Blog
  • 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

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    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

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    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.

  • Overworked Finish? Here’s How to Fix It

    Mar 23, 2018

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    Fast-drying finishes can sometimes be tricky. If you go over the finish with the applicator once the finish has started to dry or “kicked over,” it can create bubbles or make the finish streak. This appearance is caused by pulling the new finish over the partially cured finish. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent this issue.

    Prevention:

    Don’t Use Old Finish: Make sure you check the batch codes from the manufacturer of the finish before you lay it down. Expired finishes can be foamy or bubbly, which can affect the way the finish performs.

    Lay it and Leave it: Focus on completing the floor a little at a time. Work in an area about 3 by 3 feet—something manageable and comfortable. Once the finish is dry, you can go back to do minor repairs, as opposed to repairing a big area of overworked finish.

    Don’t Wring out Applicators: When your “wring out” your applicator during the application process, you are introducing air into the applicator and into the finish you are applying. This will cause foam or bubbles. Instead of wringing out your applicator to remove drips, try just tapping the excess off.

    Control the Air Flow: When your coating the floor, make sure the HVAC system is off. This will prevent uneven finish, debris, streaks, etc. Once the floor is finished, wait about 30–45 minutes before turning the system back on.

    Add Water: If you are working in high temperatures or low humidity, it can be beneficial to add water to your finish to extend the “open” time.  You can add up 12 ounces of water per gallon.

    How to Fix it:

    Looking for a way to fix overworked finish? The best way to repair these issues is to abrade and recoat.  You can also check out our video on small board repair by clicking here.

    Still have questions? Call us at 800-441-1934 to talk with our experts.

  • Wood Floor Trends You Should Know About

    Mar 20, 2017

    BC-Wood-Floor_Blog-624x410

    Your home is an extension of yourself and your personal style. From the ceiling to the floors and everything in between, you make it whatever you want. The trends we see in homes have changed with each decade; mint green cabinets from the 50s, popcorn ceilings in the 60s, and brightly colored shag carpets from the 70s. However, while these trends come and go, there is on trend that has remained constant—hardwood floors.

    With more options available now more than ever, it can be difficult to decide on one particular look. Here are the wood floor trends you should know about for 2017:

    Don’t be afraid of the dark. The classic, yet edgy appearance of dark hardwood is growing popularity. Its dramatic look pairs well with lighter contrasting furniture and decor. While the darker color may be harder to keep clean, it hides imperfections better.

    Bigger is better. Wide plank floors add more depth to a room, giving it a fresh and modern look. This style offers diversity from your typical narrow strip flooring.

    Don’t hide these grays. Who says hardwood floors have to be brown? Gray hardwood is anything but boring and gives any room a new and improved appearance. The neutral color pairs easily with almost any design, giving you free rein to be creative in your home.

    Shy away from shine. The natural look of wood is beautifully understated. Putting a glossy finish sometimes takes away the simplicity of the wood floor. Adding a matte finish will keep your floor protected while preserving the classic natural look of wood.

    What’s old is new. Textured wood floors add an antique element to your home. Wire brush your floors for a more aged or distressed look. To obtain an earthy, more rustic feel, try hand-scraped for a one-of-a-kind style.

    Whatever trend you decide to incorporate into your home, make sure you choose the right contractor and products to bring your wood floors to life. To locate a contractor in your area or learn more about what products to use on your wood floors, please visit basiccoatings.com today!

  • Keep Your Gym Floor in the Game

    Feb 17, 2017

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    Is your gym floor leading the league in shine and appearance? In today’s sports world, the flooring is just as important as the game being played on it. However, ensuring that the look of your floor remains at the top of its game can be difficult.

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    With so many fierce competitors and key players in the sports floor industry, it’s hard to know where to start to find a solution that works for you. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for an assist on keeping your gym floor looking new.

