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Wednesday's Ask the Experts: Contract Cleaning

June 02, 2010
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Wednesday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: I am currently working in a 40 year old hospital that has been closed. We are stripping and refinishing the floors. Even with a 15 min dwell time and mixing the Thunder Hawk Products Thunder Hot stripper in a 2 parts cold water to 1 part stripper, we have to go over the floors at least 3 times to remove all the old finish. Plus, we are unable to get rid of the stripper slurry. We are doing this in this order. 1. Lay stripper and wait for 15 min 2. Scrub with a black scrub pad on a 1250 rpm buffer 3. Squeegee to a central point and wet vac up 4. Clean water rinse and rescrub with clean black pad 5. Squeegee to central point 6. Mop 3 times with clean water 7. Then, we go back and are still scraping 1/16" of finish. We have done this for two days in a row and still have 1/16 - 1/8" of finish left.
The answer:
You are the victim of someone who spent years putting down finish without ever stripping it off. One application of stripper solution will only soften so much finish before it is spent and can do no more chemically. We''ve all had this happen and there is little you can do but strip three or four times, whatever it takes to get down to the tile.
I suggest you use HOT water for mixing the solution. Mix according to the directions on the pail. More concentrated stripper is not necessarily better...
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
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