Green Shield UV Floor Sealer versus Wax (Part 2)

In Part 2 of Green Shield Floors Versus Wax we take a look at the amount of energy and water required to maintain floor wax and explore the basic costs associated with waxing, stripping and buffing.

Cost of Stripping, Waxing and Buffing

The cost of stripping and finishing floors varies across North America and is affected by factors like location, quality and competition. An average estimate for the task of stripping a 2000 square foot floor is anywhere from $400 to $800, and between 20 to 40 cents per square foot and up.  Spray buffing is often done once or twice a week in high foot traffic  facilities.  Take a look at the Cost Savings Comparison Chart below (taking into account the average costs of strip and wax twice a year and weekly spray buff):

Energy and Water Consumption

Stripping, buffing and waxing a floor requires a floor machine that carries out each of these functions, as well as harsh chemicals. Traditional mechanical floor strippers can remove previous floor finishing like epoxy, rubber flooring, stone, ceramic tile, hardwood and more at 800 – 3000 square feet per hour, depending on the manufacturer. The average energy consumption for an hour of stripping by a standard rotary pad stripper with 2 blades at 5000 strokes per minute is about 2200 Joules. (ref. Sinclair Equipment Company). Stripping a floor needs a ratio of 1:4 between stripper and water. A 2000 sq. ft. floor requiring 2 gallons of stripper will need  at least 8 gallons of water.

Commercial strippers may contain ingredients that are hazardous to human health, like 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE), a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC). It is absorbed through the skin and is considered by the U.S. EPA to be carcinogenic. It affects the kidneys, the central nervous system, respiratory organs and the skin. Other VOCs used include ethylene glycol methyl ether (EGME) and ethylene glycol ethy ether (EGEE). These can also be absorbed via inhalation, and exposure to them has been linked to birth defects and damage to the reproductive organs.

Hardwood and marble floors are more effectively polished with higher speed machines. Spray buffs can be used with high speed buffing machines that run at 350 rpm – 800 rpm speeds. The average energy of running a 330 rpm floor buffer with a power rating of 1.5 horsepower for an hour is 1119 J. And an entire bottle of spray buff is usually used on a 2000 sq. ft. floor. Burnishing machines are used for harder floors that need more aggressive polishing, which are battery-powered or propane-powered at speeds of 1200-1500 rpm.

Since Green Shield Floors eco-friendly sealer does not require stripping or buffing, the amount of energy and water used for maintenance is minimal in comparison to wax, and greatly cuts down on the air and water pollutants that are regularly produced by buffing, stripping and waxing. Our nonporous sealer maintains it’s clean, glossy appearance without any special care and can last as long as 2 years before needing reapplication.

Learn more about the differences between our eco-friendly sealer and wax in Green Shield UV Floor Sealer Versus Wax (Part 3).