Stripping and Sealing Floors Effectively
Stripping and sealing floors effectively
Achieve Benefits of appearance and value by applying a high-quality floor sealer to a floor. Protect and enhance a valuable asset. Floors are exposed to sustained abrasion from foot and trolley traffic, spillages and dirt which, without protection, can cause scratching and dulling of the floor surface and even wear it away.
Once coated with a suitable sealer, the floor is protected from these threats.
Furthermore, the surface becomes easy to clean with soil readily washed away, the colours of the floor can be enhanced, or you can choose a natural look sealer. The floor can have improved shine.
By implementing a full protection system using complimentary sealers and maintenance products, this protection and enhancement will last a prolonged period before either maintenance sealers are added, or full stripping and resealing are necessary.
The following is a guide for stripping and sealing floors to achieve the best result.
Floor Types: Terrazzo, marble, agglomerate marble, limestone and sadler tile.
- Polish mop & wringer bucket – or – Polish fringe mop & watering can
- Buffing machine pad
- Wet floor signs
- Dustmop or broom
- Stripper mop
- Black hand pads
- Wet floor signs
- Rotary scrubbing machine black pad
- Rinse mops
- Wringer bucket
- Wet vacuum or Autoscrubber
- Always use a fresh mop for both stripping and sealing.
- A base sealer like Impact must be used so the film will bond to the floor and not flake off.
- Avoid sealing very cold floors (below 9˚C). If you must seal a cold floor, lay very thin coats at least one hour apart.
- Coverage: On average, one litre of sealer will cover 50 square metres of the floor (one coat only). In practice, the first coat will require more sealer as a rough floor absorbs liquid, and the last coats will require less. Porous floors will take more sealer.
- Strip Floors
- Sweep the floor to remove any rubbish.
- Scrape off any chewing gum and labels.
- Erect ‘wet floor’ signs and barricades to keep people off the floor.
- Place a large piece of cardboard on the floor next to the area being stripped.
When you walk off the area with a stripper on your shoes, step onto the cardboard to dry off your shoes. This will prevent ‘footprints’ appearing all over the floor.
- Using a wringer bucket with 12 litres of cold water in it, add stripper in accordance with manufacture dilution guideline on the sealer to be stripped.
- Dip a stripper mop (old or used mops are OK) into the bucket of solution. Remove mop from the bucket without wringing and let stripper pour all over floor. Repeat this process until the entire area is covered with a thick coating of stripper solution.
- If stripping a large area, divide the floor into easy to manage sections and strip one section at a time.
- Leave the stripper on the floor for ten minutes, giving time to attack the sealer. Spread it with the mop if it dries or runs – always keeps the floor evenly wet. During this time scrub the feet of shelves and fittings to remove old sealer and dirt. Do NOT leave it on the floor longer than 20 mins or the stripped sealer will start to reform.
- When dwell time is up, scrub the floor with a scrubber (turn the vacuum off) and black pads. Scrub the whole floor, starting at the point nearest to the power point if using an electric machine. Spend longer scrubbing the edges because the sealer will be thicker there.
- Test the floor by wiping the stripper aside and scraping with a coin to see if all old sealer film has been removed. If not, keep scrubbing. If this process is not done properly, a second stripping process will be necessary.
- Wet vacuum all the stripper slurry up off the floor.
- Pour cleaner water all over the floor then vacuum this up to rinse the floor.
It is important to neutralise the stripper otherwise residue may attach the sealer when applied. A neutralising chemical will assist the process.
- Applying a base coat
- Let the floor completely dry.
- DO NOT buff the floor. Put up barriers to keep people off the floor being polished.
- Mop on one coat of the base sealer. This can be done with a clean polish mop and wringer bucket (which is best) or a clean fringe mop and watering can. Spread the pour line as soon as possible after pouring. Lay the sealer up to the edges. Lay sealer as thinly as possible – never in pools as it will take a long time to cure. Do not walk on the floor until it is dry.
- Let the first coat dry. It must not only be dry but also tack free, or not sticky, before laying the second coat. If it is not dry, the second coat will bond with the first instead of creating a second hard layer. Test by placing your hand on the floor. Wait an extra 10 minutes after it is touch-dry before laying the next coat. On very porous floors, it is advisable to allow at least one hour for the first coat to dry properly.
- Mop on a second coat of the base sealer, but this time stay 30cm (12 inches) away from edges, along walls and furniture. The second coat, if being applied with the bucket and mop, should be laid at 90 degrees to the way the first coat was laid.
- Again, let the base coat dry until it is not sticky to touch, then give it 10 minutes more time.
- Applying the top sealer using a polish mop. At this stage, there is a choice of another base coat layer or starting to add a different surface finish like high gloss. Very High gloss coats are not as resilient as the base coats but provide the appearance.
- Mop on two coats of base/high gloss, allowing each coat to dry before laying the next. Keep 30cm from edges, except for the last coat which should go up to the edges.
- Give the floor six hours or more to cure, then buff the floor with Blue Ice or Champagne pads (on ultrahigh-speed buffer) or red pads (on the medium-speed buffer). The longer drying is necessary as pads have abrasive properties so the surface must be dry and intact.
- Clean mops, pads and buckets with hot water and hang them up to dry. If fringes are to be used again soon, place them in a clean black garbage bag and seal the end so the fringe will stay wet until next time it is used.
- After 1-2 weeks, the floor can be buffed with Jackeroo Lite, Gorilla Lite or Combo Burnishing pads (or equivalents
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