If it is a new floor or a floor installed within the past few years, cleaning professionals can assume a low-VOC adhesive was used if for no other reason than their use has grown considerably in recent years. With this information, they can select chemicals that are still effective but more protective of the materials likely used to secure the floor.
Another preventive technique involves the type of floorcare equipment used to maintain the floor. Because we know that moisture and some chemicals can be damaging to some flooring adhesives, selecting equipment that uses less water and chemical can prove beneficial. Typically, an alternative to conventional rotary floor care equipment is a cylindrical brush machine. Because the brushes on these machines perform much of the actual cleaning, studies indicate these machines perform effectively with considerably less water and chemical.
Finally, cleaning professionals should encourage facility managers to apply a sealant or finish to floors. The primary purpose of a sealant/finish is not to put a shine on the floor — although that is the result after several coats are applied — but to protect the floor. In this case, the sealant/finish is helping to keep moisture and contaminants from seeping down under the floor surface. While some managers may want to avoid refinishing floors for cost reasons, in the long run not refinishing can, as we have already discussed, be a costly mistake. In addition to preventing flooring failures, finished floors are typically much easier to maintain, which can prove to contribute to cost savings over time.