How to Prevent Issues with Waterbased Finishes in Warm Weather
There are several problems you may run into with your waterbased finish once the summer days come rolling in. Here is a list of common issues and ways to prevent damage.
The Issue- Bubbling
When a finish is applied, the bubbles that result from the churning process seem to work themselves out leaving you with a beautiful smooth and shiny floor; however, when it is hot outside, the bubbles seem to “freeze” and the surface begins to harden which traps these bubbles on the surface of your newly finished floor.
How to Prevent It
To avoid bubbling, add a small amount of Basic Coating’s Dry Time Extender (DTE) to the finish in order to dilute the finish and slow down the dry time. This will allow a few extra seconds for any bubbles to break before the surface has a chance to dry. Here is a good rule of thumb to follow, if the air temperature is between 85oF and 95oF, add 6 oz./gallon DTE to the finish after mixing the finish with a catalyst. If the temperature is above 95oF, mix it with 12 oz./gallon DTE. Always add Basic Coating’s DTE slowly while mixing. You can use the following Basic Coating’s products, Hydroline® Plus, Emulsion Pro™ or Basic 1®.
The Issue- Solar Gain
Solar Gain can be a factor during anytime of the year but it tends to be more common during hot weather. The combination between sunlight and warm air will drastically increase the temperature of your floors. Floors in these conditions can reach as high as 180oF. If the finish is applied in these hot conditions, the likelihood for blistering becomes possible as water and solvents evaporate too quickly causing poor film formation.
How to Prevent It
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. Working at a time of the day when the sunlight does not penetrate the gloss will also significantly help.
The Issue- Hot finishes on a cold floor
Hot finishes on a cold floor will cause millions of tiny bubbles that will leave you with an uneven surfaced floor. Finishes left outside or in the sunlight can reach a max temp of 160oF. If you are applying that hot floor finish to a floor that is cool, the warm finish will begin to penetrate the wood and it will also heat up the air within the wood. The finish will trap the air leaving you with many small air bubbles in your finish.
How to Prevent it
Allow the finish to come to room temperature before you start applying. Do not apply a finish that is warmer than the floor.
Micah Petersen, 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, and puppies. For further questions regarding hardwood floor care and Basic Coatings, please email Micah at Micahblog@basiccoatings.com.