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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Common Floor Finish Problems and Their Causes

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Common floor finish problems and their causes.

These problems can be the result of using unsuitable or dirty tools and equipment, improper application techniques, contamination of water or finish, or surrounding environmental factors. Understanding what could or has caused floor finish issues and correcting the problem(s) (hopefully before they happen) will help save time and money.

Here are some common floor finish problems and their possible causes:

Finish is discolored under the floor mats

  • Floor mats were placed back on floor before finish had proper time to cure.  Not allowing the chemicals to evaporate correctly will cause the finish to dry improperly.
  •  There was a chemical reaction between the floor finish and the rubber backing on the floor mats.

Swirl marks

  • Your burnishing pad may be too aggressive for the floor finish.
  •  You're moving the burnisher too slowly or not using a high RPM machine.
  •  Poor contact between the pad and the floor.
  •  Dirty or wet floor pad was used.

Streaks in the floor finish

  • Floor was not properly prepared before finish was applied.
  •  Floor finish didn't thoroughly dry before applying additional coat.
  •  Too thin or heavy of coat applied.
  •  Application mop, bucket/wringer, water was dirty or contaminated.
  •  Floor was too cold when finish was applied.
  •  Floor finish contaminated or was improperly stored. Floor finish that has been exposed to extreme cold or hot temperatures should not be used and will need to be replaced.


  • Finish coats applied too thin.
  •  Fans pointed directly at wet floor finish.
  •  Poor adhesion of the floor finish.
  •  Contaminated mop head or finish.
  •  Floor not rinsed properly after stripping.

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