Floor Equipment Repair Commercial Tile Floors Strip and Wax

Floor Equipment Repair Commercial Tile Floors Strip and Wax

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Commercial Tile Floors Strip and Wax

Hello again. Recently I was on the road doing a complete strip and wax service at several stores. This is when we go into a store as a two or three person team to completely renovate the look of the tile flooring. On this particular trip it was a two person team. We started by first using scrapers to remove all the gum, stickers, and anything else that may be stuck to the floor. One of the hardest things to remove is old wax buildup from along edges or where some piece of furniture or shelving has been removed.

Then we sweep the entire floor with a dust mop.

From this point on the floors will be extremely slippery. Watch your step and if there are others in the store be sure to mark-off and post wet floor signs around your work area to prevent any slip and fall accidents.

The next step in this process is to mix the stripper. A mix of 1 part stripper to 4 parts water is sufficient to remove most wax. Stripper is the chemical that is high in ph and when mixed with water becomes active. When applied to wax on a vct tile floor in a generous amount it will mix with the wax, this is called slurry, so that it can be lifted off of the floor.

Once the stripper has been applied to the area you are stripping you agitate the solution with a mop first using a figure 8 motion until it is spread evenly along the edges and across the entire surface area being stripped.

Next you use a propane powered wax stripper or an auto-scrubber with heavy pad pressure and black coarse stripping pads, to loosen the rest of the wax from the tile. A Edgewinder can be used to clean up tight along the edges of the shelving. If an Edgewinder is not available then a 4′ pole scrapper and doodle bug with black coarse pads can be used to clean the edges. Once the wax has been loosened from the edges use a 24″ squeegee to pull the slurry from the edges so the Guzzler can clean it up.

Once you have all the wax on the area loosened up use a machine called a Guzzler or once again an (auto-scrubber with defoamer solution in the waste water tank to keep it from foaming up and shutting down the scrubber) to suction the slurry off the floor before it drys. If it should happen to dry out on you, you will need to spread a light coat of stripper on the area that has dried and re-strip it.

After the slurry has been picked up the auto-scrubber with fresh water is used to do a primary wash of the floor. The second member of the team uses a neutralizing solution of vinegar or (dibbs tablets neutral cleaner) and cold water in a bucket to mop the entire area that has just been stripped. The Dibbs Tablets are used, 1 tablet per 2 gallons of water when neutralizing after a strip or 1 per every 4 gallons of water if doing a daily mopping.

As the section you just finished is being neutralized the next section to be stripped should be being coated with fresh stripper so the process can start over and continue uninterrupted until the entire project is completed.

Once the entire store has been stripped and neutralized it is ready for wax. Depending on the size of the store either one or both will do the waxing. These were rather small stores around 7000 sq ft. One of us started doing the waxing while the other cleaned and loaded all the equipment into the trailer.

Once the floor had dried sufficiently we started laying down the second coat of wax in the opposite direction of the first coat. The Third coat was laid down in a different direction. The use of different directions to lay down the wax is one way to be sure there are no missed spots on the floor and provide an even, brilliant shine without leaving mop or applicator lines.

The one thing to remember; This is a big job and the more tension that is created between the team members the longer the job takes and the more chance of errors you will have. Work together keeping busy at all times. If one is busy doing one thing then the other one should be doing the next thing in the process. Any breaks should be taken together and limited in time, this will insure that the job is completed in a timely manner.

Until next time — Happy Waxing

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