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MAINTAINING FLOORS THE GREEN WAY


Paul Igo technical director at The Preparation Group explains that to get the maximum life out of floor surfaces they need to be kept clean and in good working order.


Heavily trafficked surfaces that have become scratched, stained and contaminated over the months are not only unattractive but can also be hazardous. However, worn floors can be easily transformed with the right equipment.


The Christmas shutdown period in some facilities, where floors have been mopped, scrubbed or vacuumed hundreds of times and endured the ups and downs of temperature and humidity, provides the ideal time for refurbishment and deep restorative cleaning.


For contractors looking towards sustainable methods, there are products that do away with the need for harsh chemicals and that remove the need to ‘recoat’ floors with environmentally unsound waxes or polishes.


The solution comes in the form of diamond pads that fit standard rotary cleaners, scrubbers/dryers and polishing machines to create a hygienic, shiny, yet non-slip floor by adding just water for a floor that will help to resist the build up of future residues. As well as the eco benefits, the eradication of these chemicals saves costs too.


It is possible to restore many floor surfaces including; polyurethane, epoxy resin, linoleum/vinyl, terrazzo, marble, natural stone and polished concrete.


TWO MAIN TYPES OF


‘CLEANING’ PADS Resin diamond dots. Here the dots are bonded onto the pad and it is these that do the work. Capable of total floorcare, they grind, clean and polish smooth surfaces such as stone, concrete, marble, terrazzo, linoleum, epoxy resins and self levellers.


They can be used to grind and polish new floors from installation. Additionally, it is worth noting that they can be used to prepare floors prior to coating application. The coarser grades refurbish


40 | FLOORCARE & MAINTENANCE


floors by removing deep scratches and surface contaminants. The finer grades restore dull floors, maintain them and produce a high gloss finish.


Diamond infused. Here the pads are infused with billions of microscopic diamonds. They have the same applications as the resin dot type but will only renovate lacklustre, lightly scratched, worn floors. The finest grade can be used for the daily cleaning of a ‘sound’ floor, even vinyl, where a high shine is desired and needs to be maintained. Polishing will also prevent dulling over time.


Pads on the market are available in a range of sizes to fit different machine widths, generally 12’’, 17’’ and 20’’and in grades to suit different floor conditions from 100 to 3,000 grit.


SMOOTH OPERATOR Before using cleaning pads it is important to take a few precautions. The operator must ensure that the surface is swept clean and that any loose material has been removed, to avoid scratches to the floor. The floor must be even and flat otherwise the pad will not effectively clean low areas and on soft floors, prematurely wear the high spots. The condition of the floor surface must always be considered when selecting the type of diamond pad to use. In the first instance, you may need to start with a coarser pad and then work up to the finer grades. When the machine is in action, the rotating operation, pad pressure and speed will affect the cleaning/polishing process and finished result.


In the long term, green methods will be a pre-requisite at tender stage and contractors investing in sustainable best practice now, will profit from their efforts.


For further information see the Cleaning & Maintenance video on The Preparation Group’s website.


www.thepreparationgroup.com www.tomorrowscontractfloors.com


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