Dirt-Dragon-Blog

A Scrubber Designed for Wood Floors

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-1The 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-NewThe 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!

Why-Waterbased-Finish

Why Choose a Waterbased Finish for Your Wood Floor?

Wondering why you should choose a waterbased finish for your wood floor? Because it’s more durable, better for your health and for the environment, faster to implement and non-flammable. And 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 a waterbased finish.

  1. Durability: waterbased finishes offer the ultimate protection for your wood floor. Tested for abrasion resistance, some have proven to be five times more resistant than oil-based finishes.
  2. Less odor and better for the environment, thanks to its lower VOC content. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. Simply stated, VOCs are gases emanating from certain solids. Exposure to increased VOCs can cause health and environmental problems, so limiting them should be a top priority.
  3. Because most water-based finishes dry clear, the floor’s natural wood hues shine through without the yellowing that oil-based finishes can produce. Stand back and enjoy the beauty!
  4. Quicker drying times. Water is thinner than oil, so applications dry quickly. And, no, that doesn’t mean you need more coats. Faster curing times mean less downtime and can get your floor back in action just 24 hours later. (This is one of the reasons fewer VOCs are released.)
  5. Waterbased finishes are not combustible or flammable, and neither are their vapors. Because you don’t need to be worrying about a fire on top of everything else.

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.

Fading-Hardwood-Floor

4 Easy Ways to Prevent Your Hardwood Floors from Fading

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. They’re 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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Overworked Finish? Here’s How to Fix It

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.

BC Wood Floor_Blog

Wood Floor Trends You Should Know About

MMCalla, CraftsmanWF - Garelick 004 (Em with SS275)_2

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 50’s, popcorn ceilings in the 60’s and brightly colored shag carpets from the 70’s. 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 décor. 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!

Clemson Gym Floor- Featured Blog Image

Keep Your Gym Floor in the Game

UT_Featured Blog ImageIs 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.

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 MVP’s 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 purchase cialis 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 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®. For more information, please visit www.basiccoatings.com or call us at 800-441-1934.

Floor and Salt

Don’t Give Your Floors the Cold Shoulder this Winter

boots and snowWinter is in full swing and is taking charge with snow, slush and ice. While bundling up and staying warm inside, make sure you don’t give your floors the cold shoulder. It’s important to be aware of the dangers that the winter elements can leave behind on both carpet and hard surface floors.

As people come and go in a facility they stomp, shake and dump snow, slush and salt on floors everywhere. This snowy, slushy mess doesn’t end after it dries and leaves behind un-melted rock salt. Stains as white as snow can be seen on all types of floor surfaces. While these stains are pesky and damaging, they are preventable and your floors are savable.

Salt stains are not harmful if attended to quickly. The faster you remove the moisture and chemicals, the less time they have to damage your floors. Keep absorbent towels or rags near your doors to clean up the messes as they occur, and a vacuum or broom to remove any dry residue.

Use a reliable buy generic cialis online us matting system. A matting system acts as a first line of defense against tracked-in contaminants on your floors. Over 80% of dirt and residue are brought in by people entering a facility; a good entrance matting system can trap 90% of this dirt and debris that is brought in!

Prevention is the best defense. It’s important to keep in mind that all floor types are vulnerable during the winter. Using a daily maintenance cleaner is one of the most important steps to extend the life of your floors.

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. If your floors really take a beating this winter, call Basic Coatings® at 800-441-1934 for superior service and technical excellence.

New Regulatory Updates

The Impact of VOC Regulations on Wood Floor Finish

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 can face the possibility of fines. Continue reading

salt truck

Is Winter a-SALT-ing Your Floors?

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.

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Don’t Experience a Fall-ing Out with Your Hardwood Floors

It’s that time of the year again when the warm summer days come to a screeching halt and the leaves begin to change. Autumn brings many challenges for hardwood floors which are often only remembered during the heat and humidity of the summer months. As cooler, outside air is heated for indoor use, the relative humidity level drops substantially. This in turn, affects several things related to hardwood floors; mainly finish application, maintenance and wood shrinkage.

Lower humidity will shorten the working time of applying finish, so application procedures will need to be adjusted. Streamline your techniques in order to apply finish in less time. If you restrict ventilation while applying a finish, you will create more working time. Also consider adding some water to waterbased finishes to increase working time. Remember to ventilate well after the finish is applied!

squeakyWith cooler climates and drier air, dust migration also increases. Excessive dust makes floors slippery and can increase wear. Inclement generic cialis canadian weather increases tracked-in dirt, salt, sand, and grit so cleaning schedules should be increased to compensate. Frequent dust mopping and cleaning with Squeaky Cleaner is an excellent method to remove dust, dirt, and other build-ups. We recommend using a matting system by doors to avoid slip and fall accidents from dirt and contaminants that are brought in from the outside.

