Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What is a Floor Buffer?

A floor buffer is an electrical appliance that is used to clean and maintain non-carpeted floors, such as hardwood, marble, tile or linoleum. It is also known as a floor polisher or burnisher if it is a high speed floor buffer with a pad that rotates at over 1000 RPM.

Somewhat resembling a large upright, wide-based vacuum cleaner with handlebar controls and requiring two-handed steering, a floor buffer or rotary floor machine as they are sometimes called, use one or more variable-speed circular rotary brushes to dislodge dirt and dust from flat surfaces. They have a large, round scrubbing pad spinning in a circle in one direction which is powered by a small motor, usually directly over the center of the pad.

Larger powered floor buffer machines are used in schools, hospitals, offices and public buildings. These have wheels and are powered to allow user to easily move and clean items stuck on floors. Scaled-down versions are available for home use and often sold as hard floor cleaner.

Floor buffer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thursday, July 21, 2011

DIY Home Remodeling » Blog Archive » The basics of stone floor cleaning -

There are various types of natural stone floors ranging from the luxurious and highly expensive marble, to the more rustic but still classic limestone, each type of stone has its range of qualities but one factor they all share is that due to their unique natural appearance, they all look incredible as a choice of flooring.

Natural stone is available in an almost limitless range of shapes, designs, colours and even types of finish, and it is often for aesthetic reasons that it is chosen as a type of floor in both domestic and commercial locations.

Natural stone is often chosen, however, on the basis of its durability and all types of stone, although generally expensive, do represent a resistant and long lasting option. Many people assume that this resistance and durability immediately translates into ease of maintenance, which is not necessarily the case. While it is true that some types of stone are easier to maintain than others – you will quickly find that any floor will soon lose its visual appeal if left uncared for, for too long.

There are several basic steps to protecting your floor which, if followed regularly, should leave your floor looking good for many years to come. Assuming the floor has been professionally installed and that there are no cracks or faults – your first step should be the application of a good quality sealant. Sealants offer an additional layer of protection against spillages and ease your general cleaning efforts. It is important to consider sealing the grout The material used to fill the spaces between tiles) as a priority as it is a porous substance that stains easily and often a clean floor can look unsatisfactory based on discolouring of the grout. It is also important that the floor is clean before it is sealed (amazingly this is often overlooked) and that the right sealant is chosen. A stone floor cleaning specialist will be able to recommend one for you. Read more....DIY Home Remodeling » Blog Archive » The basics of stone floor cleaning -

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What Are Floor Buffers?

If you ever had to clean your hardwood or tile floor, you know how much work that is. It is never easy to make it shiny clean, no matter how much energy and will you have to do it. And this is especially the case when you have to clean large a room or some other big surface area. The amount of work involved is quite stunning and if we want to do it properly, we need to spend entire day doing it.

But this is why we have floor buffers. Those are machines that are made for cleaning different types of flooring. They can also polish them and but the wax that will keep them shiny and new. There are all kinds of these machines, some of them are used in homes, other for commercial purposes. It all depends on the needs, or how many square feet you need to clean.

They are used for surface scrubbing, stripping and buffing. And they range from Low speed, Dual speed to High speed floors buffers. Some of them are battery operated, while others, more powerful ones, use propane as a fuel. And just like the different needs they fulfill, the price they have also ranges a lot. Some of them cost around $500, while other are even more then $4,000.Floor Buffer.Read more:

Floor Buffer: What Are Floor Buffers?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Caring for Waxed Floors

After a floor has been stripped and sealed or waxed with an acrylic finish, certain steps need to be taken to maintain it. Using the wrong chemicals to clean it can drastically shorten the life of the finish but using the correct ones can extend the life of the finish and keep the floor looking good much longer than otherwise.

Dust mopping or vacuuming the floor (or sweeping it with a soft tipped broom) are good things to do. No dust mop treatment, please, as it will leave a residue that will eventually dull the floor.

