Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I have milky white areas after applying the mop on wax. Why and how can I fix it?

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   Q. -  I recently purchased some no buff wax (matte) and applied it this past weekend. I applied two coats, with it being over 24 hrs. I know have a milky film on 60% of the floor. The question I have is how can I fix this?
Hello Eric,
   A. -  It's most likely caused by moisture which is either trapped under the wax or trapped in the sealer.
   If you applied it to a floor that has been sealed with a solvent base sealer, and the sealer hadn't cured well enough, then the water in the wax can penetrate into the solvent base sealer and cause it to turn milky as the water becomes trapped in the sealer. If this is the case then that would mean having to strip the wax and sealer, and then start over with new sealer and new wax, allowing the solvent base sealer to completely cure before applying the wax. Solvents take several days to cure out, and that is just one of several reasons why solvents are quickly becoming the dinosaurs of decorative concrete.
   If you applied it to a cured floor, then the floor must have not been completely dry when you applied the wax, or you didn't allow it to dry completely enough between coats. If this is the case, then you should allow it to sit for a couple more days to see if the moisture will escape and thereby correct itself. If not, then you will have to strip the wax and re-apply it, ensuring that the floor is completely dry before re-applying it and ensuring that wax dries completely between coats. You can easily strip the wax off with Simple Green.
   While rare, it could also be that moisture is wicking up through the concrete. This can be the case on certain exterior applications and also on certain basement floors, though it can also happen on house slabs too, if the concrete company didn't use a vapor barrier (plastic on the ground) when pouring the concrete.
   Finally, if you stained the floor and did not seal it prior to applying the wax, then that would mean that it is either one of the above situations, or the stain was not properly neutralized and is having a reaction with the wax. Which would mean stripping the wax, further neutralizing the stain, applying sealer, and rewaxing. Of course ensuring that the floor completely dries between each step and coat of product.
I hope this helps