Blog
  • Simple Tips for Waterbased Users

    Nov 12, 2019

    wood floor

    When using waterbased finishes, the thing to keep in mind is that you are working with water. Equipment and techniques are slightly different than when working with OMUs. Whether you have never experienced using waterbased products or just want a refresher, here are some pointers to remember…

    • Grain raise is normal with waterbased coatings. Don’t fret about it, just anticipate it. Screening to 120-grit or finer is a good ending point before applying stain or waterbased coating. Always follow NWFA guidelines.

    • Just remember, once you apply your sealer or finish, don’t overwork the material, allow it to flow and wet itself out. Like they say, don’t watch a waterbased finish dry, just walk away.

    • Read the manufacturer’s directions for mixing your finish. Some recommend shaking, others recommend stirring, but everyone recommends some way of blending the product before application. This not only allows for ease of proper application, it also prevents final appearance issues like streaking or inconsistent sheen.

    • Clean and tack the floor before coating. It is even a good idea to clean the window sills and counter tops or any place where saw dust could have accumulated.

    • If using a T-bar, make sure to feather out your turns. Also, many contractors like to use rollers or paint pads as it’s easier to use and control versus a T-bar. It’s a personal preference.

    • Regardless of which tool you use, apply an even amount of pressure. Different pressures can lead to varying film thicknesses, which could lead to varying sheens. Be consistent with your application across the floor.

    • Try to achieve the recommended coverage rates. Finishes are designed to be applied at a specific film thickness. If you apply the finish at the recommended rate, it will have a better chance to flow and level.

    • Prior to application, make sure the jobsite temperature and humidity levels are acceptable. Also, make sure to turn off the HVAC system and close all windows and doors during application, which will keep the finish from drying too quickly. After about 30–60 minutes of no airflow, the finish should be level and will tack over, at which point the floor can be opened to airflow.

    • Use fans to move air across the room to help the finish dry and air out the room. A well-ventilated floor makes for a strong finish.

  • The Benefits of Wood Sealers

    Nov 01, 2019

    sealers

    There is a time and a place for everything, including waterbased wood sealers.

    In some cases, you may prefer to use more coats of finish instead of using a sealer. There are, however, plenty of reasons to use waterbased wood floor sealers on raw wood flooring, whether the floor is going to be stained or not. Reasons include cost, color, tannin blocking, proper adhesion, and preventing side-bonding. 

    Cost: Waterbased sealers are less expensive than waterbased finishes. When applying your first coat, the “thirsty” raw wood will generally absorb a lot of product. Filling those pores with less expensive product is just more economical. Additionally, if you screen to knockdown grain raise, you are screening off product and throwing it away. Again, it’s simply more cost-effective to use a less expensive product in that process. 

    Color: You can choose sealers based upon color as well. Some sealers are clear, some have a slight or heavy ambering tone, and some have a color pigment added that creates a certain look or effect prior to applying a finish and/or after applying a stain.

    Tannin: At times, you may have concerns about pulling tannin with waterbased sealers/finishes. That can happen with exotic species, but it is definitely a concern when coating white oak. If you have concerns about tannin, then definitely make sure your sealer is designed to resist pulling tannin. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

    Adhesion: Waterbased sealers are designed to penetrate and offer an excellent bond to the surface of the wood flooring or to stains. In turn, they create an excellent substrate for the finishes to bond to.

    Side-bonding: Waterbased sealers aren’t as strong as waterbased finishes by design, partly to help with application, but also to reduce concerns with side-bonding. Because sealers aren’t as strong, their tendency for side-bonding is dramatically reduced.

    As with any aspect of bringing a vision of wood flooring to life, there are circumstances that might warrant doing things differently. If you have any questions about this subject, please reach out to your local Basic Coatings® Regional Manager for a customized solution.

  • More Causes and Cures: Stain on the Brain

    Oct 24, 2019

    OOJ-618-WFB_JJ18-Techn-bleedback_Lg
    Photo credit: Joshua Crossman, PTL Hardwoods, Yelm, WA

    After all these years, handcrafted hardwood floors are still the flooring of choice for many and add value to any home. There are, however, several job site issues that can challenge any hardwood flooring professional. Let’s take a look at three stain-related job site challenges worth keeping in mind.

    Bleed Back
    Cause: Bleed back is an issue that can occur when staining wood floors. Stain that has penetrated into the open grain of the wood, fine cracks, and even into the tongue and groove between the boards can wick back up to the surface, forming wet dots or a wet line along the edge of the boards. Sometimes this doesn’t happen until after the sealer or first finish coat is applied. In essence, you might think the stain is dry, but if there are pockets of wet finish beneath the surface, it will most likely work its way to the surface at some point.

    Prevention: Inhibiting pockets of wet stain from forming below the surface is crucial, and applying the stain thinly and evenly is an excellent way to start. Some contractors prefer to buff in the stain to achieve an even and thin stain job. Not all stains can be buffed on though, so check the label instructions or contact the manufacturer to find out if a particular stain can be buffed.

    Cloudy or Hazy Finish
    Cause: A cloudy or milky finish can occur when a finish is applied over a stain that is not completely dry yet. The solvent from the stain can get trapped and will cause the finish to look cloudy or hazy as it’s trying to get out.

    Prevention: Allowing the stain more time to dry is the best option. Never rush dry times! Increasing airflow and ensuring that the job site has proper temperature and humidity helps as well. 

