| Main Topic | Flooring
Large areas of parquet flooring can be economically cleaned by
machine. Photo: Kiehl
of the underfloor to see whether it is stable enough
to permit the use of cleaning machines. Sports gyms are usually
built with sprung floors that may quickly reach the limits for the
use of cleaning machines. Additionally, when parquet flooring
is cleaned, only pad discs or non-abrasive brushes can be used.
The current state of the surface-treatment systems is also decisive
when deploying cleaning machines. A parquet floor with an intact
treatment system takes up much less moisture than a floor with a
ruined and open surface. Naturally, before automatic equipment
can come into the picture, all coarse debris like stones, gravel or
glass splinters must be removed. If these remain on the surface,
the existing treatment systems could be damaged by the rubbing of
the floor. Ongoing after-care reduces the penetration of moisture.
Cleaning chemicals: Properties and use
Suitable cleaning and maintenance products are necessary for
floors. This is true both for manual as well as machine
cleaning. Unsuitable cleaning agents can damage the machines,
the maintenance system or the wood. Ultra-wetting cleaners
should not be used because these products greatly reduce the
tension of the water and allow moisture to easily penetrate
every seam and get into the wood.
Special automatic cleaners for parquet floors are the first choice.
For some time now, a product for the mechanical cleaning of
floors has been on the market. Its special properties
ensure that no water can get into the seams.
This product works via a foaming process. Foaming cleaners
have already established themselves in the carpet- and
cleaning branch. They allow very little moisture to
reach the surface being cleaned. In addition, the dirty foam is
vacuumed up again before liquefaction can take place.
This principle is also used for the mechanical cleaning of parquet
flooring. Foam cleaners for machine-cleaning parquet floors
are applied as a cleaning solution on the brush aggregates and
directly foamed onto the surface with shampooing brushes. The
of this procedure is that surface dirt begins to swell
and is subsequently
picked up by the gentle mechanism of the
soft brushes and vacuumed into the cleaning machine. The foam
collapses only after returning to the cleaning machine. Larger
dirt particles remain encased in the foam and cannot damage the
Another advantage of foam is that it gets into both narrow and wide
seams. This prevents moisture from penetrating them because the
foam keeps the water on the surface during the complete cleaning
process. A large volume of surface foam weighs very little. This
makes it easy to vacuum up from the surface.
The product’s functionality was examined during a project at the
Sigmaringen Technical College. A six-month long field test also
produced clear results. An oiled and impregnated test area of
beech parquet flooring was used for the test. Additional lab results
clearly showed that less moisture remained on the surface
mechanical wet cleaning with foam than with manual one
damp mopping. The automatic foam cleaner for parquet also
passed the expert examination for functionality.
Mechanical parquet cleaning is possible
If the necessary conditions are fulfilled, nothing stands in the
way of mechanically cleaning parquet floors. Surfaces should
treated according to the cleaning and care
The cleaning machine must be suitable in regard
to the point load for parquet floors. In this context, its weight
must be checked. Data on the quantity of water discharge and
the suction capacity must be known. The pads or brushes and the
cleaning chemicals must be coordinated to the machine and the
When possible, special foaming cleaners greatly simplify work
with wooden flooring. This is the only way to ensure that the
machine leaves as little cleaning solution on the floor
surface to act on the wood.
If all these conditions are met, nothing speaks against mechanical
parquet cleaning. N
Thomas Vetter, Dipl.-Ing. (FH) for wood technology |
Alexandra Rode, Dipl.-Oecotrophologin (FH) |
30 GLOBAL CLEANING | ISSUE 2017