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

Shrinkage can be aggravated by inadequate building materials and sub-floors, insufficient nailing or gluing, lack of acclimation of flooring before installation, or improper sealing and finishing systems.

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 to maintain your hardwood floors!

Beautiful Wood Floor

Become a Master of Waterbased Floor Finish

If you are in the hardwood floor industry, you might know that Basic Coatings is a believer in waterbased finishes. But, what are the perks of using waterbased finishes and how do you use them? If you are a contractor, it is good to know that a waterbased finish is a smart option when refinishing hardwood floors.

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Streetshoe Graph

Basic is Better: StreetShoe Waterbased Wood Floor Finish

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 should want every newly coated floor to look like a dream floor the first time around. In the best interest of the contractor and the homeowner, proper application of floor finish means avoiding re-sanding or refinishing which saves everyone time and money.

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Light Fight UV Sunlight

Protect Hardwood Floors From Ultraviolet Sunlight

Ultraviolet Rays and Wood Floors

We’ve all heard horror stories about how the sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage our skin. What you may not know is that UV light can also wreak havoc on hardwood floors and their coatings.

Hardwood floors are coated for one reason above all others—protection. Coatings help protect wood floors from a number of elements. Moisture and abrasion are perhaps the most common concerns for hardwood floor owners, but even the sunlight through windows can damage a floor. Ultraviolet light produced by the sun’s rays can significantly age wood, much as it does human skin. With prolonged exposure, the more harmful UV light can be. Most coatings help protect wood from this kind of damage, however, UV light can also cause some very obvious and unwanted changes to the coatings themselves.

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Millennials- An Untapped Floor Care Market (2)

Flooring Professionals Still in High Demand for Millennials

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.

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Basic-Sports-basketball

Peeling Floors Sending Your Court Into Overtime?

As the season is winding down, now is the perfect time to evaluate your floor for refinishing. You can ask yourself… 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 wood damage! Can you identify these signs of improper floor finishing on your court? Continue reading

Bubbly floor

Too Much Bubbly …

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. Continue reading

5 Simple Ways to Prevent Ridging

ridgingRidging is a term used to describe an increase in coating thickness that appears as lines or marks in the finish that usually travel with the grain of the wood or can become a problem when applying finish across the grain. 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. Other possibilities for ridging can be caused from an improperly mixed matte finish leaving gloss differences (streaks) that may look like ridges, applying a finish on a hot floor or an improper sanding sequence.

If you are experiencing ridging or streaks on your floor, you have come to the right place. Here are five simple prevention techniques that can save you from a streaky floor.

1) Make sure all applicator pads are clean and soft all over. Even a couple of hard hairs can leave buy generic cialis usa distinct lines in the finish.

2) When 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.

3) When using a T-bar applicator, do not lap over more than 2 inches under fast setting conditions.

4) Close up the job to apply finish and open up the job to dry after the finish has flowed correctly, 30 to 45 minutes after coating is a good rule of thumb.

5) Be careful of your applicator technique. Never leave lines across grain where possible. Apply heavy enough that the finish stays wet long enough to flow out on the floor during hot, dryer conditions.

If you are still experiencing floor ridging after practicing the above prevention techniques, we recommend you contact a Basic Coatings® representative to further assess your needs.

Micah PetersenMicah Petersen, Senior Product Manager for Basic Coatings, spent the first 15 years of his career as a Research and Development Chemist before becoming Product Manager. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family and a multitude of outdoor activities. For further questions regarding hardwood floor care and Basic Coatings, please email Micah at Micahblog@basiccoatings.com.

The Two Oaks and Tannin Pull

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  it’s 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 your type of wood.  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 water-based coatings.  Typically there is a noticeable color difference between the two, one being “white” or “more blonde” and the other being “red”, but this is not always the case.

Distinguishing between Red and White Oak can be so difficult that now 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 prior to purchase, follow the below instructions:

  • Picture1Remove a piece of flooring from the pallet.
  • Turn the board so the end of board is easily visible.
  • Visible holes or “bullets” in the cut end of the board indicate Red Oak.
  • “Fills” or “no bullets” indicate White Oak.
  • Cross-bred flooring typically is a mix of “bullets” and “fills” and should be treated as if it is White Oak.

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wood sealed floor swirls large

Oh, Those Pesky Swirl Marks

Remember the recent job you completed by full sanding and applying that absolutely gorgeous dark walnut stain? 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! Continue reading