Ongoing Poly Bead/BB issues - help with drying

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Karmac

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Trying to give you all full details, so bear with me on the length of the post.

I had the original oak floors in my 1989 home here in Connecticut sanded and refinished with 3 coats of Absco oil poly 7 weeks ago. I continue to have poly beads coming up through the board cracks in every room on both floors all day long.

In 20 years, my floor guy has seen this a handful of times and it happened once and stopped; which a scrape/screen/recoat always fixed. From what I've found online, he did things correctly - waiting 24-48 hours between coats, surface dried to the touch within hours, sanded/dusted well; indicating they did not apply too much poly, nor in improper conditions.

Environment-wise, the central A/C is locked at 73 across the house and RH is around 40-50. I've been keeping the windows closed to prevent drastic shifts in temp/humidity, but that didn't help so I now keep them open with some fans going to keep the air flowing. My main question at this point is what the optimal environmental conditions are to maximize time to dry - it seems like I have 2 choices:

Leave as-is and run fans with the windows open
They'll eventually dry this way, but if they dry in this expanded state and the poly glues the boards together, will it cause sidebonding or panelization when they shrink again? This potential concerns me as then I am into replacing/repairing floors vs. just superficial issues.

Run dehumidifiers to dry/shrink the boards again
This would (theoretically) stop the beading and allow more air in, but my concern here is that I'll get another eruption when they do eventually swell again.

Thanks in advance for any help/advise.
 

Ernesto

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Well it cant keep doing it forever as there can only be so much poly in the gaps. As the floor swells it will continue but then stop as the gap reduces in size during the summer.

Even if you sanded it off, the poly will still be in there. I'd wait it out.
 

Karmac

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No plans to lay down any more poly as it will only make the problem worse.

Why would the gap reduce in size later in the summer? It only gets more humid from here out in the northeast. And if I leave it swelled and the boards dry that way, doesn't that open up the potential of the boards becoming glued together; resulting in sidebonding or panelization when the boards try to shift again?
 

Ernesto

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No plans to lay down any more poly as it will only make the problem worse.

Why would the gap reduce in size later in the summer? It only gets more humid from here out in the northeast. QUOTE]

I meant to say after the summer. I dont think your going to be able to stop the movement as it gains MC in the summer.
I see you've gotten lots of good advice in the two other flooring forums. Kevin D gave you some great advice.
 

Karmac

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Thanks, I understand my options are limited but I need to do more than wait and hope for the best. The floors cover 90% of my house and my family can't stay trapped in 1 bedroom for the next 4-5 months.

KevinD was certainly helpful, but still looking for advise on which of the 2 choices noted above is the optimal environmental condition to maximize drying speed.

Appreciate any and all advise from those who have fought this battle in the summer before
icon14.gif
 

Ernesto

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All I can think of is maybe a dehumidifier, the AC does this as well. Opening the windows for fresh air is a good idea but it is also going to let in more humidity as well? It's going to be a battle for sure.
 

FloorMaven

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Karmac said:
...Run dehumidifiers to dry/shrink the boards again
This would (theoretically) stop the beading and allow more air in, but my concern here is that I'll get another eruption when they do eventually swell again.

I think oil finish is a bad choice for gappy floors. It is an inherently higher viscosity material that doesn't cure through evaporation like waterborne polys. It needs oxygen to cure so anything trapped 2 or 3 mils below they surface isn't exposed to very much oxygen and may never fully cure. I agree with the dehumidifier solution. As long as it takes.
 

Karmac

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It needs oxygen to cure so anything trapped 2 or 3 mils below they surface isn't exposed to very much oxygen and may never fully cure.

First time I've heard that it may never cure, which kills any hope I'll ever have usable floors in my house. My furniture/rugs are all in the basement since I need to leave the floors exposed... living like this for 2 months has been hard enough :\

I agree with the dehumidifier solution. As long as it takes.

I can go the humidifier route, but will be very expensive for enough units to cover a 3000 sq ft house. When you say "as long as it takes", how will I know when that is and it's safe to finally urn them off? Every time this happens, I have to scrape/thin ~2200 sq ft of floors on my hands and knees and it's killing me.

Thanks again all.
 
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Karmac

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Because it's extremely tedious and time consuming and I know I'll give it far more attention than he (or any floor guy who has long moved onto other jobs) has time to.

He did it the first time and offered to screen/recoat at a later date. I don't think it's reasonable to call him to come here once a week for months on end when by all accounts, he did things by the book.
 

FloorMaven

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...he did things by the book.

I'm sorry to say this as well, I think this is the contractor's problem. The book isn't comprehensive. He obviously never attended the Guild's Building envelope class. (That's an inside joke so pay no mind)

I think using an oil based finish is a mistake unless the floor is gap free. If you have fine gaps then the time between coats needs to be lengthened. In your case for it to work the time should have been lengthened considerably which makes oil a poor choice. Experienced wood guys know this.