    Blotchy Stain
    Cause: Similar to cloudy or hazy finish, blotchy stain can occur when a finish is applied before the stain is completely dry. Blotches can also occur as a result of using wood species that do not evenly accept stain or from inconsistent sanding, water popping, or stain application.

    Prevention: Water popping the floor prior to applying the stain will help the wood absorb the stain and help you attain a more even tone. When water popping, be sure the moisture is gone before staining. Air movement and ventilation is important in getting stain to dry before top coating with a sealer or finish.

  • Coating Decals with StreetShoe®

    Oct 14, 2019

    Basketball-Shoes-

    Years ago, applying decals to sports flooring was new to the industry. At this time, it’s pretty common practice, yet we always get asked whether decals affect slip or trip on sports flooring.

    The Basic Coatings® laboratory compared the static coefficient of friction in between StreetShoe® on wood and StreetShoe on a decal. These coatings chemists determined that there isn’t a significant difference in the static coefficient of friction in between the different substrates. Testing was conducted using the ASTM D2047 - 11 standard test method for static coefficient of friction of polish-coated flooring surfaces as measured by the James machine.

    Slip resistance of floor finishes is determined by measuring the static coefficient of friction. The most common device for measuring this is the James machine. Underwriters Laboratory (UL®) developed it in the early 1940s. Laboratory test data corroborated by field experience established a minimum value of 0.5 for the static coefficient of friction for a floor finish to bear the UL seal of approval. Since then, 0.5 has become the commonly accepted threshold for classifying slip resistance in floor finishes. Furthermore, the James machine is the only recognized test method (ASTM D-2047), and the 0.5 value (as measured by the James machine) is the recognized minimum criterion for slip resistant walking surfaces in courts of law in the United States.

    All Basic Coatings floor coatings are tested for slip resistance in accordance with ASTM D-2047 and meet or exceed the standard of 0.5 and are therefore considered to be slip resistant. 

    Basic Coatings Floor Care Expert, Micah Petersen, is an expert witness for slip/fall cases and is also a member of the ASTM D-21 Committee on Polishes, as well as the D-21.06 Slip Resistance subcommittee.

  • Don’t Let Fall Bring Your Hardwood Floors Down

    Oct 08, 2019

    Fall

    Well, it’s that time of the year again; the warm summer days are coming to a screeching halt, and the leaves are beginning to change. As cooler, outside air is heated for indoor use, the relative humidity level drops substantially. This, in turn, affects hardwood floors in several ways, particularly with respect to finish application, maintenance, and wood shrinkage.

    Finish Application
    Lower humidity can shorten the working time of finishes during application, so procedures might need to be adjusted.

    As indicated on the technical data sheets and product labels for Basic Coatings® finishes, one trick that can help in lower humidity is to add a little water to our finishes (up to 12 oz. per gallon). This will extend the application and flow time and allow the finish to level properly in dry conditions.

    Floor Maintenance
    With cooler climates and drier air, dust migration also increases. Excessive dust makes floors slippery and can increase wear. Inclement weather radically increases tracked-in dirt, salt, sand, and grit, so cleaning schedules should be increased to compensate. Frequent dust mopping and cleaning with Basic Coating’s Squeaky™ Cleaner is an excellent method to remove dust, dirt, and other buildup. Also, we recommend using a matting system by the entrance of your door to avoid potential slip and fall accidents from dirt and contaminants brought in from the outdoors.

    Wood Shrinkage
    When moisture levels drop, wood shrinkage is an entirely natural process that opens up cracks between boards in wood floors. Unfortunately, opening cracks are most always noticeable and objectionable in newly installed or freshly resanded floors.

    Inadequate building materials and subfloors, insufficient nailing or gluing of flooring, little or no acclimation of flooring before installation, or improper sealer/finish systems can all aggravate a shrinkage problem. The real and only cause of shrinkage, however, is loss of moisture in the wood, and the only reliable way to prevent cracks from opening up is to maintain constant relative humidity year-round. A simple investment in a humidifier and/or dehumidifier can do wonders in this regard.

    The cooler months can be a hard time for your hardwood floors, but a few simple steps can dramatically decrease the risk of damage. Look to Basic Coatings for more tips and recommendations for your hardwood floors!

  • 5 Simple Ways to Prevent Applicator/Finish Streaks: Finish Aesthetics from the NWFA

    Sep 24, 2019

    applicator streaks

    Applicator/finish streaks is a term used to describe visible lines or ridges in the finish that are caused by the application tool used to apply the coating. This type of surface effect is caused by a thicker line of finish being applied along the edges of the applicator, such as a T-bar, roller, or paint pad not leveling or flowing out upon drying. This surface defect is made worse by fast-setting environmental conditions during coating, i.e., high temperatures and/or low humidity. If it dries too fast, the normal ability of the finish to flow out is impaired.

    If you are experiencing these types of issues, you have come to the right place. Here are a few simple prevention techniques that can save you from a streaky floor:
    • Make sure all applicator tools (pads or rollers) are clean and soft all over. Not cleaning thoroughly can cause hard spots that can leave distinct lines in the finish.
    • Allow the finish to acclimate to room temperature. If the finish is too hot, it might not level out properly.
    • If the sun is shining through a window onto the floor, cover the window or coat the floor when the sun is not shining on the floor. If the floor is too hot, the finish might not level out properly.
    • Restrict air flow when applying the finish. This will allow the finish to flow and level out properly. A good rule of thumb is to increase airflow about 30 to 45 minutes after your complete application of finish.
    • Be mindful of your applicator technique. Never leave lines across grain where possible and feather-out as needed. 

