Resilient floor care systems need to protect flooring substrate, provide a safe surface, and deliver an acceptable level of appearance for your stakeholders. Implementing a best practice, burnish-free, resilient floor care program can be segmented into four areas: trapping soil, the first line of defense; getting a fresh start with a strip and finish; protecting the finish with daily maintenance; and revitalizing the finish with a deep scrub and top coat.
Trapping Soil - The First Line of Defense
Trap and remove soil before it gets spread onto your floors. It sounds easy; just throw some mats down. Not so fast! An effective matting program is more than throwing down mats. An effective matting program consists of wide, high-performance, clean-in-place matting that covers at least 12 to 15 feet of flooring at your entryways. A clean-in-place system like Hillyard Gator® Brand Matting has high soil and moisture retention, and can easily be vacuumed in place, saving labor and enhancing safety. Clean-in-place matting also eliminates the safety and trip hazards of curled edges, mat-slips, and mat-rolls.
Getting a Fresh Start - Strip and Finish
Every three to five years it's time to strip the old finish from the floor, and build a new finish base with three to five coats of finish. Stripping a floor can be process intensive, and take a lot of time if the right stripper is not used. A high-performance, high-active stripper, like Arsenal® 26 Stripper from Hillyard quickly emulsifies multiple coats of old finish in one application. Less-effective strippers may be priced less, but they cost more in multiple applications, time and labor.
After the floor is stripped, selecting the right burnish-free finish to apply is going to be based largely on your staff's level of application expertise. The key product spec you will be looking at is solids content. High solids coats are thicker and take more skill to apply, while low solids costs are thinner and easier to apply. Solids content builds the protective coating on the floor. Water, emulsifiers, and leveling agents are added to a finish to help with application and drying. These ingredients evaporate during the drying process - leaving the solids to create the protective coating on the floor. For example, it takes four coats of an 18% solids product like Hillyard Top Shape® to approach the film build of three coats of a 25% solids product like Hillyard Explorer®. Once the new finish base is built, it's time to take care of it with an effective daily maintenance program.
Protect the Finish - Daily Maintenance
An effective two-step daily maintenance program extends the life of the finish and keeps the appearance up.
Step one: dust mop to remove grit and soil before it causes damage by abrading the finish and lowering gloss. If soil and grit is not removed, it will get embedded into the finish, negatively impacting the appearance. So, dust mopping after periods of high foot traffic is critical to floor care success. Use treated cotton mops greater than half the width of the hall for single pass, high productivity. It is so important to treat your dust mops. Treated cotton dust mops release the collected dirt better than microfiber. If soil is not released from your dust mop, it turns it into high-grit sandpaper, so to speak, scratching and abrading finish with every use. Treat your dust mops nightly with a product like Super Hil-Tone® from Hillyard. Dust mopping complete - it's time to damp mop.
Step two: autoscrub high traffic areas daily. Ride-on or stand-on scrubbers deliver highest productivity. Spot mop where needed. Microfiber flat mops are excellent at removing soil while traditional string mops spread soil. Use a neutral pH cleaner, like Hillyard Top Clean®, a Green Seal®-Certified cleaner designed to not harm the finish with repeated use.
Even with the best daily maintenance program in place, it makes good financial sense to restore the top wear layer annually.