With every day cleaning and mopping it might he possible to keep floors reasonably clean, yet under constant use stains scratches would start showing and mark their appearance, therefore, floor maintenance is necessary. Floor Maintenance is an important part of Building maintenance activities and is an important part of study Architecture and design students.
Usual flooring materials are as follows :
4. Kota, Shahbad and similar flooring stones,
5. Man-made material like PVC, Rubber Linoleum, etc.
- 0.1 Concrete Floor Maintenance
- 0.2 Terrazzo Floor Maintenance
- 0.3 Marble Floor Maintenance
- 0.4 Kota Shahbad Stones
- 0.5 Granite
- 1 Dusting
Concrete Floor Maintenance
Problems connected with concrete flooring are
— Poor finish with cement droppings.
— Weak strength.
Concrete floor defects as above can not be removed by regrinding like terrazzo floor. Only way out is to cover it up by PVC flooring etc. or by painting.
Before laying PVC floor, the cement floor should be ground to level and the P.V.C tiles laid. Uneven concrete sub base will show through the PVC floor.
Cement concrete floors are more porous when compared to a terrazzo flooring and if it stains the stains are difficult to remove. These floors require sealing and can be sealed by either floor paints, phenolic resins or epoxy resin seals.
For painting, the floor has to be de-greased by muriatic acid (1 part of 30% commercial muriatic acid to 14 parts of water). A primer may be needed to seal the pores and paint be applied. Manufacturer’s instructions should be followed.
Two or three applications of boiled linseed oil diluted to 1/2 to 1/3 with mineral spirits makes an effective floor sealer. Light waxing may also help.
Terrazzo Floor Maintenance
In a good terrazzo floor, the top surface should have at least 70% marble. Terrazzo floor can be a cast insitu or by tiles. Cast in situ terrazzo is very similar to a concrete floor except that aggregate is marble.
Pressed tiles, on the other hand, are denser and more wear resistant. Higher surface layer density makes scratching difficult but it also makes initial polishing of floors
difficult. Tiled floor once polished properly retains shine for a long time.
The correct way to polish terrazzo floor is by 60, 80 and 120-grade carborundum stones along with filling in the pores by same colored cement paste and final polish by 320 grade stone.
There is a tendency on the part of workman and contractors to stop grinding at 80 or 120 grade. This leaves a scratchy surface which can at best take a temporary shine given by heavy layer of wax. In course of time, dust and grease goes into the scratches and makes floors dirty. Faced with such a problem only way is to regrind the surface with carborundum stones of proper grade. Cleanliness and shine are therefore inbuilt in the proper construction process.
Soaps, scrubbing powders, soda, inorganic salts and crystallizing salts should never he used in cleaning a dirty terrazzo floor. Terrazzo is maintained by daily dusting mopping, cleaning with neutral detergents and very occasional waxing and buffing.
Polishing with tin oxide can give a very fine mirror-like finish for a terrazzo floor.
Marble Floor Maintenance
Marble floors or surfaces in marble can be well maintained with very little efforts with good sweeping and damp mopping. Marbles are not to be given the wax polish.
Abrasive cleaning powder should never be used on marble. Soapy cleaners or soaps should never he utilized for cleaning of marble as these give a dull lifeless appearance to marble. An acidic cleaning agent will leave the surface dull and an alkali cleaners destroy marble. Only a neutral detergent can be used. Marble should he washed and rinsed thoroughly to remove all traces of detergent.
Tin oxide polishing gives a beautiful finish.
Kota Shahbad Stones
These are very durable. if care is taken to get a scratch free surface It can stand for a
long time. Acidic cleaners, abrasive powders will spoil the surface.
This is one of the hard stones available which can take a good polish. Should iron-studded shores are used it would get spoiled under traffic.
Floor maintenance of Man-made Surfaces like PVC, Linoleum, etc.
These floorings are available in tile or roll form. The floors are not water resistant.
