Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Strip and Wax VCT Floors

Materials Required:
- Black pads
- Swing buffer low speed
- Floor stripper
- 3 Buckets
- Wet vac
- Edging pads (doodlebug)
- Sealer
- Floor finish
- Scraper
- 3 Mops
- Squeegee
- Autoscrubber (if your supervisor is Okay with it)

Process:
- Gather materials above
- Fill 1 pail with cold water and stripper - Usual dilution between 1:4 - 1:10 depending on build up
- Fill 2 buckets with cold water for rinse
- Bring items to area to be stripped
- Sweep floor
- Flood an area of 10 X 10 with stripper and allow to dwell for 10 mins
- After 5 mins rewet area to allow stripper to fully penetrate the old wax
- Periodically check floor. If still slippery, stripper has not finished working. When floors is no longer slippery (usually the 10 min mark) begin to scrub from the outside corner. This will allow you to always be working on a less slippery surface.
- Double scrub entire area with swing buffer and black pad.
- Using doddle bug or edger scrub the edges of floor.
- Scrap any areas that require with floor scraper
- Pick up stripper using wet vac or autoscrubber
- Check floor for yellow or brown areas or what may appear to be patches of old wax on floor. If there is still old wax on the floor repeat the above steps.
- When floor is clear of old wax, lay down next area to be stripped - Again an area of 10' X 10'
- Using the rinse water flood the floor that has been stripped.
- Pick up rinse water using wet vac or autoscrubber
- Using final rinse bucket give the area a good rinse
- Clean up
- When dry apply 2 coats of sealer and 3 coats of floor finish
- If not using sealer apply 5 or 6 coats of floor finish

Notes:
- Usually stripper will remove 4-6 coats of wax. If your floor has more than that expect to double or triple strip each area.
- Dilution is very important. Don't make the mistake of Glug Glug. You will work twice as hard and it will take much longer than expected.
- Dwell time is just as important as dilution. Give the chemical the time it needs to breakdown the old wax.
- Autoscrubber use - If using ensure to clean up everything. Remove pads, squeegees and clean inside the vacuum tank thoroughly. Remember that most stripper today are not as corrosive as they were 10 years ago so as much as they may not breakdown your equipment, dried up stripped wax is not easy to remove from equipment and makes your equipment look older than it is.
- If working in one area and crossing floor or carpet that needs to be kept clean use a box at the edge of the floor to avoid dripping stripper on unwanted areas.
- Productivity is usually around 500/sqft an hour but will decrease in heavy build up
- This process may be used on VCT floors or Sealed stone floors. When dealing with Marmoleum please do not ever use any conventional strippers. And when possible avoid stripping altogether. Stay tuned for Marmoleum floor process.

As any process in the cleaning industry stripping and waxing should be preformed by a trained professional. This guide may help in the process but when not sure you are better to get trained before attempting any process never preformed.

For training or help feel free to contact us

Phil-T
"Nothing is too filthy for Phil-T"