Amish made hardwood

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 Post subject: Help! Polyurethane Smell After 4 months and Sanding Down!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:29 pm
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I have been dealing with this flooring saga since late July, and would love to find some resolution.

We had our hardwood floors stained and refinished in July. The contractor laid down some new wood floor and then refinished the existing wood floor. He had a hard time matching the new and old wood and ultimately used 4-5 coats of an oil based polyurethane. The entire house (two floors) was done. When we tried to move in the fumes were unbearable. We left the house and attempted to move back in multiple times. It was very humid outside as it got into August. Windows were open to ventilate but the air wasn’t dry. Then we noticed poly bleeding all over the house with large globs of poly coming through the cracks.

It was clear the job was not done properly and we decided to have another contractor evaluate. He recommended ripping the floors out on the main level of the house and using a water based finish. We used bona traffic HD. Upstairs, he thought it wasn’t as bad, so he sanded down the floors and removed certain planks where the poly was in the cracks. So, one level was ripped out and the other level was sanded down with some ripped out and BOna traffic was used. This was done in October.

Here we are, almost December, and the floors are still off gassing with the same smell from August. When I put my nose on the floors I smell it, so there’s no question it’s the floors. We have tried baking out the House with high heat, and even though it’s freezing outside we leave the windows open all the time to ventilate with fans in the windows.

I am at my wits end. Any advice to get rid of the smell and end the off gassing?? I am worried for my family’s health, besides not wanting to have to endure this smell all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Polyurethane Smell After 4 months and Sanding Down!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:07 am 
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Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:35 am
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We have the same issue with our floor. Floor guy used Parks Pro Finisher Satin. Said he applied 3 coat. I think he sort of applied what he thought was an equivalent of 3 coats sort of like how you would paint - not evenly. And I don’t think he was truly disciplined with the timing between applications.

If we bottled up the house with normal temp (70 F) and no open windows the smell is evident when you walk in. Not overbearing, but there. It’s almost as if you can feel them more than smell them. Every once in while walking through the house I will get a whiff of something that irritates the throat mildly - as if I am running outside in cold weather but not quite as acute.

It has been over a month now and while the smell has improved quite a bit there are stubborn fumes that remain. My wife is pregnant just through 1st trimester so we are worried about what these fumes would do to the fetus. Anyone have thought regarding this in particular?

We have heat registers on the ground and the floor guy definitely spilled into them quite a bit - both stain and the poly. I figured the stain and poly in these registers would have been the first to dry, so initially figured this spillage was not as issue. Could I be wrong about this? When I smell the air coming from these ducts it doesn’t smell particularly strong, however.

If I put my nose jn the floor I don’t really smell the same smell I smell in the air. It smells like a wood floor or cured polyurethane I soppose. I understand that components in the air smell differently than they would when ‘in’ the polyurethane finish.

We tried today to clean floor with Simple Green cleaner as per rustoleum suggestion. Hasn’t seemed to help the room I have cleaned thus far. Smell comes back.

Right now I have two fans sealed to windows and one window across 1st floor open. Even with my wife in that room receiving all the air from the outside (cold - in mid Michigan) my wife can still smell it; I can’t smell it so much as feel it in that particular room.

This is or 2nd day in the house. We had move in a while back, but we’re chased out due to fumes. This has been an expensive saga for that reason alone due to extended stay hotel costs; we expected the issue to clear up quickly after some ventilation.

We have also tried to bake out the smell withhigh heat (80 F), ventilation, and even lower humidity when we were originally chased out due to fumes. Obviously hasn’t worked.

We have installed new carpet on our 2nd floor. And this smells too, so unfortunately we can’t sleep up there; in fact it is worse than the polyurethane smell - worse but unique and definitely different. I am thinking tomorrow night I will suggest my wife sleeps in the basement since she is expereseiing discomfort. It doesn’t smell down there, or at least it doesn’t have the carpet or polyurethane smell.

Do you by chance live around mid Michigan? I am wondering if the same floor guy did your floors ..


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 Post subject: Re: Help! Polyurethane Smell After 4 months and Sanding Down!
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:29 pm 
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It's best to refinish floors during the Summer.Oil based poly-urethane dries on the surface and gets hard from the top down. During colder weather it would be better to let each coat dry longer before the next so a soft layer isn't covered by another fresh coat. The thicker the coating, the longer it will take to cure. No smell means that the coats are cured. Warmer conditions and moving the air over the finish will help. Heat rise so fans to circulate stratified hot air will help. If you do ventilate with the windows open, close up after twenty minutes so the floor doesn't get too cold.
Some vapors are heavier than air and could settle in the basement


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