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Historic Preservation - Technical Procedures

Spectitle:

Routine And Periodic Cleaning Of A Resilient Tile Floor

Procedure code:

0966001P

Source:

Cyclical Maintenance For Historic Buildings - J. H. Chambers

Division:

Finishes

Section:

Resilient Tile Flooring

Last Modified:

02/24/2012

Details:

Routine And Periodic Cleaning Of A Resilient Tile Floor



ROUTINE AND PERIODIC CLEANING OF A RESILIENT TILE FLOOR


PART 1---GENERAL

1.01 SUMMARY

    A.   This procedure includes guidance on cleaning and
         maintaining linoleum, asphalt, vinyl, vinyl-asbestos and
         rubber tile floors.  

    B.   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.   For Damp Moping:

         1.   Synthetic, non-ionic, neutral pH detergent such as
              "Joy", "Ivory Liquid" or "Orvus" (Procter &
              Gamble),  or approved equal, using dilution as
              determined by tests on material to be cleaned.

         2.   Soft cloths

         3.   Clean, potable water

    B.   For Polishing:

         NOTE:  AVOID SWEEPING COMPOUNDS CONTAINING OILS, SAND OR
         ABRASIVES

         1.   Non-buffable liquid wax

         2.   Buffable water emulsion wax

         3.   Emulsion paste-wax

              CAUTION:  DO NOT USE ON RUBBER TILE FLOORS AS THE
              SOLVENT WILL SOFTEN THE RUBBER.

         4.   Liquid solvent-base wax

              CAUTION:  DO NOT USE ON RUBBER TILE FLOORS AS THE
              SOLVENT WILL SOFTEN THE RUBBER.

2.02 EQUIPMENT

    A.   Electric floor polisher

    B.   Power buffing pads

    C.   String mop

    D.   Mop bucket with wringer

    E.   Dust mop with treated pad to hold the dust rather than to
         scatter it, or vacuum cleaner

    F.   Radiator brush to reach crevices

    G.   000 steel wool

    H.   Hearth broom (to remove dust from hard to reach places)

    I.   Dust pan

    J.   Putty knife (to remove sticky material)


PART 3---EXECUTION

3.01 EXAMINATION

    A.   Verification of conditions:  Before beginning cleaning of
         floors, determine the type of tile used, and the type of
         polishing system used to maintain the existing finish.
         Identify whether the finish is a non-buffable polish,
         water emulsion polish, emulsion paste polish or a
         solvent-base polish.

3.02 PREPARATION

    A.   Protection:  Furniture should be moved and protected as
         required.  Do not use coverings which will cause
         condensation.

    B.   Surface Preparation:  The floor should first be dry
         mopped or vacuumed thoroughly before cleaning.

3.03 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION

    A.   Dry Cleaning:  Dry cleaning should be done daily.  Dry
         cleaning methods may be used on all tile types to which
         this procedure applies.

         1.   Sweep floor with a treated dust mop (coated floors
              only), or vacuum.

              NOTE:  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, push the mop 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',
                   swing the mop 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.  

    B.   Damp Mopping:  Damp mopping may be used to clean
         spillages and accidents on floors finished with a
         buffable water emulsion polish or a solvent-base polish.

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

         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
              you can no longer see the bottom of the pail.  

         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 neutral detergent and warm water
              followed by a clear water rinse.  This is a three
              phase operation.  

              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.

         6.   Buff finish as directed below under Polishing:

    C.   Wet Mopping/Scrubbing:  

         NOTE:  WET MOPPING IS NOT GENERALLY RECOMMENDED FOR TILE
         FLOORS BECAUSE THE LARGE AMOUNTS OF WATER AND CLEANING
         SOLUTION REQUIRED CAN SEEP THROUGH THE SEAMS BETWEEN THE
         TILES AND LOOSEN THE ADHESIVE.  

         CAUTION:  THE SURFACE OF LINOLEUM AND ASPHALT TILE, AND
         TO A LESSER DEGREE, VINYL-ASBESTOS TILES, IS ESPECIALLY
         VULNERABLE TO DETERIORATION BY ABSORPTION OF MOISTURE.
         WET MOP ONLY AS NECESSARY TO REMOVE STUBBORN DIRT OR TO
         STRIP OLD FINISH FROM NON-BUFFABLE OR WATER EMULSION
         BUFFABLE POLISHES.  DO NOT ALLOW SOLUTION TO SOAK FLOOR
         ANY LONGER THAN NECESSARY.

         CAUTION:  DO NOT USE HARSH SOAPS, AMMONIA OR ALKALINE
         PRODUCTS SUCH AS SODA OR BORAX ON LINOLEUM.  THESE WILL
         OXIDIZE THE OIL IN THE FLOOR MATERIAL AND CAUSE IT TO
         DETERIORATE.