    If you are still experiencing applicator/finish streaks, we recommend you contact a Basic Coatings® representative to further assess your needs.

    Source: NWFA’s “Problems, Causes and Cures 2018”

  • We Didn’t Start the Fire...but You Should Be Learning How to Prevent It Burning

    Sep 17, 2019

    sawdust-wood-dust-texture-background-closeup-floor-top-view-saw-close-up-brown-122606251

    Setting the Scene
    Picture this: you, a successful wood flooring contractor, have landed a very lucrative full sand and refinish project on what was clearly once a beautiful hardwood floor. It’s day one of the job; the morning air is crisp, your Starbucks cold brew coffee is full, Billy Joel is playing on the radio, and the day is ripe with the promise of restoring this floor to its former glory. You are certain that the before and after photos will garner more likes and new followers on social media than any ever before. You’ve finished cleaning the floor to remove contaminants, and now you pull out Old Faithful, your tried-and-true, most favorite sanding machine.

    Trial by Fire
    Like countless mornings before, you plug Old Faithful in, switch off the safety, and start her up. With the grain of the wood, you walk her forward and then walk her back, walk her forward and then walk her back, each new strip of sanded floor slightly overlapping with the last. The first quarter of the room is done, then the first half, you’re nearing three-quarters now, done! You power her down, walk over to your Starbucks, and you’re taking a sip of coffee when you smell it. Is something…burning? You look over at Old Faithful, and her collection bag is ablaze! Thinking quickly, you run towards the machine as you pull the lid from your Starbucks cup, and you douse the fire with your cold brew. The flames die, and you think how easily the entire job could have just gone up in smoke.

    So, What Happened?
    You’ve heard of it happening, but you didn’t think it would happen to you: spontaneous combustion. Although uncommon, wood dust can and does catch on fire in the dust collection bag when sanding wood floors. The heat created from the friction of the machine and sandpaper on the floor can increase to the point—400 degrees Fahrenheit, to be precise—that the sawdust begins to smolder inside the bag and ignite. Combustion happens much more frequently when an old floor is sanded, because the old finishes on the floor become ground into a fine powder, and when a floor freshly coated with a solvent-based finish needs to be sanded. Though rare, combustion in the latter scenario is especially dangerous due to increased flammability. Spontaneous combustion of wood dust can also occur after the dust has been removed from the collection bag.

    Only YOU Can Prevent Wood Dust Fires
    It is the responsibility of the contractor to minimize the potential for spontaneous ignition. Follow these steps to ensure that spontaneous combustion of wood dust from your job stays only in your mind’s eye:
    • Dust bags should be emptied often. Do not let them become more than half full before emptying them.
    • Empty dust collection bags before transporting the machine or leaving the job site, even if you are just leaving for a short time.
    • Always advise keeping fire extinguishers in the truck or on the job.
    • Smoking should be prohibited on the jobsite and in the truck.
    • Any saw blades should be sharpened such that heat buildup due to friction is minimized.
    • Always remove dust receptacles from the job site at the end of every day.
    • To ensure dust and shavings do not ignite, spray them with cool water.
    • When dried, dispose of the wood waste according to state and local waste disposal regulations. Disposal guidelines will vary depending on the area of the country, so you should consult your local waste disposal office for specific guidance.

    Don’t play fast and loose with wood dust. Taking steps to avoid spontaneous combustion could save a piece of equipment, an entire job, or even a life.

  • The Two Oaks and Tannin Pull

    Aug 20, 2019

    red-white-oak-comparison

    Solid wood flooring is one of the most recognizable and unique flooring surfaces available on the market today. There is an abundance of options, from the species of wood and its color or warmth to the more technical aspects such as wood hardness or ability to accept stain. These and many other factors should be considered before choosing a type of wood for any given project. One of the most common of these wood choices in the United States is oak.

    There are two main species of oak that are prevalent in the solid wood flooring market: red oak and white oak. It is vitally important to fully comprehend their intrinsic differences and how to distinguish between the two, as they react differently when used with waterbased coatings.  Typically, there is a noticeable color difference between the two, one being “white” or “blonder,” and the other being “red,” but this is not always the case.

    At times, distinguishing between red and white oak can be so difficult that now some companies manufacture testing kits. However, if you understand a few parameters, telling the difference is a piece of cake. To make sure you have the correct wood for your purposes prior to purchase, follow these instructions:
    • Remove a piece of flooring from the pallet.
    • Turn the board so the end is easily visible.
    • Visible holes or “bullets” in the cut end of the board indicate red oak.
    • “Fills” or “no bullets” indicate white oak.
    • Crossbred flooring typically is a mix of “bullets” and “fills” and should be treated as if it is white oak.

    Picture1
    (click to enlarge)

    But why does all this even matter?

    Wood is made up of many active chemicals.  One of those chemicals, tannin, is most prevalent in white oak and is very water soluble. Certain waterbased products can react with high levels of tannic acid, causing discoloration or heavy spots. This results in blotchy floors, with potential color differences seen all across the field. Pulling out these tannins will cause a color transfer from board to board.  Some professionals report this color as purple, green, or even red. When applying stain, if the stain pigment does not completely penetrate and fill-out these “fills,” tannin can pull up through the stain and create an even bigger disaster.

