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Ceramic Floors


When products like Y-Slip are applied to a glazed surface, the fluorine-containing compound attacks the glaze, exposing silica crystals. It also dissolves many soft portions of the glaze leaving hundreds or thousands of microscopic open pores or pockets per square inch on the surface. The glazed surface, however, is not penetrated, so the underlying porous material is not exposed and left unprotected.

Casual cleaning gives rise to installed floors failing slip resistance, it is almost unimportant what chemicals are used if the cleaning process does not capture the soil and remove it from the surface, this is particularly evident in heavy walk ways where foot traffic removes some of this leaving the edges to accumulate more and more.

Two aspects of floor cleanliness in particular, greatly affect slipperiness that is polymerization and mineral deposition.

Polymerization comes about whereby individual molecules of a compound link together to form a more complex compound. For example in a food environment molecules of grease join together to form what looks like a heavy coating, this polymeric film is hard and dense, in this physical form it is practically unaffected by normal cleaning chemicals and daily maintenance methods.

What affect does this resulting finish have on floor slipperiness? To coat the surface finish of the floor, if other contamination and moisture are added, as would be the case in a normal daily environment, floor traction would decrease dramatically.

Mineral deposition is the problem associated with alkaline cleaners depositing calcium and silicates during cleaning either by design or by mistake, but with silicates attracted to the surface of some flooring, to aid the performance of the cleaner, it can present a real problem.

When you consider polymerization can occur very easily in some environments in less than 30 days, if the builders clean was not done properly, it could be even less for a new installation. So it should be no surprise when new floors fail very quickly, where the wrong maintenance schedule is used or the correct maintenance schedule is not carried out properly.

It is clear from advertising recently, where manufacturers are praising the invention of ‘no residue’  ‘no rinsing’ cleaners, that this might answer some of the questions, but these new cleaning chemicals still cannot interfere with polymerization, as only specialist cleaning will bring the floor back to an acceptable level.