    1. Time is of the essence. When looking to recoat your sports floor, the last thing you’ll want to do is run down the clock. Every second counts, so make sure you pace yourself for success and high-quality work.

    2. Identify the key players. Take the time to find the MVPs in the industry. The experts will be able to coach you through the process and train you to achieve ultimate results.

    3. Have a game plan. Get out the white board and markers. Determine the process, prep time, and desired end results for your gym floor, so you can stay in the game and avoid sitting the bench.

    4. Teamwork makes the dream work. Look for products that work together like a team. An all-star finish might look great, but won’t be as effective if it doesn’t have the proper system in place before applying it.

    5. Cut costs, not playing time. A delay in game is anything but ideal, but don’t rush into a buzzer-shot decision. Evaluate costs to ensure you stay within your budget while still achieving professional results for game time.

    Once your gym floor looks top-notch, it’s important to take care of it. Stay unmatched by the competition by following these general maintenance tips:

    • Do not use cleaners on newly finished floors for at least 30 days
    • Always clean up any liquid spills immediately
    • Use entrance matting at all doorways and keep vacuumed
    • Avoid scratching the floor when moving equipment
    • Only clean athletic shoes should be allowed on the floor
    • Maintain indoor relative humidity between 35 and 50 percent

    Looking for a revolutionary way to prepare sports floors for recoating? You can rely on the TyKote® Dust-Free Refinishing System from Basic Coatings®.

  • The Impact of VOC Regulations on Wood Floor Finish

    Nov 09, 2016

    New-Regulatory-Updates

    Being in the hardwood floor covering industry, you know that understanding VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) regulations is a routine part of doing business. It was recently announced that three states in the Northeast U.S. (New York, Connecticut, and Delaware) are working towards lowering VOC limits to 275 grams/liter for certain wood coatings.

    If you are a distributor of these products or a contractor using these products, you need to be aware of these regulatory changes, or you may face the possibility of fines.

    Six states are now following the trend of adopting lower VOC regulations for wood floor coating products.  As VOCs come down, it makes oil-modified urethane products a less viable option for the future.  As manufacturers reformulate to reduce the VOCs of their urethane products, the products became more and more difficult to work with, and coverage rate is reduced. The increase in solid content being added to a current formula is the reason for a thicker formulation but is needed to lower the VOC.

    Advances in waterbased technology make products much easier to use and offer a number of advantages over oil-modified urethane.  Waterbased products dry and cure much faster, tend to have lower VOCs, and are in many cases harder and more durable.  There have been many innovative breakthroughs in the waterbased category, making this sustainable option the choice for the future.

    Source: NWFA’s online magazine – Hardwood Floors Magazine

  • Simple Finish Repairs: Starting from Scratch

    Feb 16, 2016

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    If your floors are coated with a hardwood floor finish, chances are you’ve noticed some nicks and scratches. Even with great care, hardwood floor scratches are inevitable. Here are a few steps to fix floor scratches to help maintain your wood floor finish.

    Take a Closer Look at the Damage: Deep gouges require more attention than small surface scratches. To determine the depth of the scratch, take a few teaspoons of water and let them drip directly onto the scratch, then take a few minutes to let the water settle. If you notice a dark spot where you dripped the water, the scratch has gone through the finish and into the wood. If you notice beads of water instead, then you are dealing with a surface scratch, and you do not have any damage to the wood itself.

    How to Remove Light Scratches in Polyurethane Surface: We recommend you tape off the scratch along the board seams and gently rub the taped area with sanding strips. Do not apply too much pressure to avoid making the damage worse. Light scratches should rub out. Once the area is completed and abraded evenly, wipe the dust away with the tack cloths and water for a waterbased finish, or mineral spirits for an oil-based product. Apply finish per manufacturer’s instructions.

