What to Know before you Restore your Floors
Spring is floor restoration season! Our Sales Representative, Mike Waltersdorf, and Spartan Chemical have provided a project overview with helpful tips to prepare you for how to restore resilient floors.
Q: What is recommended for safety and PPE supplies?
A: I recommend wearing clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty! For personal protective equipment (PPE) always consult your chemical Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Generally, for this job, you should wear chemical-splash goggles and chemical-resistant gloves when pouring chemical. It’s a good idea to wear solvent / alkali resistant, and waterproof boots. Rubber overshoes with slip resistant pad soles would be a great option. Special Note: Ensure good ventilation in the area that you are working, with eye wash stations or shower facilities available nearby.
Q: What equipment and tools should I use?
A: Here’s your checklist for a basic floor restore job…
- Dust Mop, Caution Wet Floor Signs
- 3 Cups, Towel or Rag, and Water Bottle (If dilution test is needed)
- Single-Disc Floor Machine, Doodle Bug, and corresponding black stripping pads
- Wet Dry Vacuum, and 44 Gallon Brute (for stripper solution in large applications)
- 3 Mop Buckets of water and 3 Mops (for rinse Neutralizer method)
Q: What type of chemical solutions will I need?
A: Spartan Chemical has a great selection of hard floor care chemicals:
- Floor Stripper or Floor Finish Remover
- Shineline® Baseboard Stripper (Aerosol) - Caution: don’t get it on the wall paint!
- Floor Stripper Neutralizer (if using a heavy-duty stripper) - Shineline Floor Prep®
- Floor Wax (Finish)
Q: How do I determine the correct concentration of floor finish remover? (Dilution Test)
A: Unsure how to dilute the floor stripper at the correct ratio? Perform Spartan Chemical’s test. First, choose the correct Stripper for your application. Next, gather your three cups. Pour one capful of the 1 gallon Stripper solution into each cup. Take a regular-sized water bottle to add 3 capfuls of water to the first cup, 5 capfuls of water to the second cup, and 8 capfuls of water to the third cup. Then, pour each cup’s contents on a separate floor area to test the solutions, making sure they do not touch or mix. After 5 minutes (or 10 minutes if a heavy finish buildup is present), use your towel or rag to firmly pull through once to remove each solution. Then, take a different gloved finger to pat each spot to determine if all solution has been removed. If the surface is smooth (not sticky) this will point to the correct ratio for use. Remember, more stripper is not always better.
Q: What is a good strategy?
A: If you can, it’s good to have a team of at least two to three people to tackle this job: one person on the floor machine, the second person on the baseboards and also spotting for the floor machine user, and the third person on the wet dry vacuum and changing out rinse water and stripping solution.
- Plan your section size… 10’ x 10’ or 20’ x 20’, but no bigger than that. It all depends on how efficient you are, because you want to get the old wax up before it starts to set again. Remove items from area and protect any unmovable furniture or thresholds as needed. Dust mop the area before beginning restoration. Don’t forget to place Caution Wet Floor Signs before your job site.
- Apply the Baseboard Stripper to the baseboards and 3 inches of the floor’s edge. Let sit for 5 minutes. Agitate the baseboard and floor edge with your Doodlebug. Then, rinse the baseboard and overspray the area with clean water. Use Mop Bucket (or 44 Gallon Brute if more Stripper solution is needed) and Mop to apply your stripper solution. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes and be certain to keep wet. Then, use your single-disc floor machine with stripping pad to scrub your way into the floor stripping solution. An area you have scrubbed properly will not be slippery. If it’s slippery, you didn’t get all the old finish released from the floor. Finally, pick up the dirty solution with your Wet Dry Vacuum.
- Neutralizing is important, and there are two ways to do it. You can either rinse with plain water multiple times or opt for Floor Neutralizer. If you choose to go the water route, this is where you will use your 3 Mop Buckets filled with water and Mops labeled 1, 2, and 3. Go in with the first mop bucket and slop out plenty of water. Then, use the wet vac to pick up any of the remaining dirty solution. Go in with the second mop bucket to go over the floor again. Lastly, use the third mop bucket to ensure the floor is absolutely cleared of the old wax and stripper solution. Instead of the water method, you could use Shineline Floor Prep® neutralizer to liberally mop the floor, and then pick up the solution with your Wet Dry Vacuum. Then, make sure to damp mop rinse method the floor with clean water to remove any squeegee, mop, or wet dry vacuum tracks. Finish an entire room or entire hallway before moving to applying the finish/wax, and make sure to let the floor dry completely before applying finish.
- For applying finish/wax, you will want to use a flat microfiber mop, or rayon or nylon mop head. When using a conventional string-finish mop, line your mop bucket with a trash liner before pouring the solution in. If it’s humid you may need more than one hour for each coat to dry. VENTILATION is important. Don’t aim fans directly on the wet wax, this will create uneven drying patterns (curling streaks) in areas. Instead, circulate the air above the floor. Keep in mind TIME… the coating steps below give you an idea of how long this project usually takes:
- The first coat goes all the way to the walls (it can dry in as quick as 20 minutes, but in high humidity let dry for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until not at all tacky).
- The second coat will be 4” off the wall (let dry for as much as 1 hour or until not at all tacky).
- The third coat goes 4” off the wall (let dry for as much as 1 hour or until not at all tacky).
- The fourth coat will go to the wall (let dry for as much as 1 hour or until not at all tacky).
Need help finding the best floor stripper and finish for the right application? Talk to our experts! Schedule a complete floor restoration session with our team: Book a Training - Call (800) 442-0213 or Contact Us online.