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Monday, September 01, 2014

Question

We were asked to bid on a 23,000 sf computer server room for a VCT strip and refinish. There is no way to remove any of the computers or wiring and some of the aisles are very narrow. Is there a "dry", but not dusty way to remove the old finish?


Answer

The new Surface Prep Pads are designed for chemical free stripping. They can be used on most any machine, but in your case, you would need a vacuum or dust containment feature. Some machine manufactures have available chemical free productivity, along with no or low moisture. SPP pads are available for rotary or oscillating machines, and cylindrical brushes are also available.

Some contractors feel the SPP approach is best for removing 2-3 coats and leaving the untouched base coats. This assumes:
a) No discoloration of the finish,
b) Absence of uneven surfaces, and
c) Existing floor finish is repairable.
In your case, you may want to test a couple of different machines to ensure the required level of stripping is obtained, and that the dust containment is satisfactory, since this will be mandatory.


There is also the ‘Dry Strip” process that dates back many years. You mist on a very light spray of stripper and buff the floor with a black pad and 175 rpm machine. Results are only fair, and you use a lot of pads, but it does eliminate dust. This dry stripping process also pulls on the machine, producing jerky movements, which could be hazardous to an expensive computer.


If you plan on reapplying floor finish you should elevate all the cords with tie wraps, cords, or masking tape. You can also elevate computers by inserting foam blocks 6” inside of each frame. Doing this or placing any equipment on counters will save a lot of labor in the stripping process.


This all is a bit of a nightmare, so make sure your extra labor and aggravation accumulation is covered.

Gary Clipperton
National Pro Clean Corp.
(719) 598-5112
www.nationalproclean.com