TERRAZZO MAINTENANCE AND FLOOR CARE
Epoxy terrazzo is a low maintenance flooring system. Learn how to clean and maintain terrazzo throughout the flooring lifecycle.
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When properly cared for, terrazzo floors can last a lifetime. Fulfill the potential lifetime of a terrazzo floor by following these care and restoration guidelines.
One of the benefits of terrazzo is its ease of maintenance. Terrazzo floors are easy to clean and with a few simple steps, you can reduce potential issues and maintain the aesthetic value of a terrazzo floor throughout its lifetime.
There are three types of binders used to anchor marble chips or other aggregates in your terrazzo floor. Originally, and still used, is a Portland cement product; next a polyacrylate modified cement. The most common matrix today is epoxy resin.
All terrazzo systems contain marble or other types of aggregates materials that have surface exposure. Marble aggregates have a low porosity of absorption. Other aggregates types may have little or no porosity.
Portland Cement Systems: The portion of this floor system that most benefits from primary protection is the Portland cement binder. Sealers will also assist in protecting the marble chips or other aggregates.
Epoxy Resin Systems: The binder for this terrazzo system is fundamentally non-porous. Sealers assist in protecting the aggregates and normally enhance aesthetics.
Although each system has the role of anchoring the aggregate into the topping, maintenance procedures are essentially common to all terrazzo installations.
MAINTENANCE PRECAUTIONS: Harsh cleaners and sealers can damage terrazzo. Only materials that are neutral pH should be used when scrubbing or mopping floors. Sealers should achieve a slip resistance coefficient of friction rating applicable to code. Water-based sealers are most commonly recommended and utilized today. Mop on, in one or more coats, in accordance with the instructions of the sealer manufacturer. This can also be followed by a water-based finish (dressing) for daily or weekly buffing if a high sheen is desired.
CLEANING PROCEDURES: Neutral cleaners are designed to react only in solution with clean water, mixed in accordance with the manufacturer instructions, and allowed to remain on the floor surface for several minutes. This provides the necessary time for the grime-dissolving action to take place. Then rinse the dirt-laden solution from the surface by squeegee, vacuum or mopping. Rinse with ample clean water. It is important to keep the floor wet during this entire cleaning process so the dirt and cleaning residue does not dry on the surface.
FAQ: “How often must we sweep or scrub this floor?” is answered by the amount of traffic that moves across the floor daily. Daily dust mopping is a requirement in most public buildings. Daily dust mopping removes both the dust and the grit tracked into the building.
Please follow these minimum maintenance suggestions to allow a terrazzo floor to remain clean and long-lasting.
Before deviation from the instructions, contact your local terrazzo contractor for help. Be sure to keep all mops, pails, and water clean during the entire process.
Go over the terrazzo floor with a dust mop daily. To remove stubborn stains and scuff marks, handwork the spots with a neutral cleaner diluted in warm water.
Weekly damp mop a lightly soiled terrazzo floor with a neutral cleaner. Heavily soiled floors should be scrubbed with a mechanical buffing machine and a neutral cleaner. Mop up all residue with clean water before the floor dries. Allow the terrazzo floor to dry and buff with a dry brush.
Strip away existing sealers and any finish coats. Reseal a clean terrazzo floor.
Note: Allow the neutral cleaner time to react once it is applied to the terrazzo surface. This loosens foreign matter. Please allow several minutes for the neutral cleaner to dwell but do not allow the solution to dry on the surface.
By executing the minimum maintenance suggestion, it is proven to provide building owners with the lowest maintenance cost of any floor system.
Helpful Tips For Terrazzo Maintenance: Your Terrazzo has been ground and polished and sealed with a penetrating Terrazzo Sealer. This protects your surface from immediate stains, but no spillage should be ignored and allowed to soak and dry into the floor. Good housekeeping procedures require that your floor remains clean.
– Ask your installing terrazzo contractor to recommend the proper neutral cleaner and sealers to be used on your floor.
– Dust mop your floors daily. This not only picks up the dust but also the grit tracked into your building. The grit acts as an abrasive on your hard surface floor.
– Scrub your floors a minimum of twice a week, where a new terrazzo floor has been installed for the initial two to three months, as the construction dust is still in the air, and will eventually be deposited on your floor. After this period, once per week, depending on the amount of foot traffic, keep your floor clean in appearance. Always rinse your floors well to prevent a build-up of cleaner residue that could become slippery.
– Seal your floors with a water-based acrylic sealer in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Normally, a new floor requires two or more coats, which provide a good sheen for a period of 45 to 60 days, before needing additional coats. Sealer should be classified by Underwriters Laboratories, as slip-resistant with a rating of minimum 0.5.
– Use maintenance products designed for terrazzo.
– Allow your neutral cleaner, once applied to the terrazzo surface, time to react as designed to loosen foreign matter. Several minutes should be adequate, but DO NOT allow the solution to dry on the surface.
– Use purely surface waxes, or all-purpose sealers. Employment of such can result in slippery surfaces.
– Use all-purpose cleaners containing water-soluble inorganic or crystallizing salts, harmful alkali or acids. The use of such products could prove harmful to your terrazzo floor.
– Use cheap cleaners or sealers since the majority of your maintenance costs is labor.
– Try miracle cleaners or sealers on your floor without getting an opinion on such products from your terrazzo contractor.