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Hard Floor Care

Tuesday's Ask the Experts: Stripping and sealing

May 22, 2012
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Tuesday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: We clean a bar and a restaurant with two-year old unsealed slate floors that get pretty dirty. The owners were told they did not have to seal or finish them. Now, they have gotten dirt in the crevasses from mopping. We have been using an auto scrubber and flat mop and they have really cleaned up. Now, we want to seal and probably put a finish on them to aid in clean up (dirt and debris won’t stick, so clean up is easier) My question is, they were told that they never needed to strip or seal them. I have not seen any thing on the net that says this, so I guess it is the opinion of the person who sold them the floor. What is the best way to help them to understand that they do need to be stripped and sealed?

The answer:

Your first problem is that they don’t need to be stripped and sealed. Slate can survive for many years in its natural state. You have already restored the appearance to a high degree, and could probably use a hard floor tool on a truck mount to clear even more grime from the grout and crevices in the tiles. Ask the owners if the restoration you have achieved thus far is acceptable in their business place. If it is, you are in the clear and by using the right tools you can keep it looking reasonably good. Will sealing make it easier to clean? I suspect so... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor

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