Commercial Floor Cleaning, more than just Mopping & Vacuuming
by Compass Cleaning Solutions • June 20, 2019
Maintaining the flooring of your commercial building is key to high-quality presentation and long-term protection. Although many see floor cleaning as merely moping and vacuuming, there are many other factors to take into consideration and terminology is one.
Periodically we run into a situation where we initially are in danger of not providing the floor service that a client requests. Over time we have discovered that in nearly every case, the terminology is the problem. Although we may all use the same term, each of us might have a distinctly different definition which can lead to confusion but more importantly, unmet floor cleaning expectations.
Communication is the KeyAt Compass Cleaning Solutions, we believe communication on every level is critical and no more so than on something as technical as commercial floor and carpet cleaning. For that reason, I thought it might be beneficial for those who are looking to have a hard floor or carpet cleaning for their business done to have some clear definitions laid out.
Commercial Carpet CleaningCarpets act like filters that trap bacteria, dander, and allergens. Having your commercial carpets cleaned regularly by a professional carpet cleaning company can improve the filtration qualities of your carpet and add to the life expectancy as well.
Carpet Cleaning Methods
Extraction is the most common process for cleaning carpets. Hot Water Extraction (HWE) or steam cleaning involves hot water and carpet cleaning agents. The hot water and cleaning solutions are pushed into your carpet pile at high pressure to loosen up the dirt and grime.
The extraction of the water and cleaning solution is then removed by a high-power vacuum, removing all of the dirt and stains.
- Ionized Water
Technology has brought us things like Ionized water which not only kills virtually anything it comes into contact with but ultimately leaves no residue because it is, after all, it’s just water.
- Dry Cleaning
Dry cleaning uses similar technology as ionization to charge dirt particles which then cling together. Vacuuming then removes the particles.
Dry chemical compounds or cleaning solvents are applied to the carpet. The chemicals will break down what soils they can find. A further benefit of this type of cleaning is the ability to lift the carpet pile which prevents fiber breakdown.
Commercial Floor Cleaning ServicesGetting on a regular floor care plan with a qualified company who knows how to refinish your floors and use the correct finish for the particular application, can save you thousands of dollars and provide you a very lovely floor finish that will 'reflect' well on your company.
Learning floor cleaning terminology will help make sure that proper maintenance is performed, leaving the integrity of your flooring in tip-top shape. Besides that, you can rest assured that you and your janitorial services company are on the same page.
- Office Floor Cleaning
Cleaning is the process of either using a dry dust mop, preferably a microfiber mop or a damp mop. Again we suggest a Microfiber flat mop to remove dirt, dust or food and drink from the floor. Microfiber mops have been proven to remove 99$ of bacteria.
Regular cleaning helps reduce damage and extend the life of your floor finish. The higher the frequency of cleaning, the longer the floor finish will last.
One note, we recommend using only neutral floor cleaners and disinfectants for cleaning floors. Avoid using bleach based cleansers. These type of cleansers will remove the luster from any floor finish, leaving a white milky surface on the floor.
- Hard Surface Floor Stripping
Stripping is the process of removing a topical finish such as old wax entirely from a hard floor surface such as Vinyl Composition Tile (VCT), Concrete or other types of resilient flooring.
A solvent called a stripper is applied to the floor, followed by a low-speed scrubbing machine that is used in conjunction with a black scrubbing pad to remove all of the topical finish.
Stripping is the first part to refinishing your flooring.
We do not recommend this process unless the floor finish has been completely worn off or so severely damaged that repair is not possible without removing the entire finish.
- Scrubbing a Commercial Floor
Scrubbing is similar to stripping in that some finish is removed (top layers only) and a low-speed machine is used to remove the finish.
The big difference between scrubbing and stripping is that a cleaning solution is used instead of a solvent stripper, removing only the top layer of finish.
An alternative to a wet scrub is to use an orbital machine to effectively 'sand' the top coats down preparing the floor for refinish. In most cases this is a faster process and tends to leave a smoother surface to apply a recoat.
- Hard Surface Floor Burnishing
Burnishing is a process used to polish a clean floor without scrubbing or adding a fresh finish. The process requires a high-speed burnisher or a propane burnishing machine. The process effectively heats the finish and then quickly cools to remove scratches and scuffs.
Burnishing is typically an interim measure between scrubbing to maintain a shine. Under some circumstances, burnishing will also harden the floor finish enabling it to wear longer.
- What does Buffing a Floor entail?
Buffing is similar to burnishing in that the process helps to maintain a shine. In this case, a liquid finish product, known as spray buff, is applied to the floor followed by a high-speed buffer that then polishes the floor.
A thorough cleaning should be performed on the hard floor before buffing as is the case in all finishing processes.
- Retail Floor Finishing
While the term 'wax' is still used extensively in the commercial cleaning industry in reality, virtually all floor finishes today are synthetic compounds comprised of acrylic polymers or polyurethane and zinc and or ceramic particles.
Typically polymer molecules are bonded via zinc particles to create a single solid layer of finish. In some cases where static can be an issue such as an electronic and semiconductor chip manufacturing, non-metallic bonding agents is used to achieving the same effect.
Historically the floor finishing process required sealers to be added to the raw floor to allow for adhesion to the finish, but today the properties of floor finishes cause this to be unnecessary. Technology has made it possible to put down fewer coats of finish but still retain a high level of polymer' solids' on the floor and still achieve sufficient floor protection.
Some finishes are designed to perform better with interim burnishing while others do not require the same maintenance. A professional floor cleaning company can help determine what best fits your application.
What does all of this mean to the consumer?
The floor finish can be laid down more quickly, which costs less while still getting the same or better results. The floor location and amount of foot traffic can often help determine what type of finish should be applied.
Commercial Floor CleanersAt Compass Cleaning Solutions, we offer experience in maintaining several types of commercial flooring in offices, retail environments, and industrial spaces.
From stone to wood, vinyl, concrete, and more, whatever your flooring needs are, we can help you maintain both your flooring and your image.
Contact the Floor Cleaning Professionals at Compass Cleaning Solutions to learn more about maintaining your office hard flooring today at (602)691-6256 or toll-free (877)221-1213.