As different types of floors age, they accumulate varying amounts of wear and tear, and can become more difficult to maintain. It is important for maintenance personnel to understand how different flooring materials age and how to properly care for them throughout their useful life. In many cases, proper care and floor restoration processes can help keep floors from aging.
When caring for aging floors, both daily maintenance procedures and floor restoration procedures are important, and they must be done correctly to extend the life of flooring materials.
A carpet’s life span depends on the environment it is in, just like many other flooring materials. High traffic areas will cause carpet to age faster, as more dirt and contaminants are exposed to the carpet and cause wear. With proper care, carpet can have a useful life of 10 or more years.
Regardless of the environment, deep cleaning procedures are the key to prolonging the life of carpet. The frequency of these treatments is what will be determined by the flooring environment. Carpet can be deep cleaned monthly, yearly, or more or less often, depending on the environment, but should be done frequently enough to prevent soil buildup. If you can start to visibly see traffic lanes and soil buildup, you’ve waited too long to perform deep cleaning.
Deep cleaning carpets generally consists of hot water extraction with a mild detergent. Pre-conditioners or pre-sprays should be used on high traffic areas to soften up any embedded soils. The key when using any floor restoration process on carpet is to ensure that no residue is left behind, as this can promote bacteria and mold growth, and also cause the carpet to re-soil much faster.
Spot cleaning areas between floor restoration can be just as important for carpet. These processes are less costly than extraction and restorative procedures, and will help prolong the life of the carpet between deep cleanings. Still, it is important not to leave residue behind, as this will attract dirt and the floor will become re-soiled much more quickly.
For more information on carpet care products and procedures, visit our Carpet Care webpage.
Wood flooring, when properly cared for, can have a very long life span: over 100 years in some cases. This durability makes it a good option in high traffic facilities, but it still needs to be properly cared for, and floor restoration procedures for wood floors are generally more aggressive than for other materials.
Wood flooring typically needs to be restored by stripping/sanding and refinishing every few years. A wood sealer is then reapplied to provide protection between restorations. When performing this refinishing process, it is crucial to ensure that any dust and debris is removed from the floor before refinishing or coating. If not done properly, the dust and debris can cause dimples or other defects in the sealer/coating when it dries, which usually results in the floor needing to be redone. This can be a very costly process.
In some cases, the floor may not need to be completely refinished. While scratches, nicks, and other damage will need to be sanded down and refinished, many other cases, like scuffs and grime, can be fixed with simpler procedures. Most residue can be removed by cleaning and polishing procedures.
For more information on wood care products and procedures, visit our Wood Floor Care webpage.
Linoleum & Vinyl
Linoleum and vinyl tile floors are very easy to clean, but can still become worn and can be prolonged with proper cleaning and floor restoration procedures. With proper treatment, some linoleum and vinyl floors can last 50 years or more.
Floor restoration of linoleum and vinyl consists of stripping and refinishing. The stripping process removes any existing floor finish, along with any embedded dirt, leaving a fresh and clean surface to which another floor finish can be applied. Typically, 3 to 5 coats of floor finish are applied to a bare floor. This stripping process can be done annually or more or less often, depending on budget, desired appearance, and available resources.
Linoleum and vinyl floors can also be restored in the interim using a less labor-intensive procedure called a Scrub & Recoat. This procedure scrubs away the top layers of floor finish, along with any embedded dirt, and new finish is applied in its place. This can be done more frequently, between restorations, and can help prolong the life of the tile floor.
For more information on linoleum and vinyl tile floor care, visit our Floor Care webpage.
In some cases, regardless of how well a floor has been cared for, it comes to the point where it can no longer be restored to the desired appearance. At this point the floor needs to be replaced. While this point will eventually come with any floor, using proper floor restoration procedures throughout the floor’s life can help to greatly prolong the life of any floor.