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Floor Care Tips

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Interiors

Tagged: ,

Published on January 14, 2011 with 4 Comments

Powr-Flite Direct, a Fort Worth, TX manufacturer of floor care equipment and carpet extractors, addresses the five questions most frequently asked of their customer service representatives.

1. Why can’t we strip/refinish floors in the winter months?
The optimum temperature for stripping/refinishing floors is around 70°F. Too cold  or too hot  and the finish may not adhere properly.

2. Why do we get streaks in our floor finish after it has dried?
Streaks in the floor’s finish can be caused by several factors. Possibly the finish was not thoroughly dried before another coat was added; too many coats of finish have been applied; or the finish was applied too heavily.

3. Why are there swirls in the floor finish after burnishing?
Again, there may be multiple reasons: possibly the wrong burnishing pad is being used; similarly, the pad may be too aggressive for the finish applied; too slow or too fast a burnisher is being used with a given burnishing pad.

4. Why is it so hard to remove the old finish on a floor?
When refinishing floors, what many cleaning professionals forget is to allow the stripping solution to dwell on the floor for several minutes before stripping. This allows the chemical to break down the finish so it can be removed more easily.

5. Why does my floor finish “walk off” the floor?
Make sure the finish applied is recommended for that specific type of floor. If the finish is formulated for a VCT floor, for example, it may not adhere properly to a stone, terrazzo, or ceramic tile floor.

“Of course we always add one more answer no matter what the floor care question,” says Gary Pelphrey, general manager at Powr-Flite Direct. “We tell our callers, proper floor care is a systems approach requiring the right machine, chemicals, and training.”

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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There are currently 4 Comments on Floor Care Tips. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. After applying finish and letting it thoroughly dry. Is it a good practice to burnish that last coat to seal the finish. I have always been a believer in burnishing the last coat of finish. To me it makes the finish last longer and have a better seal. Any answers to this question would be great and very useful. Thanks

  2. Humidity control is highly recommended for floor care. To reduce excessive shrinkage in the winter a humidifier is recommended while air conditioning or a dehumidifier for the summer.

  3. Never clean a floor with common household detergents, polishes, steel wool pads, wax or similar products. These products can be too abrasive and scratch the surface, or may make a floor dangerously slippery. Some products may leave a film of silicon or wax on the timber which may hamper recoating of your floor in the future. Never use Methylated Spirits or Kerosene, as any type of petroleum distillate will degrade the coating and irreversibly dull the floor. Only use a pH neutral floor cleaner as per manufacturer’s instructions.

  4. You need to know exactly what is on the floor currently before you use a product on it. I had a friend that used the wrong cleaner on a hardwood floor and it ended up stripping up random bits of the urethane. It was a huge mess and cost thousands to repair.

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