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Wednesday, October 14, 2015


A brown color appears days after stripping and recoating a white 12x12 vct floor in a GSA Building. It is maintained by daily cleaning with a neutral cleaner, a weekly burnishing after applying a mop on restorer, and a monthly stripping. What could be causing the discoloration? It happens days after the strip and recoat, and it is on-going.


Answer # 1:
Any chance it's not the tile, but asphalt tracking from the parking lot?
Bill Griffin, President

Answer # 2:
Do you remember the old Hee-Haw routine where the doctor asks if it hurts to do something and when the patient says yes, the doc tells him, ďWell, donít do that?Ē
Thatís my solution to your problem. If the floor turns brown after you strip it, stop stripping! Iím serious. What could possibly be going on that would require a vct floor to be stripped of finish every month?!!!???!?!?
I canít tell you what is happening from the standpoint of a chemical reaction, but something is obviously wrong when this browning shows up every time.
Letís break this down as best we can. First, if the floor tile itself is not changing color, that is a good sign. When you strip does the tile come up white? If it does, then the problem is with the finish. Is something on the floor as the result of the stripping that affects the clarity of the finish?
Was the floor completely rinsed and neutralized? Is the finish compatible with the stripper and the neutral cleaner? Yes, I know a neutral cleaner should be neutral and cause no harm, but are you sure it is what it says it is? No mislabeled containers?
Next question, is the discoloration showing before or after the mop-on (?) restorer is put down? Is the restorer causing a chemical reaction with the finish?
Does the browning show up after the burnishing, indicating the finish is overheating and darkening due to that procedure? Is another finish needed for burnishing?
Back to the stripping issue. You should be able to put down five to six coats of a quality finish and maintain that with daily and weekly cleaning, as well as an occasional scrub and recoat, for years without stripping the floors. Years, not a month! You are wasting resources, polluting the indoor environment (VOCs), and risking damage to the tile by following such a needless strip schedule.
Talk with your chemical supplier about extending the strip frequency and selecting compatible products, and start from scratch. This problem will not end until you get a program in place that assures chemical compatibility and eliminates frequent stripping.
Lynn E Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor