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Sticky Wood Floor Surface

Description

Sticky flooring is pretty much self-explanatory, and relates to when wood flooring produces stickiness when stepped on. On newly finished floors, the finish will not adhere to the wood surface or fully cure.

Causes

There are a number of reasons why a wood floor may undergo such an issue. One example, where previous finishes become moderately sticky, which may have been caused by surface contaminant, is when oil based products are involved.

Incompletely cured epoxy resin residues, caused by inadequate mixing, could also the reason for any stickiness on a wood flooring surface. This is usually easily identifiable by recent problem epoxy resin use.

This problem occurs frequently on newly finished floors, where an oil modified finish may have been used. High levels of tannic acid in oak can lead to incomplete curing of finishes. Similarly, if an excessive amount of stain is applied, especially to very porous open grained areas of wood, then over coated with finish, incomplete curing or poor adhesion of the finish may occur.

Diagnosis

See description / causes.

Solutions

Previously finished flooring may be affected by surface contaminant and can be cleaned using a range of methods. These include specialised products recommended by manufacturers as well as mild detergents. Alternatively, the use of water or gentle solvents such as a Mentholated spirit are possible cleaning options. it is very important to check on a test area first as this will show you whether it is an appropriate product to use without damaging the entire floor.

It is important to identify the issue prior to the use of any of these cleaning products each offer different results. We also highly recommended that instructions and guidelines from the manufacturer are followed when using such products, as incorrect use could prove costly and time consuming

In isolated cases where only a few boards may have suffered from sticking, replacing the affected boards is one way of solving the problem. Alternatively it is an idea to isolate the damaged area of flooring with the use of a low-tack tape. This procedure should be followed by sanding and re-finishing the flooring.

Where high levels of tannic acid are suspected, a primer barrier seal can aid adhesion. However, primer barrier seals will tend to darken timber more than some other finishes (especially water based finishes), and can cause darker areas where used for localised repair. (Try a test sample.)

Avoidance

  • In order to avoid your flooring becoming sticky, please ensure that you complete the drying of stains prior to any over-coating being applied.
  • Another useful tip is to utilise internal and external entrance matting. This will help to maintain the floors condition.
  • Cleaning your floor frequently will also help to eliminate the chances of stickiness affecting your flooring.
  • Finally, avoid excessive maintenance work where sanding may be involved. Continuously using machines and finishes will cause damage to your flooring over time.