After a fair amount of elbow grease, on-going effort, and a myriad number of chemical supplies, does that once lovely floor still look like a ’71 Chevy at the end of a demolition derby? Nothing seems to work and many despair that nothing ever will.
You have been plagued by the marks that don’t come out. Many a floor owner feels marked for life — or so they think.
There are a number of ways to triumph over those resistant blights on your floor. First, we need to know how those marks got there. Shoes, the environment, and things we do are responsible for all those little nasties.
We begin with shoe bottoms since they are the prime cause of marks. Rubber, rubber compound, leather, metal, metal compounds, thread, and an assortment of synthetic materials located near or on the bottom of our shoes disintegrate. In many cases, they leave marks on the floor.
The traditional scuff mark is a classic problem. Scuff marks are the black streaks typically left by footwear that has a hard rubber bottom, such as heels, hard-soled shoes, or even sneakers. With the additional force of percussive movement, such as tap or clogging, the problem is compounded by the abrasive, burnishing, and grinding nature of the transference of materials to the floor surface.
Normal cleaning procedures may not get the job done. There are two ways to attack these problems and in some instances, a combination of both work well. There are aggressive chemical cleaning agents that can dissolve and “lift” the marks off the floor, and there are mechanical means utilizing a floor machine, brushes and/or aggressive pads (red or black) to muscle the offending marks off the floor. Please note the following caution: That which can dissolve foreign matter off your floor may very well dissolve your floor along with any floor finish you may have had on your floor. The first time out test any new product or technique. Read maintenance instructions for do’s and don’ts before you dive in. More floors get ruined by failed attempts to clean them than for any other reason.
While the scuff marks problem can be troublesome, there is a much more sinister problem facing the floor owner and it looks just like a scuff mark. Dye marks are produced when heat and perspiration causes shoe dye to leach through the shoe onto the floor. It is like spilling paint on your floor. Now you need to escalate the level of attack. It is time for a spot remover. There is an inherent problem in that the substance that dissolves the dye mark can also dissolve your floor. Be very careful using citrus-based solvents. If you do, immediately flush the area with water and dry.
The longer dye marks remain on a vinyl floor, the harder they are to remove. These marks will transmute directly into vinyl, making them almost impossible to get out.
When stubborn spots still remain, we recommend Wipeout Plus.
Wipeout Plus is effective and much safer to use than household products or other commercial products. (See page 15 for pricing.) Wipeout Plus is a spot remover. Read the directions. After spraying Wipeout Plus on the scuff or dye mark for a brief time and rubbing with a cloth or non-abrasive white pad, be sure to wipe off, rinse with water, and clean area with a neutral cleaning solution like ProClean. Wipeout Plus also dissolves tabe residue. Simply follow the previous directions.
If your floor has a finish, it is possible these solvents/cleaners will remove it. The faster you work, the less likely any damage will occur. If you have an extra piece of floor, test the product on it. Re-finishing is not the worst thing that can happen. If your floor is a total wasteland of scuffs and dye marks, and you used a finish on it, it might be time to strip the finish off, clean the surface of any residual stripper, and re-finish the floor.
Another type of mark that infuriates dance floor owners is the grey/black marks produced by disintegrating aluminum taps. Once again, you pay the piper for inferior materials. The appropriate choice to preserve the quality of your floor is using only steel or aluminum taps. Aluminum compound taps break down leaving a residue (the metal turns black when exposed to friction or heat) which ends up sticking to the vinyl. There are two ways to get rid of this mess. First, purchase artificial chamois cloths (used for cleaning cars) and dry mop your floor with the cloth. The shards of aluminum will stick directly to the chamois. Wash them out and reuse them. The second method is to wet down the floor and use a wet/dry shop vac to dispose of the particulate matter.
After you have removed the tap marks or as much of it as you can, protect against new ones by purchasing Tapshield. Applied directly to taps, our unique product prevents the marks made from aluminum compound breakdown. Tapshield may be purchased in individual use or new studio size bottles. (See page 15 for pricing.) Tapshield must be applied to the taps in a specific way. First the tap (new or used) must be cleaned with a green pad and sudsy water or with high grit/low abrasive sand paper, and then wiped dry/clean. Tapshield is applied to each tap 4 times allowing the first 3 applications to dry for 15-20 minutes and giving the last coating overnight to completely dry. You will want to prop up the shoes or turn then upside down. You might want to mark the shoe so you know it was treated. This coating should last a full season of dancing depending on style and frequency of use but check for wear.
Obviously, when planning your floor care maintenance program, using the appropriate products makes the whole process easier and less time consuming. We suggest consideration of using our FloorShield Finish to restore the surface appearance, and most importantly, cut cleaning time and effort. FloorShield Finish will reduce tap residue by up to 50%. Keeping your floors in top notch condition is important to the health and safety of both teachers and students.
FLOORSHIELD FINISH STRIPPER
(Sold with the FLOORSHIELD MAINTENANCE SYSTEM)
If your floor is not entirely clean, it is time to increase the intensity of your effort. Usually what is left are bad scuff marks, dye marks, gum, adhesive residue, or food stains.
If you have not used a finish, you always have the option of using a stripper and a red pad. That should get everything up. It will, however, leave your floor dull unless you follow up with an application of finish.
A floor stripper, applied with a floor machine and a Stagestep renovation pad, usually used in conjunction with floor finishes, is an aggressive and effective way to address dye and scuff marks on a large scale.
After using a stripper, it is very important to clean your floor with your detergent/degreaser. Stripper left on the floor can damage the surface, destroy a finish about to be applied, and can damage shoes.
WHEN THE MARKS STILL WON’T COME UP – FLOORSHIELD COLOR
If all else fails in removing stains, dye marks or scuff marks from your floors, it is now possible to re-color flooring with FloorShield Color. This innovative floor finish allows you to renew the floor and maintain the same non-slip and other performance attributes required for your specific activities.
FloorShield Color can be used to create a custom floor color for productions, corporate or school colors, and to reflect your identity.
An appropriate finish applied to the floor will help reduce the time, effort and frequency of cleaning.
Make sure you follow instructions for the number of applications, technique of application, drying time and other requirements. The cleaner you keep your floor, the longer it will last, the better it will look, and the safer it will be.
The FloorShield Maintenance System has both a non-slip finish and specially-designed cleaner.The FloorShield Maintenance System should be reapplied every 18 months. A FloorShield
Finish will protect the floor and reduce the time and effort needed to clean especially when the floor is used for tap dance and shoe activities.