When it comes to the industrial flooring market, there is a diverse range of robust flooring solutions that cater for the most arduous business environments. No matter what kind of product you choose, the most crucial element is that the system meets the demanding service conditions you require.
As a leading manufacturer in the industrial flooring market, Sika shares its expert guide into choosing the right flooring solution for your commercial premises and how to maintain it for endurance purposes.
What flooring product is suitable for your environment?
• Warehousing • Retail • Production • Plant rooms • Clean rooms • Commercial and public building applications
All the above environments have their own individual flooring needs that have to be accounted for. One wouldn’t expect to use the same flooring solution in a clean room than a warehousing setting simply because of the unique conditions that apply.
Ask yourself: is there a lot of heavy foot traffic? Will harsh cleaning chemicals be used because the environment needs to be sterile? Or will there be a lot of heavy equipment transported back and forth on a daily basis?
What eventualities need to be covered?
• Anti-static • Anti-bacterial • Slip resistance • Chemical resistance • Ideal for large volumes of traffic, both foot and heavy equipment • Easy to clean • Hygienic i.e. meets NHS Legislation
As you can see from the above, there are a comprehensive range of eventualities that your flooring needs to cater for.
Slippery floors or ones that are difficult to keep clean are important problems that affect many businesses.
If the refurbishment/construction project is in a hospital, it’s absolutely imperative the flooring installer chooses an anti-slip safety product that is hygienic and ease of maintenance.
This ensures staff, patients and visitors are comfortable and safe from falling over, and that all legislation is met from a health and hygiene perspective.
How to make sure your flooring lasts longer?
Commercial flooring needs to be strong and durable. No company wants to have to replace their flooring every few years; it would be costly, extremely time-consuming and have a massive impact on the business.
As a result, the utmost care and attention needs to be applied in its maintenance to give you years of satisfaction.
When first installed and fully cured, your floor should be cleaned with an appropriate floor cleaner using the most suitable equipment for the area concerned. But the agents you use will effect how long it continues to have the same quality finish and how much is the maintenance regime.
Industrial floors, types of contamination, requirements on hygiene standards etc will vary according to the branch of industry. Even within a particular branch of industry there are a number of different applications which require various cleaning methods.
The size of the surface area is normally the deciding factor in whether cleaning is performed manually or by machine.
The cleaning methods applied are influenced by:
– The nature of that particular industry
– Use within such a branch of industry
– The size of the area to be cleaned
– The condition of the industrial floor
– Types of contamination
– The level of contamination
– The accessibility of the area to be cleaned
– The hygiene requirements
What cleaning agents should you use?
The choice of cleaner and cleaning method depends primarily on the nature of the contamination.
Essentially, all alkaline cleaning agents are suitable regardless of whether they are sodium or potassium hydroxide-based. Tensides (surfactants) and hypochlorite additives do not normally have any negative effect.
To remove lime scale, hydrochloric acid or acetic acid (max. 10%) can be used, for instance. However, subsequent rinsing with clear water is essential. Cleaning agents containing high concentration of ammonia or nitric acid can lead to turbidity or discolouration in the floor, but without attacking it.
Some floor resins react sensitively to alcohols. Caution must also be exercised with all organic solvents when applied neatly or in high concentration. Aromatic and homogenised hydrocarbons must not be used.
Where best, avoid wax or polish to guarantee a seamless solution.
What about cleaning equipment?
Combination scrub-and-pick-up ma-chines are increasingly being used in the wet cleaning of large areas. They replace time-consuming wet wiping with a bucket, mop and press or wet scrubbing with a disk machine and water suction device.
Scrub-and-pick-up machines can be differentiated into:
– Push-along machines
– Stand-in machines
– Ride-on machines
These cleaning machines are available in a variety of widths, convenience options and price levels. Contrarotating three-disk machines have proven to be useful for this purpose. The constant change in the angle of incidence of each and every bristle means that all uneven areas and deeper structures are cleaned from all sides, instead of just two as in the conventional technique.
However, a device with a rotary nozzle is recommended. These devices are height-adjustable, enabling an optimal result to be achieved by adapting the height to the roughness.
Properly sealed and undamaged surfaces can normally resist the stresses even of a high-pressure jet (operating pressure approx. 100 – 130 bar). The actual pressure of the water jet on the floor naturally depends on the jet form that is set and the distance from which the surface is sprayed, and in usual practice is much less than the operating pressure.
Care must be taken with edges and at joins!
The floor cleaning and maintenance cycle is key:
What if something is spilled?
Spillages of any liquid should be wiped off or absorbed and removed as soon as possible.
Not only is this a responsible action as far as Health and Safety is concerned, it will also help you to keep your floor in good condition.
Once the spillage is removed the area should be cleaned as usual with your standard floor cleaner.
If a sacrificial coat has been previously applied the floor should be inspected to see if this remains. If not, it should be reapplied as soon as possible.
Here’s a video on how to clean the floor in commercial and public buildings:
So as you can see, it’s absolutely imperative you choose the correct industrial flooring for your sector.
Choose the right one for the project in question and then take all the necessary steps to look after the floor. If the correct cleaning and maintenance schedule is used the appearance of your floor can be easily maintained.