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The Process of VCT Stripping and Waxing



The Process of VCT Stripping and Waxing

TL;DR: Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT) flooring, valued for its durability in high-traffic areas, requires systematic maintenance through stripping and waxing to maintain its appearance and longevity. This process involves removing old wax and applying a new protective layer to guard against damage. Regular maintenance, including proper cleaning and the use of appropriate materials, is crucial. Choosing a professional service with expertise in VCT care can ensure your floors remain pristine and durable, enhancing their functionality and aesthetic appeal in commercial settings.

 

VCT floors are celebrated for their durability and versatility. However, they require meticulous maintenance to safeguard their appeal and longevity. This can be achieved through stripping and waxing, which preserves floors against scratches, scuffs, and other forms of damage. 

It’s important to know how stripping and waxing floor practices remove the old, dull, and discolored wax layers. It rejuvenates your flooring and prepares it to withstand future wear and tear. With the right guidance on strip and wax floors, you’ll discover how this crucial maintenance enhances the appearance of your VCT floors and extends their life. 

This article will provide insights into the entire floor strip and wax procedure, from understanding VCT floors to choosing the best service for stripping and waxing floors. We also added some essential maintenance tips to keep your floors looking their best year-round.

Understanding VCT Floors

Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT) is commonly used in commercial and institutional settings due to its durability and cost-effectiveness. Understanding the composition and characteristics of VCT is crucial for effective maintenance, including the necessary stripping and waxing processes. 

Below, we explain some compositions and types of VCT:

  • Material Composition: VCT is made from blended polyvinyl chloride (PVC) chips, limestone, filler materials, and color pigments. These components are fused under heat and pressure to create the flooring’s robust structure.
  • Types of Vinyl Flooring: It’s important to distinguish VCT from other vinyl flooring options like Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) and sheet vinyl. Unlike LVT, which is entirely vinyl, VCT contains a higher percentage of limestone and other fillers, enhancing its resilience to high traffic but making it more porous and susceptible to moisture.

The properties and maintenance requirements of VCT flooring include: 

  • Absorbent Nature: The absorbency properties of VCT make applying a protective wax layer and performing regular polishing vital. This is to prevent moisture penetration and maintain its appearance.
  • Maintenance Cycle: Regular maintenance involves stripping old wax, detailed cleaning, and reapplying wax to protect its surface. This cycle preserves the floor’s look and extends its lifespan, particularly in high-traffic areas.
  • Common Applications: VCT is extensively used in environments like schools, hospitals, and retail stores due to its ability to withstand heavy foot traffic and its ease of maintenance.

The Professional Stripping and Waxing Process

VCT floors are prone to scratches, stains, and wear, especially in areas with heavy foot traffic. Over time, the floor’s wax layer can become yellowed and dull, making the environment look unclean and unwelcoming. Furthermore, improper maintenance can cause the tiles to degrade, leading to costly replacements.

Stripping and waxing are essential because they remove the old wax, dirt, and debris and apply a fresh layer of wax. This restores the floor’s shine, protects the tiles from damage, and extends their lifespan.

Take a look at the steps experts take during VCT floor stripping and waxing.

1. Preparing the Area

The first step in the stripping and waxing process is preparing the area. This includes removing all furniture, rugs, and other obstacles from the floor to ensure a thorough cleaning. Professionals also put up safety signs to prevent people from walking on the floors during the process.

2. Stripping the Old Wax

Stripping involves the removal of the old layer of wax and any embedded dirt from the floor. Professionals use a commercial floor stripper, a potent chemical solution designed to break down the old wax. They apply this solution to the floor and left to sit for a specified period, usually 5 to 10 minutes, allowing it to penetrate and loosen the wax.

 

After the solution has been set, experts use a floor machine equipped with abrasive pads to agitate the surface, effectively lifting old wax and dirt from the tiles. The resulting ooze is then removed using a wet vacuum or mop.

3. Cleaning the Floor

Once stripping is complete, professionals clean the floor to remove any traces of the stripper solution and loosened dirt. They typically do this with a neutral cleaner and water, ensuring the floor is perfectly clean and ready for a new wax coating.

4. Applying the New Wax

After cleaning, the floor is left to dry completely. The next step is to apply several coats of wax. A professional floor finish is applied using a mop or wax applicator. Each layer is allowed to dry thoroughly before the next is applied. Generally, three to five coats are necessary to achieve a good protective layer and the desired gloss.

5. Buffing the Floor

The final step is buffing the floor, which enhances the wax’s shine and ensures it is evenly spread across the floor’s surface. Buffing can be done using a high-speed floor buffer that polishes the wax and leaves a glossy, smooth finish.

Choose the Best Service for VCT Stripping and Waxing

When selecting a VCT stripping and waxing service, it’s crucial to consider several factors to ensure quality and cost-effectiveness.

  • Industry Knowledge and Expertise: Engage with professionals who deeply understand VCT floors. Companies specializing in commercial floor maintenance can provide valuable insights and services.
  • Professional Recommendations: Read recommendations from trusted chemical manufacturers or distributors familiar with the requirements for stripping and waxing hard floors.
  • Service Range: Look for companies offering comprehensive services, including one-time strip and wax and ongoing maintenance plans.
  • Scheduling Availability: Choose a service that offers flexible scheduling options to minimize disruption in your commercial space. 
  • Long-term Care: Implementing a regular maintenance plan with a professional service can significantly extend the life of your floors and reduce long-term costs. Companies that offer tailored pricing and maintenance programs ensure you receive the best value and quality care tailored to your needs.

Maintenance Tips Post-Stripping and Waxing

After stripping and waxing, adhere to a consistent maintenance schedule for long-lasting and aesthetically pleasing VCT flooring. Use a soft-bristled broom or a dust mop daily to remove surface dirt and debris, preventing the abrasive grinding effect that can deteriorate the wax layer. For more thorough cleaning, use a damp mop with a gentle yet effective solution of diluted dish soap. 

Safety in Maintenance Practices

Always consider safety and efficiency during maintenance. Wear shoes with good grip when handling cleaning solutions, especially immediately after stripping and waxing when floors might be more slippery. 

Efficient Maintenance

When applying solutions or performing maintenance tasks, ensure adequate lighting, especially in older buildings, to safely see and manage the work area. It’s crucial to let cleaning machines, like wet vacuums, adequately pick up all liquids before laying down and rinse water to avoid slipping hazards and ensure a thorough clean.

Tailored Maintenance Based on Environmental Factors

Create a tailored maintenance plan that considers your specific environment. Factors such as foot traffic, the type of activities conducted on the floor, and general environmental conditions should dictate the frequency and type of maintenance tasks performed. 

Call the Pros

Regular professional services, including stripping, waxing, burnishing, and scrubbing, should be scheduled based on these factors to maintain optimal floor conditions. Selecting appropriate cleaning products is essential to avoid discoloration or deterioration of the wax finish.

Conclusion

The process of VCT stripping and waxing extends your flooring’s lifespan. All you have to do is know your flooring composition and practice the maintenance tips for stripping and waxing. Remember that a regular maintenance schedule and selecting a quality service provider ensure your floors can withstand the rigors of high traffic while maintaining their aesthetic appeal.

 

Certified Clean Care adopts the best practices for VCT floor care to help you achieve a balance between cost efficiency and maintaining a polished, professional environment. Our commitment to regular stripping and waxing has proven to enhance the value and longevity of VCT flooring.

So, why wait? Let us transform your VCT flooring today. Get a free quote today!