How to Strip a Floor

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When a floor’s finish begins to turn yellow and look dull, it is time to strip it. Taking off all of that old finish can have it looking as good as new in short order. If you have already tried to polish the surface and it hasn’t done any good, stripping and recoating your floor is the solution. You’ll need a good floor stripper to ensure the job is effectively and thoroughly done.

First of all, you will have to redirect traffic so people are not going to be walking through the area being stripped. You can put up cones or hand-made signs so nobody enters the space.

Cleaning the Floor First

You will first prepare the floor to be stripped. Remove any free-standing items that are movable, taking them completely out of the area. Then you will remove as much debris as you can before vacuuming up all the dust. If there is any grime stuck on the floor, you will need to get it off or it will mess up the pad on the floor stripper.

Stripping the Floor

The procedure is fairly simple if you have the right equipment. Stripping the floor consists of the following actions:

* Fill a bucket with floor stripper
* Dip in your mop and then wring it gently
* Start applying the stripper from the furthest corner of the room to the door where you will exit
* Apply the stripper in a figure-8 motion over six square feet at a time
* Allow to sit for about five to seven minutes
* Use the stripping machine with floor pad, moving back and forth, overlapping about an inch or so on each pass
* Spend more time if needed where wax has built up

Don’t let the stripper mixture dry but soon after complete, use a wet mop with a squeegee on the front to remove the stripper from the floor. If the stripper mixture does dry in place, you can add more solution to loosen it again.

Rinsing the Floor

Once the floor stripper solution is removed, you will need to take warm water and rinse the floor. Then rinse it with cold water twice more. Next you will rinse the floor with a floor stripper neutralizer. This will prevent a residue which would make it hard to put on the new finish and have it stick properly.

Once done applying the neutralizer, check if there is any residue on the floor. If there is any white residue remaining, you’ll need to rinse again. Also check for shiny areas which would mean re-stripping would be in order.

This can be quite a project, particularly if you are a business owner and have much more vital business activities to take care of. We suggest calling a janitorial service to do the job for you.


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