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Global Cleaning 2014

| MAIN TOPIC | FLOORING The ‘island’ effect What happens here is that the hydrophobic or water-repellent surface of the seal’s protective film pulls back to form islands that remain visible after drying and polishing. This optical problem arises with sealed natural stone that was given a care treatment, but the care components were not spread out evenly over the floor surface. As a result of this pre-treatment, smaller or larger areas have an uneven luster, regardless of the traces due to high footfall on the natural stone flooring. Professional cleaning for sealed natural stone flooring Dirt and grime build-up depends on, among other factors, the texture of the stone surface. It is common knowledge that the rougher the surface, the easier it gets dirty – and harder to clean. Stain resistance on the other hand only depends on the porosity and capillarity of the flooring material, regardless of the surface texture. This is something that can be influenced with the sealant, but it only applies to liquid or pasty dirt and grime. The lighter slab is made of the same material as the floor. The latter was Despite having been sealed, natural stone flooring is still at risk obviously sealed in humid conditions. from damage caused by acidic products (e.g. during basic cleaning with acidic products or when removing cement residue). This is especially true when the integrity of the seal is breached due to grouting supplier) to decline any responsibility for final appearance mechanical impacts. Selecting the right product depends on the after the stone floor has been sealed. Vapor permeability, i.e. the type of stone. Here, hardness has no influence on acid-resistance. concentration-related ability to diffuse vapor through the pores is Sulfamic acid, for instance, can be used on genuine granite or usually not impaired, but in case of a complaint it is a negligible gneiss rock. Portuguese slate can take it too, but Basanit G 684, factor. which is actually substantially harder, won’t. The important thing is to make sure that the system as a whole, Sealant durability vs. cleaning products (pH) i.e. the stone flooring and the grouting and other materials used, Besides product composition and application, the durability of a have all completely cured. Once you are sure of that, pre-wet the seal also depends on the cleaning products and the cleaning flooring, especially the non-sealed areas, abundantly with water equipment (mechanical stress) that are subsequently used. until saturation. Remove excess water with a squeegee and/or Universal basic cleaners will have little or no impact on floor vacuum. The next step is to pour the cleaning solution on the floor longevity. Highly alkaline products, such as industrial strength and spread it out mechanically with a soft brush (.3/.5 mm). Using cleaners, on the other hand, may alter the seal’s structure (depoly- pads is not a good idea. Pause for 5 minutes and use the brush merization). again to spread the product over the flooring. Then remove the Solvent-based products may partially or completely degrade the seal waste water with a wet vacuum and rinse at least twice with clear (risk of welling and reduced resistance to mechanical stress). Stain water. removers, e.g. cleaning spirit can also have a damaging effect. Cleaning sealed ‘hard stone’ flooring Simple cleaning (no deep-care maintenance cleaning) is usually the Problems despite correct application norm for granite, gneiss, gabbro and genuine basalt as well as Problems may still arise, even with the proper choice of products quartz polymer-based engineered stone (quartz agglomerate). and the right application. With manual cleaning, one-step mopping with cotton mops Inadequate coverage generally delivers unsatisfactory results. For this reason, micro- A sealant is designed to prevent or at least minimize wetting fiber mops and a residue-free cleaning solution with a strong by water-based products. Cleaning products, on the other wetting agent are recommended. hand, must evenly cover the whole flooring to deliver the desired A cost-effective cleaning method is to use a scrubber drier. Synthetic results. pads are, due to their design, only of limited use for maintenance This means that the necessary dosing of the cleaning chemicals cleaning on natural stone floorings because the grouts get filled used has to be increased in order to completely cover the flooring with dirt and surfactants, which eventually form deposits on the and achieve an optical result that matches that of an un finished flooring surface. The exception here are floorings that are ground- surface. in on-site. 26 GLOBAL CLEANING | April 2014  


Global Cleaning 2014
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