How Do You Care for Your ESD Floor?
So you’ve finally got your brand spanking new Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) preventative flooring installed. It looks great, it works great. But how do you keep it that way?
You’re smart enough to know that just like this is a specialized floor, it requires specialized care. Not just any cleaning products will work. You certainly don’t want to void the warranty, or even worse, compromise the ESD properties of the floor. That could drastically escalate costs – replacement of the damaged electronics, replacing the floor itself – having to apologize to your clients and replace the electronics they trusted you to provide.
You can’t find anything in the installation instructions. You hear the boss’ voice around the corner, you know he’s going to ask these questions. You don’t have the answers. You look down and you’re not wearing any pants!
Well, we can’t do anything about your pants, but we do have some answers to avoid that other nightmarish scenario.
For starters, take a break – for the first 5 days following a new installation, don’t wash or machine scrub the floor. This allows the adhesive to properly bond with the concrete base, as well as to prevent excess moisture – the #1 enemy of ESD flooring – to interfere with the adhesive.
The First Steps
Once the first week has passed, do an initial maintenance cleanup. Sweep or dust mop the surface to clear it of all sand, grit, debris, or dirt. Then mix a neutral pH detergent with a small bit of water in a mop bucket.
Dip the mop in the solution and fully wring it out. It is important to ONLY use a damp mop. Do not flood the floor with cleaning solution. Use as little liquid as possible to clean the surface.
If needed, scrub the floor using a rotary scrubber with scrubbing pad or automatic scrubber with scrubbing pads. Again, using as little water as possible!
Use the wrung out mop or a wet vac to wipe up any excess cleaning solution. Carefully rinse the surface with cool, clear water, but not too much, and again vacuum or damp mop up the water and let it dry.
Never use standard floor wax or standard floor finish! Doing so will destroy the floor’s ability to prevent ESD. A high gloss appearance can be achieved with a high speed buffing machine with an untreated polishing pad.
Daily Care & Cleaning – Two Options
For your day to day cleaning and upkeep, there are two standard approaches for ESD flooring. Both are viable, but for obvious reasons, we prefer the first method.
Always be aware that a wet floor is more slippery, and therefore more dangerous to personnel. Try to coordinate cleaning of the floor to the end of the workday when fewer people are around, put up appropriate signs, and always exercise caution to prevent workplace injuries.
The first step in either case is to sweep or dust/dry mop the surface.
Dry Maintenance Method (Option 1)
By limiting the amount of liquid your floor is exposed to, you stand they best chance of avoiding the #1 enemy of ESD flooring – moisture. The Dry Maintenance Method is a simple, single step process.
Spray clean or burnish floor using a 1200 – 1500 rpm rotary buffing machine with appropriate pads (usually white) and a spray buff solution containing water, alcohol and a pH neutral detergent.
If heavy cleaning is necessary use a more concentrated pH neutral detergent and a brown pad.
Wet Maintenance Method (Option 2)
Similar to our initial cleanup procedures following installation, the wet maintenance method uses a damp mop and a cleaning solution that includes a neutral pH detergent.
If the floor is exposed to grease or oil, a pH neutral, citrus-based degreasing detergent may be used.
Scrub with rotary scrubber with scrubbing pad or automatic scrubber with scrubbing pads. Again, do not flood the floor with solution, water or any liquid.
Wipe up the solution with a damp mop or wet vac.
Carefully rinse with clean cool water, wipe it up, then let the floor dry (generally overnight).
Two final notes:
Several times we’ve mentioned using a pH neutral detergent. While there are many options, we highly recommend the industry standard – ZeroStat products. They can be purchased through our site or any reputable supplier of ESD preventative products.
Earlier, we recommended not using a standard floor wax. While there are professional ESD waxes available from ZeroStat that maintain the ESD preventative properties of your flooring, even those waxes generally cut five to ten tears off the life of your ESD floor and should be used with caution.
We would love to be your full service, seamless ESD solution provider. Contact us today for more information.