         1.   Make up a cleaning solution using a concentration
              of detergent as recommended by the manufacturer.  

         2.   Wet string mop with cleaning solution and lightly
              press out excess solution, retaining as much
              solution as the mop will hold without dripping a
              stream.

         3.   Mop an area about ten feet square.  Allow to soak
              for a two to three minutes if stripping old finish.
              Rub the mop back and forth as necessary to loosen
              the dirt, or scrub with a power floor machine and
              scrub brushes or nylon web disks.

         4.   Use a squeegee and/or rags to take up dirty
              cleaning solution.  Change solution as it becomes
              dirty.

         5.   Rinse area immediately with clean, clear water
              using a clean, damp (not wet) mop.  Dunk rinsing
              mop often and change rinse water as it begins to
              get dirty.

         6.   Continue cleaning as above, approximately ten
              square feet at a time, until the entire floor is
              clean.

         7.   Apply appropriate polish and buff as directed
              below.

    D.   Polishing:

         NOTE:  DO NOT USE PENETRATING SEALER ON ANY OF THESE TILE
         TYPES WHICH ARE IN GOOD CONDITION.  BADLY WORN ASPHALT,
         LINOLEUM OR VINYL-ASBESTOS TILE ONLY MAY BE SEALED WITH
         A PENETRATING SEALER TO EXTEND SERVICEABILITY.

         1.   After dry or damp mop cleaning, if finish is still
              dull, apply a single, light top coat of acceptable
              polish as directed by manufacturer.  Use one of the
              following:

              a.   Non-buffable wax:  May be used on asphalt,
                   linoleum, rubber, vinyl-asbestos and vinyl
                   tile.

              b.   Buffable, water emulsion wax:  May be used on
                   asphalt, linoleum, rubber, vinyl-asbestos and
                   vinyl tile.

                   1)   After weekly damp mopping, machine buff
                        to achieve desired gloss.  

                   2)   Patch high traffic areas with a light
                        coat of wax, followed by machine buffing.

                   3)   To strip, use wax remover as recommended
                        by wax manufacturer.

              c.   Emulsion paste wax:  May be used on linoleum,
                   vinyl-asbestos and vinyl tile.  

                   NOTE:  DO NOT USE ON RUBBER TILE FLOORS AS THE
                   SOLVENT WILL SOFTEN THE RUBBER.

                   1)   Place a small amount of paste wax on a
                        clean cloth.  Wipe it over the floor
                        leaving a thin and even coating.  It is
                        not necessary to go right to the
                        baseboards because the buffing operation
                        will spread the wax to the edges of the
                        room in every place except the inside
                        corners.  Wax may also be applied with
                        power buffer.

                   2)   Power buff using clean pads to achieve
                        desired gloss.

                   3)   After polishing, sweep the floor to pick
                        up stray wax grains that are loose on the
                        floor.  

                   4)   Wash all equipment before the wax
                        hardens.  

                   5)   Reapply thin coats as necessary in high
                        traffic areas, buffing after each coat.

                   6)   Paste waxed floors are stripped with a
                        coarse cloth saturated in turpentine or
                        mineral spirits and hard rubbing with a
                        piece of 000 steel wool or 000 steel wool
                        pads and a power buffer.  Change cloths
                        and steel wool when they are clogged with
                        old wax.  Work in a well ventilated room.

                   CAUTION:  OBSERVE SAFETY RULES AS BOTH THE
                   TURPENTINE AND THE WAX ARE FLAMMABLE, AND THE
                   FUMES CAN TRIP AN IONIZATION SMOKE DETECTION
                   SYSTEM.  THE SOILED CLOTHS MUST BE STORED IN A
                   METAL SAFETY CONTAINER TO GUARD AGAINST
                   SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION.

              d.   Liquid solvent wax:  May be used on linoleum
                   tile.

                   NOTE:  DO NOT USE ON RUBBER TILE FLOORS AS THE
                   SOLVENT WILL SOFTEN THE RUBBER.

                   1)   Apply thin coat of wax with a soft cloth.
                        Allow to soak two to three minutes.  Wipe
                        up with same cloth while still wet.  

                   2)   Allow to dry for fifteen to twenty-five
                        minutes.  Buff with power buffer.

                   3)   For spot cleaning or wax removal, apply a
                        heavy coat of wax and allow it to soak
                        two to three minutes.  Rub with 000 steel
                        wool and wipe up excess.  Allow to dry
                        and buff as for paste wax above.

                   4)   For heavy traffic areas recoat and buff
                        as required.

         2.   For badly worn areas of rubber or vinyl tile,
              polish with 0 steel wool, vacuum, and polish again
              with 000 steel wool.

         3.   To restoring the finish of old linoleum, saturate a
              clean cloth with boiled linseed oil and wipe a thin
              layer onto the surface.  Allow to penetrate the
              surface for at least several hours.

                             END OF SECTION