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 Post subject: Masterline poly stinks after 5 months
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2023 7:55 am 
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Hi Everyone,

We had our hardwood floors sanded and refinished 5 months ago
The contractor used Masterline commercial grade oil based poly. It was a huge mistake.
The house still stinks. It's a smell that sticks to you even after you leave the house. And it builds up when the windows are closed and there is no ventilation.
What I'm truly concerned about are the health risks. To get a better grip on the situation, I have been using an air quality monitor devicem to measure VOC levels. I did a controlled test where I ventilated a bedroom and then sealed it (and the hvac ducts) with the device inside. Starting VOC was 46 ppb. After 8 hours, it hit 370 ppb.
The degree of off-gassing strongly correlates with temperature. Warming up the house, whether because of daytime sun or the furnace, causes the VOC level to shoot up. At 85 degrees, it was 580 ppb in the living room. The muggy stinky smell was just awful.
At this point, I'm prepared to pay the $10K plus to redo everything with a real professional and quality water based poly.

I wanted to ask the professionals:

-Beyond the level of VOC, how concerned should I be about the kinds of chemicals in Masterline poly? My understanding is, it's cheap stuff and at least one professional I spoke with hates it.

-How concerned should I be about the health risks in general?

-Has the VOC permeated the drywall and stuff in the house?

-Is there any way to salvage the situation?

-I'm in VA and there are limits on the VOC content of stuff used in houses. Is Masterline poly even allowed in VA?

-How mad should I be at the contractor? I asked for oil based poly but I didn't ask for the cheapest crappiest stuff with high VOC that may not even be disallowed by state regulations!

Many thanks in advance for any replies.


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 Post subject: Re: Masterline poly stinks after 5 months
PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2023 4:01 pm 
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Sorry about the smell. There is a national exemption to use higher VOC finish in quarts. Some areas have more restrictions on the VOC percentage. If it is sold locally it can be used. It just takes time for the finish to cure completely. If three coats are applied it will be a thicker film. The finish cures from the top down and as the finish gets harder on the surface it will be take longer for the solvent to evaporate. I suggest putting a box fan in the window, blowing outward and open a window on the other side of the house to get forced cross ventilation. I put cardboard next to the fan to help seal the air flow and use a string to keep the fan from blowing over. Open the windows in the warm part of the day and close windows at night to keep the floor as warm as possible. The curing part of floor refinishing is just one of the hassles along with moving and re-organizing, but it ought to last a lifetime. As the finish gets worn and seems to be hard to keep looking clean you can use a water-based poly-urethane to re-coat the worn floor which may not be needed for ten years or more.


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 Post subject: Re: Masterline poly stinks after 5 months
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2023 7:21 am 
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Thanks so much Pete.
I've done that some, with a box fans in windows in opposite sides of the house, one pulling air in and one pushing it out, exactly as you suggested with cardboard to plug up the gaps on the sides.
And I've run the furnace full blast at the same time! Cooking the house and forced ventilation at the same time.. I haven't done it more than 2 days yet.
It sounds like you think this could take care of the problem?
Beyond the smell and VOC levels, I'm concerned about exposing my small child to unknown chemicals in the poly. What's your opinion on this subject? It seems like there are 2 opposing camps on the topic.


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 Post subject: Re: Masterline poly stinks after 5 months
PostPosted: Mon Jun 19, 2023 10:10 pm 
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Certainly it would be best to have finish applied as the home has been built so fumes are gone as people move.The fumes are toxic and over time can help create poor health. We are exposed to chemicals even when we don't realize.
I think that a healthy diet and good exercise will rid us of the dangers over time with a low chance of health problems. Fat in our bodies can store chemicals which have later effects.
It seems that almost all floor protection for wood floors have some VOC's that will go away with time to cure. The low VOC coatings have been tested for wear resistance and perform as well and better than the solvent based systems.
There are reasons why some do not want to use the more modern coatings, mainly fear of failure by not understanding the requirements for success. As more mechanics demonstrate the value of low VOC coatings and demonstrate production consumers will require an upgrade. It is more expensive to use the low VOC coatings and that low cost is the reason why some prefer solvent based coating. With good planning, labor for water-based coatings and some low VOC solvent based coatings can compete. It's a big business.


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 Post subject: Re: Masterline poly stinks after 5 months
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2023 8:25 am 
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Honestly, it seems nuts to use solvent based coatings.
I just don't want to take any risks exposing my child.
I am going to spend the money and redo it all.
Do you have any recommendations for modern low VOC coatings products for the job? Does the stain also need to be low VOC? The minwax stain the contractor used seemed to give off a lot of fumes when they applied it.


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 Post subject: Re: Masterline poly stinks after 5 months
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2023 9:13 am 
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Good luck, some VOC's are in every coating that go on the floor. Water-base films have about a quarter of their was in VOC's. You can not smell them as much as the solvent based finish.


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 Post subject: Re: Masterline poly stinks after 5 months
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2023 6:02 pm 
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Location: Tucson AZ
I wonder why people still use those old oil finishes with tons of VOC's as well.

Take a look at this. I've used it before and looks great. Very matte and yes it looks thirsty but it works. Needs a recoat after a couple years.

https://www.rubiomonocoatusa.com/

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Stephen Perrera
Top Floor Installation Co.
Tucson, Arizona
IFCII Certified Inspector
Floor Repairs and Installation in Tucson, Az
http://www.tucsonazflooring.com


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 Post subject: Re: Masterline poly stinks after 5 months
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2023 12:58 am 
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Stephen,
Thanks so much.
That's a super interesting product and Greenguard Gold certified.
I'm redoing $10K of work to get rid of the VOC, so it makes sense to go for a product like this.


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 Post subject: Re: Masterline poly stinks after 5 months
PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2023 10:52 pm 
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Location: Tucson AZ
aazz wrote:
Stephen,
Thanks so much.
That's a super interesting product and Greenguard Gold certified.
I'm redoing $10K of work to get rid of the VOC, so it makes sense to go for a product like this.

Your welcome.

_________________
Stephen Perrera
Top Floor Installation Co.
Tucson, Arizona
IFCII Certified Inspector
Floor Repairs and Installation in Tucson, Az
http://www.tucsonazflooring.com


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