Revitalising Wood Floors – Strip & Polish or Sand & Seal ?
One of the frequent questions we get asked about wood floor cleaning is what’s the best method to use for revitalizing wood floors? Their are different options available, so I have laid out some basic differences to help.
Their are several methods of revitalising wood floor and they are all dependant on (a) what condition the floor is in and (b) what finish has been previously applied to the floor surfaces.
If the floor seal has worn off in places of high traffic and you can see the bare wood surface it is probably ready for a complete sand back, to remove of the existing seal, it will then require re-sealing. This type of work will require the complete floor area to be cleared for the works to take place. A real pain unless the room is already cleared for decoration or is not in general use. Sanding of floors can also create a lot of fine dusts, although many of the modern sanding machines are equipped with collection attachments.
If the seal has not worn right through, you have the option of deep cleaning the floor and treating it with a dressing or polish, once again the wood floor surface may already have a protective dressing or polish on top of the original seal. If this is the case it will require the stripping off of the dressing/polish prior to re-applying a fresh application.
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This process can usually be completed within a few hours and it does not involve sanding back the original floor seal. The method for this type of treatment is to use a rotary floor machine and a chemical stripper. Using a wet cleaning method the dressing can be removed with an appropriate stripping solution and a black vinyl floor pad.
Once the floor machine and chemical has broke down the floor dressing and reduced it to a slurry it is then removed by a wet pick up vacuum and then rinsed over several time with fresh water to remove any residue from the floor surface. This process is commonly know as floor polish stripping.
Once the floor surface has been allowed to dry naturally, it is then ready for the application of the dressing or polish. This may be applied in thin coats and allowed to dry in between applications.
The advantage of the stripping method over the sanding is that quite often it can be carried out in rooms or locations that are occupied, although it would normally add time to the operation when factoring in staged cleaning and moving of furniture plus additional drying times.
Their is a third option if the original seal is looking lackluster but has not worn right through. If you know exactly what seal product was used and that product specifies that it is suitable for re-coating, you should be able to use the machine cleaning method with a black floor pad. Instead of applying wet cleaning and stripping chemicals, use the machine dry or with only a spray mist in order to lightly abrade the surface seal to the point that it allows for good adhesion for the re-coating process. Before re-coating ensure the floor surface is completely free of dusts and any other type of contaminates.
Cleaning and oiling wood floors