With more than 50 years’ experience in the local and international flooring industry, Denver Coleman, Chairman of Polyflor SA, answers questions posed by installers, architects and readers. In this issue, he discusses the importance of maintaining vinyl floors.

Due to its versatility, durability, ease of cleaning and extensive range, vinyl is increasingly being specified in the commercial, retail, education and hospitality sectors. An advantage of vinyl is its ‘cleanability’, and this is why this flooring product has been used in the strictest of hygiene zones for the past 50 years. While vinyl floors are long-lasting, they need to be properly maintained in order to extend their lifespans and achieve the desired benefits of the floors. Here are the top four reasons why proper maintenance is of paramount importance for your vinyl floor:

1. Well maintained vinyl floors will reduce maintenance costs
Many vinyl floors include technology that ensures that chemical usage, energy intensive cleaning and water consumption are significantly reduced, so a decrease in life cycle maintenance costs of up to 60% is achievable over a 15 year period when compared to untreated flooring.

Reputable manufacturers provide low maintenance options throughout their product portfolio. The easy-to-clean PUR (polyurethane reinforced) ranges ensure that the use of polish, water, strippers and chemical cleansers are significantly reduced, thus contributing to significant maintenance cost savings over the life of the floor. This also makes a marked contribution to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly maintenance regime.

2. A well-maintained floor will result in a safer environment for building occupants
The creation of safe and clean surroundings and an uplifting environment, which has proven to inspire confidence and a sense of wellbeing amongst staff and visitors alike, is one of the key reasons to invest in a strict cleaning and maintenance regime. A floor plays a significant role and should not only be stylish, it should also perform well. A floor should be functional, practical and safe for human and environmental health and the only way this can be achieved is if adequate attention is paid to the upkeep of the floor. A well-maintained floor will enhance the comfort and safety of building occupants.

3. A well-maintained floor is more hygienic
The implementation of an effective cleaning regime is one of the most important defences against poor indoor air quality. A tailored maintenance programme is simple to implement, keeps the floorcovering in pristine condition and can enhance its original appearance.

4. It extends the lifespan of the flooring system
Proper maintenance and cleaning reduces wear and ultimately improves the life expectancy of the floorcovering, providing a considerable return on investment. Poor maintenance damages aesthetics, impairs performance, shortens floor life and creates potential hygiene issues. Comprehensive floorcare guidance is generally available for all products, along with a list of recommended cleaning products. All cleaning products should always be used in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.

Why your screed lays the foundation for an easy to maintain floor
For good performance, fitting of vinyl floors requires a Class 1 compliant screed. Hardness, smoothness and levelness will have an impact on how your flooring performs and will not only enhance the aesthetics but will also ensure ease of maintenance and extended durability.

In reality, with today’s fast-paced building environment, very few Class 1 quality screeds are produced. A good quality self-leveller will ensure the quality and consistency of the screed.

For more information, visit www.polyflor.co.za, email marketing@polyflor.co.za or call +27 (11) 609 3500 to speak to Blythe or Wendy.

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