The Do’s and Don’ts of Terrazzo Floor Care

Because terrazzo floors are popular once again, building managers and cleaning professionals are likely to have a number of questions about how to properly care for them. Although terrazzo is a very durable floor, it does need special care, often different from other types of floors, such as stone or VCT.

The following are some key do’s and don’ts when it comes to caring for terrazzo floors:

Do’s

Dust mop or vacuum the floor daily; when grit is pounded into the floor with foot traffic, it acts like an abrasive and can damage the floor.

Only use cleaning solutions explicitly manufactured for cleaning terrazzo floors. It often is best to use all products from the same manufacturer.

Before applying a sealer to the floor, give the floor up to 12 hours to dry. Terrazzo floors can be porous. This prevents moisture from being trapped in the pores.

Use a neutral pH cleaning solution when cleaning terrazzo.

When working with a heavily soiled floor, allow the cleaning solution to “dwell” on the floor for a few minutes to help loosen soils.

If this is a new terrazzo floor, it should be machined scrubbed regularly for two to three months to remove any construction dust or debris lodged in the floor.

Seal the floor using what is called a “densifier”. This will fill the pores of the floor and provide a shine.

Do take advantage of “floor care programs” designed for terrazzo. These programs suggest products and procedures to follow when caring for terrazzo.

“One-time” terrazzo floor care programs are also available. One time means the end-user need only strip, scrub, seal, apply floor finish or diamond grind terrazzo floors once. It should not be necessary to repeat this task again for the life of the floor.

Dont’s

Never let cleaning solution dry on the floor.

Acrylic floor finishes, such as those used on VCT floors, should not be used on terrazzo.

All-purpose cleaners can damage terrazzo because of their pH.

About the Author

Jennifer Meeks
Jennifer Meeks is marketing director for Charlotte Products Ltd., a provider of cleaning solutions.

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