    The answer to preventing any potential unsatisfactory results is two full coats of a waterbased sealer that is designed to prevent tannin pull, such as Basic Coatings® Lock ‘N Seal™. This pre-catalyzed waterbased sealer has a specific blend of resins and solvents formulated to lock out the tannin pull problem.

    Interested in learning more about Lock ‘N Seal? Click here or call us at 800-441-1934.

  • Double Staining = Double Trouble

    Aug 14, 2019

    from-my-front-porch-to-yours-vertical-or-horizontal-flooring-real-wood-vertical-horizontal-s-63ba1426f34e0cd1

    Have you ever finished staining a floor and wished a darker or lighter color of stain had been selected? Applying a second coat of stain to change the color is something you might try once, but the chances of success are not very good.  A second coat of stain can cause other issues like peeling of the top coat(s).

    Some may wonder, “What’s the big deal? It’s just another layer of stain.” The problem is that most stains contain color pigments, dyes, and a very small amount of binder. The first coat is thin enough for the top coat or sealer to penetrate and bond to the wood fiber. If a second coat is applied, it builds the thickness and two things happen. First, the sealer or top coat cannot penetrate through the stain to grab the wood fiber. This causes the second issue, the bond now relies on the strength of the stain to bond the surface coats to the wood. Most stains do not have enough internal strength to hold the entire film surface together, and this can cause peeling of the finish.

    One way to avoid picking the wrong color is to do a test area using the actual wood and actual stain color.  It’s not that uncommon to do a couple of samples to give the decision maker a couple options before the real work begins. New Basic Coatings® HyperTone™ Stains consists of 14 oil/water hybrid stain colors that can all be mixed and matched—including black and white—for darker or lighter custom colors.

    The proprietary oil/water hybrid technology utilized in HyperTone Stains also facilitates greater pigment penetration for more intense colors. If you don’t like the color of the stain once it’s applied, it’s best to resand and restain the entire floor.

    For more information about HyperTone Stains, please click here.

  • Why Choose Basic Coatings® Waterbased Finishes and Sealers for Your Wood Floor?

    Aug 08, 2019

    Photo12-C.-Re-coat-_-Re-finish

    Wondering why you should choose Basic Coatings® waterbased finishes and sealers for your wood floors? Because they are more durable, are better for your health and for the environment, achieve a wide array of looks, are faster to implement, and are safer. Also, because there’s nothing quite like a beautiful wood floor to take a room to the next level. Let’s take an in-depth look at the advantages of waterbased finishes and sealers.

    1. Advanced durability: Waterbased finishes and sealers offer the ultimate protection for your wood floor, allowing you to safeguard your beautiful wood floor with long-lasting durability. Tested for abrasion resistance (the ability of the coating to withstand mechanical action such as scuffing or erosion), some waterbased finishes, like StreetShoe® NXT, have proven to be five times more resistant to wear than oil-modified urethane.
    StreetShoe hardness

    2. Greener/low VOCs: All Basic Coatings waterbased sealers and finishes are VOC (volatile organic compounds) compliant and can be used everywhere throughout North America. The lower the VOCs, the lower the odor. In addition to lower odor during installation, because waterbased sealers and finishes cure faster, the lower odor dissipates faster. All Basic Coatings waterbased sealers and finishes are LEED compliant. Furthermore, exposure to increased VOCs can cause health and environmental problems, so limiting them should be a top priority.
    VOCs

    3. Design options: Whether you prefer a clear or traditional, warm amber look, Basic Coatings can offer finishes in both options to fit your style.

    4. Available choices: No other manufacturer offers more sheen levels than Basic Coatings. Whether you are looking for gloss, semi-gloss, satin, or super matte, we have you covered. We even offer Pure Matte® for the most discriminating tastes. 

    5. Speed of application: With the quick dry times of Basic Coatings waterbased finishes and sealers, you can actually apply more coats on the floor faster, ultimately completing jobs sooner!

    6. Faster cure: In addition to completing the job sooner, floors are also back in service faster. StreetShoe NXT is the fastest-curing finish on the market, achieving 90% cure in just 24 hours.
    StreetShoe cure time

    7. Safety: Waterbased finishes are not combustible or flammable, and neither are their vapors.

    There are a lot of options in floor care, and it can get overwhelming quickly. That’s why Basic Coatings® makes it easy. We’re here to educate, evaluate, and advise you on what’s best for your floors. To learn more about the advantages of waterbased finishes from Basic Coatings, click here.

  • Get a Bead on Poly Beads

    Aug 01, 2019

    polybeads4-e1527856269897

    Have you ever noticed small, gummy bumps along the edges of your floor boards during the warm summer months? Chances are that you’re a victim of poly beads. Poly beads are soft, gummy bumps that are tracked across the floor between individual boards. If left untreated, these bumps will solidify along the edges of your floor finish, or they can cause smears.

    As the VOC regulations tightened up in many parts of the country, oil-modified urethane solids (OMUs) have been raised in order to comply with regulations. All OMUs dry from the top down. Since higher solids with low VOC OMUs are thicker, they do not flow through the cracks as well. This causes the drying process to slow down significantly.  The surface will dry, but the liquid underneath dries so slowly that liquid may remain in the cracks of the floor boards for six to nine months.

