Floorcare Focus

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PROTECTION AND REPAIR ing them with stains or floor coverings.” Damage can also be prevented by means of well-maintained “cleanwalk zones” combined with a cleaning regime that befits the volume of footfall, he said. ”These measures will minimise the levels of sharp-edged dirt particles being brought in from outside,” said Cardinale. “Roller technology offers a particular advantage here because cleaning will be simultaneously assisted by sweeping.” Kärcher offers roller technology, diamond pads, melamine pads, crystallising agents and coating materials to help prevent damage to hard floors and repair it afterwards. The likely type of floor damage will vary according to the building concerned according to Diversey’s European floor care portfolio manager Christoph Scheiwiller. “In a warehouse it is wheeled traffic that is likely to cause most harm while in retail environments, foot traffic may cause the most wear,” he said. “And in a carpeted office the most damage to the floor pile may be caused by swivel chairs.” But it is the dirt itself that will cause the most problems to the substrate, according to Scheiwiller. “Outdoor dirt such as sand, dust, asphalt and other abrasive materials may cause visible or micro-scratches to the surface,” he said. “This will act like sandpaper, dulling the gloss and making the floor more difficult to clean. Other damage could be caused by scuff marks or black heel marks from foot traffic while in a healthcare environment, heavy hospital beds may make dents in the floor - particularly if these

beds have small wheels and the floor has a soft substrate.” Embedded dirt may eventually lead to discolouration, according to Scheiwiller. “Discolouration may also result from sunlight on a floor that is not resistant to UV light,” he said. But he believes most scuff marks, black heel marks and micro scratches can be repaired using today’s modern methods. “However, more serious issues such as UV light discolouration, chemical damage or cracked stone will require the services of a floor restoration company,” he said.

Prone to damage Floors in the retail sector are among those most susceptible to damage, according to Scheiwiller. “High visitor frequency, the use of shopping trolleys and the restacking of shelves cause a range of impacts on the substrate,” he said. “Visitors bring dirt in from the road via their shoes while shopping trolleys will often have dirt embedded in their wheels. And forklifts, pallets and other heavy equipment may damage the substrate during restocking.” Troubleshooting is a never-ending topic in the floorcare industry, says Scheiwiller. “Often there will be much discussion as to how best to repair a floor, but my recommendation would be to focus on the root cause and fix it permanently,” he said. For example, he says floor matting would be a good solution in an outdoor car park where salt has been allowed to build up. “A matting system will remove salt from shoes and from wheeled traffic,” he

said. “It would also help to have staff on hand with mops or wet vacuums to prevent salt from building up around the entrances. “Another common cause of floor damage is when alcohol-based hand sanitisers are allowed to drip on to conventional floor finishes. Here the solution is to strip away those areas that are particularly prone to hand sanitiser damage and recoat them with a more durable floor finish. The sanitiser could also be replaced with a more gelatinous product, or a drip tray might be installed.” He believes daily cleaning to be the most important maintenance procedure. “If you keep a floor clean you should be able to keep it in good condition with only the occasional interim maintenance procedure such as spray buffing or burnishing,” he said. “This will greatly increase the time between deep cleaning procedures. “A floor finish or sealant will protect the floor from dirt while reducing the risk of slip and fall accidents and helping to maintain a high quality image for the facility. And repairing these types of layers is easy using an interim maintenance procedure such as a spray buffing or burnishing.” Diversey offers Taski IntelliPad diamond-impregnated floor pads which are said to improve the gloss and clarity of both coated and non-coated floors. One IntelliPad can be used for both burnishing and daily cleaning, according to Scheiwiller. Foot and wheeled traffic constantly wear away the protective seal from the surface of a hard floor according to Truvox Continued page 14

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