Occasionally, when you attempt to lay a recoat of finish on a wooden floor, they might notice that finish will not stick to the recoated floor. This problem can be defined as “crawling,” “fish eyes” or “separation”. If a floor is considered “contaminated” then the recoat of finish will begin to crawl. Crawling occurs when a solvent base finish is applied, the paste wax is drawn by the solvent and the finish pulls away from those edges.
Contamination can result from a variety of things, such as, residue from mopping treatments, non-recommended cleaners, salt residue, waxes, silicones and miscellaneous chemicals. Crawling will leave your floors with an oily appearance. This is not only an eye sore, but a serious safety issue. A crawling finish will leave your floor extremely slippery making you more susceptible to a slip and fall accident.
To fix this issue, make sure you completely cure the new coat of finish. The floor must then be cleaned with a strong wood floor cleaner or a solvent to rid the floor contaminants. Make sure you check with a finish manufacturer to make sure you are using a strong enough cleaning chemical. Continue with screening your floor, but make sure the surfaces are completely cleaned before and after the screening process.
In the future, make sure your floors are entirely cleaned before applying a recoat. This will prevent you from having to completely strip and clean your floors and rescreen to achieve the finish you are looking for.
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. For further questions regarding hardwood floor care and Basic Coatings, please email Micah at Micahblog@basiccoatings.com.