Commercial properties and professional buildings see a lot of foot traffic over the course of just a single day. Not to mention how all those shoes, boots, and seasons can compound to affect the floors over the course of an entire year.
This much activity, plus things like outdoor dirt, and road salt can wear down a floor’s finish in a variety of ways. Then mopping, and other cleaning methods add to the effect leaving floors looking dingy, unappealing, and downright unprofessional.
If you manage a commercial property, multi-family residential property, or some other type of professional space, and your floors have lost their luster, stripping and refinishing might be the perfect thing to restore their clean, professional look.
In this article, we will take a closer look at what goes into stripping and refinishing floors as well as what you can expect from your rejuvenated floors. This involves asking and answering a few key questions along the way.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Strip & Refinish Commercial Floors?
Most commercial property managers find that summer tends to be the ideal time of year to strip and refinish commercial hard flooring. This helps to eradicate the dingy appearance left behind by a winter of boot traffic, melting snow, and tracked-in salt. Summer also tends to be a time where scheduling is easier during low-traffic or off times.
What Type Of Floors Benefit From Stripping & Refinishing?
Stripping and refinishing is a versatile way to restore the appearance of concrete, terrazzo, and vinyl composite tile (VCT) flooring. These commercial hard floors typically have a relatively thin layer of finish that can be scuffed or left with a dingy unprofessional appearance caused by excessive foot traffic.
Terrazzo, concrete flooring, and stone flooring are popular, durable, and have roots going back centuries or more. With proper maintenance, these floors are nearly immortal.
Vinyl Composition Tile though was invented in 1933 and is more prevalent in schools, colleges, and high-traffic retail and commercial properties. VCT tends to be affordable and is available in many colors and patterns. It also helps to hides dirt and scuff marks well while still being relatively durable. Though when it does get scuffed and the finish degraded, it needs professional stripping and refinishing to maintain its long-term integrity.
Protecting Your Commercial Floors With Everyday Maintenance
Even the most durable commercial floors still need everyday maintenance. This starts with robust entry mats to help sop up wetness, and snow, while also trapping the dirt, dust, grime, and possible sidewalk salt of winter before these things can make it to your finished floors. Ideally, you want a durable entry mat that is 12 to 15 feet long to provide ample space to catch these materials before they are tracked into the rest of the property.
Of course, simply being present isn’t enough. Even the most robust entry mats will become saturated with water and inundated with grime that will still find a way onto your commercial floors. Making sure that wet mats are replaced and allowed to dry before reuse, as well as frequent vacuuming will keep otherwise clean shoes from tracking latent grime and water onto your building’s pristine floors.
Cleaning up spills as soon as possible will also help maintain the appearance of your commercial floors. Not only can spills on finished floors spread and potentially stain, but they can also lead to dangerous slips and falls. A day matron or on-site custodial staff will go long way toward preserving the appearance and integrity of your floors as well as giving your building a persistently professional look.
Top Scrubbing Can Help Extend The Life Of Your Floor’s Finish
Top scrubbing commercial floors once a year helps maintain and freshen the finish. It also tends to be less time-consuming and requires fewer manhours than a full strip and refinishing project. Professional top scrubbing essentially removes one layer of finish while also helping to recoat and rejuvenate some of the inherent shine.
Though this is not a recurring measure and has limited effectiveness. Top scrubbing too often can start to trap dust and other debris in the upper layers of the hard commercial floors causing them to darken or take on an amber color. So, it is definitely a practice with limited applications, and should not be thought of as a long-term alternative to professionally stripping and refinishing your floors.
How Often Should I Have My Commercial Floors Stripped & Refinished?
For terrazzo, concrete, or VCT floors, you should plant to have them stripped and refinished every three to five years. This comes with an average cost of .40 to $1.00 per square foot.
How Is Stripping & Refinishing Performed?
Professional stripping and refinishes employs several types of equipment. This includes old-fashioned, mops and buckets, where trained technicians dilute the stripper solution and apply it with a mop to let the solution dwell. When the time is right, they agitate the slurry with a slow-speed auto-scrubber machine to release the finish.
When the auto-scrubber is done a wet/dry vac is then used to pick up the slurry and rinse with clean water. The stripped and clean floors are then given ample time to completely dry.
At that point, a professional-grade finish is carefully applied to every square inch of flooring. More time is given for the finish layer to dry before another coat is carefully applied. The total number of coats applied to the commercial hard floors will be based on the percentage of solids contained in the finish. The overarching goal is to get the finish layers to 100% solids which might take applying up to four coats for some floors.
How Long Does Take To Refinish A Commercial Floor?
While the time can be influenced by the number of finish layers that need to be applied. In general, a single layer of finish covering 12,000 square feet can take around one hour. Building Services Inc. has a dedicated staff of experienced technicians who are well-versed in stripping and refinishing commercial floors. We bring a trained eye, and truly commercial-grade equipment to bear when restoring the luster of your commercial properties floors.