Did you discuss filling options prior to finish options?

Some info on oil based poly
 

Karmac

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It may very well be his fault, but it is what it is now and I have to deal with the current conditions... which he just does not have an answer for.

I'd rather focus on what I can do to dry things out at this point. Having the contractor come to scrape/clean every week - when his lack of attention to detail may have caused this to begin with - isn't going to help address the underlying issue and may result in a floor with more permanent smears than if I just do it myself.

FloorMaven - thoughts on these questions from earlier in the thread?

It needs oxygen to cure so anything trapped 2 or 3 mils below they surface isn't exposed to very much oxygen and may never fully cure.

First time I've heard that it may never cure, which kills any hope I'll ever have usable floors in my house. My furniture/rugs are all in the basement since I need to leave the floors exposed... living like this for 2 months has been hard enough :\

I agree with the dehumidifier solution. As long as it takes.

I can go the humidifier route, but will be very expensive for enough units to cover a 3000 sq ft house. When you say "as long as it takes", how will I know when that is and it's safe to finally turn them off?
 

FloorMaven

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FloorMaven - thoughts on these questions from earlier in the thread?

Yes, both options in theory may work or they may cause additional problems as your worries indicate. There's no way to know for sure, both would be experimental. Do you really want to play wood scientist for the unforeseeable future? Neither is the best option in my opinion. I'm sure "maybe" is not what you want to hear but that's the best I have when presented with only those two options.

What I was alluding to in my most previous post was - now is a good time for a do-over. That is the best option. Not a screen and recoat but take off all the finish to let the floor breathe; then assess what's going on between the boards. That's if you want it done right.
 

Karmac

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Will sanding all the way down actually let it breath any more or uncover actionable details? We know there is uncured poly down there, the boards are still expanded, and the weather is still warm/humid and getting more so each day.

Unfortunately, the floors cover 90% of my house and we're now fully moved in. We barely made it through the dust/fumes/furniture moving when we were moving in, so we'd need to somehow move everything off the floors again + find somewhere else to stay for a few weeks.

The contractor would probably re-do the job, but assuming he was originally at fault (which I can't prove), that also means paying twice to have someone else come in... and still not be 100% sure it won't happen all over again.

Appreciate the ideas, it's all I've got to go on at this point. The options I posted are just all I could personally think of.
 

FloorMaven

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This is the time to hire a quality wood floor inspector to determine the exact cause of the failure and whose at fault. If it turns out the contractor is at fault then you can fight him for compensation if he doesn't want to rectify the problem. If you're lucky you'll be ready for a redo come the drier weather. In the meantime live your life...floors shouldn't be the cause of unhappiness.
 

Ernesto

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This is the time to hire a quality wood floor inspector to determine the exact cause of the failure and whose at fault. If it turns out the contractor is at fault then you can fight him for compensation if he doesn't want to rectify the problem. If you're lucky you'll be ready for a redo come the drier weather. In the meantime live your life...floors shouldn't be the cause of unhappiness.

Eh, I doubt any inspector out there will have anything different than carnac has heard on the other two forums. :D
 

rugaddict

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inspectors are an absolute joke---we all know that 99 percent of the time they will blame the installer--in the last ten years ive only had the horrible experience of dealing with those worthless turds once--a peice of congo floorever in a bathroom with a clawfoot tub---when the sun came in the window the finish looked rippled---inspectors report---debris under the floor---what a load--new subfloor swept 3 times and vacced twice and the stupid little monkey blames me---never put in a peice of florever since---theres not an installer out there who isnt one better offer away from getting out of this damn biz
 
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Ernesto

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inspectors are an absolute joke---we all know that 99 percent of the time they will blame the installer--in the last ten years ive only had the horrible experience of dealing with those worthless turds once--a peice of congo floorever in a bathroom with a clawfoot tub---when the sun came in the window the finished looked rippled---inspectors report---debris under the floor---what a load--new subfloor swept 3 times and vacced twice and the stupid little monkey blames me---never put in a peice of florever since---theres not an installer out there who isnt one better offer away from getting out of this damn biz

Who specs a vinyl floor when a heavy azz clawfoot tub is going in? :confused:
 

Nick

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inspectors are an absolute joke---we all know that 99 percent of the time they will blame the installer--in the last ten years ive only had the horrible experience of dealing with those worthless turds once--a peice of congo floorever in a bathroom with a clawfoot tub---when the sun came in the window the finished looked rippled---inspectors report---debris under the floor---what a load--new subfloor swept 3 times and vacced twice and the stupid little monkey blames me---never put in a peice of florever since---theres not an installer out there who isnt one better offer away from getting out of this damn biz

There are some good and honest ones out there Rug .
Most don't don't crap , or are in the pocket of who is giving them work .
 

FloorMaven

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Nick said:
There are some good and honest ones out there...

Absolutely. I tend to believe the independents have less of an agenda or have less pressure to meet some sort of real or imaginary quota.
 

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