If you have had your wood floors sealed with a water based floor lacquer or varnish, you need to educate yourself about your new finish. Up to about 5 years back, most wood floors were sealed with solvent or oil based floor finishes. These finishes were very hard wearing, very chemical resistant and very artificial looking. A fancy wood floor finished with a thick coat of oil based floor lacquer would look the same as any cheap wood floor finished with the same finish. The fibre of the wood is nearly invisible and the floor will look perfectly smooth.
People used to bleach their wood floors, scrub them with heavy duty abrasive floor pads and not not pay attention to maintenance. The only issue with the oil based finishes is the yellowing in contact with light and chemicals. That yellow reaction creates a very tired look even on new floors. Also, the production of these types of oil based wood finishes generates alot of pollution. Something had to be done. That something was water based floor finishes. A water based wood floor finish is much better looking, nearly invisible, it maintains the natural feeling of the wood and it creates unique finishes on antique or old prestigious wood floors.
Water based floor lacquers and finishes cannot be cleaned with acidic cleaning products, bleach or high PH floor cleaners. You will need to buy specific wood floor cleaners. Junckers, Bona & Tover are three of the most highly rated and recommended brands for wood floor cleaning products. Each brand sells highly concentrated wood floor cleaners that can be diluted to last for months. A professional wood floor cleaning detergent will remove dirt from wood without negatively affecting the wood itself. It will enhance and maintain the pre-existing finish.
Do not use the same mop to clean wood floors and other types of floors. It is highly recommended that you buy a flat mopping system and you use it just for wood floors. Colour coded mops can also be used to avoid confusion.
Do not buff wood floors. Wood floors finished with a water based floor finish does not require buffing. If at a later stage you decide to polish your wood floors, you can use the high speed buffer to buff the new polish. Use red pads only.
Do not apply new sealants over dirty surfaces. You will trap dirt under the new floor polish and you will create dirty patches on your floor. If you are planning to apply a new sealant, deep clean the floor beforehand, let it dry and then apply new coats. If you have a commercial floor, you need to be aware that by overcoating the floor with many coats of sealant you will create very slippery finishes in contact with water.
There is no difference in protection if you are using a gloss or a matt finish.
Train your staff. Just because you know and you were informed about wood floor maintenance, it does not mean that your staff knows about it. If you need someone to show them how to maintain it, ask your floor sanding contractor to help you out.
The life expectancy of your floor will depend 100% on maintenance. Maintain your wood floors with proper wood floor cleaning products and flat mops. Use as little water as possible. Refresh your floor regularly in areas with higher traffic and only use a vacuum with a soft brush head to remove dust and debris.
It is your duty as a property owner to learn how to maintain your wood floors. A floor sanding contractor is not liable if the floor was not properly maintained after sanding and finishing.
As a professional floor sanding company we have seen many of our customers damaging wood floor finishes in a matter of hours. Many of our customers ignore the advice only to find out that their floor is not fixable after it was damaged. Water based floor lacquers are as durable as oil based products but require more specific maintenance.