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The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning and Maintaining Rubber Surfacing

Rubber surfacing is growing in popularity owing to its versatility, durability, safety, low-maintenance, and moisture-resistant properties. No wonder, rubber floors are being employed in a variety of locations, such as gyms, basements, sports centers, quadruple-care, and kids play areas among others. Several restaurants, resorts, and celebrity homes also install rubber tiles because of their aesthetic appeal.

However, like any other surface, rubber surfaces are subject to heavy foot traffic, stains, dust, and debris, causing it to look dirty and scruffy as they age. Therefore, it’s important to clean and maintain the surface regularly.

Though rubber surfaces are easy to clean and maintain, it’s important to know how to care for them. Here’s a detailed guide on how to keep your rubber surface in a good condition for many years to come.

1. Follow a Simple Cleaning Routine

Cleaning rubber floors generally involves regular sweeping or vacuuming to get rid of the debris and dirt trekked in by shoes, pets, or blown in by the wind. You will need the following cleaning supplies –

– Broom or vacuum cleaner
– Mop and bucket
– Sponge or cleaning cloth to get rid of stains
– Mild/ non-acidic cleaning agent or mild dishwashing soap or a pH-neutral detergent

Before mopping the floor, get rid of the debris as it may get abrasive when dragged by footwear or a wet mop. Follow up with damp mopping to get rid of stains and dust.

Dirt and urine stains can be easily tackled using conventional cleaning methods. For stubborn stains, use a hand brush and apply additional pressure on the floor when cleaning. But take care not to scar the surface.

To get rid of stubborn stains, use toothpaste or a DIY cleaning solution made using vinegar and hot water (1 cup white vinegar in a gallon of warm water). Add a few drops of lemon juice or lavender essential oil to this solution, giving it a pleasant refreshing aroma. This cleaning solution can be used regularly to get rid of stains and unpleasant odors and disinfect the floor.

Rubber surfaces with textures and studs can be tough to clean as dirt and grime tend to get trapped between the ridges. Use a studded rubber floor cleaning brush that can reach the upper and lower surface area, ensuring the floor is clean within minutes.

Rubber isn’t affected by moisture. So, once the flooring is mopped of the excess water, let it air dry. Also, it helps to place a dirt-trapping rug at the entrance to reduce the amount of dirt entering the room.

2. Invest in Periodic Surface Conditioning or Buffing

Rubber surfaces are known to withstand wear and tear and heavy foot traffic. Yet, you can condition the surface once in a while to restore its original lustrous shine. Besides cleaning it daily, undertake deep conditioning once a month to restore the surface to its original condition.

For conditioning, you can either use a rubber floor conditioner or mop the surface with a solution of fabric softener and water (1 cup fabric softener in a gallon of water).

In case you choose to get it done by experts, get in touch with the Rubcorp team who will guide you through the process. Professionals use a buffing machine that operates at a speed of less than 350 revolutions/minute. This significantly reduces the risk of damaging the surface.

3. Consider the Subfloor You Have

Being resilient to liquids, rubber floors can easily take accidental spillages. The water, tea, or any other liquid will just sit on the surface, waiting for you to clean it.

However, one thing we need to consider when cleaning rubber surfaces is how the subfloor will take such spills. Most rubber floor installers fail to cover the seams between the rubber floor rolls. So, let’s say you have a wooden subfloor, the liquid will seep through these prominent seams and cause irreparable damage to the sub-floor.

Rubcorp’s team of professionals factor in all these possible issues at an early stage. Our team first analyzes the sub-floor and offers the best possible rubber surfacing solution to our clients.

For instance, for a plywood or carpet subfloor, liquid damage could mean rot or mold. In such cases, we advise our client to install a moisture barrier underlayment between the wood and rubber, thus preventing much heartburn in the future.

Once installed, there’s very little you can do to prevent any spill from seeping to the subfloor. Therefore, it’s important to get a professional rubber surfacing firm to manage your flooring project.

4. Know How to Manage Accidents

Nothing beats rubber surfaces when it comes to resilience and longevity. Yet, harsh chemicals and accidental spills can damage the surface. Knowing how to manage such unfortunate situations can increase the life of the rubber surface.

– Harsh Chemicals: Acids, alkalis, gasoline, solvent-based solutions, pine sol, WD-40, and paint thinner can erode the surface. In case any of these chemicals happen to accidentally come in contact with the floor, immediately rinse the area with water to minimize the damage.

– Blood, Animal Droppings, or Urine: Scrub off the deposit with a cleaning brush and soak the residue with a damp disposable rag. Clean the area with some vinegar cleaning solution and let it air dry.

– Chewing Gum: Apply dry ice to freeze the gum and chip it off.

The longer such spills are left on the rubber surface, the more damage they cause. Therefore, a prompt and fitting response is critical. Once you’ve done that, get in touch with an expert rubber surfacing firm to guide you with the future course of action.

5. Be Aware of the Basic Do’s and Don’ts

Though rubber is durable and low-maintenance, paying heed to a few precautions while cleaning will help keep the surface in good condition.

– During the first 6-8 months of its installation, the rubber surface deserves special care. That’s because rubber’s resilience increases with time, making it more resistant to stains and wear and tear as they age. So, to improve the longevity of the rubber surface, make sure you take good care when it’s newly installed.

– Avoid oil or solvent-based floor cleaners as they can damage the floor. For instance, using turpentine or acetone-based cleaning solutions can permanently damage the surface. Similarly, strongly-acidic or alkaline cleaning solutions can damage the floor.

– Poured-in-place rubber surface comprises rubber granules bonded by a polyurethane binder. Hence, avoid using chemicals that dissolve lacquer, binders, and glues (like Xylene-based solutions).

– Scouring pads, steel wool, and metal bristle brooms are notorious for slicing or scarring the flooring. They also dislodge the granules in the poured-in-place rubber flooring. So, avoid using these when cleaning rubber floors.

– Don’t use cotton mops as they tend to leave lint fibers behind. This will make the flooring look shabby, rough, and sudsy after drying. Use a nylon mop instead!

Summing Up

Rubber surfaces come with many benefits like high durability, safety, moisture-resistance, and an aesthetic appeal. However, like any other type of flooring, these surfaces are prone to attracting dirt and grime. Failing to clean and maintain the rubber flooring can affect its longevity and rob it of its attractiveness.

Use the information and tips shared in this post to keep your rubber surface clean and looking its best at all times.

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Creative Director, Rubcorp Distribution, LLC

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