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Getting out of a sticky situation
Even for the most skilled technician, there can be a variety of variables impacting the success of floor refinishing. Take the case of a pier in San Francisco harbour, which was converted into an office building, for example. Recently, the cleaning crew spent several hours stripping and refinishing the building's hard surface floors. At about 02.00 and upon final inspection, the crew was satisfied with thework and went home.
The next morning, the customer called and complained that the floors were "sticky" and wanted the problem corrected as soon as possible. The cleaning crew, uncertain how this could have happened, was also unsure how to correct the problem.
Says Mike Englund, product manager at floorcare equipment manufacturer Powr-Flite:, "Just the fact that the building is situated in the water could be a cause. High humidity can extend drying times beyond the normal 20 to 30 minutes it normally takes for the finish to dry."
Mike says there can be other reasons for newly refinished floors to be sticky, including:
* Proper rinsing: The floor may not have been properly rinsed after application of finish. "Make sure all stripper/chemical residue is removed from the floor before applying finish," he warns.
* Finish separation: "The finish may have separated," he suggests. "If it has been unused for a prolonged period of time, shake or stir finish before using".
* Thick applications: "Apply thin coats of finish," he says.
* Dry, but not hard: "Although the finish may dry in about 30 minutes, it may take longer for it to thoroughly harden," he opines. "Especially in humid conditions, add more drying time before reapplying the finish.
"If using a restorer/maintainer, make sure it is properly diluted - and make sure you follow the manufacturer's dilution instructions.
"Many times, buffing or burnishing the floor can remove the stickiness and correct the problem. But, if this does not work, the floor may need to be stripped and refinished all over again."
Established more than 40 years ago, Powr-Flite manufactures a full line of floorcare equipment and carpet extractors for the professional cleaning industry. Based in Fort Worth, TX, the company has over 20 patented designs and its products are marketed directly to end-use customers as well as through distributors throughout the North America, Europe and the Far East.
19th January 2012