According to finish manufacturer's instructions, apply the first coat of finish on the floor. After the first coat is dry, the finish will feel a little rough. Use an orbital or rotary sander and a very fine grit of sand paper or screen (120 to 180 grit) to lightly buff the coat of finish.
This will give the finish a smooth feel and will prepare the floor for the next finish coat. Thoroughly clean the floor and apply the second and third coats of finish in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
Resilient floor refinishing
Some rental customers will have a need to care for or refinish their resilient floors, which include tile, linoleum and sealed concrete.
The first step for this type of floor is to determine whether or not it has a wax on it. If it does and the customer wishes to refinish the floor, it's necessary to first remove the wax. This is done using a floor stripper.
First, start by cleaning up all debris. Then, liberally apply the floor stripper to a portion no larger than 10' by 20', so the stripper won't dry. Allow to dwell according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Begin scrubbing the floor using a floor machine with a stripping pad or brush. Be sure to clean all of the finish off. This may take several passes with the floor machine or additional applications of stripper. The corners and sides of the room can be scrubbed using hand stripping pads or 'doodle bug' cleaners.
Once an area has been thoroughly scrubbed, use a wet/dry vacuum and squeegee to recover the stripper solution. Be careful to recover the stripper before it dries or it will require restripping to remove it. Continue applying stripper, scrubbing and recovering until all of the finish has been removed from the floor.
Thoroughly clean the floor using a neutral cleaner. Recover the neutral cleaner in a wet/dry vacuum. Rinse the floor using a clean, new cotton or rayon mop and clean water in a mop bucket and ringer. Be sure to frequently rinse the mop and change the water once it becomes cloudy. Rinse the floor until the water in the mop bucket doesn't become cloudy, usually within two to three passes.
Instruct customers to allow the floor to dry completely. They can then begin applying the new finish, using a new nylon or rayon finish mop. All efforts should be made to prevent contaminating the finish.
Allow the finish to dry between coats, according to manufacturer's recommendations. Apply four to six coats of finish and polish with a high-speed burnisher after one week.
Hard tile and concrete
There are two recommended methods of refinishing hard tile and sealed concrete floors: using a high-pressure washing and recovery system and using a floor machine, brush and wet/dry vacuum.
High-pressure washing and recovery systems use a wand tool that simultaneously pressure washes and then recovers the water. This tool is attached to a truck-mounted or high-pressure portable machine.
The first step is to thoroughly dust mop the floors. Then, apply heavy-duty cleaner/degreaser to the floor using a pump-up sprayer. Be sure to match the strength of the cleaner to the amount of the soil on the floor. Allow the cleaner to dwell on the floor according to manufacturer's recommendations.
Next, begin pressure washing the floor. Be careful to recover as much water as possible. Rinse the floor using a clean, new cotton or rayon mop and clean warm water, in a mop bucket and ringer. Apply sealer, if necessary.
When using a floor scrubber, follow the same procedure, but instead of pressure washing the area, use a floor machine with brush to thoroughly cleanse the entire area. Recover the cleaning solution with a wet/dry vac, rinse with a clean, new cotton or rayon mop and clean warm water in a mop bucket and ringer.
You can have all the right equipment and supplies, but without the knowledge and expertise to back them up, you can't effectively assist your customers with their floor refinishing project. Often, homeowners with little experience have nowhere to turn for help when tackling a project for the first time, so take advantage of the opportunity to be the expert. Show your customers that their most useful tool is you and your rental business.