Category Archives: Take It From Us

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!

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.

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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A Common Misconception

Applying as many heavy coats of finish
as possible is best…

This is a common misconception. Multiple thick coats do not dry properly and will scratch easier. The total number of recommended coats of sealer and finish is normally three to four on a newly sanded floor. This includes most often one or two sealer coats and one or two finish coats. All coatings should be evenly applied to their recommended coverage rates. This will ensure proper drying, best appearance and wear resistance.

Excessive top coatings tend to give the floor a look as if it were plastic or artificial. In the case of solvent-based finishes, which yellow over time, the appearance of the wood grain becomes obliterated. It will also get “murky” if you apply too many coats and do not allow the proper solidscuring time for each layer. Too many coats can make it difficult to determine a wood species when numerous coatings have been applied over the years giving a look of a painted surface.

The type of hardwood floor you have and use can determine the amount of finish coats you apply. Make sure you speak with an expert or your hardwood floor contractor if you have questions.

Micah PetersenMicah 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.

Death, Taxes and Winter Time Cracks

cracked floorsThree things you can depend on are, Death, Taxes and Cracks between the boards on your solid wood floors. Solid wood floors expand and contract with change in moisture content. In the winter with heat being turned up for warmth, the moisture level in the house will decrease.  Humidifiers do not always keep up the moisture content in the hardwood flooring. The wood flooring boards will shrink away from each other causing cracks in the finish. The flooring will then expand tight when the moisture returns to the wood flooring.

If you are considering having your wood floors sanded and refinished with a low VOC OMU, it is recommended to wait until the wood flooring is tightly expanded. OMU’s with low VOC have cialis generic overnight high viscosities and do not dry completely when applied. Finish will fill into the cracks between each board and will not dry completely.  When the flooring expands tightly together again, it will force the undried finish up and cause poly balls.  These are an eyesore to your beautiful hardwood floors.  Therefore, waiting to redo the floors with a low VOC OMU should be considered.

Micah PetersenMicah 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.

Keep an Eye Out – More Causes and Cures to Hardwood Floor Issues

cloudy hazeThere are several issues that can arise due to simple mistakes when it comes to applying finish on a hardwood floor. Hardwood floors should add value to a home and a sloppy finish can decrease that value! Let’s take a look at three common issues.

#1 – Bleed Back

Cause – Bleed back is a phenomenon when staining wood floors. Stain that has penetrated into the open grain of the wood or in a fine crack, wicks back to the surface forming a wet dot at the end of the grain or a wet line along a crack as the floor dries. Sometimes this is not seen until the sealer or first finish coat is applied. The bleed back squeezes up through the first coat leaving a smearing mess on the surface.

Cure- Applying the stain even and thinner is a good start to staining wood floors. Buffing on the stain is one way to achieve an even and thin stain job. Not all stains can be buffed on. Check the label instructions or contact the manufacturer to find out if the stain can be buffed. Darker more intense stain look can be achieved by water popping the grain of the wood before staining. Be sure the moisture is gone before staining. Air movement and ventilation is important in getting stain to cure before top coating with a sealer or finish. Never double stain wood floors. Always check with the manufacturer for dry time and proper drying conditions.

#2- Alligatoring-

Cause-  Alligatoring is an effect when a floor finish pulls away from buy cialis online from india itself creating ridges in the finish. This effect will cause your finish to resemble an alligator’s skin. There are several causes for this issue, including, contaminants in the finish, cold temperatures during application, applying a heavier finish coat than what is recommended or applying another top coat before the bottom coat is dry.

Cure- To fix this, you will need to screen  or scrape off the finish until a dry finish is reached. If the finish is not completely dry, you run the risk of repeating this problem.

#3- A Cloudy or Hazy Finish

Cause- A cloudy or milky finish occurs when you apply a finish over a stain that is not dry yet. When a finish is applied over a stain that is not dry the trapped solvent from the stain turns the finish to a cloudy or hazy appearance.

Cure- To relieve this issue, you will need to sand the floor to bare wood and start over. Make sure to increase your dry time before coating over the stain. Be sure to have plenty of air movement and proper temperature conditions. Allowing extra time for the stain to dry will help in having the proper coating job. Never rush dry times.

Micah PetersenMicah 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.

The Four Stages of Curing

“Is it dry yet”? Or “How much longer?” Are common questions asked during a curing process. The proper mechanism for finish drying and curing varies by type of finish. It is important to know that each type of finish has their own needs and drying points, but there are several commonly used terms to describe certain points along the dry curve regardless of the type finish. These are the four most common stages of curing.