    For deep gouges, you will follow a similar procedure. You will also want to have very fine sand paper and a wood stain that matches your hardwood floors. To begin, sand through the finish until you have reached the wood.  Brush on the wood stain per manufacturer’s instructions and allow it to dry, then using the tack cloth, brush away any dust. Proceed to apply a layer of floor finish over the wood. This may take several coats depending on the severity of the scratch. It is important you allow each layer of finish to dry before applying the next coat.

    Basic Coatings® recommends using a National Wood Flooring Association Certified Professional for wood floor repairs to avoid possible further damage to your wood floor or finish.

  • Seven Ways to Care for Wood Floors

    Oct 07, 2015
  • What is Green Floor Care?

    Oct 07, 2015

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    Green floor care has several components and is essential in maintaining a green floor or any floor in which the goal is to reduce cleaning’s impact on the environment. In essence, we can define green floor care accordingly:

    Green floor care is a comprehensive system approach to floor maintenance that includes all the chemicals, tools, equipment, and related products used to clean, maintain, strip, and refinish a floor.

    By saying it is a “system approach,” we mean that the floor and its maintenance are only as green as the products used. If, for instance, a non-green stripper is used, we no longer have a green floor care program in place, even if all the other chemicals, tools, and equipment are green.

    The key components of a green floor care program include the following:

    Vacuuming: When dust mopping, some dust and other contaminants can become airborne, negatively impacting indoor air quality. A backpack with a high filtration filter can eliminate this, plus vacuuming the floor actually pulls – vacuums up – dust and soils from the pores of the floor, resulting in a more effective cleaning.

    Chemicals: It is essential to use green floor care products, and it is often a wise idea to use the same green products from the same manufacturer. The reasons for this are many, but key is that many green floor care products from the same manufacturer have a synergy – they are designed to work together. The result often is better product performance, and using a certified stripper, finish, and cleaner typically translates into reduced costs, less work, and a greener environment.

    Equipment: In general, green floor care equipment refers to machines engineered to be more sustainable and use water and chemicals more effectively than older or more conventional floor machines. They are designed to have built-in vacuum or “dust control” systems or “emissions packages” to help capture the dust generated in floor care work, keeping it from becoming airborne. Further, the batteries should be safer and more environmentally responsible than conventional or older batteries.

    One further component of green floor care that cannot be overlooked is worker training. Cleaning professionals must understand how to use green equipment, chemicals, and tools to help ensure that they not only are used properly, but also are used in a way that reduces the impact of the cleaning process on the environment, and the health of the cleaning worker and all building users.

  • Basic is Better: StreetShoe® Waterbased Wood Floor Finish

    Aug 26, 2015

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    One of the most common errors when applying a new floor finish relates to a problem we’ve all shared at one point in time—a lack of patience. Any professional in the industry wants every newly coated floor to look like a dream the first time around. In the best interest of both the contractor and the homeowner, proper application of floor finish means avoiding resanding or refinishing, which saves everyone time and money.

    The time between applying two coats of finish can affect the floor in a critical way. Many new homeowners, especially first-timers, are busy folks. They tend to be on the go, trying to unpack boxes, manage their families, and renovate their homes as quickly and efficiently as possible. But what is a person to do when they can’t walk on their floors because they’re being refinished? One day can make a huge difference to a mom and dad who need full access to their kitchen to pack their daughter’s lunch.

    A customer’s impatience can put a lot of pressure on contractors to finish projects quickly. When refinishing hardwood floors, this can be a major mistake. There are no shortcuts to longer-lasting hardwood floors. By waiting the proper amount of time in between coats, contractors can assure their customers that they are getting the most hardness, the best durability, and the most abrasion resistance the floor finish can possibly give. Detecting when the floor is ready for recoating is fairly simple. Using a moisture meter to ensure the level of remaining moisture on the surface coat is within 1 point of the initial reading means the next coat can be safely applied.

    What could go wrong if a coat is applied too early?: a major sacrifice in the hardness, durability, and abrasion resistance of the floor finish.

