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VCT Help on Estimate and Procedure

Gregory10

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Need to do an Estimate for a Liquor Store to Strip and Wax VCT Total measured 1,325 Sq Ft . I have a 17" 175,New to VCT..Looking for approx Estimate and complete procedure, what pads, what chems etc. I wont have to move anything off of the floors . I included pics,though floor looks worse than the pics,looks pretty beat.
Liquor1.jpg
Liq6.jpg
Liq4.jpg
 

Robert86

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You will need floor stripper, finish, black pads, a few mops (one for putting stripper down, one for rinsing and neutralizing) mop buckets and wet vac.

Mix stripper in a mop bucket and use your mop to put it down on the floor. Lay it down thick and let it soak for at least 10 minutes. I often let my floors soak for a good 30 minutes. Keep it wet by putting down clean water, not more stripper, with the other mop. Scrub with black pads. Extract. Wet floor again with the clean water (might be looking a little milky from wetting the stripper but thats okay, its still mostly water), let soak a few minutes, scrub again and extract. This second step is basically a second strip as the water will reactivate the residue on the floor.

If there is still wax on the floor, repeat the process. Use either a good stiff scrub brush to scrub edges or black doodlebug pads. Might have to do some scraping on the edges so have a good scraper tool ready. I actually use a painters tool instead of razor blades. Works great and a couple passes with a mill file that I keep in the truck sharpens it back up when it dulls. If you have a grout demon brush this will work very good for scrubbing out the edges and may save you some scaping work.

When floor is clean of old finish, use a clean mop and mop the floor with a neutralizer. I simply mix a cup of vinegar into clean water and wet mop the floor. This will help remove a little more residue and the vinegar brings the floor up to a neutral ph. Not everyone does this but if your floor is left in too high a PH then it may cause problems with the wax.

Use a microfiber flat mop to spread the finish. YouTube videos are helpful here to see how to spread the finish in an efficient pattern.

Work in small sections, don't try and strip the whole place in one go. Pick off maybe a 200 sq ft area to start. After you get a few of these jobs under your belt and you find a good routine, you'll start picking bigger areas. But until you get a feel for it, smaller sections will be better.

You don't necessarily need super thick coats of finish. They will take a longer time to dry between coats and uses more product then you really need to use. I prefer to put down 1 thick coat to seal the floor, and then 2 - 3 thinner coats to build the shine.
 
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Scott W

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I agree with most of what Robert says.

If you are not moving things, will someone else be moving all that stuff? Cleaning around obstacles really slows down a job. You can also have low spots where the stripper solution runs under things and is difficult to rinse up.

Vinegar is pretty weak and already diluted a lot when purchased at a store. I prefer a neutralizer solution like Fab-Set. If you do use vinegar, you will need a lot more than Robert said to neutralize the floor. About equal amount water and vinegar to get pH below 7. You can check with pH strips or meter.

I also like all the coats to be thin coats of finish, even the first one. Depending upon the budget, 4, 5 or 6 coats is probably ideal for a high traffic area, but some cheap customers only want to pay for 3.

The first and last coat should be applied edge to edge. Middle coats can stop 6" to 8" away from walls as those areas don't get much traffic and tend to get a build-up of old dirty finish if you put it on too thick.
 
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Robert86

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I agree with most of what Robert says.

If you are not moving things, will someone else be moving all that stuff? Cleaning around obstacles really slows down a job. You can also have low spots where the stripper solution runs under things and is difficult to rinse up.
Scott mentioning moving things brought something to mind. You might want to specify what will need to be moved. Customers tend to think differently than we do about what's in the way. And if you are moving things, especially because of the high value of very breakable items, I'd charge a good bit extra to do it.
 

floorclean

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Never use any “neutralizer” as a final rinse. Always use plain water after neutralizing a floor.
 

Smtwn janitorial

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They covered it well. The labor intensive part is getting the edges clean. Usually that is done with razor blades or other tools that don't work very well. For your first vct job make sure you have a helper, and plan on it taking all night, or possibly more for your first go around. I would make sure they are going to move all the beer cases on the ground. Anything cardboard on the ground will soak up stripper and get ruined.
I don't particularly enjoy vct, because of the hours, chemicals, and risk of slips and falls, so I bid vct high. I would be $1+ per foot. That is higher than most will pay, but it needs to be worth your effort.

Robert and Scott... I've stripped hundreds of floors and never used a true neutralizing rinse. Ive heard that I should but I haven't. I usually mop with some neutral floor cleaner. Am I hurting anything? I haven't noticed any obvious problems.
 

Robert86

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They covered it well. The labor intensive part is getting the edges clean. Usually that is done with razor blades or other tools that don't work very well. For your first vct job make sure you have a helper, and plan on it taking all night, or possibly more for your first go around. I would make sure they are going to move all the beer cases on the ground. Anything cardboard on the ground will soak up stripper and get ruined.
I don't particularly enjoy vct, because of the hours, chemicals, and risk of slips and falls, so I bid vct high. I would be $1+ per foot. That is higher than most will pay, but it needs to be worth your effort.

Robert and Scott... I've stripped hundreds of floors and never used a true neutralizing rinse. Ive heard that I should but I haven't. I usually mop with some neutral floor cleaner. Am I hurting anything? I haven't noticed any obvious problems.
It's not entirely necessary. I never did when I first started, just a final mop with clean water and a clean microfiber mop. In some of my stores, after I started using a neutralizer, I didn't notice any difference, in others I noticed a difference. Finish seemed to resist scratches better and hold up longer, also responded to buffing better. Not a huge difference but enough I noticed.

Mostly, locations where I can use an auto scrubber, water alone seems to be fine but I can rinse the floors a few extra times with a scrubber in the same time it takes me to do a single rinse where I'm using a mop and 175. It is locations where I'm doing it all with a 175 that I noticed the difference.

I have a friend that does a bunch of super markets and they were having trouble with wax yellowing faster than it should and it was balling up in their burnisher pads. These problems stopped after they started using a neutralizer, which has saved them money because they aren't rewaxing as often now. His guys working the stores are always in a rush though and often don't rinse the floor very well before putting wax down so that was a big part of his problem.
 

floorclean

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No floor requires an official product to neutralize a floor. We do three rinses hot, warm and cold. The temperature makes no difference but what is does is makes everyone your working with how many rinses has been done.