Cleaning hard flooring surfaces is one of the most ubiquitous jobs in the commercial cleaning and janitorial industry. Professional cleaning staffs encounter them every day. Vinyl composition tile (VCT) is among the most common hard flooring materials. It’s durability and affordability make it a popular choice.
Resilient and long-lasting, it is a favorite choice for hallways, laundry facilities, bathrooms, kitchens, and other high traffic areas that get a lot of heavy use.
Cleaning VCT is a fairly straight forward task, but there are some things to keep in mind, especially when working with a newly installed VCT floor. The quality and longevity of the floor can depend on how it is treated and cleaned from the beginning.
Cleaning a New VCT Floor
A newly installed VCT floor needs time to settle. Glues used when laying the tile can take hours or days to fully cure and reach their maximum adhesiveness. Cleaning and heavy use of the floor should be postponed for several days, or up to a week. Waiting for the glue to fully cure will also assure that the floor is completely dry and hardened and can be cleaned and walked on without fear of altering the tile.
Cleaning and finishing VCT properly from the get go will assure their lasting durability and resilience. Proper cleaning techniques will also save time, money, and energy.
- Scrubbing. After a VCT floor has fully cured, machine scrubbing is a thorough and effective way of removing dirt, grime and other build-ups or markings. Using a scrubbing machine may be the most effective way for removing the protective coating that the manufacturer may have applied to the tiles.
- Cleaning Products. Manufacturer’s may recommend specific cleaning products. Your cleaning staff should use a good all-purpose cleaner that is effective, affordable and sustainable. If your cleaning service is incorporating sustainable practices, look for a green cleaning solution or concentrated chemical solution.
- Sealing and Finishing. A sealing or finishing product will help fully protect the new floor. Apply as many coats as the manufacturer recommends, or as your client requests. Take into account how often the floor is used, what kind of elements it is subjected to (i.e. water, food, grease, outdoor debris, etc.), and your budget.
- Buffing or Burnishing. Select a finish based on the burnishing or buffing technique you will use to complete the floor cleaning.
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