Top Five Floor Care Mistakes that Cause Streaking and How to Fix Them

Clean shiny floors show that you and your Long Term Care Facility take care and pride in cleaningAvoiding Floor Streaks and maintaining the floors. Applying floor finish is a relatively simple process that we may take for granted. All too often, we as floor care professionals, may skip a step or take a shortcut (hard to believe, but it happens). When we get complacent, mistakes can happen. One of the most common floor care complaints is streaking on freshly coated floors. Streaking is unsightly and if you end up with a streaky floor, there are ways to fix it.

Here are the top five floor care mistakes that cause streaking and how to fix them:

1. Poor rinsing of an alkaline floor stripper

A lot of strippers today are no rinse strippers but if too much residue has been left on the floor surface or if an alkaline stripper was not properly rinsed prior to applying floor finish, this will cause your finish to streak. Re-stripping of the floor will be required to fix this and of course, be sure to thoroughly rinse.

2. Too little floor finish in your mop during application

Too little floor finish on your mop during application means you are not applying enough finish. This creates streaks on the floor but it can be easily fixed. A scrub and recoat is all that is needed to repair the streaking. Just be sure not to overwork your mop and avoid wringing out the mop too much.

3. Finish applied too thick

Floor finish that is applied too heavy can cause the finish to streak. The solution to this is to wait until the finish is completely dry, then dry buff with a blue pad and reapply thin even coats.

4. Use of a dirty or contaminated mop

A dirty or contaminated mop will leave streaks of discoloration in the finish. The floor may need to be completely stripped to remove all of the streaking if a dirty mop was used on the first coat. Be sure all of your mop heads have been washed thoroughly before reapplying finish. Throw away old, worn or stained mop heads to avoid accidently using them for applying floor finish.

5. Not enough dry time between coats

When you do not allow enough dry time in between coats, also known as “rushing coats”, you can get streaking. This generally will show up after three coats of finish have been applied. The top coat of finish will appear to be dry when subsequent coats are applied and this can trap moisture in the finish causing the “streaking”. If this happens, you should stop applying finish and let the floor completely dry. After the floor is dry, dry buff the surface with a polish pad and recoat.

Rob Dodson is the Product Manager for Floor Care & Retail at the Betco Corporation. Rob is an avid sports fan and hopes to one day experience a championship. In his free time he enjoys hanging out with his wife and 3 kids. Click here to contact Rob directly.

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4 thoughts on “Top Five Floor Care Mistakes that Cause Streaking and How to Fix Them

  1. Willy

    I agree with all the points about floor refinishing mistakes. For someone that is just starting out in floor care services, floor stripping and refinishing can be a daunting task specially when one of the before mention problems occur. I recommend that they attend the floor care training and certification course by iicrc or use this blog post as a guide.
    Thanks for the great info.

    1. BetcoMarketing

      Hi Terry!

      Buffing is the first possible solution to removing streaks in the floor. Always start from least aggressive to more, first try to burnish out the imperfections in the floor. Sometimes the heat and slight abrasion associated with burnishing will remove the streak. If burnishing does not work try a light scrub and recoat to remove the steaks and apply one to three coats of finish to regain gloss. If there are still streaks, stripping and recoating is your last line of defense.


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