Definitions and terms concerning the cleaning and care of MMF flooring
Multilayer modular floor covering (MMF): Floor covering as described in EN 16511:2014, as well as other semi-rigid multilayer modular floor coverings for floating installation (e. g. “LVT, design flooring” etc.).
Modular: Elements supplied in single sheets or tiles with worked edges that allow the product to be joint together to form a layer integral floor covering unit.
Underlay: Resilient layer between the substrate and floor covering, added to obtain specific properties. As underlays, it is also possible to have combinations of the above mentioned underlays with films or coatings (e.g. vapor barriers).
Floor covering system: Combination of multilayer modular floor covering element and the underlay.
Substrate: Structural layer on which the flooring system is installed.
Floating multilayer modular floor coverings are currently classified by MMFA as:
Multilayer modular floorings for floating installation…
Class 1: All products with wood-based substrates (≥ 65 % content of wood particles/fibres in the core) with polymer or cork surface layer (cork thickness > 2.5 mm).
Class 2: Polymer or polymer-composite substrate with polymer surface layer and/or lacquer.
Class 2A: LVT click (EN10582 and EN 16511) – hot pressed and/or calendered.
Class 2B: all other polymer substrates (EPC and SPC).
(EPC: expanded polymer core and SPC: solid polymer core).
Class 3: All products not covered by class 1 or 2, or external standards.
Cleaning and care
Quite simply spoken, all methods cover the term ‘Cleaning’ by which dust or adherent soiling as well as applied care products are removed again. The term ‘Care’ is to be understood as actions undertaken to apply a protective or sacrificial layer onto the floor. The resulting care film can either be removed (of temporary nature) or remains permanent (not removable) on the floor covering surface.
Two-stage wet wiping method
The two-stage wiping method represents the classic wet wiping method. Using a cleaning textile in the first stage, as much cleaning fluid is applied to the floor to soften or remove adhering, water-bound dirt. In the second stage, the resulting dirt residues will be absorbed again with dry or strongly drained cleaning textiles. Using this method, the cleaning effect is stronger than in a single-stage wet wiping. Besides the floor covering surface dries faster that way.
Post construction cleaning
The newly laid flooring needs to undergo post construction cleaning before use in order to remove residue and soiling caused by laying and construction. Normally, the floor layer would have to hand over the flooring clean swept (construction coarse cleaning). If heavy soiling cannot be removed by sweeping or vacuum cleaning, the floor needs to be wiped using an appropriate cleaning agent (construction fine cleaning).
Maintenance cleaning is understood as repetitive cleaning work at specified intervals during the utilisation phase. Maintenance cleaning serves removal of ongoing soiling and maintaining use-related requirements on flooring.
More intensive cleaning work beyond the scope of maintenance cleaning and which is carried out to requirements. Intermediate cleaning sets out to expanding the date of basic cleaning as far as possible. In this process, dirt accumulations need to be removed that cannot be removed during maintenance cleaning without removing applied care films. The surface should be enhanced in its appearance. Highly frequented areas should be adapted to the remaining surface in their overall appearance.
Basic cleaning serves to removing adhering soiling and worn, removable care films or other residues that impair the appearance of the surfaces. Basic cleaning is carried out as and when required.
Refreshing of flooring will become necessary once first signs of wear show or the floor covering surface seems to appear inhomogeneous. In the process, a care product is being applied all-over onto the surface using the wiping method. Depending on the floor covering surface condition, preventive initial care can take place within the scope of value retention protecting the floor covering surface against mechanical stress and facilitating subsequent maintenance cleaning. Such initial care requires post construction cleaning or basic cleaning.
A fully surfaced repair of the surface protection (method-depending) being capable of rehabilitation is carried out within the scope of rehabilitation work using mechanical and chemical processes. With the repair work completed, surface protection will be intact again and the floor covering surface appearance is homogeneous and uniform. Rehabilitation is connected with significantly higher workload and time. Rehabilitation has to be performed by a certified specialist company.