May 13, 2021
Resinous floors are an extremely popular flooring option for schools and educational facilities. The solid and seamless surface eliminates places for germs and bacteria to hide and they are exceptionally durable and chemical resistant. This is favorable, especially now, with the increased use of disinfectants and sanitizers.
I recently heard an ugly rumor that resinous floors are hard for schools to keep clean. To learn more about this, I caught up with Dur-A-Flex Technical Services Manager Gardner Perry. Gardner has been called to many sites to examine their floors and educate them on the proper methods for cleaning. He shared his thoughts and expertise on this topic, and how schools can easily keep their floors clean.
We know resinous floors are an excellent choice for schools, but are they hard to keep clean?
Answer: The short answer is no. The long answer is also no, with the right tools these floors are actually very easy to keep clean.
Where do you think the misconception that they are difficult to clean came from?
Answer: In most cases, it truly comes down to a lack of education on how to clean the floors and not having the right equipment to properly maintain them. In educational facilities, the floor being replaced is typically VCT [vinyl composition tile] or another option which could be cleaned with a mop. When you have a seamless flooring system, you need to “Drop the Mop.” With the proper equipment and process, Dur-A-Flex floors are actually easier to keep clean and definitely more hygienic.
What do you mean by “Drop the Mop”?
Answer: Regardless of what floor you have, mops aren’t really cleaning the floors. They’re simply pushing the dirty water around the surface. With resinous floor systems, that dirty water can cause a buildup of residue which impacts the cleanliness and safety of the floor. It can also decrease the service life of the floor.
How do you recommend schools clean their floors?
Answer: The facility should develop a new cleaning process that is in line with the Dur-A-Flex Cleaning Guidelines and fitting for their new resinous floors. That advice isn’t just for schools, by the way. The Cleaning Guidelines are on our website, and every facility manager should have a copy.
Keeping the floors clean isn’t just about hygiene. Not properly caring and cleaning for the floors will diminish the floors appearance, can create slip hazards, and can break down the floors and reduce the service life of the floor.
We recommend a six step cleaning process: Sweep the floors, apply the cleaning product, allow it to dwell and emulsify for about 10-15 minutes, agitate the cleaner, then remove it from the floor and finally rinse the floors.
The most important part to remember in the process is to remove the cleaner from the floor before rinsing. If you just skip to rinsing, you’ll release the dirt back onto the floor.
That sounds labor intensive, much more so than mopping, is it?
Answer: If it is all being done manually, it can be, yes. But remember mopping isn’t really cleaning the floors to begin with, and resinous floors never need to be waxed. In the instance of schools, especially for hallway and classroom floors, I would recommend they purchase a self-contained scrubber. They are very efficient.
Tell us about self-contained scrubbers, what should schools be looking for?
Answer: The self-contained scrubbers are available from various manufacturers and come in many styles. There are ones you ride on, walk behind models, plug and battery powered ones. These scrubbers will agitate the cleaner, remove it from the floor, rinse with clean water and suck up the water when done.
Are they expensive?
Answer: I’m not in the business of selling these so I can’t comment on exact costs, but they will pay for themselves. The machines do all the laborious parts of the cleaning process and use less water. Less time and less water equals less money. I would recommend that the schools reach out to the scrubber manufacturers. They can help them size a machine that’s appropriate for their facility.
Anything else we should know about these scrubbers?
Answer: Yes, make sure you are using the correct pads and brushes with the scrubbers. We recommend a pad for use on smooth floor systems and a soft to medium flex nylon bristle brush for broadcast floor systems or smooth floor systems with added texture. If anyone has questions regarding this, they can always contact their local Dur-A-Flex sales manager or tech service manager. We’re happy to help.
In conclusion, resinous floors are an excellent choice for schools, and are easy to keep clean. Following the Dur-A-Flex Cleaning Guidelines will ensure a safe, attractive and long-lasting floor.
Takeaway #1: Your floor will look its best when it is clean. By establishing a scheduled cleaning program, the floor will continue to look and perform as it did when it was first installed.
Takeaway #2: No matter how aggressive the texture of your floor, if it is not cleaned properly, it can present a slip hazard. Allowing cleaners to emulsify, rinsing and drying your floor properly will reduce the risk of a slip and fall incident.
Takeaway #3: The lifetime of your floor will depend upon how well you clean it. In aggressive use areas (i.e. kitchens and machine shops) contaminants such as oil, dirt, and grease work with water and bacteria to break down the floor.
Author: Jes Grant
Jes Grant is the content development manager for Dur-A-Flex. She has over 15 years of experience creating content for various technical industries, and has been featured in several publications for her writing and design work.