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Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Spectitle:

Dusting And Mopping Of Wood Surfaces

Procedure code:

0640001P

Source:

Cyclical Maintenance For Historic Buildings - J. H. Chambers

Division:

Wood And Plastics

Section:

Architectural Woodwork

Last Modified:

02/24/2012

Details:

Dusting And Mopping Of Wood Surfaces



DUSTING AND MOPPING OF WOOD SURFACES


PART 1---GENERAL

1.01 SUMMARY

    A.   This procedure includes guidance on maintaining wood
         surfaces with routine and periodic dusting and mopping.

    B.   Historically, floors were routinely swept and
         periodically scoured with sand.  Spots were removed with
         lye.  Unpainted wainscots were routinely dusted and
         periodically washed with beer.  After washing they were
         treated with solutions of ale and beeswax followed by
         polishing with a soft rag.

    C.   Historic Structures Precautions:  

         1.   Some historic methods used to maintain wood floors
              can damage the wood.  To preserve the building,
              harmful methods need to be eliminated.  THE GOAL OF
              FLOOR MAINTENANCE IS TO ARREST DETERIORATION WHILE
              PRESERVING THE HISTORIC APPEARANCE.  


PART 2---PRODUCTS

2.01 MANUFACTURERS

    A.   The Procter & Gamble Co.
         P.O. Box 599
         Cincinnati  OH  45202
         513/983-1100

2.02 MATERIALS

    A.   Microcrystalline wax

    B.   Non-ionic, neutral pH detergent, such as "Joy", "Ivory
         Liquid", "Orvus" (Procter & Gamble Co.), or approved
         equal, using dilution as determined by tests on material
         to be cleaned.  Also available from supermarket.

    C.   Soft cloths

    D.   Clean, potable water

2.03 EQUIPMENT

    A.   Vacuum

    B.   String mop

    C.   Bucket

    D.   Blunt wood or metal tool


PART 3---EXECUTION

3.01 EXAMINATION

    A.   Verification of conditions:  Before beginning major
         cleaning, determine the existing finish.  Identify
         whether there is no finish, an oil finish, or a varnished
         finish.

3.02 PREPARATION

    A.   Protection:  Move and protect furniture as required.  Do
         not use coverings which will cause condensation.

    B.   Surface Preparation:  Thoroughly dry mop the floor before
         cleaning.

3.03 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION

    A.   Routinely dust with a vacuum cleaner to dislodge dust
         before oily residue can be absorbed by the wood.  DO NOT
         USE TREATED MOPS OR DUST CLOTHS ON UNFINISHED WOOD.

    B.   For Walls and Wainscots:

         1.   Routinely dust and damp wipe periodically.

         2.   If surface is waxed or varnished, apply
              microcrystalline wax or paste wax to vertical
              surfaces.  See 06200-01-P "General Cleaning of
              Painted or Waxed Wood Surfaces" for guidance.

    C.   For Finished Floors:

         NOTE:  DAMP MOPPING OF HARDWOOD FLOORS IS NOT RECOMMENDED
         AS A REGULAR CLEANING METHOD.  IT SHOULD ONLY BE DONE AS
         REQUIRED TO REMOVE WATER DISPERSIBLE SOIL ACCUMULATIONS
         OR TO CLEAN-UP ACCIDENTAL SPILLS.

         1.   Wet string mop with clean water only, no detergent.
              Wring nearly dry.  

              CAUTION:  TREATED MOPS SHOULD NOT BE USED ON
              MARBLE, TERRAZZO, FABRIC OR FIBER MATS AS THEY MAY
              CAUSE DISCOLORATION OF THE MATERIAL, SO BE CAREFUL
              IF THESE MATERIALS ARE USED ON NEARBY SURFACES,
              EITHER AS A FLOOR MATERIAL OR WALL COVERING.  

              a.   Cleaning should be planned to require as few
                   steps as possible.  If the area to be swept is
                   less than 8' wide, the mop should be pushed in
                   parallel paths the full length of the room,
                   stopping only to use a radiator brush or putty
                   knife.  

              b.   When the space to be cleaned is wider than 8',
                   the mop can be swung in an arc taking in an
                   area as wide as comfortable for the arm reach
                   of the operator.  The mop should be lifted
                   from the floor only to transfer the
                   accumulated dust to a dust pile.  

         2.   Start mopping by drawing the mop close to but not
              touching, the baseboard.  Work back parallel to the
              baseboard using long continuous side to side
              strokes and keeping the mop heel on the floor and
              the strands spread.  The mop should be turned after
              each four strokes.

         3.   Rinse after eight strokes, changing the water when
              the bottom of the pail can no longer be seen.

         4.   Do not touch the baseboard, furniture or rugs with
              the mop.  Work around furniture legs and in room
              corners by holding the mop strings in the hand.  

         5.   If clear water damp mopping does not satisfactorily
              remove dirt embedded in the finish, consider damp
              mopping with a non-ionic detergent and warm water
              followed by rinsing with clean, clear water.  

              a.   Apply cleaning solution with a slightly wet
                   mop.

              b.   Rinse mop in clean, clear water and pick up
                   dirty cleaning solution with slightly wet mop.

              c.   Dry floor by wiping with the mop wrung as dry
                   as possible.

    D.   For Unfinished Floors:  

         1.   Periodically, damp mop using clean, clear water.
              MAKE SURE THE WOOD DOESN'T REMAIN DAMP ANY LONGER
              THAN NECESSARY.

         2.   Scour yearly with soap and brush.  Use as little
              water as possible.

         3.   Remove dirt between floor boards using a blunt wood
              or metal tool.

                         END OF SECTION