Q. What is the proper procedure when using a scrubbing machine on VCT? Also, what type of pad or brush should I use?
A. For stripping with an autoscrubber, check the answers found in this column. Regarding a scrub operation, there are a few items to balance. First, the pad selection and the detergent selection must be matched to the soil load and durability of the floor finish. If the pad and chemical are too aggressive, excessive wear may occur and you will end up refinishing the floors at a greater frequency. If the pad is too soft, the machine may not sufficiently remove black marks. If the detergent is not strong enough, you may not sufficiently remove the soil.
Start with a thorough dust mopping to remove all debris. Otherwise, the squeegee and suction hose may plug up, or you will simply redistribute debris around the floor. Use a white, red, or green pad and make a single pass with the detergent turned on and the squeegee down. If the detergent is matched to the soil load, you should see that one pass leaves a clean surface. With high soil loads (such as auto dealer repair shops) you will normally need to make two passes. One to apply the degreaser, and a second pass to scrub, re-emulsify the cleaner, and pick up the solution.
You may need to hand mop the edges, around equipment, and on turns where the squeegee misses solution. Once you observe the results you will be able to regulate the machine speed. Go as fast as possible, yet as slow as necessary. Check out our new Floor Care Training Manual, it has all the answers for you and can help you train any and all helpers.
How to become a floor care expert Learn More...