Q. What would cause swirls in the floor after finishing? A clean mop head was used, and the floor was rinsed, neutralized, and buffed before applying floor finish.
A. Since a thorough cleaning process should have eliminated residue, check out these possible causes:
Swirl marks that display a buff-pad pattern from pre-burnishing are caused by using too aggressive a pad or a pad embedded with finish and debris.
Swirl marks that display the pattern of the application mop can occur from the following:
Lap marks from applying finish before the previous coat has completely dried. This happens when high humidity along with unnoticed puddling hinders drying. When the finish mop contacts these low spots, the carrier or ammonia in the finish softens the prior coat and causes the mop to grip and pull off previous finish. The finish must be dry to the back of the hand before applying another coat. The technician should walk the area first, picking up light reflections to detect high gloss areas that represent low spots of accumulated finish.
Skip marks appear if the finish is applied too thin. Skip marks are less noticeable than lap marks. Skips occur when the mop separates or “ropes” because there is not enough finish to create lubrication and produce uniform dispersion. The new style flat mops tend to reduce skips.
Leveling problems or applicator drag can occur with some high solid floor finishes. If the air flow or A/C is excessive during application, the finish may start to dry before it has leveled. You want to reduce air flow until the finish has started to skim over, then apply air flow and reduce the humidity. Contact your supplier to discuss leveling or drag problems.
Some application problems are solved by engineering the work-flow pattern. If you can apply finish continuously, without working back into previous finish, you will reduce lap marks. Burnishing may remove the current swirls. If not, try pulling a razor blade angled toward you over the swirls until the surface is even. Then burnish and apply one more coat. Let’s hope that the floor will not require re-stripping.
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