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Cleaning and Maintenance

Floor cleaning and maintenance can take many different forms. Mopping, scrubbing, vacuuming, pressure washing, steam cleaning extraction, degreasing, repairing, and resealing are examples of regular or periodic maintenance programs.

Often the type of maintenance is dictated by factors such as interior or exterior flooring, type of use, surface damage, and state or federal codes. Facilities handling food, public spaces, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants have different maintenance requirements and programs based on need and usage.

Project Considerations

The type of method used will be determined by the surface being treated. Each finished flooring manufacturer provides the recommended method, media, and frequency for proper maintenance of their product. Often the operating schedule of a facility as well as volume of traffic determines the equipment used and frequency required to properly maintain the surface.

It is important to verify that products used do not adversely affect the stain or chemical resistance of the flooring. Using media or chemicals too aggressive for the surface can contribute to premature degradation of the floor and will likely void the manufacturer’s warranty. Timely implementation of a proper cleaning and maintenance program in addition to regular inspection can add years to the lifespan of installed flooring.

Application Process

There are many different types of cleaning and maintenance methods available. Timely implementation and regular inspection can add years to the lifespan of the installed flooring.

Each surface has specific guidelines for the proper daily and periodic maintenance required to maintain the surface. The products and procedures used will be determined by the type of surface, the installed environment, and the overall surface condition. It is important to follow both the floor covering manufacturers written procedures as well as the maintenance product and equipment guidelines to assure a safe, long-term program that will maintain the floor at its’ optimum aesthetic and performance level.

Benefits and Limitations

All floor systems have specific requirements for successful installation and long-term maintenance. It is important to verify that the product manufacturer’s written guidelines govern the installation and maintenance process. Adherence to instructions is critical for maintaining the manufacturer’s warranty.

Neglecting these instructions will almost certainly void the warranty. Proper product selection based on end use, the appropriate scheduling with other trades, testing/compliance to product moisture requirements as well as installation per industry Best Practice methods are necessary for a quality flooring installation. A consistent cleaning and maintenance program will prolong use of the floor surface and maintain a safer walking surface. While maintenance programs can go a long way toward increasing the lifespan of the surface, all flooring materials will eventually breakdown and need to be replaced if cleaning becomes too aggressive.


Typically, the floor is subject to the most abuse in any normal business. Keeping the floor in good condition takes a little forethought and consistent effort.

The first step to maintaining floors is preventing as much soil, debris, and potential damaging agents from being introduced to the environment in the first place. Exterior and interior walk-off mats can minimize the amount of sand, water, and foreign matter that are tracked onto the floor. Limiting contaminants will simplify maintenance.

  • Vacuuming, dust-mopping, and/or damp-mopping are typically employed on a daily basis on interior floor surfaces to maintain a clean, safe, and contaminant free surface.
  • Steam Cleaning is utilized to extract soil from concrete surfaces. It is also an excellent preparation method for the resealing of concrete surfaces since it deep cleans and leaves a relatively dry surface. The added heat helps lift stubborn soil that may not be removed by other methods.
  • Degreasing is the process used to remove oil, fluid, or other residual liquid contaminants from a hard surface. Specially formulated materials in a high pH or citrus base are used to cut and breakdown fluid contaminants so they may be removed. Often other methods such as pressure washing or steam cleaning are used in conjunction with degreasers to expedite the process.
  • Pressure Washing is a method of cleaning exterior surfaces to remove normal dirt and soil as well as occasional contaminants such as gum, spills, and other surface debris. Regular pressure washing usually is done weekly to monthly depending on frequency of traffic and end-user objectives.
  • Waxing and/or resealing surfaces are an inexpensive means to insure a clean working environment and prevent premature deterioration of the finished floor system. Generally, the surface is thoroughly cleaned and allowed to dry. The sealer or wax must be compatible with the existing sealer or surface finish and suitable for the traffic type and frequency to which it will be subjected. Floor product manufacturers typically provide written compatibility data. If written documentation is not available, consult the company’s technical service department to verify compatibility prior to undertaking any stripping or sealing procedures.
  • Burnishing is a higher speed buffing process employed to create a high luster to specially formulated wax/polymer finishes. Products that are designed for burnishing are typically designated as UHS or Ultra High Speed finishes and are not recommended for urethane coatings.