Behind Floor Finish

In the cleaning industry, floor finish is evaluated based on its durability, its glossy appearance, and its response to burnishing.  But what gives floor finish these appealing characteristics?  Why it’s the polymerization, melting points, and monomers, right?  Hmmmmm. ..


The chemistry behind floor finish hasn’t been an industry concern in the past.  Nowadays, our understanding of the ingredients in floor finish is critical.  Each year, the manufacturers produce new kinds of floor finishes.  There’s a floor finish for every environment and every traffic level.  What do we need to know to be able to effectively evaluate the options and make the best choices for our specific facilities?   Here are some floor finish facts:


  • One coat of floor finish is about as thick as a piece of wax paper
  • There are five categories of floor finish ingredients: polymer emulsions, film formers, modifiers, preservatives, and water.
  • If a finish lacks UV stabilizers, ultraviolet radiation can cause yellowing and dry out the finish.
  • Non-volatile ingredients such as resins, wax, urethanes, and metal crosslinkers can improve durability, slip resistance, and gloss. 


Years of innovation and hard work by chemists and industry professionals have led to the progressive finishes available today.  Unfortunately, innovation is not enough to ensure the safety and appearance of the floors in your facility.  It takes a well-planned floor care program and trained cleaning professionals to get the job done. 


Floor Care Facts


  • If bubbles appear after the floor finish has been applied, they were caused by foaming when the floor finish was applied.  If you overwork the floor finish by going over it again and again when you apply it, you can create bubbles.
  • Metal interlocking floor finishes are more resistant to scuff marks and have a glossier look. 
  • VCT (vinyl composition tile) accounts for 2/3’s of the flooring sold in the United States.
  • Black scuff marks can be removed by using a tennis ball or variety of other solutions.
  • High performance floor finishes have a higher solid content which makes them better for high traffic areas.
  • Burnishing softens that coat of floor finish and applies pressure to the floor to fill scratches and restore a seamless shine. 


Making Your Equipment Work for You

The only thing that separates good service from bad service is the support that comes along with it.  At Pike Systems, we look at the overall needs of your facility and match your facility with products that fulfill those needs.  We care about the products and equipment that we sell long after the sale is made. 


With an equipment purchase, we offer a wide availability of parts, a certified service team and all inclusive maintenance agreements.  In general, when you look at purchasing a new machine, you should evaluate the purchase on the basis of:

  • Warranties Offered
  • Cost of Repair Parts
  • Ergonomics
  • Ease of Daily Maintenance
  • Labor Savings


If you stick to this list when evaluating the purchase of new machine, you will be happy with your purchase for years to come.  The costs over the life of the machine can often be more than the purchase cost of the machine.  At Pike Systems, we would like to reverse that figure. 


We provide training on the daily maintenance and care of your machine in order to keep your machine like new for as long as possible.  At Pike Systems, we focus most on building relationships with our customers.  Our success is measured by our customer’s satisfaction rather than in dollars.  

Flu Season Cleaning Tips

  • Wear gloves when you clean
  • Wipe off computer keyboards each day
  • Wash telephones, cabinet handles, doorknobs, and light switches with disinfectant
  • Immediately launder cleaning cloths
  • Wash mop heads after each use
  • Change vacuum bags regularly
  • Wash hands regularly

Indoor Air Quality Checklist

Dust Control:

  • Purchase and maintain floor mats for all entrances
  • Use high efficiency vacuum bags
  • Use proper dusting and wiping techniques (wipe away dust rather than stir it up)
  • Be sure to vacuum dust from heating, cooling, and ventilation vents periodically

Carpet Cleaning:

  • Vacuum daily
  • Remove spots and stains as they occur
  • Perform restorative maintenance yearly or bi-yearly

Drain Traps:

  • Confirm that all drains do in fact have drain traps
  • Poor about a quart of water down drains each week
  • Run water in used sinks at least once a week and use Hillyard’s Liquid Enzyme as part of a solid maintenance plan

Moisture, Leaks, and Spills:

  • Inspect the building on a regular basis for moisture, leaks, and spills
  • Respond immediately when you see signs of moisture, leaks and spills
  • Prevent moisture condensation by decreasing the water vapor in the air


Minimizing Maintenance with Proper Matting

How would you fare without entrance matting?  Not too well.  I can tell you that much.  Without entrance matting, buildings incur hundreds-even thousands-of dollars a year in excessive cleaning costs.


Consider the facts:

  • 70-80% of dust, grime, and dirt in a building is tracked in from the outside on people’s feet-permanently damaging floors and carpets
  • One square yard of carpet can accumulate one pound of dirt in a week–twice that in inclement weather.
  • It is estimated that the cost to remove a single pound of dirt from a building will run in excess of $600 in cleaning costs.


The answer to this problem is an entrance matting program.   Every carpet care program should include entrance matting in order to enhance indoor air quality levels and reduce labor costs.


Entrance Matting Guidelines


6 X 15-dimensions, in feet, of a track-off area at a building entrance

2 X 5- dimensions, in feet, of a track-off area at an internal doorway

5 X 8-dimensions, in feet, of a track-off area in a 6-foot wide corridor

80%-estimated percentage of dirt that can be trapped by a walk-off mat before it is tracked into a building

Source: Carpet and Rug Institute