodic procedure is done to remove any embedded dirt and soil from the floor without having to fully strip and refinish your floor.
Stripping and refinishing your floor requires a lot of time, money, and resources which might not always be feasible.
Pro Tip: A scrub and recoat can be performed to restore shine, protect your floors, and help reduce the frequency in which stripping and finishing need to be completed.
What is Scrubbing and Recoating?
Scrubbing and recoating is the most common and best way to periodically maintain your facility’s resilient hard floors.
Scrubbing will remove the top coat of finish to get rid of the dirt that has been embedded and to smooth out the areas where daily wear and tear has caused the finish not to shine.
When To Perform Periodic Cleaning Procedures
It is recommended that periodic floor care be performed at least once every six months.
Your periodic cleaning schedule will ultimately depend on the frequency and quality of your daily cleaning schedule and the level of traffic in each area of your facility.
With higher traffic, the finish on your floors will wear down more easily, requiring you to recoat.
To determine how many coats of finish remain on your floors in different areas and whether it is time to perform a scrub and recoat, you can perform the key test.
In facilities with areas of high traffic, procedures may need to be completed quarterly (4x a year).
To understand how to perform a scrub and recoat, we put together this article with the steps for a successful scrub and recoat:
Restorative Floor Maintenance
The final component of a floor care program is restorative maintenance. Restorative floor care is used to restore and revive your floor when the damage is greater than what can be fixed with daily and periodic cleaning.
Restoring your floors can bring back their brilliance, protect them from irreversible damage, and prevent costly replacement procedures.
The most effective way to revitalize your dull, worn flooring is to strip and wax your floor.
What is a strip and wax?
Stripping and waxing is the process of removing old layers of wax and dirt, restoring the floors to a like-new appearance and protecting them from future damage.
The top of your floor is covered with a finish to protect against the accumulation of dirt, scratches, gauges, spills, and other effects of foot traffic. Over time, this finish will need to be replaced or stripped and waxed.
A strip and wax can also be referred to as strip and finish or strip and refinish.
When To Perform Restorative Cleaning Procedures
Restorative floor care should be completed every 12 months.
It’s important to realize that the frequency of restorative maintenance will also heavily depend on your budget and resources.
Following proper daily and periodic floor care procedures will help you extend the time between a full strip and wax.
You may also need to consider a strip and wax if you have scrubbed and recoated your floor and it did not achieve the desired level of shine.
Pro Tip: You should reseal your floors before winter begins. It is not best practice to strip and refinish floors during the winter because of the increased harsh contaminates that can be tracked onto your floors. Additionally, the cold weather can negatively affect how the finish dries. Oftentimes, the cold weather causes the floor finish to crack or peel.
Benefits of Stripping and Refinishing Floors:
- Protect the floor from damage.
- Revive floor appearance.
- Makes floors easier to clean.
- Keep floors more hygienic.
- Reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents.
For the complete guide with steps on how to perform a successful strip and wax, visit our other article:
Interested in learning more about how to build an effective floor care program specific to your facility’s needs?
For more help or additional instruction, we offer a hard floor care training course that will update you and your front-line staff on the latest processes and products needed to build a comprehensive hard floor maintenance program.
Imperial Dade locations have an unrivaled selection of commercial cleaning products and janitorial cleaning equipment including a variety of floor finishes to meet the needs of your facility’s budget and needs.
Contact an Imperial Dade Specialist today to learn more about how to build an effective floor care program specific to your facility’s needs, or to better understand the steps necessary to implement these procedures so you can keep your floors looking their best.
If you are located in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Caribbean, we can also perform a free comprehensive review of your floor care program to help identify and fill any cleaning and maintenance gaps.
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