    Hardness is one of several measurements that determines the wear properties and durability of a floor finish. Measuring hardness of a finish is done after the first day and then each day after that for the duration of a week and can be compared to other finishes.

    StreetShoe® NXT waterbased wood floor finish is an excellent choice for homeowners concerned about spending so much time off their floors. This Basic Coatings® finish is the industry benchmark for waterbased finishes. Streetshoe reaches 90% of its full cure in the first day.

    The research and development team at Basic Coatings is so sure of the superior hardness of StreetShoe NXT, they conducted a head-to-head hardness test against their main competitor, Bona® Traffic®.  Using the Konig Hardness Test, they found that at the end of the first day, Bona Traffic came in at about 36 on the hardness scale, while StreetShoe NXT came in at 65.  At the end of seven days, Bona Traffic came in at about 62, while StreetShoe NXT settled in at 75. Even stacked up against the competition, StreetShoe NXT wins the race for faster cure times and overall hardness when compared to Bona Traffic and Traffic HD.

    StreetShoe NXT’s quick cure times and better hardness benefits everyone, because contractors can get customers back to the normal use of their floors sooner.  Newly coated floors can be lightly walked on after several hours. StreetShoe NXT has UV inhibitors which slow down damage caused by UV light.  With a low VOC content of 275, the smell is light and dissipates quickly. Depending on the situation, most customers won’t even have to spend the night out of their homes while the floor is being finished. This waterbased finish is not a combustible product, so contractors and customers can rest assured knowing the vapors are non-flammable.

    Basic Coatings offers superior hardness over the competition right out of the gate. For more information on StreetShoe NXT and other superior floor finish products from Basic Coatings, call (800) 441-1934, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • Flooring Professionals Still in High Demand for Millennials

    Jun 24, 2015

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    According to the fourth annual Houzz & Home survey, millennial homeowners were just as likely to renovate their homes as any other age group. The survey received more than 170,000 respondents in the U.S., with 15,000 being millennials (ages 25-34). The most common motivator for millennials to take on renovation projects among this age group is personalizing a newly purchased home (55%), while one-third purchased a new home just last year.

    Carpet and flooring professionals are among the top specialties hired for renovations without a general contractor. Flooring was reportedly replaced in over half of all interior renovation projects in 2014. Of the 29 percent of millennial respondents that renovated a kitchen, over half replaced kitchen flooring (55%). Among the 25% and 21% who renovated guest bathrooms and master bathrooms, respectively, over two-thirds (69%) replaced flooring on average. Flooring was replaced in 51% of all other remodels and additions.

    One of the most interesting details from the survey shows a trend in homeowners shying away from traditional carpeted rooms and opting for harder floor surfaces. Nearly one third (27%) of homeowners on Houzz plan to replace non-carpet flooring in the next six months while only 13% plan to purchase carpeting.

    Kitchens continue to be one of the most popular remodeling projects among all age groups, with nearly one-third of survey respondents taking on this renovating in 2014. While millennials are spending roughly half as much as younger Baby Boomers on major kitchen remodels, millennials still spent an average of $26,300 on large kitchen renovations and $16,100 on small kitchens.

    Specialty contractors and professionals are still a necessity for homeowners who need help with renovations. Eighty-four percent of all homeowners hired a professional; 47% using general contractors. Among the other specialty professionals hired were: landscape contractors (19%), interior designers (17%), architects (10%) and landscape architects/designers (10%). Specialty service providers are also still in demand. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed hired a specialty service provider such as electricians (18%), plumbers (17%) or painter (15%) directly, without going through a general contractor.

    Visit www.basiccoatings.com for all your floor care and floor refinishing needs. Visit www.Houzz.com for more information about this survey.

