Check out this image of bad banding versus good banding. See all the gaps and holes?
Those tiny little slits between the banding and the steel put this commutator (on the left) in a vulnerable position. The fine particles of carbon that come off the brushes find their way into any little gap or hole. Enough contamination will lead to a short or even worse, a failure. To get the most life out of your commutators check the banding frequently and if needed replace the banding.
ICC is more than happy to help. Call or email anytime if you have questions. We can walk you through what to look for and even guide you through the process, we'll even tell you exactly what products we recommend using.