    If the humidity is high, the moisture content in wood will rise. This will cause your wood to expand and the cracks to tighten up, closing up any remaining cracks and squeezing the semi-set liquid. As the liquid is squeezed, some goes down the cracks and some rises to the surface. The portion that squeezes up will form a bump in the dried surface film with a liquid core from underneath. Poly beads usually result from jobs done in the spring, about three to four weeks on either side of Easter. That is the time of the year when the floor will have cracks open due to shrinkage from the winter months. If the finish is not completely dry between the boards by the time spring arrives, the seasonal rains will raise the ambient humidity and cause the wood to swell and squeeze out poly beads. You are more likely to encounter this problem if you cross mop with lambswool. If you start across the grain, make sure the lambswool can push enough finish down the cracks. Start in line with the grain to minimize this problem.

    This is a problem that is difficult to prevent. Our best advice is to convert to waterbased sealers/finishes to prevent the issue. However, if you need to stick with OMU, try to coat wood with a heavy applicator that leaves thin films for the best drying conditions. For optimal results, make sure you have plenty of air circulation to help with the drying process.  We also recommend that you leave each coat to dry before applying the next coat.

    To fix poly beads, scrape the finish with a putty knife and wipe the liquid residue with mineral spirits on a rag. This “squeezing up” will stop when one of three things happen:

    1. All the liquid has squeezed out and has been wiped up.
    2. The finish reaches a cure point hard enough that it can’t be squeezed out.
    3. The floor will start to drop some of its moisture and the wood will shrink back, relax the pressure and the bumps will stop forming.

    Note: Some contractors have added oil drying agents to their finish thinking they are speeding the dry time and acting to prevent the problem. In most cases, the problem will be worse as the surface film dries faster. The OMU needs oxygen to cure with or without drying agents.

  • Don’t Get “Stuck” on Adhesives!

    Jul 25, 2019

    No Tape

    If you are a wood flooring professional, you probably already know that adhesive tape is very harmful to gym floors. Coaches, athletic directors, and other contractors, however, may not know the dangers that tape pose; namely, the non-drying solvents, or plasticizers, found in tape can damage wood floor finishes.

    How do you get around these detrimental adhesive tapes? While we do not recommend use of any adhesives on any finished wood floor, the reality is that tape is still and likely will continue to be heavily used on gym floors. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to pass along to gym floor customers on how to properly handle adhesive tape on gym floors, so as to minimize the risk of harm to the finish. 

    1.) When removing tape, pull at a 45° angle, as opposed to pulling the tape in the same direction in which it was laid. This will decrease the chances of the finish peeling. 

    2.) Do not leave tape on the floor for more than 24 hours at a time. 

    3.) When protecting the floor, it is best to tape the protective paper to another piece of protective paper. This is a better solution than taping directly to the gym floor.

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  • Skip the Peel!

    Jul 18, 2019

    Peeling Hardwood Floor

    Is your floor peeling? Can you pull a thin layer of finish off like wallpaper? If a floor is not finished properly, you may run into problems down the road, including a peeling floor. Not only is this unsightly, but it can leave your wood floors susceptible to damage! Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself to determine why your floor is peeling.

    1.) Is the peel easy to remove from the wood or is it only loose in specific areas? Use a razor knife to see if the film peels off easily. If the peel is loose all over, the coats were not bonded well between them. If just occasional spots are loose, it is more likely due to some local contamination or condition.

    2.) Is the back of the film shiny?  Look at the film piece and note where on the board the failure occurred. The middle of the board can indicate the lower coat was cured or there was not enough abrasion between the coats to maintain a good bond for the next coat.  If the peeling occurred on an edge of a board, it could also mean expansion from moisture issues or improper abrasion.

    3.) Is there color on the film? If there was a stain on the floor, look to see if there is color on the peeled film. If so, the stain was not dry when coated … regardless of how long the contractor waited. Also, ask if the contractor double-coated the stain. In most cases, double-coating stain will result in failure to bond, because the internal strength of the stain is weaker than the coating bond.

    4.) Is there still finish under the peel or is it bare wood? Test with the razor knife to be sure. If there is still film, then the failure was between coats. If the area is bare wood, then the failure is off the wood.

    5.) Are you left with bare wood? If the peeling leaves bare wood, the options are narrowed to a sealer failure, or the wood was not prepared properly before coating. Check the peeling for abrasion marks to determine proper floor preparation, or contact the sealer manufacturer for more information. Proper mechanical abrasion is key to aiding adhesion.

    6.) Do the meter readings match or is the floor wet? Check the floor with a moisture meter along with some adjacent wood surfaces such as trim, beams, etc. Moisture issues can cause excessive wood swelling and increase the chances for delamination.

    If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, there is a good possibility you have your reason for a peeling floor. If none of these reasons pertain to you and your floor is still peeling, we recommend calling an NWFA Certified Professional.

  • Don’t Let Summer Floor Finish Issues
    Make You Hot Under the Collar

    Jul 10, 2019

    Welcome Summer

    As summer heats up, rising temperatures can give rise to a host of finishing problems. Here are some common problems and their solutions.

    ISSUE: Whenever finish is applied with an applicator, the churning action of Trapped Bubbles spreading works small bubbles into the floor surface. Normally the bubbles will break out in a few seconds, resulting in a smooth and even finish. However, when airflow is warm, the warm air blowing across the freshly applied finish can cause the bubbles not to pop, trapping them on the surface. In an air-conditioned environment this can still happen, as the air conditioner pushes a large volume of air in order to keep up with the heat.

