PRB Articles

Ten Tips on Safe Floor Refinishing

Fort Worth, TX--As the weather gets warmer, expect to see more floors in commercial settings being stripped and refinished. This is invariably true in educational facilities but has become somewhat of a tradition in all types of locations, from offices and healthcare locations to retail outlets.

Floor refinishing can be complicated and many cleaning professionals overlook the fact that it can also be dangerous. Because of this, this month's Powr-Flite Troubleshooter, which focuses on floor care issues, offers the following ten tips on making floor refinishing safer:

  1. Know how to use the equipment before operating.
  2. Always select the right floor pad for the task at hand; for instance, the darker the pad, the more stripping power. This means the machine will do more of the work, reducing stress and fatigue.
  3. Select a floor machine with a thumb activated safety switch to prevent accidental start-ups.
  4. Review the cleaning solution's label and SDS (formerly MSDS), even if you have used the product before.
  5. Barricade the area, even if you are the only one in the building; some of the most serious slip-and-fall accidents have occurred when building users pay an unexpected visit to a facility unaware floor refinishing is being performed.
  6. Wear proper protective equipment to avoid eye and skin contact, especially when dealing with chemicals and if manual scrubbing is involved.
  7. Wear waterproof and rubber soled shoes.
  8. Make sure the area is well ventilated; fresh outdoor air is preferable to using a facility's HVAC system.
  9. Do not over dilute or under dilute strippers or cleaning solutions; there is a myth that if using less water, the product will be more effective-this is rarely the case.
  10. Use cold water when diluting; heat can cause fumes to be released that can be potentially harmful; also, heat can cause the chemical to evaporate more quickly, rendering the product less effective.

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