Vacuuming and slight damp mop would remove all dust. The life of these floors is about 10 years. The surface may get scratched rather easily.
Mentioned above are the problems of floors which are non-structural. The structural
problems are discussed below:
Curling up of floor: Curling up of the floor at corners and there is a diagonal crack at corner.
This defect is seen when the thickness of floor is less and its bonding with the base is
These cracks are slightly. The repair may consist of taking off the floor in the areas affected and putting thicker floor. normally the thickness less than 40 mm is like to be affected by curling.
Under the traffic, the floor is dusting and the top layer is disintegrating. The defect is due to very thick laitance on the concrete floor, inadequate curing. A floor which is dusting cannot be cured. Relaying is the only way.
In the case of ground floors, this defect would be there if the plinth filling etc. has not been done properly. Along walls or where deep filling exist the floor may exhibit sinking cracks. The malady is deep rooted and it is a constructional defect. Where the sinking is unsightly or to be repaired, the flooring has to be broken, proper refilling is done and the flooring relaid.
Crazy cracking may occur in concrete and terrazzo flooring in upper floors. This is because the R.C.C slab on which the flooring is laid is undergoing deflection according to the loads. Whereas the R.C.C slab because it is reinforced can withstand these changes the flooring cannot. Hence it develops deep crazy cracks.
This is rather hard to avoid. Success can be had with a cushion layer of lime concrete etc. which may be 40-50 mm over which flooring can be laid. It has been observed that with cushion layer the floor does not crack. However, the problem of curling at edges will have to be tackled by the appropriate thickness of the flooring.
The concrete terrazzo or any other flooring wears under traffic. This will have to be checked by pouring water when it will stay in form of channels or poodles if it is other than concrete like terrazzo. The only course would be to re-grind the floor.
Temperature and Contraction
The cement when sets, it releases a lot of heat. Thus contraction of floor panels after it is cast is a normal phenomenon. The floor panels if they are laid of large dimensions or of odd dimensions may have more cracking. To avoid cracking to a large extent, normally floor panel should not be more than 2 sq.m. in area. The dimension should be squarish and length to breadth ratio should not exceed 1.5 in any case. Where the contraction joints in the floor border or skirting do not coincide with the floor panel, the smaller of the two will exhibit sympathetic cracking,
Lifting, Deterioration of Plastic Floor Tiles and floor maintenance
The symptoms are that the tiles are loose and/or their edges are lifted. This defect is
due to sub-base being damp or excessive water may have been used for cleaning purposes.
The remedy lies in checking the source of water. Normally plastic floor tiles are not used in ground floors where it is difficult to keep the sub base dry.
Blisters may appear in PVC floor. This is because of air being included in the glue while laying. When these tiles are to be laid they are to be rolled properly.
PVC tiles may come off completely due to the use of the wrong adhesive.
Stains and Floor Maintenance
Stains result from abuse of flooring or accidental spill of standing material. These
should be removed as soon as possible. Fresh stains are easier to remove. An old stain takes longer period of sustained effort for removal and even then the results may not be very satisfactory. Removal of stains without understanding what is the stain like and why a specific removal should be used is dangerous Even weak acids such as acetic, oxalic acid may damage the surface of flooring if left for a long time on the surface.
For stain removal basically, following guidelines operate.
(a) Water based stain use water to remove.
(b) Alcoholic stain use alcohol to remove
(c) Stain due to acid use alkali to neutralize
(d) Stain use to alkali use acid to neutralize
(e) Stain due to grease use liquid neutral detergent
(f) Stain with albumin use cold water (Hot water absolutely, not to be used).
(Milk or Blood)
Suggested methods for removal of common stains are described below:
Rust on Floor Tiles
Dissolve one part of sodium citrate to six parts of water and mix it with an equal volume of glycerine. Mix this liquid with whiting to form a stiff paste. Apply with a trowel or knife. After it has dried it should be removed. The treatment may have to be repeated many times. Use of aluminum citrate may produce results but it may injure flooring slightly. For deep stains, sodium hydro-sulphite may be used.