    PREVENTION: To avoid this problem, add a small amount of water to the finish in order to lower the viscosity. Adding a small amount of water allows a few extra seconds for any bubbles to break before the finish surface dries. If the ambient temperature is between 85°F and 95°F, add 5% water to the finish after mixing the finish with catalyst. If the ambient temperature is above 95°F, mix in up to 10% water, adding a little water at a time until the working level is just right. As good rule of thumb, 12 ounces of water added to one gallon of finish is close to 10%. Do not add more than 12% water.
    This process can be utilized with all Basic Coatings finishes.

    ISSUE: Solar gain is a difficulty any time of year but tends to be Solar Gain more common during hot weather. Sunlight beating down through windows, patio doors, or window walls will considerably heat up wood floors. If a dark stain is on the floor, even more heat will be absorbed. Floor temperatures in these situations can reach as high as 180°F. If finish is applied over such a hot floor, the finish will set up so quickly that it will blister. In addition, the finish may not wet the wood well enough to stay bonded, drying so rapidly that it never penetrates the wood and may later peel.

    PREVENTION: The easiest way to prevent solar gain is to cover any windows, doors, etc. with an opaque material that does not allow sunlight to heat up the floor. Another way to control solar gain is to work at a time of day when the sunlight does not penetrate the glass and/or is considerably weaker. If it is not possible or practical to cover the glass, the work can be completed very early in the morning (4 a.m.–6 a.m.) before the sun can heat up the floor.

    ISSUE: Hot finish on a cold floor will create millions of tiny bubbles at the Bubbles at End of Grainend of the grain. If the finish is  stored in the back of a truck sitting in summer sun, it can get as hot as 160°F. When this hot finish is brought into an air-conditioned jobsite and applied to a cold floor, the warm finish begins to penetrate the wood and heats up the air within the wood. This air expands as it is heated and is trapped by the swiftly drying finish.

    PREVENTION: Bring all finish into the jobsite before beginning and allow it to come to room temperature before applying it. Never apply finish that is warmer than the floor.

    Have you been burned by other weather-related issues? Email us at social@basiccoatings.com with floor finish problems you’ve encountered, and we’ll select one each month to feature on our blog. If your finish issue is selected, we’ll name you in our post and also send you some Basic Coatings swag!

  • Grain Raise, Go Away: Finish Aesthetics from the NWFA

    Jun 18, 2019

    NWFA Grain Raise

    Like rain on a summer day, nothing will ruin a hardwood floor quite like grain raise. Grain raise occurs when some of the wood fibers swell and become elevated, so the surface feels rough to the touch. Grain raise is also accompanied by a dull appearance.

    So, what combination of circumstances created your grain raise perfect storm? Like usual, the answer is…it depends.

    Environmental issues:

    • It is simply a natural characteristic of wire-brushed or other sculpted floors.
    • A steam cleaner added moisture to the floor.

    Application issues:

    • Abrasion between coats did not adequately knock down the expected grain raise that results from water popping the floor or applying waterbased finishes, sealers, or stains.
    • Grits were skipped, the final sanding utilized an abrasive that was too coarse, or other sanding mistakes were made that rendered the process ineffective.
    • Oil finishes or finish systems were not properly applied or maintained.

    For certain textures, like distressed wood, roughness is no cause for distress. Otherwise, don’t let grain raise rain on your parade! Abrade the surface and then recoat. A full resand may also be necessary in some cases, depending on the severity of the issue. It’s important when addressing grain raise to know which way the wind blows:

    • The moisture content of the floor must reflect normal living conditions.
    • You must follow industry-accepted standards for sanding and finishing techniques as outlined by the NWFA and the recommendations of the manufacturer. When using Basic Coatings® HyperTone™ Stains, for example, we suggest using a thick red pad on a buffer about 15–20 minutes after applying stain to knock down any grain raise and smooth out the floor.

    Have other issues cast a dark cloud on your floors? Email us at social@basiccoatings.com with floor finish problems you’ve encountered, and we’ll select one each month to feature on our blog. If your finish issue is selected, we’ll name you in our post and also send you some Basic Coatings swag!

    Source: NWFA’s “Problems, Causes and Cures 2018”

  • See You Later, Alligator: Finish Aesthetics from the NWFA

    May 07, 2019

    alligatoring_small

    Alligator print cycles on and off the runway but is never in fashion when it comes to your floors. Alligatoring, also known as crazing, is when a system of tiny, interconnected cracks appears in a floor finish, so that the surface texture resembles the skin of an alligator.

    So, what unleashed this reptilian beast on your hardwoods? It could be environmental, application-related, or the finish itself.

    Environmental issues:

    • The wood’s moisture content was too high during coating, which can result in water becoming trapped in the finish once the solvent has evaporated (also known as a coalescing problem).
    • The finish was applied to a floor that was too cold or at low ambient temperatures, which can also cause a coalescing problem.
    • The finish was applied at high ambient temperatures, causing the top of the finish to dry more quickly than the full depth, which can result in uneven shrinkage and internal stress.

    Application issues:

    • A compromised previous coat was ineffectively removed and is telegraphing through the top coat.
    • One or more coats were applied too heavily.
    • Not enough time was allowed to elapse between two or more coatings.

    Product issues:

    • The finish or catalyst was expired.
    • The finish contained insufficient solvent or solvent efficiency, which could be a result of manufacturing or exposure to improper conditions.
    • The product was not thoroughly mixed or was past its pot-life.
    • Excessive amounts of or the wrong catalyst or hardener was used.
    • Improper solvents or additives were added to the finish.

