Hard surface floor care in art and similar museums can be a real challenge and for one very special reason: more than 850 million people visit U.S. museums every year. |
With that level of foot traffic, a floor care program that may suffice in an office building or school simply will not work in a busy facility like a museum.
Following are some challenges cleaning professionals may encounter when maintaining floors in museums or similar facilities
Quickly fading shine: This can be caused by refinishing the floor at the wrong time of year. Climate conditions – too cold, hot, humid, or dry – can affect the finish, the floor, and how well the finish dries and "hardens."
• Slowly fading shine: Each time the floor is burnished, it slowly removes floor finish and as it does, the shine may fade. Adding depth to the floor with several layers of finish can help delay the slowly fading shine.
• Heal marks: Although buffing and burnishing will help remove heal marks, one of the surest ways to prevent heal marks is by applying at least four medium to thin sized coats of finish. This helps resist soiling overall and provide significant heal mark resistance.
• Grit, sand, and soil found throughout the museum: This is usually the result of two things: inadequate matting and/or infrequent dust mopping. Twenty to 30 feet of entry matting may be necessary to catch and hold contaminants from being walked in to the museum. Increased dust mopping frequencies will also minimize the buildup.
Wear and tear is probably responsible for most of the damage done to antique carpets and rugs. The best way to avoid this is not to walk on them. Alternatively, try and limit the amount of traffic they have to endure, for example, by placing rugs to one side of a room and not putting them in front of doorways. Rotate (turn or replace carpets) to distribute wear. Carpet protectors, made from plastic strips or heavy woven canvas, can be useful if you need to protect a carpet from heavy wear, but they are not always appropriate as they can be a tripping hazard. Heavy furniture can also cause damage by leaving permanent indentations where the fibres have been crushed. You can avoid this by repositioning your furniture every now and again, and by using castor cups to spread the weight. Damage to a carpet or rug, such as holes, tears, loose fringing or side finish, should be treated as soon as possible by a textile conservator.
Also, when applying coats of finish, cleaning professionals often ask how to tell when the finish is dry so another coat can be applied," says Huong Pham, product manager for Powr-Flite. "One way is to place a piece of tissue on the floor, step on it and twist it under your foot. If it does not tear, it is usually okay to apply another coat."
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