An acrylic waxed floor may be damp mopped with warm or cool water and a neutral cleaner. Neutral cleaners have a Ph of 7 and will not attack the finish. Any janitorial supply store will have a neutral cleaner for sale and since you use only a capful in two gallons of water, a gallon of neutral cleaner will last a long time. For spot cleaning, you can make up a mild solution in a spray bottle by using only a few drops of neutral cleaner in the bottle of water. Often marks on a newly waxed floor will scrub off with a terry towel. A white scrub pad (designed for use on glass, Teflon, plastic) may be gently used as well. Wet the floor with neutral cleaner solution while using any scrub pad. Read more...

Floor Maintenance Blog

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Floor Burnishers 101

High-speed floor buffer machines, also known as floor burnishers, rotate at more than 10 times the speed of a conventional buffer, usually between 1,500 and 3,000 RPMs.

Burnishers rotate faster than rotary floor buffers, but they also are much heavier, which helps provide a "wet-look" shine and maintain floors quite well. They also are much more complicated, requiring more maintenance and upkeep than a traditional buffer.

When deciding what type of burnisher to buy, one of the most crucial things to take into consideration is the power source. Some burnishers are electric-cord powered; others are battery powered; and others run on propane.

Electric Floor Burnisher Buffers: The electric cord burnisher is the least expensive, the lightest and the easiest to maintain. Because it is lighter, it is best used for smaller spaces such as individual offices and small office buildings.

Battery-Powered Burnishers: Battery-powered burnishers do an "acceptable job" according to many industry professionals. Hospitals and medical centers often prefer the battery-powered units because they enable one worker to cover a larger area more quickly, he says. Both the electric and battery operated machines have a standard base size of 20 to 24 inches.

Propane Burnisher Buffers: The propane burnisher is the "big daddy" of the floor machines. If your client list includes large retail stores, you will have little choice but to use a propane burnisher to maintain these massive locations.

Propane burnishers today often are walk-behind units with a 20- to 27-inch rotating base. They can reach speeds up to 3000 RPMs. Their heavy weight — 285 to 320 pounds — helps produce the best floor shine possible.

While buffers have just a few parts, propane burnisher buffers have a larger variety as well as much more complex engines. They are more like a small car and need to be maintained as such. The oil itself should be checked and changed on a regular basis. They also have catalytic converters that need maintenance and attention from time to time as well.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Floor Buffers vs. Floor Scrubbers

If you're just getting into the field of building service maintenance or office cleaning you're sure to face the decision of whether to use a floor buffer or a floor scrubber for your floor cleaning jobs. You may think at first "these must be the same kind of machine, right?" Well, not really.

Generally, a floor buffer is a machine that has a horizontally rotating head that sits directly on the floor. Think of a large, round scrubbing pad spinning in a circle. The spinning of the pad is powered by a small motor, usually directly over the center of the pad. Some buffers come equipped with a solution tank that can squirt cleaning solution directly into the scrubbing pad and onto your floor. This extra feature allows the user to put small quantities of cleaner on the floor as needed, without having to stop and pour it directly out of a bottle-- a real time and back saver. But, there is no way for a buffer to "vacuum up" that solution once it's on the floor.
Floor buffers are also known as rotary floor machines because the scrubbing surface is constantly rotating in a circle in one direction. Automatic floor scrubbers MAY have a rotating head, similar to buffers, but many models offer a cylindrical brush head. We'll address that difference in a minute. Just know that you'll run across the terms "floor buffer" and "rotary floor machine" as meaning the same thing.

Buffers are made to spin at a variety of speeds. The speed at which the pad or brush rotates directly affects the kind of floor cleaning job you want to do. Low speed buffers are designed to handle scrubbing jobs, when your floor has in-ground dirt that you need to put some muscle into scrubbing away. Low speed machines are also your machine of choice when you need to strip off the old wax coating from a hard surface, like commercially tiled floors you often find in grocery stores. Low speed buffers will rotate from about 175 rpm. Variable speed buffers will go from about 175-350 rpm.

