How to Strip a Floor

in Floor

Why would you want to strip the old finish from a floor? Over time the build up of wax, or other floor finishes, will give your hard floor surfaces a dull, hazy, or yellowed look. No matter how hard you clean and scrub you just can't get this yellowing and haze to go away. The only solution is to strip off the old floor finish and start over.

And if you have a very large area to work on then an autoscrubbing floor machine will help your job go a lot faster. The same floor stripping pads you use on a rotary floor buffer can also be used for an autoscrubber. An autoscrubber, either walk-behind or ride-on, can be used to vacuum up the stripping solution and dissolved floor wax in one quick pass, eliminating the slow removal with a wet-dry vac and hand squeegee.

There are four basic steps to stripping a floor:
1) Apply floor stripper and let it sit on the old finish for awhile,
2) Scrub and agitate the old floor finish to loosen the finish for easy removal
3) Remove the floor stripper and dissolved floor wax from the floor, and
4) Rinse and neutralize the floor before applying a new finish.

Floor stripper is simply a chemical solution that helps to dissolve and loosen the old floor wax on your floor. Follow the directions for your specific floor stripping solution (some may need diluting), but most will require you to distribute the solution generously over the floor, but not so much that it soaks into cracks and seams. Wait a few minutes (usually 5 to 10 minutes, but follow your specific product directions) to let the stripper work on dissolving the old floor wax.

After waiting a few minutes use your autoscrubber floor machine, with a black stripping pad, to scrub the floor. As you pass over the floor with your machine the back end will automatically vacuum up the solution and old wax with the built in squeegees. Using an autoscrubber will save you a lot of time in this step of the process.

Once your solution and old wax is vacuumed off the floor then rinse with clear water. Use your autoscrubber to remove this rinse water from the floor, too. A neutralizer solution is then needed to neutralize the strong chemicals of the stripping solution so that your new floor finish will adequately adhere to the clean floor. If you don't use a neutralizer you run the risk of your new floor wax gradually flaking or peeling off the floor.

Let the floor thoroughly dry before your next step of applying the new floor wax or finish. Floor fans or air movers might be necessary to speed up this process. When completely dry you're ready to apply your new finish. With the help of your autoscrubber floor machine you've stripped and prepared your large floor area quickly and easily. "

*Note: You will want to thoroughly rinse out all tanks after use. If you used the solution tank to apply stripper, you would not want to put any stripper down when going to scrub your next floor, because it could ruin that floor. So, make sure to thoroughly clean out the solution tank after use. You would also want to make sure you clean out all recovery tanks, vacuum hoses, and squeegees, because if any stripper or old floor wax were to dry in any of those areas, it can clog, or ruin your machine, putting you and your machine out of commission.

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Linda Jansen has 1 articles online

For more information on how to strip a floor visit Floor scrubbers are a great time saver in maintaining your commercially tiled floors, especially for large facilities.

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This article was published on 2010/03/30