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Raised Floor Cleaning Guide - Removing Dust For Underfloor Space & Cleaning Access Floor Panels

2020/5/30 16:50:11

Regular cleaning of the raised floor is not only a question of hygiene, but it is also an important contribution to maintaining value. The cleaning of the raised floor is not only limited to the maintenance of the access floor panel, but the cleaning of the underfloor space is also a necessary measure to keep the entire system running lastingly and efficiently. In today's post, follow us to get to know how to clean the raised floor panels and internal structure!

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Raised Floor System Construction and Surface Panel

The access floor can be opened at any free position by lifting and removing the floor panel or floor tiles. The raised floor consists of an access floor construction or substructure with height-adjustable steel supports. The access floor panels consist of wooden, calcium sulfate or metal carrier panels and are reinforced by steel profiles depending on the requirements for statics, sound insulation and fire protection. In many cases, air conditioning takes place via the cavity in the raised floor. Cool air is blown into the access floor by the air conditioning system and let out through ventilation outlets on the racks / in the cold aisle. The raised access floor offers enormous capacities for the laying of power and network cables (intermediate floor). Frames can be built for the installation of control cabinets, racks, and server cabinets.

The surface of a raised floor is covered with HPL, PVC, carpet or parquet. Heavy-duty PVC surfaces with constant electrical behavior are used especially for use in the electronics industry, data centers, computer rooms, and server rooms. This floor covering is permanently electrostatically conductive and corresponds to an insulation resistance according to Low-voltage electrical installations for personal safety and / or according to DIN standards certified by the professional association for precision mechanics and electrical engineering. The surface should be easy to clean, wear-resistant and suitable for the use of chair casters, lifting and forklift vehicles. The standard grid of the carrier plates has a size of 600 x 600 mm.

A good cleaning and maintenance program such as a raised floor renovation extends the life of a floor covering. A product that is not maintained must be replaced more quickly because its performance suffers. Regular cleaning and maintenance are absolutely necessary for a visually convincing appearance.

Why Should Raised Floor Underfloor Space Be Cleaned?

Raised floors are installation floors made of system components, form a hollow floor and are used for air circulation to cool IT systems such as servers, storage, switches, and telephone systems and to accommodate supply lines such as electricity and patch cables and network cables. Raised floors are very flexible and offer quick access to installations (installation floor and assembly floor) at any point. While the flooring tiles are rarely removed once equipment has been installed, the space below them is seldom cleaned, and fluff and other debris settles, making working on cabling underneath the flooring a dirty job. Accumulated contaminants such as concrete dust, rust flakes, sheetrock dust, sand, and carbon particles can be swept up and carried to your equipment by the underfloor air system into the work environment if it’s not kept clean. 

The cavity under the raised floor must be free of dust and sand so that it cannot reach the sensitive devices through the air circulation. An annual raised floor and hollow floor underfloor structure cleaning is recommended. 

How To Clean The Bottom Structure of Raised Floor?

  • Use suitable raised panel lifters (suction lifters) to open and access to the cavity under the raised access floor system. If possible, do not remove any edge panels or fitting panels, the sealing will be damaged.

  • Only the absolutely necessary raised floor panels should be removed, not too many at once. The tension in the raised floor is disturbed if surfaces that are too large are uncovered. A maximum of five panels may be removed in a line. 

  • Use a good quality ship type vacuum cleaner with minimum 2” hose, large pleated filter and brush head. Clean or replace the filter every 2 hours of continuous operation. Filters are available with different particle size ratings. You can spend more money on filters that remove very small particles.

  • Vacuum under the floor and on top of the grid. Make sure you plug the vacuum cleaner into an electrical supply which will not interfere with computer operation. Avoid stepping on communication cables below the access floor. 

  • If your floor has under floor air supply, you will need to start the cleaning process at the HVAC input to the access floor plenum and move downstream. Otherwise, the HVAC system will simply blow more dirt into the newly cleaned area.

  • Check out the understructure for loose or missing components. Loose supports must be replaced after cleaning. Tighten loose bolts and replace broken access floor panels or any missing parts. Do not attempt to adjust the pedestal leveling nuts without knowing the correct elevation. 

  • Use panel puller to remove the panels and put them back. Recorded panels must be put back in their original position and not exchanged with each other, so that no joints or unstable panels are created. 

  • To prevent damage to the edges of the raised floor panels and pedestal head supports when the panels are reinserted, the panels must not be pressed in by force. 

Why Should Do Raised Access Floor Panel Cleaning?

It becomes difficult in a demanding server room environment with sensitive electronics such as servers during operation or with heavily soiled tiles, for example after construction work. If the cleaning is not carried out professionally, there is a risk that the base panels will be damaged and have to be replaced. Dust, dirt, wax build-up inhibits static dissipation is also harmful to sensitive equipment.

A good cleaning and maintenance program such as a raised floor renovation extends the life of a floor covering. Regular cleaning and maintenance are absolutely necessary for a visually convincing appearance. A product that is not maintained must be replaced more quickly because its performance suffers. Normally, cleaning the floor panels is not a big challenge. The surface cleaning of the raised access floor panels should be done at least every 14 days.

How To Clean Raised Access Floor Panels?

  • When cleaning the surface of the raised floor panel, the instructions for use and care provided by the flooring manufacturer must be followed. The current state of the art must also be observed.

  • When cleaning raised floors, you should avoid soaking the floor surface.

  • Always Sweep out large particles and vacuum the floor prior to moping. Never use a dry mop, it will push dirt into the perforated raised floor tiles cracks and openings.

  • If water is used for cleaning, it may only be used briefly and in small quantities and must then be completely absorbed again immediately. Avoid soaking the floor surface, it will make the raised floor flushed or moistened for a while.

  • When cleaning elastic floor coverings such as ESD vinyl tiles on raised floors, the dirt is picked up with wipers that are covered with damp gauze cloths (wet wiping). Loose soiling is removed using the wet wipe method. 80% of smearings and traces of use are mechanically polished out in the cleaning process.

  • When cleaning perforated panels use a vacuum cleaner with a good HEPA filter to be sure all the dirt that gets trapped in them is removed and not just blown around.

  • Use the correct detergent for cleaning access floor panels. Raised floor panel covering differ, depending on the material, floor tile requires different treatment and cleaning agents. None of the cleaning methods mentioned may impair the electrophysical properties, the adhesive bond, or the back coating. 

  • Floor panels with cutouts, fixtures, or ventilation panels must be treated with particular care to prevent the ingress of moisture.

  • The ongoing cleaning of textile floor coverings consists of the daily, thorough removal of loose dirt by brush vacuums.

  • After using cleaning chemicals, use clean water mop to rinse and dry the ground in time with flooring dryer.