If you’re recoating your wood floors this summer, hot weather may impact the recoating process. When the weather turns hot, a host of challenges can crop up.
Before applying your wood floor coating, bring your floor coating into the facility and allow it to adjust to room temperature. Never apply a coating that is warmer than the floor. Applying a hot coating to a cool floor can create millions of tiny bubbles. If your floor coating has been stored in a truck or sitting in the sun, it can reach temperatures of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. If you apply the hot coating to a cold floor, the coating will dry extremely quickly. As the warm coating penetrates the wood, it heats up air pockets in the wood, causing them to bubble as the coating quickly dries.
A properly dried wood floor coating means that enough solvents have been removed from the coating to allow the polymer chains to entangle. Entanglement enhances adhesion, durability, and overall beauty of a coating. In dry winter conditions, one concern is flash drying due to very low humidity. In the summer, air exchange is important. The outside air is typically humid, and adding solvents or water to the air inside makes it even more saturated, slowing the drying and curing, so you should exchange the air in the room with fresh air. You don’t, however, want this happening directly on a freshly applied and still tacky finish. You don’t want to stir up dust from the rafters.
For best results in hot, humid, summer conditions, be prepared to turn down any airflow while the finish is being applied, and be prepared to get it turned back on several hours later. Air movement and circulation is the most important factor in drying any wood floor coating.
Increased temperature can impact drying time in multiple ways. Higher temperature can increase the air’s capacity to carry vapor which can speed up drying, but only if air is circulating. High temperature can also increase the curing rate of solvents in the floor coating.
However, you do not want your wood floor coating to dry too fast. If it does, there may be some combing lines in the coating. Therefore, in low circulation conditions, more time must be taken before allowing regular traffic and moving furniture back onto the floor. When you have low circulation conditions and hot and humid summer conditions, it is especially important to allow more time.
It is always important to consider air circulation, temperature, and dry time when recoating your wood floors. Representatives from Buckeye’s Reflections® Wood Floor Program have the knowledge and expertise to help you determine when and how to coat your wood floors. Representatives can help train your staff in proper coating applications and procedures.
Contact your local Buckeye representative to find out more information about the Reflections Wood Floor Program and the training that accompanies it.