    Once alligatoring has sunk its teeth into your finish, your only option is to abrade the surface and then recoat. A full resand may also be necessary in some cases, depending on the severity of the issue and the number of coats affected. There are, however, a few steps that you can take to ensure the best outcome:

    • Ensure the conditions of the jobsite are optimal with respect to temperature, moisture, airflow, etc., consulting with the finish manufacturer as needed.
    • Choose an abrasion method that will completely remove imperfections and then proceed through the correct grit sequence.
    • Work at the spread rates appropriate for the finish as suggested by the manufacturer.
    • Allow each coat to dry sufficiently before applying another.
    • Double-check that the finish and catalyst have not expired and have been stored properly.
    • Thoroughly mix the product, using the correct catalyst or hardener in the correct amounts.
    • Keep track of the time elapsed since catalyzation, remembering to recatalyze or discard once finish is past its pot-life.

    Are other floor issues rearing their ugly heads? Email us at social@basiccoatings.com with floor finish problems you’ve encountered, and we’ll select one each month to feature on our blog!

    Source: NWFA’s “Problems, Causes and Cures 2018”

  • What’s the Deal with Orange Peel?

    Apr 04, 2019

    orange-peel

    Oranges may be a great snack, but that doesn’t mean you want your floor to look like one! Orange peel is the pitting of a floor finish, so that the surface texture resembles that of citrus fruit.

    So, what made your floor a lemon? It could be application-related, environmental, or both.

     

    Application issues:

    • The roller was not suitable to be rolled, had the wrong size nap roller sleeve, or was used incorrectly.
    • The finish or sealer was overworked on the application surface, resulting in the formation of air bubbles within the applicator, which caused incomplete flowing out of the finish.
    • The finish was not applied according to the manufacturer’s recommended coverage rate and was either too thin or too thick.
    • The manufacturer’s recommended solvent additives or dry-time-extending retarders for unfavorable coating conditions were not used.

    Environmental issues:

    • The finish flashed-off too quickly due to hot, dry conditions.
    • The finish dried too slowly due to cool, damp conditions.
    • The finish or substrate was too cold at the time of application, which caused uneven flow and leveling.
    • The surface of the finish was skinned or otherwise disturbed by airflow.

    Once you discover those dreaded dimples, your only option is to abrade the surface and then recoat. A full resand may also be necessary in some cases. There are, however, a few steps that you can take to make sure your recoat bears fruit:

    • Confirm that you’re using the recommended roller with the correct size nap roller sleeve, and make the switch if you’re not.
    • Work at the spread rates appropriate for the finish as suggested by the manufacturer.
    • Verify that the product has adjusted to the proper temperature prior to application.
    • Ensure the conditions of the jobsite are optimal with respect to temperature, moisture, airflow, etc., consulting with the finish manufacturer as needed.
    • If necessary, utilize the proper solvent additives or dry-time-extending retarded.

    Don’t let orange peel and other floor woes make you bitter! Check the Basic Coatings blog regularly for new tips and tricks!

    Source: NWFA’s “Problems, Causes and Cures 2018”

  • Is Winter a-SALT-ing Your Floors?

    Feb 13, 2019

    Salt-Truck2-624x410
    When it snows, it salts. While salt trucks go about their business keeping the roads a little bit safer for all of us, it’s our floors that wind up in danger. As people come and go in a facility they stomp, shake and dump snow, slush and salt on floors everywhere. This can wreak havoc on both carpet and hard surface floors.

    A snowy, slushy mess doesn’t end after it dries as unmelted rock salt and stains can be left behind. The stains appear as white as snow across all types of floor surfaces. There is good news; these stains are actually preventable and your floors are savable. Salt stains are not harmful if attended to quickly.

    A great solution to this winter weather woe is to use a reliable matting system. A matting system acts as a first line of defense against tracked-in contaminants on your floors. Over 80% of dirt and residues are brought in by people entering the facility; a good entrance matting system can trap 90% of this dirt and debris that is brought in!

    A successful matting system includes:

    • A high thread count mat with a rubber back to avoid slipping
    • Keeping outside entries  clear by shoveling  snow and ice up to 25 feet away from the building
    • Scraper mats in your entries, which contain rough threads that will buy tadalafil usa trap more dirt and grime from shoes
    • Wider mats allow more time for shoes to dry before entering the facility
    • Regular maintenance cleaning can help regulate the amount of contaminants brought in—vacuuming floor mats daily can eliminate excess ice melt and dirt from entering the building

    It is important to keep in mind that hardwood floors are vulnerable during the winter. There is danger afoot due to a combination of increased moisture and salt that can potentially harm your hardwood floors and finish. A white film forming on the surface of the floor boards will appear from salt residue. The stain not only looks bad but if it remains too long it will begin to diminish the floor finish and shine. It is extremely important to use a matting system on high traffic entrances with wood floors. Keeping these entrances clean and free of debris, melted snow and slush is the most proactive step to protect your hardwood floor investment.

    For the best solution to protect your hard surface floors from salt and other winter debris, use the Basic Coatings® Squeaky Floor Care System. Squeaky™ is designed for daily cleaning of wood, VCT, laminate and other hard surface floors. Using a daily maintenance cleaner during the winter months is one of the most important steps to extend the life of your floors.

