"Maintenance coat" recommendations, cleaning suggestions.

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fn36

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I just had the engineered bamboo floor of the apartment i am moving into cleaned by a big, well known cleaning company.
Cleaning was with a water vacuum. That was followed by applying a "maintenance coat" with a mob and letting it dry for an hour.

The "maintenance coat" gives the floor a nice shine. Unfortunately, there are two problems:
a) The maintenance coat did not dry evenly in some places, it has some banding.
b) the water based cleaning did not manage to remove a lot of the difficult to find stains on the floor. Lot of small droplets of paint probably from an old, badly done ceiling paint job, other well dried dirt, several looking like spots of transparent lacquer.

I can detail clean these problems with a lot of work using a razor blade scraper and/or alcohol, but of course, then i would need to apply a new maintenance coat. And i would also need to apply another layer of maintenance coat to get rid of existing banding.

Now i have been looking for "maintenance coat", but reading reviews on amazon i am quite worried that i could create myself more problems than solving. For example, bad coatings might suck up water and and then become opaque even when dried, and or not sticking to the underground...
 

C.J.

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I would ask the well known company that did your floor why they didn’t do a better job. Did they see the paint blobs and just coat over them. I woulda at least said something to you. ‘Hey, lady, you know this shit isn’t coming off the floor with our super duper patented wet mop process. Do you still want me to apply the finish coat or what?’. Maybe they did a half assed job cleaning your floor before they applied the finish coat. I would certainly be calling them first.
 

fn36

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Actually, i had exactly that talk before the cleaning, e.g.: that i would reserve the right to not ask for the coating if i felt the cleaning would not justify it. I then scraped away some of the worst offending paint blobs that the cleaner discoverd during his cleaning but let them proceed. I wanted to have the whole learning exercise what can and can not be done by those cleaning services. Given how i think its very thin bamboo layer on top i did from the beginning feel not so good about trying to go for a sanding job, and given how i tried alcohol and scraping myself i would have been quite surprised if hot water would have gotten rid of the problems.

If you think there are better automated cleaning methods that would have been availa
But be that
 

fn36

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Oops. reply cut off:

If you think there are better automated cleaning methods, i would love to hear about them. But primarily, i wonder about a suitable coat now that i could apply myself with the least risk of ending up with a problem.
 

C.J.

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Automated cleaning whatever or not I wouldn’t have recommended wet mopping for your product at all. Underneath the thin layer of bamboo is most likely a HDF core. If water makes it to the core it’s not long before the floor will start to swell at the joints which will cause the joints to open up which allows more water in which leads to more swelling. Swiffer sweeper or some other type of micro fiber cleaning thingie (not a wet mop) is generally what I would recommend for regular cleaning. Definitely NO steam cleaners cus that’s just blasting steam into the joints. As far as maintenance coats, I have no opinion on those because I’m not experienced in the maintenance side of floor covering but I do know what will ruin an engineered bamboo floor with an MDF or HDF core, wet mopping.
 

Commercial Floor Rep

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You mentioned that this is a bamboo floor. Bamboo can be very finicky with finishes. It's wood-like but it's not actually wood. It's a grass. There are also a variety of species of bamboo (there are over 2000) but only a few are suitable for flooring. Within the few that are suitable there are different performance, maintenance & upkeep requirements per the species. Some of them require that a tongue oil be applied, usually annually to keep them from drying and looking dull, some do not require this at all. Quality and consistency in the species when the product is made is also critical. Since the bulk of this product (99%) comes from China there can be raw material suppliers who mix in lesser quality species of bamboo with the better to save costs. The end result is that the product can react differently than expected.

I wouldn't think cleaning a "wood" floor with a wet vac system would be a good option for this type of maintenance for the same reason that I wouldn't think a steam mop would be a good maintenance option for this - you're introducing a ton of water and very likely heat into a product that can be effected by moisture vapor. Most likely, the banding or streaking is because the moisture vapor that was introduced didn't leave the product evenly causing the difference in the sheen of the finish.

@C.J. if I remember right has some experience with bamboo and might have some further input as well. Chris I may be confusing you with Chris Mha with regards to bamboo so sorry if I am! :)
 

C.J.

