As we enter summer, schools across our country transition from buildings bustling with students and staff to buildings bustling with maintenance staffs working on floors and other projects with the benefit of close-to-empty facilities. What summer also brings is hot and humid weather.
The preference has always been to tackle the big floor maintenance jobs, such as stripping and finishing, during times when the buildings are devoid of students and teachers roaming the halls. The problem, however, is that the summer weather brings its own set of challenges.
The horror stories of less than desirable results from applying floor finish during hot and humid conditions are well known. High humidity delays the evaporation of the water from the finish while having zero effect on the evaporation rate of the solvents in the finish. The uneven evaporation ratio leads to a watery finish that has not properly melted together and formed the desired film on the floor.
However, here are four tips to use to avoid the pitfalls of finish application during humid summer weather:
1. STRIP THE DAY BEFORE
Waiting a day after stripping allows ample time for the added moisture in the air produced by stripping off old finish to dry out.
2. APPLY THIN COATS
Avoiding thick, heavy coats will decrease the water presence in the finish on the floor, allowing for a more evenly formed film.
3. RUN AIR CONDITIONING
Air conditioners remove humidity from the atmosphere. In absence of air conditioning, run fans to circulate the air.
4. EXTEND PERIOD BETWEEN COATS
Given the atmospheric conditions of summer, allow more time than usual between coats to give each thin, newly applied coat ample time to cure.