Low speed buffers are also appropriate for scrubbing - or bonneting - carpeting, provided the machine has enough horse power (or dual capacitors) to handle that kind of high-friction rotation. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for whether a floor buffer can be used for carpeting or not. Many manufacturers will void your warranty if you've used a machine on carpeting that's not supposed to be used that way (don't worry, they'll be able to tell if you send your machine in for warranty work!)
High speed buffers are designed just for polishing hard floor surfaces. They rotate at very high speeds, anyway from about 1000 rpm to 3000 rpm. You CANNOT use high speed buffers for any kind of scrubbing work. With the right polishing pad and a little buffing spray you can bring a great shine to a hard floor surface. You just can't do that with a low speed or variable speed machine.

Most floor buffers run from a direct connection to a power source, but some have internal batteries or a propane-powered engine to propel the rotating pad. The advantage of a battery or propane-engine type model is being free of power cords interfering with your scrubbing job. The advantage of the electric models is constant source of power without having to worry about draining a battery or fuel tank. Battery-powered models are often used in LEED and green building maintenance programs.

Floor scrubbers, also known as automatic floor scrubbers or auto scrubbers, are a whole different animal. They not only have a scrubbing head, but an automated system for dispensing cleaning solution and then vacuuming it up. So, in one pass over your floor, you can dispense cleaning or stripping solution, scrub it into the floor, and vacuum it all up with a squeegee attachment at the back of the machine. Auto scrubbers have a separate dispensing tank and a collection tank to keep your clean water from your dirty water.

Even though automatic scrubbers are generally more expensive machines up front, the time saved in cleaning your floors could very well off-set that initial cost. Saving operator time (and money) is the most frequent reason for purchasing these efficient machines for building maintenance programs.

In the end there are many factors to consider in deciding which kind of machine, a floor buffer or a floor scrubber, is best for your particular situation. If you have a very large facility with both wide open spaces (like the middle of a mall) and tight spaces (like in bathrooms) then maybe your best tool for the job is BOTH kinds of machines.

Which Floor Buffer is Right for You?

Have you been trying to decide which rotary floor buffer is right for your particular job or business?  The choices of floor buffers out there can be mind boggling.  Even though price may be a primary consideration for which floor buffing machine you choose, don't let it be your only consideration.

First off consider what your floor cleaning needs are.  Do you have both carpeting and hard floor surfaces to clean?  Or just one or the other?  How much floor area do you have to handle?  How quickly are you expected to get a particular floor cleaning job done? Do you have to do floor polishing or burnishing jobs in addition to scrubbing?  How about floor stripping-- getting that old floor finish off before restoring a floor to its original shine? If you have both carpeting and hard floor surfaces to scrub then a dual speed floor machine might be your best bet.  The lower speeds can be used for both carpet bonneting and hard floor scrubbing and stripping.  And the higher speeds can be used for light buffing of hard floors (but not serious buffing jobs).
If you have a lot of hard floor surface area, like commercially tiled floors in a grocery store, mall, or aircraft hangar, then 2 separate machines might be your best investment.  One low speed floor machine can be used for scrubbing, and the other high speed burnisher can be used for the polishing.

The size of your machine should be another consideration.  It should be obvious that you can cover more floor area with a larger diameter machine, like a 17" or 20".  But, smaller diameter floor buffers of about 12" or 13" might be more appropriate for getting into smaller and tighter spots.  Consider all the corners, alcoves, workbenches, shelving, etc. that you'll have to clean around.

If possible, try to rent or borrow a floor buffer of the particular size and speed that you're thinking of buying.  Work with it for awhile.  This is probably the best way to decide which machine is right for you.  Reflect on these questions to narrow down your option for the best floor buffers for your particular job.