Second Method for Deep Stains – Horizontal Surface
The surface should first he soaked with a solution of sodium citrate in six parts of water.
Dip white cloth in the solution and apply over the stain for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove, cloth, Sprinkle over this layer sodium hydro-sulphite crystals,moisten with water applied by trowel.
Remove after a develop. Afterward rinse thoroughly with water. On a vertical surface, similar treatment is to be done but for placing crystals take a paste of whiting and water on trowel sprinkle crystals and apply on surface. Thus, the crystals will be in contact with stain.
Paints and Varnish
While paint is wet take it out by soaking it with a cloth. Do not rub in the paint.
A small residue of paint could be removed by carbon tetra-chloride, amyl acetate. For old stains, strong paint removers may be used. This may result in a certain amount of salt formation which presents an unsightly appearance which will disappear with normal cleaning in few days.
Emulsion paints are soluble in water and can be removed by first softening paint by water and lifting it out gently.
Asphalt or Bitumen: Remove by warm kerosene. Final removal can be done by carbon tetra-chloride.
Oils, Grease: The industrial floors may get a coating of oil and grease and it will make the floor slippery. Oils, when spilled, should be immediately mopped up quickly by hydrated lime, cement or whiting. Sponging with petrol or Benzene will also remove oil stain.
When the oil has penetrated deep in the concrete, sponging with solvent is usually not successful. This can be accomplished by placing a thick piece of cloth or cotton over the oil stain and it is saturated with a mixture of acetone with either amyl acetate or carbon tetra-chloride. Evaporation of solvent brings the oil to the surface. To check rapid evaporation of the solvent a glass or metal sheet should be placed Better results can be obtained by making a stiff paste of whiting and solvent given above and applying to the stain.
Coffee Stains: Coffee stains can be removed by one part of glycerine in four parts of water and wiped by cloth.
Urine Stain: This problem is mostly faced in India during floor maintenance urine stains can be removed by 10% solution of citric acid and washed with plenty of water.
Ink stains and floor maintenance: Stains can be removed by applying ammonia water on cotton. Sodium perborate be mixed in hot water and mix whiling to a thick paw apply and allow to dry. 10% solution of oxalic acid or ammonium oxalate or citric acid or hydrogen peroxide.
Repairing Floors under Floor Maintenance
Repairs to floor would be needed on account of pitting cracking swilling at joints and may be due to normal wear and tear or accident, etc. The treatment would be dependent on the type of floor.
Problem in the repair of floor specially concrete and terrazzo floor is that it is
difficult to rectify the damage—nor repair does not stick. Replacing entire panel makes problems of matching the color very difficult.
Dusty concrete or terrazzo floor with a lot of crocodile cracking on surface is not
repairable. Pitting consists of small holes on the surface resulting from aggregate becoming loose, dents caused by accidents etc.
Repairs to pitting can be done by epoxy resins mixed with matching colors and cements. The cavity is cleaned thoroughly and the resin mix is used as a paste to fill. Traffic should not be allowed till epoxy sets properly.
Cracking can be repaired by expansive grout or by epoxy. Spalling near joints is a problem. Concrete near the joint almost always is a weak mortar. Where the depth of spall is less than 25 mm, the repairs can be done by epoxy resins.
Where large chunks are involved. The spalling area should be cut in a regular way and re-concreted with a binder like Araldite, epoxy, etc., applied at the junction of old and new work to join effectively the old and new surface.
PVC tiles which get damaged etc., have to be cut out by a sharp knife, the old adhesive thoroughly scraped and new tiles placed with adhesive. Where scruff marks on PVC floors are to be removed then fine grade steel wool could be used to rub off the scruff marks.
When stone flooring is used, the damaged piece could be removed and new piece with matching veins added. These repairs art best done with various epoxy formulations instead of ordinary cement.