  • A Scrubber Designed for Wood Floors

    Oct 03, 2018

    Dirt-Dragon-Blog

     

    Product innovation can sprout from anywhere. It’s goal – being a solution to solve an unmet need. The story behind the Basic Coatings Dirt Dragon is no different.

    Let’s go back a few years to 1997 when the TyKote system was first developed. Back then, the cleaning process of the TyKote system was done by wrapping towels soaked in cleaning solution around push brooms and tacking the floor. Pretty labor intensive, right?

    But, bigger floors needed a bigger, better solution. This is where the idea for the Dirt Dragon was evolved.

    Basic Coatings saw an opportunity in markets like gym flooring, where large automatic scrubbers were needed for agitating the cleaning solution and extracting it from the floor. Knowing that scrubbing and extracting cleaning solutions is always better than mopping, the Basic Coatings team got to work to improve the TyKote system for the residential and commercial markets.

    The foundation of the TyKote system is to get beautiful floors with less mess, so the first task on the docket was to figure out how to ensure that the majority of the dirt and contaminants are removed from the floor instead of being left behind. This system would need a machine with superior mechanical agitation from the brush to help loosen unwanted dirt. One of the suggested improvements was to use a grout scrubber on wood floors.

    Dirt Dragon Numero Uno

    Dirt-Dragon-12

    The first Dirt Dragon was a grout scrubber that was designed for scrubbing and extracting tile floors. The brush movement from a cylindrical brush is superior to a rotary brush on floors like tile in order to be able to get deep into the grouted joints between tile.

    This first machine was successful at cleaning wood floors better than a mop and bucket, but it had some limitations. One of the main issues with this machine was that it was difficult to remove all water from the floor. Nonetheless, Basic Coatings had introduced an entirely new business model to flooring contractors and the system took off. This success led Basic Coatings to develop a scrubber that uniquely met the needs of wood floors.

    While the first Dirt Dragon was not the first scrubber to enter the market, it was the only scrubber uniquely designed to be used on wood floors. Every other competitive scrubber marketed to the wood floor industry was first sold as a hard floor scrubber by cleaning companies. This is the key factor that sets the Dirt Dragon apart in the industry.

    New and Improved

    Dirt-Dragon-New

    The development of the second generation Dirt Dragon had wood floors in mind first. The guiding principles for product development were:

    • Water and Wood – we were sensitive to the issue that wood is hydroscopic and excessive moisture can cause problems for wood floors.
    • Wood is Unique – wood is a unique surface that is different than tile, concrete or other hard surfaces. Wood can dent, splinter and scratch. The finishes can burnish or dull due to different types of abrasion.

    Understanding the uniqueness of wood led to all of the machine features that the Dirt Dragon is known for today, like:

    • Brush Type – brushes can come in many different specifications and Basic Coatings tested hundreds of different variations on different species of wood. The brush needs to be able to abrade the dirt without abrading the finish or scratching the wood. It needs to be flexible enough to get deep into open wood grain but stiff enough for cleaning performance. Different Brush Bristle Materials were tested. The amount of brush strands inserted into each brush holder hole were varied.
    • Brush Pattern – another brush characteristic is the chevron pattern of the bristles. The entire brush needs to be wet for cleaning. Once wet, the chevron design helps funnel the cleaning solution towards the vacuum port. This pattern was chosen due to our desire to remove all solution from the floor.
    • Vacuum Power – the vacuum is 2x stronger than what typically would have been specified for a floor scrubber. This ensures all solution is removed.
    • Squeegee Design – the machine has forward and reverse squeegee holders and 4 squeegee sides that completely surround the brush. This design really helps to contain the solution.
    • Flow Control – Most scrubbers have an on/off feature. The Dirt Dragon also has a flow control knob that allows the user to dial down the solution applied to the floor for sensitive floors.

    To learn more about the Basic Coatings Dirt Dragon or the TyKote system, click here!

  • 4 Easy Ways to Prevent Your Hardwood Floors from Fading

    Apr 02, 2018

    Fading-Hardwood-Floor

    Hardwood floors are a pretty big and important investment. The wood type, color, sheen, and design at installation are all key factors in the look of the final product. Over time, these floors may fade, become discolored, or warp. What causes this? Sunlight—just like the sun can burn your body if you expose it for too long, the sun can affect your wood floors.

    Protect Your Floors from Fading and Sun Damage

    1. Rearrange your furniture.

    Every few months, consider changing up the layout of a room. Move a rug or reposition some furniture. It doesn’t take drastic changes—just enough so that different areas of the floor get different levels of sun exposure.

    2. Create some shade.

    Drapes or curtains help keep the sun out, but adding some plants to the landscaping in front of windows could be even more effective. Plants will help counteract the sun’s searing effects (not to mention, your yard will look fantastic!).

    3. Refinish regularly.

    Don’t wait until the damage is done. By refinishing wood floors regularly, you can prevent sun damage before it becomes permanent. Floors looking discolored, scratched, or extremely worn? It may be time to call a contractor to refinish.

    4. Connect with the experts.

    Think your floors are over-exposed to sunlight, but not sure what you can do? Don’t fret. Call a contractor in your area to come out and take a look at your floor. Their wood flooring expertise and knowledge of products will help you find a solution that works for you.

    Quick tip: Basic Coatings’ StreetShoe® NXT is a waterbased wood floor finish that was specifically made with a UV Inhibitor to minimize sunlight-related color changes for high traffic wood floors. Click here to learn more.

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