It is a widely known fact that floor polishing is an essential part of any property’s overall image. A well polished floor sends a positive message to all who visit, whilst making a vital contribution to the overall decor and interior design of a property.
During the long, hot summers in Andalucia, large quantities of dust, stones or grit enter the home on visitors’ feet and this get deposited in often invisible layers upon the floors, slowly grinding away and scratching at floors as people walk over them. In addition, marble is prone to sweating due to its mineral content, resulting in deposits of magnesium carbonate and calcium forming at the marble’s surface and making it appear dull or matt. This problem is endemic in Spain as a whole, where, unlike in cooler countries, wall to wall carpets are hardly ever fitted, making a polished floor, as opposed to a vacuumed carpet, of utmost importance to create a fresh, clean finish .
The floor cleaning & polishing process
Floor cleaning is quite a technical process, whereby professional polishers must first analyse the exact composition of the floor and any stains, then apply the correct chemicals. Before applying chemicals, all signs of loose dirt are eliminated under liquid vacuum and a pressure washer. Then acid is applied with a large diamond grinder (a rotating metal abrasive pad) and later removed with a special cleaner. The entire process is then repeated and finally polished until the finished surface is completely shiny and “as new”. Occasionally a protective sealant is also applied to the floor, depending on its composition. This cleaning process may also be applied to worktops and tables, rejuvenating them to their natural beauty.
When is a floor polisher needed?
Floor polishers are often called upon to clean and polish when construction work on a new property has been completely finished or when reforms to an existing property have caused the floor surface to become damaged. Typical floor surfaces in Andalucia are marble, travertine and granite which always look at their best when mirror clean with a long-lasting shine and protection.
For those of us who are simply house-proud, floor polishing will keep the standard of decoration high within a property and most people rightly consider a beautiful shiny floor to be a prerequisite, as are clean windows or fresh, painted walls, to creating an attractive, clean home or office environment.
Increasingly, people are becoming aware of the need “stage” or present their properties well if they wish to sell or rent them. Floor polishing can play an important part in the home staging process: the theory is that in today’s saturated market, a property needs to stand out from the rest in its league so that is sells fast. Viewers react to subliminal, emotional messages when picking one property over another, while perfect presentation, which includes well polished, clean floors, can make all the difference between a sale or the property simply sitting on the market.
What makes a good floor polishing company?
It is a good idea to check out the standards and knowledge of the company you will contract to clean and polish your floors. It is important to remember that there are many companies in Andalucia who operate as so-called qualified professionals, when evidence shows they simply are not. These companies could do more damage than good if incorrect chemicals are administered to your floors or machinery is used that also causes more damage than improvement. Nevertheless, there are a large number of excellent floor polishing companies available in the area. Here are a few questions to ask before contracting the service:
Can they prove they are adequately trained and knowledgeable about the appropriate products for your floors?
Do they know the chemistry behind stains on particular surfaces and how different materials react to certain products? Stains have very different characteristics, eg. an acid based stain is treated quite differently to a protein based stain or a solvent stain.
Do they have a diamond grinder for scratches on stains and stones?
Cleaning terraces can be a toxic affair. Do they have specialist handling knowledge to clean terraces and re-seal them?
Recommendation is always a good guide, so it is a good idea to visit a neighbour or friend who has had a floor cleaning service in their property and the results will be a guide on how well the work is done.
Other services offered by floor cleaners and polishers could also be general or deep cleaning with chemicals, the cleaning of rugs or carpets, as well as removing dust mites from the home, which act as a major trigger of asthma and eczema. Dust mites live mainly in mattresses and need to be eliminated with specialist techniques.