A reader writes: “We recently started a contract that has a very blotchy appearance due to a urethane seal being applied incorrectly. Stripping it only makes it look worse. Any suggestions would be appreciated.”

Unfortunately I am encountering this question more often than I should. First of all, I can only make general comments since I do not know exactly what product was used and what has been done to it before and since you assumed the contract.

Based on our conversation, you bid the contract assuming that the floor simply needed a good strip/recoat job because you thought you were dealing with water-based floor finish that had been neglected too long. The reality is that some well-intentioned vendor provided a urethane type product in response to the rather erroneous claim that applying this product would guarantee no more waxing, buffing, etc. In the fine print, these assurances are voided if the floor has not been prepped correctly and the product applied correctly. Neither of these requirements were met so they are off the hook and you have some work cut out for you to make it right.

I continue to highly recommend that all floors be tested prior to taking on a job to determine what is currently on the floor. It is not only important to know what is down there (which may be a mix) but also how many coats of whatever is on the floor. My recommendation is that you get a supportive distributor/vendor/manufacturer involved to test the floor and develop a strategy that will probably require some type of heavy screen and/or diamond pad system to get down to the bare floors again. Since the floors seem very uneven there will probably be a lot of hand work involved. Consider an orbital scrubber and try different pads and chemicals until you find the right process that is not only safe but effective.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net