Set Point:  The first stage that a finish arrives at is the point where it will no longer flow and level. This is called the set point. It is not dry, it may be tacky, it may even feel liquid when touched, but enough liquid carrier has evaporated so the product will not flow and level any further. This is sometimes referred to as the gel point in two part systems.

Dry to Touch: This is the second stage of finish drying. It is just what it says, if you lightly touch the surface, liquid will not transfer to your finger. It will be dust free at this point in the dry cycle, no dust sticks to the surface. Most times it will be wet underneath, only the “skinned” over surface is dry. This is also the point at which air movement can be started buy cialis online across the surface to draw off the liquid carrier.

Dry Hard: Third Stage is hard enough and dry enough to go on to the next steps. The floor can be screened and another coat added, or can be walked on lightly. Normally it cannot be covered or rugs put back at this dry stage even though many contractors turn the job over to the owner at this point.

Fully Cured: This will vary from days to months depending on the type of finish and the conditions of the jobsite. It is the point that the finish develops 100% of all its properties.

These drying stages are well known by the finish manufacturers and any contractor can get a good estimate of the time the various stages will take to develop by talking with their supplier. When asking the supplier, the contractor would help himself by accurately describing the conditions to the best of his knowledge.

Micah PetersenMicah 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.

The Solid Truth

What exactly are solids? In water-based hardwood floor coatings, solids are whatever is left on the floor after the coating cures. Solids are usually expressed as a percentage of weight, a coating with 50% solids will be half gone after it dries. Still confused? To put it simply, the higher the solids, the more coating you will have left on the floor after it dries. There are several myths floating around the hardwood floor finish industry regarding solids. Keeping this in mind, let’s examine three biggest misconceptions about solids.

Myth #1 – The more solids the better

Solids can be anything that does not evaporate during the curing process. As you know, the word “anything” can mean a variety of things. You have to look at what makes up the solids and whsolidsat each of them does. Merely comparing finishes by percentage of solids is not an adequate test of their capabilities and performances. Finish solids are often a blend of several ingredients, each having a specific purpose. Many of these have nothing to do with how long a finish will last. These various ingredients help the finish resists scuffs, reduce bubbling, improve adhesion, alter clarity, regulate sheen, and last but not least, determine overall durability. Ingredients used to adjust sheen or to control bubbles may add to the solids, but they do nothing for the durability.

Myth #2 – Taber abrasion tests are always accurate.

The only scientific data less reliable than a Taber abrasion test result is what you get from your local weatherman. The American Society of Testing and Material (ASTM) state the accurate of on Taber abrasion machine compared to another that may vary up to a range of 90 to 106 percent. This is considered the normal range and means the tests can be off by 100% and still have been considered accurate. These results can occur even when documented test procedures are used. In a nutshell, this is why we don’t value Taber abrasion test as the one and only way to determine the durability of a finish.

Myth #3 – Pure urethane solids are best

Like the first myth, this one concerning urethane solids is also incorrectly based on the concept “if a little of something is good, than a lot must be better”. Many people (and some manufacturers) think omitting acrylic will improve a water-based coating. We’ve found the opposite to be true, and we are not alone.  Like most everything else you can buy there are expensive acrylics and inexpensive, filler, acrylics and the same is true for urethanes.  It is possible to have more expensive acrylics in a finish formula than the urethane used in the same formula. For flooring applications urethane resins work best when blended with acrylics.

Micah PetersenMicah 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.

Are You a Master of Waterbased Finishes?

dr-evilIf 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. Not only do they provide you with a beautiful clear and odorless finish, but they also good for the environment since they do no omit high levels of V.O.C.s into the air. The 2-3 hours of drying time is also an added perk of using a water based finish. So, the question is, are you a master of waterbased finishes? Read below to find out!
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Take It From Us- Mike Vitti, Superior Cleaning

Picture1Basic Coatings® is not only known for our high quality floor care products, but also our training. We are proud to be leaders in support for your floor care needs. Over the course of 30 years, we have trained countless wood floor contractors in a variety of areas including, product demos, application techniques, VOC regulations, floor installation and floor repair.

Basic Coatings has unique one on one training seminars for distributors and contractors across the country. Basic Coating’s training center features and impressive 700 sq. ft. sports floor area and a 900 sq. ft. mock apartment floor area allowing our customers to train in a realistic environment to ensure optimal learning.

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