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Floorcare Blues – When to Strip, Scrub or Recoat

By SC Johnson Professional

Floors tend to experience the most wear and tear within a building. Well-maintained floors can generate a positive experience for customers and give unity to a facility. Knowing how to properly care for floors after long periods of high traffic and inclement weather is key in promoting a positive brand image and protecting one of a building’s most expensive assets – its floors.

It is important to understand how products work and which ones to use for specific applications. For example, floor finishes or coatings provide an aesthetically pleasing environment while extending the life of floors. Day-to-day foot traffic creates scratches and worn areas. Dirt and bacteria can accumulate in these areas, causing mold growth and floor discoloration. High-quality finishes, such as SC Johnson Professional® Ready-To-Use Multi-Surface Floor Finish Plus Sealer, adhere to most flooring substrates and provide excellent resistance to scuffs, heel marks and dirt embedment, keeping floors shiny and protected.

If the floor finish in high-trafficked areas remains in good condition even after long periods  of time and use, facility managers may only have to clean floors thoroughly, which involves deep scrubbing with a product such as SC Johnson Professional® Multi-Surface Heavy Duty Neutral Floor Cleaner. Deep scrubbing involves removing the embedded soils from the floor, which prepares it for added layers of floor finish. This mildly aggressive process occurs when the floor is heavily soiled, gloss is low, and should be implemented to avoid significant degradation of the floor finish from heavy traffic. However, if the floor finish is considered ‘dull’ or ‘unresponsive’ to a scrub and recoat, and has major yellow discolorations, dark spots or any other stains, facility managers may have to strip the floor.

When floors have not been maintained properly, the continuous buildup of dirt and bacteria becomes embedded in the floor covering and floor stripping is necessary. High quality floor strippers, such as SC Johnson Professional Hyper Concentrate Floor Stripper, allow you to efficiently strip layers of floor finish from your floor while minimizing overall disruption to the facility. If floors aren’t maintained regularly during the throughout the year, the chances of having to strip the floors increases. At Cornell University, a high-traffic Ivy League university, their experience with the low odor formulation expanded opportunities to schedule necessary floor care work. Chris Mott, a purchasing agent in Facilities and Campus Services for Cornell University said: “We no longer have to strip and wax floors at 3 a.m. to keep people away from odor. We can do our work at any time of day.”  

It’s important for facility managers to keep up with regularly scheduled maintenance tasks. Implementing preventative measures, such as scrubbing and recoating regularly, along with corrective measures when necessary, helps reduce floor maintenance costs and protects an organization’s flooring.

Designed to improve the way maintenance professionals work, the SC Johnson Professional Floor Care System, which includes a stripper, finish and a cleaner, seamlessly integrates into most existing workflows and requires minimal training. The low-odor system makes it pleasant to work with on a daily basis and is ideal for scent-sensitive environments such as hospitals, institutions and schools. According to Mott, his group has pared 13 different floor finishing products down to two – depending on the type of floor – and Cornell University now uses just one floor cleaner. In the case of Cornell University, switching to the SC Johnson Professional Floor Care System helped simplify floor care operations. A year ago, their Building Care used eight floor-stripping chemical products: now they utilize just one three-product system across their campus.

For more information, visit https://www.scjohnson-professional.com/en-us/products/floor-care