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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Question

My employees are having trouble refinishing VCT floors. I've had a couple of jobs where the finish separates. What is going on?


Answer

It is hard to tell from here, but my guess would be that the tile is not totally clean and dry before the finish is applied.
"Fisheyes" are small areas that look like the name and indicate that the finish has not leveled and cured in that spot. Instead, something has caused it to back away from this small space and that something is causing this lack of adhesion and leveling.
Make sure the stripped or scrubbed surface is clean and well rinsed. Use a neutralizing agent in the rinse water. Vac the tile as dry as possible and use a clean mop to remove any remaining solution.
The simple fact is that the only thing that will evaporate from the floor surface is the water. Anything else in the scrub or rinse solution will remain on the tile to hinder the finish application. This could be stripper, old finish, detergent films, salt residue, anything that doesn't evaporate into the air.
Make certain the applicator is clean and free from debris. If you use a microfiber flat mop, recall that it will pick up all manner of "stuff" from the tile. After the first coat is applied, rinse out the applicator head well so nothing apart from clean finish is put back onto the tile.
Is the finish fresh and clean, or did someone pour finish back into the container? Was the finish applicator stored uncleaned and allowed to be used again?

Check your cleanliness and procedures to see what is going wrong. You may have to call on a factory rep from the finish manufacturer to help.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com