Stripping and Finishing Floors
- When should I strip a floor?
- What should I use to strip it?
- How do I strip a floor?
- What about finishes and sealers?
A floor should be stripped under the following conditions:
- It is a new floor (scrubbing is optional).
- If you are incorporating a new floorcare system.
- If you are changing chemical manufacturers.
- The finish on the floor is of an unknown identity.
- The finish is peeling, flaking, or yellowing.
- Finish is heavily built up along edges near wall or worn down in traffic areas.
- The finish is irreparably damaged (i.e. deep scratches, dirt imbedded from recoats without proper cleaning).
For Regular Stripping use: Rip
- It is safe for all types of flooring (linoleum, vinyl composition, terrazzo, vinyl tile, rubber tile, concrete, masonry quarry tile, marble, granite,etc.) Asphalt tile can be stripped with Rip, but only use dilute solutions or short dwell times as the solvents in Rip can soften and strip asphalt from the tile.
- Use cool to warm water. Dilute 10 to 12 oz per gallon for normal buildup. Dilute up to 32 oz per gallon for heavy buildup. Leave on for 5 to 15 minutes before scrubbing. Then scrub vigorously with a proper stripping pad.
- Leaves little or no residue. It is considered a NO RINSE stripper although it is wise to rinse with clean water, or water and Vinegar Floor Neutralizer no matter what stripper is being used.
- Rinse twice and let completely dry before applying finish.
Use a red pad for light stripping (taking off the first one or two coats). Use a blue or green pad for heavier stripping (taking off three to four coats). Use a brown or black pad for stripping all the finish and sealer to bare floor.
BE SURE TO CHANGE THE RINSE WATER FREQUENTLY WHEN RINSING THE FLOOR TO HELP ENSURE THAT ALL RESIDUE IS REMOVED. IMPROPER STRIPPING AND RINSING WILL PREVENT THE SEAL AND FINISH FROM EFFECTIVELY BONDING TO THE FLOOR.
After the floor has dried thoroughly, it should have an even, dull appearance, and rubbing the palm of your hand across the floor should not pick up any dust or residue. If dust or residue is present, further rinsing is required. If it is not all dull or there are some shiny “patches”, then further stripping is required.
Stripping and Waxing Applications
- One stripping mop
- One Rinse mop
- One finish mop
- Mop Bucket
- Floor Finish
- Floor Finish Stripper
- Scrub pad or floor scrubber to remove finish
- Dilute Rip with warm water in mop bucket.
- Spread liberally on floors and let dwell (or sit) on floor for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Scrub entire floor, working small areas at a time (i.e. 10'x10'). Do not allow stripper solution to dry on the floor.
- Pick up all stripper solution with stripper mop or wet vac.
- Rinse and move on to stripping next area until entire floor has been stripped.
- Rinse entire floor twice with clean water using rinse mop.
- Wait for floor to completely dry.
- Wet finish mop with clean water, then wring out.
- Rinse mop bucket to remove any dirt and stripper residue.
- Place a small garbage bag in mop bucket to keep wax from possibly becoming contaminated by stripper residue. If a bag is not available, make sure the mop bucket is very clean.
- Pour in the appropriate amount of finish for the job into the mop bucket.
- Dip finish mop into finish, then ring out halfway up the mop. This is to allow only enough finish for a medium to thin coat. Too much finish may leave puddles and decrease drying time. Too little finish may leave streaks on the floor.
- Apply finish to the floor. Do the outside first leaving 6” to 9” free from the edge and then back and forth in the middle. Allow finish to completely dry.
- Apply second coat, but criss cross in the other direction. This assures that all areas are coated with finish.
- The last coat of sealer and the last two coats of finish should cover all the way to the outer edges to give a complete finish look.
- When all coats have been applied, do not pour the finish back into its original container. You will either have to use all of it, or dispose of the remaining finish.
New tile floors do not require a sealer because the microscopic ridges and pits have not formed yet. So there is no need to fill in the gaps with asealer. A sealer is much like a finish, it just has fewer solids and a smaller particle size, to allow it to penetrate those ridges and smooth them out.
Remember that a new tile floor comes with a factory finish to protect it. This finish has to be stripped off before applying any finish. If the floor has been properly stripped, (the tile will have an even, dull appearance) and it has been rinsed and neutralized, then it is time to apply sealer and finish.
It was once thought that you must always use a sealer with a finish. Today it doesn't have to be that way. A removable sealer, basically, isnothing more than a lower solids finish. It fills in the pores and gaps in a floor to make it smooth and even. When the floor is even, a high solidsfinish with more durability or better response to the maintenance program can be applied.
A semi-permanent sealer is a pure acrylic finish. It has no zinc (metal interlocks) to bind the finish together. It is, however, a very durable sealerthat locks itself onto the floor and is hard to wear down completely. The disadvantage to this type of sealer is that it is much harder to strip offthe floor. Because the stripper uses amines to "pull out" the zinc interlock, it will have a much harder time with this sealer.
All our finishes are metal-interlocked for greater strength using zinc as the interlock metal.
All our finishes contain "thermo-plastic polymers." Some manufacturers try to trick you into thinking this means that when you burnish, a finishcontaining "thermo-plastic" polymers somehow responds to the heat generated by the burnisher and melts to a high gloss. The fact is that allpolymers are "thermo-plastic", but a burnisher never reaches the temperatures needed for the polymer to change form. The burnisher simplypolishes high shine onto the finish, and the higher the speed the better the polishing results.
All of our finishes are separated into categories that fit particular customer needs:
- high gloss (buffable to some extent)
- High Gloss, High Solids
Commercial, fewer coats
- Easy application
High response to burnishing.
Excellent burnished gloss.
- Sealer and Finish in one.
Excellent undercoat for any of these finishes
- household or commercial.
or Megashine 24
- Good initial gloss
Burnishable with good results
Use floor mats wherever possible to keep dirt off the floor. Sweep and/or dust mop frequently. When mopping, use only a neutral cleaner such as Maintenance Master . Maintenance Master is also designed to work with the finish to help it restore its luster.