Technical Procedures Disclaimer
Prior to inclusion in GSA’s library of procedures, documents are reviewed by one or more qualified preservation specialists for general consistency with the Secretary of Interior Standards for rehabilitating historic buildings as understood at the time the procedure is added to the library. All specifications require project-specific editing and professional judgement regarding the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers are to serve as a general guideline and do not constitute a federal endorsement or determination that a product or method is the best or most current alternative, remains available, or is compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards. The library of procedures is intended to serve as a resource, not a substitute, for specification development by a qualified preservation professional.
We’ve reviewed these procedures for general consistency with federal standards for rehabilitating historic buildings and provide them only as a reference. Specifications should only be applied under the guidance of a qualified preservation professional who can assess the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers serve as general guidelines and do not constitute a federal endorsement nor a determination that a product or method is the best alternative or compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards.
DUSTING AND MOPPING OF WOOD SURFACES
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.
A. The Procter & Gamble Co.
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
B. String mop
D. Blunt wood or metal tool
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.
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.