With all the products and floor prep information floating around this season, we thought we’d save you from the hassle of having to figure out what the best option for winter prep is by putting together this guide.
As you know, winter comes with a host of contaminants, which means salt, ice, and mud being tracked across your floors. The best floor prep for winter is a solid scrub and recoat of your floors; this will get rid of all the dirt and dust that has built up over the spring and fall.
We’ll go over two different methods for scrubbing and recoating floors, one is with a floor buffer, and the other with a floor scrubber. Not sure which is the right way to scrub and recoat your floors? Keep reading or check out the video below.
What Are the Two Methods of Scrub and Recoat?
The two methods of scrubbing and recoating that we’ll be covering in this article are differentiated by the machine, pad, and chemicals that are used. The first method will use a floor buffer with a blue pad, while the second utilizes an orbital auto floor scrubber with a surface preparation pad (SPP).
Everything you need to know about auto scrubbers including types, sizes, specs, & more!
Which Scrub and Recoat Method is Right for your Business’ Floor Prep Routine?
Before we go into detail about how to perform each of these methods, let’s talk about which is best suited for your floor prep routine.
The method you end up using will probably depend on what machinery is currently at your disposal. However, if you have both a floor buffer and a floor scrubber, or have neither and are considering which to purchase, let’s compare how they perform.
When to Use a Floor Buffer to Perform a Scrub and Recoat
A deep scrub with a floor buffer takes about half a layer of wax off the top of the floor, removing all the dirt that was sitting on there. This process is a little slower, and uses an intense, alkaline all-purpose cleaner, but produces great results for the appearance of your floor.
When to Use a Floor Scrubber to Perform a Scrub and Recoat
An orbital auto floor scrubber is best used for really, really grimy floors. It’ll take off at least 2 or 3 layers of wax, which fully removes any dirt and grime from the floor. It does not require any chemicals when used with an SPP and water. As a result, it is less labor-intensive while attaining a deeper scrub. It achieves this because of the sandpaper-like quality and grit of the SPP. For a deep scrub, sometimes referred to as a top scrub, you’ll be using a floor buffer equipped with a blue pad. The blue bad is best in this scenario because it is effective at heavy-duty scrubbing, can handle a medium to heavy amount of soil, and scratches the wax just enough for a fresh layer to adhere to it.
We’ll also be using an all-purpose cleaner in our tank. An all-purpose cleaner will more effectively scrub away at the wax than a neutral cleaner. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution.
After filling up the tank with a diluted chemical solution, and equipping a blue pad, you’re ready to attack your floors! After you scrub, the dirt will all be removed, and you can follow with a layer or two of finish!
How to Perform a Scrub and Recoat with a Floor Buffer
Here is an overview of the steps for using a floor buffer to scrub and recoat your floors (for a more detailed guide, check out our article on the subject).
- Select the Blue Floor Pad
- Install Floor Pad
- Unplug (Cord-Electric) or Turn Off (Battery-Operated
- Lock the Machine Handle in Place
- Tilt the Machine Back
- Center Pad on Pad Driver and Install
- Lock the Handlebar Into Desired Height Position
- Use Handlebar to Control Side-to-Side Motion
This method is slightly more laborious and, owing to the use of alkaline chemicals, intensive. That being said, it’s the best choice for you if you’re just looking to perform routine maintenance or want to add back some shine to your floors.
Method 2: Deep Scrub with an Auto Floor Scrubber
For more heavily soiled floors, look towards using an orbital auto floor scrubber for your winter floor prep. An auto scrubber will take care of deeply ground in dirt.
Unlike the last system, there is no need for a chemical formula. For the auto scrubber, all you’re going to need is water and a surface preparation pad. You can think of the SPP as a sandpaper pad, it’s going to scrub away at the top few layers of wax and really get rid of any deeply set dirt or grime.
Using an orbital auto floor scrubber equipped with a surface preparation pad, you’re going to remove 2 or 3 layers of wax from you’re floor. Therefore, you’ll want to follow the procedure with 2 or 3 coats of wax, in order to restore that floor to its original shine.
How to Perform a Scrub and Recoat with an Auto Floor Scrubber
Here is an overview of the steps for using an auto floor scrubber to scrub and recoat your floors (for a more detailed guide, check out our article on the subject).
- Prep the Area
- Dust Mop or Vacuum Floors
- Prep the Machine
- Scrub the Floors with Water and an SPP
- Drain the Auto Scrubber Tanks
- Rinse the Auto Scrubber Tanks
- Leave the Tanks Open to Dry
- Clean the Squeegee
- Rinse the Pad/Brush
- Charge the Battery
This should be your go-to method if those floors haven’t seen a deep scrub in a while. It may take more time than top scrubbing with a floor buffer, but it will dig down deep and really remove any unwanted soil on your floors. If the floors are in need of a need cleaning, or you have to remove a particularly nasty stain, go with an auto floor scrubber.
Is a Scrub and Recoat the Same as a Strip and Wax
You may be asking yourself what the difference is between a scrub and recoat, and a strip and wax, and that’s a valid question. To strip and wax the floor is an expensive, labor-intensive process that can be a major waste of time and money if all you needed was to scrub and recoat.
A strip and wax is required when your floors have significant dirt and grime buildup. The process involves using harsh chemicals and an aggressive scrubbing pad to remove all layers of wax from your floor before applying a wax finish and sealant.
There are a few more steps to the process than that, but that’s as in-depth as we’ll go here. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our article on whether a strip and wax or scrub and recoat is right for you.
Scrub and recoat when you want to refinish your floors but there isn’t enough buildup to justify a full strip and wax. Compared to strip and wax, this is an expedited process; it requires the removal of the top layers of wax on the floor, with the goal of removing the dirt and grime trapped within those layers. After recoating, your floors will look clean and shiny again.
The end of fall is the best time to think about recoating your floors. You want to get ahead on winter, avoid the tough stains that come with it, and take advantage of the warm weather to scrub and recoat your floors.
Whether you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Caribbean, Imperial Dade will provide your business with the tools and guidance you need to keep your flooring looking great. We offer a wide variety of commercial cleaning supplies including mopping kits, floor machines, and more. Reach out to us for more information today!