Brushtec is an industrial and municipal brush manufacturer. Here its designer Barry Cracket discusses how to clean and maintain studded rubber flooring.
The first thing you need to do before you can clean your floor properly is to remove any loose dirt or debris particles clinging to the surface. These are often blown inside or trailed in from outdoors, and can cause damage to the finish on the surface if left.
Disposing of these particles is fairly straightforward, as they can simply be swept or vacuumed quickly. At the same time, if your flooring is studded or has grooves, dirt and debris can accumulate in the contours where a regular brush or vacuum can’t pick up properly.
To clean this type of surface, you will need to invest in a specialist brush that will attach to the floor cleaner. Look for one that has two lengths of bristles — short to clean the raised sections and long to reach deeper grooves.
Use the correct cleaning products. Rubber flooring can still pick up stains, despite its reputation for being low maintenance. When this occurs, you should avoid cleaning products that are highly acidic or alkaline, as these will damage the surface. You should also steer clear of agents that have turpentine in them, as well as concentrated strippers and degreasers. Instead, opt for one that has a neutral pH.
Watch out for plywood subfloors. As rubber does not absorb spilled liquids, they will pool or run across the surface for an easy clean-up. However, you need to be careful if you know there is a plywood subfloor beneath the flooring layer, as liquids can seep through the small gaps between tiles and sections. This can cause rot or mould to set in, which can cause even more damage in the long term. Installing a barrier underlayment will prevent moisture from infiltrating any wood below.
Add extra protection in busy areas. In areas you know regularly experience high levels of footfall, it can really be worth the time adding an extra layer of protection. Though rubber is durable, you can extend its lifespan by applying a metallised emulsion, which will help to safeguard the surface.
Before using a product like this, ensure that the flooring is completely dry and clean, then spread on two coats with drying time allowed between each one. You may need to close off the area
for a while when this process is being carried out.