But surface-treatment systems can only do this when floors are
cleaned and maintained regularly according to the cleaning and
care instructions in DIN 18356, or as needed (e.g. before demands
on the treated flooring from a dance event). Service providers
also obliged to clean and treat flooring as economically and quickly
as possible. In many objects, large areas already have parquet
flooring, and it is more and more difficult to clean these surfaces
manually yet economically.
The hydrophilic characteristics of wood and the retention of water
in its cell structure must be considered when cleaning such floors.
The wood swells from the intake of water and increases in volume.
When the moisture evaporates again, the wood shrinks again and
its volume decreases.
Repeated contact with water, e.g. when using cleaning solutions
on parquet floors, causes repeated swelling and shrinkage. The
water-retention capacity of wood is frequently used as justification
that parquet floors shouldn’t be wet-cleaned.
For a long time, damp or damp-fog cleaning was recommended.
But damp cleaning parquet floors removes only non-sticky, i.e.
loose dirt. The term “damp wiping” is incorrect here, too, because
this method also only eliminates loose dirt (like dust); thus, the
surface cannot be treated. The cleaning textiles used for damp
cleaning are so dry that no moisture can get onto the floor.
Manual cleaning sometimes almost impossible
In many objects, the service provider is required by contract to
wet-mop the floor in one step. This cleaning process ensures the
removal of both dry and sticky soiling. Here, this also applies to
Please note that DIN 77400 (“Cleaning Services in School
recommends that school gyms be wet-cleaned five
times weekly. The reason for this is to remove sticky and dry dirt
as well as larger debris. Wet cleaning is also necessary to ensure
permanent slip resistance in accordance with DIN 18032. But how
much time is needed to manually clean a triple gym? In such cases,
mechanical floor cleaning is the method of choice.
Cleaning machines: How and when to use
Automated cleaning is an economical procedure for large parquet
floor areas such as triple gyms or large hallways. Thus, various
interested parties asked manufacturers of automatic cleaning
machines to develop equipment that would clean parquet floors.
At first, larger machines were offered and used. Now, smaller
machines that can be used economically for surfaces starting with
approximately 150 square meters are also available.
One important point must be noted when using automatic floor
cleaning machines on parquet – they need a great deal of cleaning
solution (water and detergent) to clean the surface completely and
attain a flawless appearance.
Cleaning machines apply the cleaning solution to the floor via the
brush or pad and distribute it mechanically on the surface. The
applied solution can penetrate the parquet floor through the seams
and lead to swelling and/or discoloration of the wood. This is why
manufacturers of wet cleaning machines do not recommend using
their products for parquet floors!
When floors are aggressively wet-cleaned, the cleaning solution
can even penetrate through to the adhesive bed and cause damage
by softening the adhesive. This can go so far as to loosen parts
of the surface, e.g. boards or parquet elements, from the area.
In the case of double or blind flooring, the cleaning solution can
penetrate the seams through to the undersurface. This may lead
to mold or rot.
Normally, cleaning machines are designed to reabsorb the used
cleaning solution from the surface. This is not the case with
seamed wooden floors that water has penetrated. This means that
longer exposure of moisture to parquet floors via the seams cannot
be ruled out.
If cleaning machines are used despite the problems described
above, it is crucial that the suction performance of the equipment
develops completely and the wiping strips are fully functional.
Another fundamental point to consider is the point load of the
wheels when the machine is full of solution. This is also true
when using machines on parquet floors. It is vital to examine the
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