Vinyl tiles are most commonly used in floorings of non-residential buildings owing to their durability and overall ease of maintenance. However, keeping a vinyl floor clean and always looking shiny is not an easy task, owing to the amount of foot traffic that an office receives on average. That said things like entrance mats do provide a certain degree of preventive maintenance for these floors by trapping both grit and dust. But still regular cleaning is required to ensure that the floor continues looking shiny and clean. This often requires that business owners invest in either professional office cleaning or hire someone to do this in house.
The floor’s finish
Your vinyl tile should be sealed with a very high quality floor finish in order to protect as well as add a very high gloss type look to it. Your finish should be chosen based on what maintenance methods you normally use and how much foot traffic the floor receives. Considering the maintenance budget is also an important aspect. That said expensive finishes will help you save money in the long term because you end up spending less on manpower than you would with economy finishes which will require your attention more frequently.
Regular preventive maintenance
Probably the most important part of keeping vinyl tile floors clean in an office is regularly scheduled preventive maintenance. This comprehensive program should include good entrance mats, and scheduled dust mopping. Dust mopping will ensure that the dust and sand as well as other abrasive materials which are brought in from outside will not reach the floor to scratch it eventually dulling the floor’s protective coating.
The best way to ensure that your floor continues looking clean is to clean it with a wet mop using a neutral PH floor soap solution. The advantage of using neutral cleaners is that it prevents the floor from getting an awful looking alkaline haze, this haze is often caused by using plain tap water. The floor should first be mopped and then buffed using a 175 rpm floor buffing machine that comes accompanied with a red cleaning pad. Prior to the neutral cleaner drying you should vacuum it directly from the floor using a dry / wet vacuum rinse with hot water. Once the floor has dried it should be polished with either a good quality white polishing pad or a floor brush or a very high speed polishing pad. This will make the floor look as good as new.
When something spills on your vinyl tile floor it is important to clean it immediately. In an office setting spills are common and so employees or the janitorial staff should be on hand when a spill occurs. Chewing gum should also be removed as soon as it is spotted either by using a commercial gum remover or to first freeze the gum and then scrape it off using a putty knife. Black marks can be removed by just rubbing it with a good clean cloth. More stubborn marks can be removed using a damp nylon dish washing mesh.
Whoever is in charge of afterhours office cleaning services should also be in charge of spray buffing in between the mopping sessions in order to make the floor shine. After the floor has been dust mopped, a light spray of buff material should be applied on the floor, then buffed using a 175 rpm buffing machine. This should be done in small 6 X 8 feet settings. When you are spray buffing the buffer should do a once over to first spread the material evenly over the floor and then a second time to polish it. Once it has been spray buffed, the floor should be dust moped again in order to remove fine power left behind by the buff.
Vinyl floors are certainly very durable and can last a very long time even in offices that receive heavy foot traffic. However, the life of your flooring can be extended by a decade if it’s properly maintained and cleaned over the years.
Manu Alias is an experienced materials specialist and cleaning enthusiast. He is the go to guy when you’re faced with an impossible problem with your floor.