Restorative Maintenance – Phase Three of the Life Cycle of Floor Care

The third and final phase of the Life Cycle of Floor Care is Restorative Maintenance. This is to be done when the routine and interim maintenance procedures no longer remove the soils that may be imbedded in the finish producing undesired results.

When you get to this point, you will need to completely strip the floor finish off of the floor and reapply. Floor stripper is formulated to remove multiple layers of finish by emulsifying the dirty layers of finish. With the use of a black stripping pad and an auto scrubber, the floor surface is cleaned and free of any finish so that you can apply new layers of finish to restore your floors.

First, you will need to gather supplies. Supplies for this phase should include a good low odor and no rinse stripper, a floor finish that is resistant to black heel marks, an auto scrubber or floor stripping machine, a long handled razor blade scraper, a squeegee, a doodlebug, a black stripping pad, towels, can liners, a cotton mop for the stripper and a finish mop. Also, remember to use the appropriate personal protective equipment including safety goggles, gloves and wet floor signs.

Next, prepare the area you will be stripping by placing the wet floor signs and remove stickers and gum from the floor with the razor blade scraper. Then you will need to properly dilute the stripper per label directions and apply it to the floor. Allow the solution to dwell for ten minutes and do not let the solution dry before using a black pad on the auto scrubber to remove the finish. Use the doodlebug and razor blade to remove the finish along the edges and the squeegee to help pull the solution to an area accessible to the auto scrubber for easy pick up.

Once  the finish has been removed, simply use clean water and perform a “detail” rinse to ensure all the residue has been removed prior to applying finish. You are now ready to apply floor finish.

There are many techniques to applying floor finish but whatever style you choose to use, make sure you apply thin coats. Generally, 30-40 minutes of dry time is necessary between coats and indirect air flow should only be added after 20 minutes or so of drying.

Finally, it is time to clean up your work area and equipment. Clean equipment will last longer and is easier to use. This will help ensure your next job runs smoothly.

Rob Dodson is a Product Manager at Betco Corporation® for Floor Care and Retail. Rob is an avid Cleveland sports fan and hopes to one day experience a championship. He also enjoys hanging out with his wife and 3 kids. To contact Rob directly, email Rob at

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