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Monday, December 22, 2014

Question

I am having trouble with finish on concrete floors in a grocery store that seems to have a lot of moisture. The employees are really rough, scratching the floors, etc. None of the finishes I tried stay on properly even though the floor has been stripped and prepared properly. Also, we put enough coats on it to give it a good base. What would you recommend? The last one I tried was supposed to last 18 months before the next stripping with maintenance, but seems to last only a week before it becomes dull, with their cleaning chemicals making it sticky. Itís the oddest thing I have ever come across.


Answer

Your problem is likely with poor maintenance and improper chemicals used between your visits. Do some investigation and if the problem lies with the daily maintenance, ask them to correct the problem or let the job go. You may have too much going against you to succeed.
Whenever a floor finish becomes sticky or tacky I would suspect a stripping action is taking place due to something softening the finish. They should be cleaning with a neutral cleaner. Find out what they are using that is breaking down the finish. While this may be the reason your finish is not holding up under traffic, there is also the possibility that a silicone seal has been put down on the concrete and that is preventing the finish from bonding to the floor.
Also, the floor may have moisture to the degree that the finish never properly cures. Is the moisture coming up from the slab itself or is it just being dropped onto the floor from other sources?
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor
lekrafft@juno.com