Flooring, Maintenance and Operations, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Floor Coatings: A Sustainable Alternative to the Strip-and-Wax Method

One of the perennial challenges in facility maintenance is keeping floors clean, shiny, and presentable. For decades, the traditional strip-and-wax method has been the go-to solution for many. However, as environmental consciousness grows and technology advances, a new contender has emerged: floor coatings. In this article, we will explore the benefits and drawbacks of both approaches, with a focus on sustainability and cost-efficiency.

Courtesy: SOLID Surface Care

Strip and Wax: A Traditional Approach

For years, the strip-and-wax method has clung to its position as the standard in floor maintenance. This labor-intensive method involves stripping off the existing wax, applying fresh layers, and buffing to create that fleeting shine. However, beneath its glossy surface, this approach conceals a host of inherent drawbacks.

  1. Temporary Shine: Perhaps the most glaring issue is the fleeting nature of the shine it provides. While it dazzles immediately after the procedure, this luster may rapidly diminish under the daily assault of foot traffic.
  2. Costly and Labor-Intensive: What appears to be a cost-effective solution may become a financial sinkhole. Frequent reapplication and the necessity for skilled labor may render strip and wax an exorbitant choice over the long term, denting budgets and inflating maintenance costs.
  3. Environmental Impact: Many traditional wax products contain a cocktail of harsh chemicals. These substances contribute to ongoing environmental pollution, a concern that is gaining momentum in the floor care industry and beyond.
  4. Resource Consumption: The process utilizes precious resources like water and energy at an alarming rate. As the world grapples with mounting concerns about resource conservation, the sustainability of strip and wax is increasingly called into question.

Floor Coatings: A Modern Alternative

Enter floor coatings, a more contemporary solution that addresses the limitations of strip and wax. Floor coatings come in various forms, each with its advantages.

  1. Enhanced Durability: Floor coatings are designed to withstand heavy foot traffic and daily wear and tear, offering a longer-lasting solution than strip and wax.
  2. Long-Term Savings: Although the initial investment might be higher, floor coatings often lead to substantial long-term cost savings. They require less ongoing maintenance and fewer reapplications.
  3. Environmental Sustainability: Many floor coatings are formulated to be environmentally friendly, reducing the need for harsh chemicals during maintenance.
  4. Improved Energy Efficiency: Some coatings can enhance floor reflectivity, reducing the need for artificial lighting and resulting in energy savings.

Floor coatings have become a compelling alternative to traditional strip-and-wax methods. Their enhanced durability, cost efficiency, and sustainability make them a favorable choice for many facilities. However, the choice between the two ultimately depends on each facilities manager’s specific needs and priorities. The key is to evaluate the long-term benefits and align them with your organization’s goals for a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Eric Wroldsen is chief sales officer at SOLID Surface Care.

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