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Prolly Chris Mha unless you’re talking about installing floating Bamboo. I’ve installed a lot of that and it definitely can be finicky. As far as cleaning it, that’s not my forte at all but I’ve definitely seen and replaced enough floors that have been improperly maintained.

Edit: The OP mentioned a thin lamella of bamboo for the wear layer. Here’s the care and maintenance instructions for a HD engineered bamboo product. If your product is not from HD, the care and maintenance advice should still be the same.

 
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Commercial Floor Rep

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I would also add that in 25+ years of selling flooring I've had to deal with "professional cleaning" companies many times. Sometimes as direct customers because some of them also sell flooring but many times related to maintenance on commercial projects that I've worked on. I would tell you that I have yet to find one of them that has a clue what the actual maintenance a particular floor needs or that a manufacturer requires is. They make their business out of selling you a service - repeatedly.

They are not bad people, they just aren't in tune with the manufacturers when it comes to flooring - most of them are told by their corporate - who they buy their equipment from - that their "magic equipment" will take care of anything no problem and they just simply don't bother to find out what the manufacturer actually tells you with regard to their floor. Most of the guys doing the actual work are laborers who have little to know training and worse yet little to no oversight once they are out on their own so they quickly develop bad habits. Most of them are younger kids and they just know they have to get their work assignment done that they have been assigned. They don't stop and think that what they are doing may cause a problem.
 

C.J.

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I would also add that in 25+ years of selling flooring I've had to deal with "professional cleaning" companies many times. Sometimes as direct customers because some of them also sell flooring but many times related to maintenance on commercial projects that I've worked on. I would tell you that I have yet to find one of them that has a clue what the actual maintenance a particular floor needs or that a manufacturer requires is. They make their business out of selling you a service - repeatedly.

They are not bad people, they just aren't in tune with the manufacturers when it comes to flooring - most of them are told by their corporate - who they buy their equipment from - that their "magic equipment" will take care of anything no problem and they just simply don't bother to find out what the manufacturer actually tells you with regard to their floor. Most of the guys doing the actual work are laborers who have little to know training and worse yet little to no oversight once they are out on their own so they quickly develop bad habits. Most of them are younger kids and they just know they have to get their work assignment done that they have been assigned. They don't stop and think that what they are doing may cause a problem.

Spot on.
 

fn36

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Ver much appreciate the replies! At least i am happy to make all my cleaning experiences with a probably >> 20, maybe 30 year old floor (how would i even be able to tell) instead of messing up a new one!

I think the original question about maintenance coat products is still open. Takers welcome.

@C.J. Thanks for the cleaning pointer, others as well. Funny to see that isopropyl is recommended. I actually had rubbed several dirt spots first with denatured ethanol. I guess isopropyl would be cheaper for regular use. Maybe even smell better (hospital ;-).

Given how @C.J. instruction sheet says no rotating (hard) brush, i guess my good old Hoover Linx should be out of work with its brush. But i definitely would like to avoid having to clean twice, vacuum and then mob. Did not mean to adopt a high maintenance pet when i bought the place. Oh well...

So, i had just bought a bissel crosswave from costco, but not unpacked ye. From reading @C.J. cleaning instruction, it should be ok with the (soft) wood floor roll (looks pretty much like a rotating soft mob to me). Also just filling it with a isopropyl mix and not making it real wet, but just damp.

What do you think ?
 

C.J.

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If you can turn off or disable the beater bar on your Hoover vacuum, that should work just fine. The beater bar will end up beating your floor. End result is scratches. When I would have to clean floors, such as after an installation, I got one of them micro fiber pad type deals and spritzed the floor with Windex even though you’re supposed to spritz the pad itself and not the floor. Worked great. It’s all about being preventative. As mentioned before, if moisture gets between the boards it will cause the core to swell which leads to the joints opening up, which leads to more swelling. Once that happens the damage is done and it’s too late to turn back the clock. Maybe you can get away with it here n there but start doing that on a regular basis and you’ve got trouble. Because of that I couldn’t really recommend anything that will directly spray any kind of liquid on the floor unless you want to call me to replace your floor after the damage is done.
 
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