  • Too Much Bubbly …

    May 20, 2015

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    Too much bubbly can leave you with a headache.  Bubbles are imperfections from foam in dry finish and can easily be confused with particles, bumps, or dirt.  If you are not sure what you are dealing with, you can use a magnifying glass and a razor blade to distinguish between the two. Unlike particles or dirt, bubbles are hollow. If you are able to poke a hole with the razor blade, you are dealing with a bubble. If there is no hollow base to the imperfection, then you are dealing with another issue that is most likely related to dirt or particles that dried in the finish.

    See how to prevent floor bubbles and how to repair your floor finish.

    How to Prevent Floor Bubbles:

    Too much working back and forth of an applicator creates bubbles.   Generally this form of bubble is seen at row ends and in hard to reach areas. Flow the finish with the applicator; do not pull any more than absolutely necessary to cover the floor. Use easy strokes. Pick up the applicator like a drum sander; have it moving at the end of each stroke as you lift the applicator to feather out the stop. Have it moving as you set it down gently at the beginning of each stroke. Drop it hard and you will form bubbles and a heavy line of finish.

    Very fast dry conditions can “freeze” bubbles into place before they break and the finish has a chance to flow out into a smooth film. Bubbles will be in high-air-movement areas, such as under fans, in front of doors, or by windows left open for ventilation. Close up the jobsite to apply finish. Keep the environment free of air flow for 30–45 minutes, so the bubbles have a chance to break before opening up the jobsite to dry the finish.

    Hot finish on a cold floor will leave millions of very tiny bubbles on the floor. Finish left in the back of a van in the summer heat will get as hot as 160°F. This hot finish will set a quick surface film. The nature of the hot finish heats up the floor, expanding the air in the pores of the wood. As this hot air expands, it will blow a tiny bubble at the end of the wood pore under the partially set film surface. This phenomenon can be differentiated from other problems because the bubbles follow the grain pattern of the wood. Bring all materials into the jobsite so they can acclimate to the conditions on the floor. It is not as important to have them either warm or cool as it is to have them the same temperature as the floor. The finish and the floor should be the same temperature for the best results.

    Another cause of bubbles is using aged, separated, or mixed finishes.  Fresh and recently mixed finishes will dry smoother and level better with fewer bubbles. Rock all containers of finish before using to mix the matting agent uniformly throughout the finish. Traditionally, matte finishes need to be agitated before use, but it is a good practice to mix all finishes before use. Even single-component gloss finishes will benefit from agitation before use.

    How to Repair Floor Bubbles:

    If there are only a few bubbles in scattered locations, use a sharp scraper to cut off the tops of the bubbles and touch in fresh finish. If you have bubbles everywhere, but they are surface bubbles, a good screening and recoat should take care of the problem. If you scrape the tops of the bubbles, then hand sand the scraped areas with screen or strips for small spot repairs. If the bubbles are deep below the surface, then it is probably faster and more productive to just sand off the finish and start over.

    If you are still having trouble with floor finish bubbles, a Basic Coatings® representative will be able to help you with your problem. Contact us today!

  • GHS: What Is It?

    May 19, 2015

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    As you may be aware, OSHA has modified its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in March 2012 to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

    What is GHS?
    In 1992, the harmonization of classification and labeling of chemicals was one of six program areas that were endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly to strengthen international efforts concerning the environmentally sound management of chemicals. GHS provides a global standard for:

    • Creating classification processes that use available data on chemicals for comparison with the defined hazard criteria; and
    • Communicating hazard information, as well as protective measures, on labels and safety data sheets (SDS).

    What is the impact of GHS to Basic Coatings?
    All Basic Coatings labeled products manufactured after June 1, 2015, will be labeled with the new GHS labels.

    What changes can customers expect to see?
    Between now and the June 1 deadline, we will begin the transition to the GHS labels and SDS:

    • Labels will now have pictograms surrounded by a red diamond shaped border for materials that have health or physical hazards.
    • The name material safety data sheet (MSDS) will change to safety data sheet (SDS).
    • GHS requires the adoption of a new 16-section format of SDS as the standard, which is the same as our current Basic Coatings MSDS.
    • Certain standardized precautionary statements are required on SDS and labels.

