Five Common Mistakes in Hard Floor Stripping and Refinishing

One of the most comprehensive maintenance services a building can undergo to restore the look and durability of its hard flooring is a good strip and refinish. Each flooring type will have varying procedures and products to ensure a proper finish, but generally this process consists of removing the existing finish with a stripping chemical then reapplying a seal and new finish to the floor.

This is a process that takes time and experience to accomplish correctly, and can make problems worse if not done properly.

Here are Five common mistakes made when stripping and refinishing hard floor surfaces:

1) Incorrect Chemicals – Each surface can be a little different and may need a very specific stripping and/or finishing solution to get the job done. Choosing the wrong one can leave behind residue or even damage the floor itself. Make sure to hire knowledgeable, experienced professionals who understand your floor’s needs and will use the correct chemicals at the correct dilution.
2) Improper Application – Stripping the old finish from your floor means going through a complicated and repetitive process of application and removal. Leaving the solutions to “dwell” for the wrong amount of time or scrubbing the surface in the incorrect manner can damage flooring or leave behind nasty build-up. The right balance of patience and expediency is critical to this task.
3) Wrong Tools for the Job – The scrubbing, stripping, slurry removal, and finish application processes all require different tools. Without them, the results of this service can be less than adequate. A commercial-quality wet/dry vacuum and standard speed buffer machine are necessities and should be used in conjunction with a microfiber finish pad and a Hi-Pro black stripping pad. Other specialized tools may be needed depending on the project.
4) Lack of Attention to the Details – A lax attitude towards detail usually shows in the end result. To properly strip and refinish the flooring, hard to reach areas such as corners will need to be scrubbed and coated using a device known as a doodlebug with a black pad. Baseboards usually need special attention when treated with stripping and finishing solutions, making sure to wipe them down. Shortcuts and workarounds to these details will leave noticeable appearance issues.
5) Bad Finish or Clean-Up – The final steps to this job are to refinish the floor and ensure a great result. Fully rinsing the stripping solution from the floor’s surface is essential to a quality finish. If this is not accomplished, an uneven and brown appearance can infiltrate your finish. This can also cause your finish to “fisheye” and not adhere to the flooring. Stacking too many coats of finish or inadequate dry time are also very common mistakes during the finishing process.

Proper hard floor care is not a task to be undertaken lightly and should not be left to amateurs. Without knowledgeable, experienced professionals, stripping and refinishing your floor can be a hassle and can do more harm than good. Trusting City Wide to provide the proper treatment to the variety of hard floor surfaces in your building is the easiest way to ensure a quality outcome.

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