A commercial floor coating may seem indestructible initially because of its abrasion resistance and durability. However, with enough heavy traffic, even the strongest floor coating systems will begin to buckle.
Fortunately, with proper cleaning and maintenance, it’s easy to keep your commercial floors looking pristine for longer. In this post, our Smart Coatings team goes over top tips to keep your concrete surface and commercial floor coating in Southern Illinois in the best shape.
Maintaining Your Commercial Floor Coating in Southern Illinois
Residential concrete floors are easy to clean, as you need only to sweep or mop them occasionally. In a high-traffic commercial environment, things are very different. To get the best lifespan out of your coating, you should institute a regular cleaning regimen consisting of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.
Your regimen might look something like this:
- Sweep or mop the floor with a dry broom or mop daily to remove dust and small debris particles.
- Mop the floor using clean water daily to pick up anything the sweeping misses.
- Spot treat spills and stubborn stains immediately.
- Use a purpose-built cleaning agent once a week or fortnight, but only if necessary.
- Polish the floors every fortnight or month to restore the shine if necessary.
Clean Spills Immediately
If you choose the right commercial floor coating for your business, it will resist chemical spills, hot water, and other types of accidents. However, it’s always good practice to clean up a mess in a commercial environment as soon as possible.
This way, you minimize the floor’s contact with any caustic chemicals and avoid the risk of staining or softening. Secondly, spills are slipping hazards that could lead to expensive lawsuits. For work safety and the longevity of your commercial floor coating, clean up messes immediately.
Check Your Equipment’s Wheels
A forklift carrying a full load can gouge or scratch an epoxy coating if there is an imperfection on the wheel. Other equipment on wheels can cause damage to your commercial floor coating for the same reason. Therefore, make it standard practice to regularly check the wheels and undercarriage of any wheeled equipment.
Watch for Sharp Objects
Commercial floor coatings are scratch-resistant but still at risk of damage. Say, for example, that a steel rod falls off a trailer and drags along the ground. The weight and drag could result in gouging out a long scratch in the floor.
Sweep or Vacuum Daily in High Traffic Areas
In high-traffic areas, heavy equipment can grind in little bits of debris like gravel, stones, leaves, or dirt. The debris can scratch or damage the flooring surface, so it’s best to sweep or vacuum it out on a daily basis.
Mop with Warm Water as Necessary
Unless the floor is extremely dirty, warm water will remove the dust and dirt. The less contact the surface has with cleaning agents, the better. Detergents containing ammonia are particularly bad because they degrade the surface over time.
What many people don’t realize is that metallic epoxy finishes do better with clean, warm water. Even purpose-built cleansers can leave a residue and dull the shine.
It’s a good idea to mop daily to remove particles too small to sweep up and restore the floor’s shine. While you can use fairly hot water, avoid boiling water or steam cleaning the surface.
The coating should repel these initially but may degrade over time unless it was made for this purpose.
Clean Using a Purpose-Built Product
Use the cleaning products that the manufacturer recommends for the best results only if necessary. Some detergents leave a residue on the floor that dulls the surface over time. You should also never use cleaning products with abrasive agents or Methylene Chloride in them.
If you’re trying out a new cleaning agent, perform a spot test and ensure that it doesn’t leave a filmy residue.
Use a Soft Bristle Brush for Heavy Soiling
The beauty of an epoxy floor coating is that most dirt and spills are easy to remove if you act quickly. Start with water and see if that works. If not, move to a purpose-built cleaning agent. If the mark is from oil or grease, you may also need a degreasing agent.
If that doesn’t lift the dirt, then you can gently scrub it using a soft bristle brush or broom and gentle water pressure. A high-pressure cleaner is too abrasive to use on these sealants.
For tough dirt like gum, spot-treat the area using a melamine sponge. If that is ineffective, consider using an eco-friendly citrus cleaner.
Polish Regularly with a Polymer Floor Wax
The wax restores the shine and also fills in minor surface scratches. Should the scratches or chips be beyond this technique, you may need to patch them first. The polish also reduces the friction on the surface, allowing the wheels to move more easily across the floor.
Take Manual Precautions
Here are some additional tips to assist:
- Padding the feet of chairs, cabinets, and other office furniture can go a long way to preventing scratches.
- Provide employees with good-quality handcarts so that they don’t drag furniture or other heavy items across the floor.
- Carefully check workflows so that employees can avoid dragging heavy objects over floors or dragging sharp objects along. It may prove necessary to rethink packing steps, for example.