While waxing poetic may be endearing to some, the same doesn’t hold true when it comes to waxing terrazzo.
Such was the case of Suncoast Credit Union headquartered in Tampa Bay, Florida. The financial institution had grown weary of the constant care required of its terrazzo floors in its headquarters and branches. To keep them clean and shiny to meet customers’ expectations, the credit union had to have them regularly waxed.
There must be a better way to keep the shine, officials thought, as well as deal with pitting and pinholes. Suncoast tried the grind-and-hone route and sampled traditional acrylic finishes, but these efforts didn’t produce the desired effect.
Searching for a successful alternative, Suncoast reached out to Bradley Neal, owner of Steemology. This commercial floor maintenance company in Tampa regularly cleaned the credit union’s carpet and tile. Turns out, Steemology also dealt with terrazzo.
An internet find
Neal says he scoured the internet to find something that would best suit the credit union’s needs. That’s where he discovered a product called Impact, a urethane coating made by Ultra Durable Technologies in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
One particular project on UDT’s website caught his attention. “I began reading about a high school that had (shiny) floors that lasted five years without having to buff or refinish them every quarter or six months,” Neal says. He also read the application only involved one coat. This both impressed and intrigued him.
Subsequently, Neal contacted Travis Negaard, owner of UDT, and talked in depth about Impact. Negaard told him Impact was a water-based aliphatic urethane made for both concrete and terrazzo. It provides additional chemical resistance over traditional acrylic products and polish guards. And unique for a urethane coating, he says, Impact bonds directly to polished concrete and terrazzo.
“You don’t have to profile the floor, but you do have to remove any acrylic finish,” Negaard says. For that job, he recommends using a 175-rpm swing floor machine with stripping pads.
When it comes to applying, “One coat will last three to five years without buffing, burnishing or polishing,” Negaard says. Impact comes in a matte or high-gloss finish, with a semi-gloss achievable with additives. You can also include these additives for slip resistance.
For routine maintenance besides sweeping and dust mopping, you’ll need a walk-behind auto scrubber for large jobs. For smaller areas, a bucket and a mop or microfiber pad work great.
Keeps on shining
To introduce Neal to Impact, Negaard flew down to Florida to do a demo at Suncoast headquarters. “Everyone ended up falling in love with the finish,” Neal says. “The floors turned out beautiful.”
Going forward now that Neal has completed the headquarters’ floors, he’s tackled three branches and has about 20 more to go.
Because of Impact, the credit union no longer must clean the floors and recoat with wax to achieve a nice shine. “We just use a light scrub pad to clean the floors,” Neal says. “The shine is always there.”