| In Practice | Flooring
can build up in the unfilled pores and fibers. Furthermore, surfaces
need regular care with oil, because impregnated oiled surfaces are
subject to noticeable wear in highly used areas.
In the commercial sector, up to four basic cleaning procedures with
subsequent finishing are needed, which can block the premises
for a minimum of one to two days. After the protective measure is
concluded, carpets or mats should not immediately be laid because
this can delay or stop the curing process and lead to a temporary
but unpleasant odor.
Hard wax oils and their properties
Hard wax oils and derivatives such as the 2K oils are a combination
of natural or artificial oils and waxes. Combining the two care
(oil and wax) results in the advantages of both – without
critical components becoming more prominent. As a rule, hard wax
oils have a significantly higher oil content, but their wax content
makes them form layers. The oil predominates and determines
properties. To ensure that hard wax oils are easy to use, they can
also be diluted with mineral spirits. This leads to increased use of
solvents and environmental pollution during handling, however.
A few water-based systems are also on the market.
During the curing process, the surfaces cannot be walked on.
Curing can last up to one week. Hard wax systems are generally
characterized by great chemical stability and high mechanical
strength. They give their surfaces a natural look; these floor
can be cleaned with little effort because their surfaces
Hard wax oils have a good color and easily form layers. The layer
formation leads to an exceptionally low dirt intake and produces
an easy-to-clean surface. Hard wax oils have high chemical
and are abrasion-resistant because the film is chemically
as a result of oxidative hardening.
But if sand is tracked onto the floor, it can scratch the film; regular
surface renovation is required. After-care usually takes more effort
because the protective film covers the entire surface and must be
completely removed. Objects under high stress may need from two
to four care treatments with basic cleaning solutions. This may
also block use of the floors for several days. After the protective
measures are concluded, carpets or mats should not immediately
be laid because this can delay or stop the curing process and lead
to a temporary but unpleasant odor.
Sealants and their properties
Modern parquet sealants consist either of acrylic or polyurethane
mixes or are pure polyurethane systems, as a rule processed as
2K systems. Now, water-based sealants are the state-of-the-art
and scientists are trying to enable their use without solvents to
the greatest extent possible. Sealants form a stable, integrated
film on the wood surface whose appearance can range from very
matte to high-gloss. Modern systems have a good color, very
good to excellent
chemical stability and are abrasion-resistant.
are their vulnerability to sand and their relatively
long curing time. Depending on the system, this may last from one
to two weeks. Another sealing variant is the so-called UV sealant
system. This type of system hardens chemically upon activation
with UV light.
Systems that are industrially processed have been available
for some time, e.g. for manufacturing pre-fab parquet flooring.
Only recently, however, have systems also been offered that can
cure floors after processing with special UV lamps. They are
chemically stable and have excellent abrasion-resistance
properties. An advantage of these systems is that
they are water-based and need no solvents. Additionally, curing
with UV light takes less than 24 hours; the floors are already
highly resilient immediately afterwards. A disadvantage is their
to sand or scratching and the high costs of the UV
Sealants ensure good colors and form layers. The layer formation
leads to an exceptionally low dirt intake and produces an easy-toclean
surface. Finishes using sealants, in particular UV sealants,
are very chemically stable and abrasion-resistant because the film
is highly chemically integrated.
Sand tends to scratch the film, however, and regular surface
is difficult. Surface scratches can only be removed
Maintenance systems form layers; chemical and
stress is reduced by sealing. Colloquially, this is
known as a ‘
Regular use of such care systems can become excessive, which
results in a build-up of many layers in areas that
are not subject
to much foot traffic. The consequence is that even with sealants,
one or two basic cleaning procedures are needed per year, during
which the floors cannot be used for at least one day. After these
protective measures, the sealed parquet floors are again usable
Conclusion: Each surface finish has specific advantages, but
also weaknesses. It is thus necessary to carefully consider the
and demands on each object to determine the most
surface care system and the criteria that must be fulfilled.
If the surface is not adequately cared for with suitable systems
after basic cleaning, it can become unsightly and can even be
In regard to environmental protection, surface finishes and care
systems that require a high proportion of solvents should be
whenever possible. The surface finishes and care systems
of the future will feature simple processing as well as minimal
strain on cleaners, users as well as the environment and will
highlight the wood’s natural properties. N
Thomas Vetter, Kiehl | firstname.lastname@example.org
is Product Manager at Johannes Kiehl KG |
44 GLOBAL CLEANING | ISSUE 2018