    To help better understand GHS, we have put together a list of frequently asked questions. 

    Q. How will the user know the SDS is the new GHS version?

    A. The SDS sheet will be labeled Safety Data Sheet and not Material Safety Data Sheet, will contain the 16 specified sections, and have its GHS classification and Pictograms in Section 2 if applicable.

    Q.  When do the new SDS sheets and labels have to be provided by manufacturer?

    A.  June 1, 2015

    Q.  When do the new SDS sheets and labels have to be provided by the distributor?

    A. New SDS Sheets must be provided by June 1, 2015.  New labels by December 1, 2015

    Q. Is there a deadline for end users to use chemicals with current labeling?

    A. No, currently OSHA has not issued any use date.  From an OSHA perspective, customers may use current inventories until they are depleted.

    Q. Will a facility need to keep old MSDS sheets?

    A. Yes.  Manufacturers, distributors and end user employers must keep old safety data sheets for 30 years or equivalent records containing the chemical identity and information.

    Q. During the transition period, June 1, 2015 until December 1, 2015, can an end user have the option to use either the old MSDS or the new SDS sheet?

    A. No.  A distributor or end user employer should acquire or request the GHS SDS by June 1, 2015.  A distributor can continue to sell the older version label until December 1, 2015.  A customer can continue to use a product with the older version label but must refer to the new GHS SDS for the product.

    Q. Could there be more than one GHS Pictogram on a label and SDS?

    A. Yes.  If there is more than one hazard, multiple Pictograms may be used.

    Q. If the product is not classified hazardous, will it require a Pictogram?

    A.  No, only chemicals classified as hazardous.

    Q.  Can Pictograms have a black border?

    A.  No.  The Pictogram must have a red border, white background and black hazard symbols.

    Q.  Do I need to have an SDS for every chemical used in the facility?

    A.  No, only if it is a hazardous material.  But as a best practice users should request SDS for all chemical products used by an employee in their normal job function.

    Q. Will DOT Hazard Labels be on product containers in addition to the new GHS Pictograms?

    A.  Potentially.  Shipping cartons and containers will have DOT hazard labels and product containers will have the GHS Pictograms.  If a product container is also the shipping container, such as a 55 gal drum, both the hazard label and the GHS pictograms will appear on it.

    Q.  Do I need to update the facility HAZCOM Program with the new GHS requirements.

    A.  Yes.

    Basic Coatings is committed to complying with the requirements of HCS 2012/GHS and is taking every step necessary to ensure that we are prepared to successfully transition to the new GHS label and SDS formats in the U.S. by the June 1 deadline.

  • Oh, Those Pesky Swirl Marks

    Dec 11, 2014

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    Remember the recent job you completed by full sanding and applying that absolutely gorgeous dark walnut stain, and how heartbreaking it was when you went back to apply the finish and noticed all those sander and swirl marks? What must have gone through your mind knowing that all the hard work you put in must now be sanded away and completed again to correct the sanding issues? Talk about throwing away profits!

    The heartache you felt could have certainly been avoided by using a Basic Coatings® Sand Dragon Orbital Sander. With a weight package to increase the head pressure, the Sand Dragon makes it easy to apply level abrasion to the floor for proper smoothness and eliminate those pesky sander or swirl marks. As dark stained floors are again becoming popular, using the correct machine and proper grit abrasives will ensure that you should not have to complete your job twice to be paid once.

    dragon-orbitalThe Basic Coatings Sand Dragon Orbital Sander is available in 20” and 28” widths, making it the ideal choice for both small residential areas and large open areas, like gymnasiums. Having 3,400 rpm orbit speed and 1.5 horsepower make this the perfect combination for final sanding of hardwood or inter-coat abrading of even the toughest finishes. Top it all off with having an optional dust containment attachment and you have all the machine you will ever need to complete that flawless flooring project that your clients deserve.

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