One of the challenges that I face now that may not have happened in the past is convincing the homeowners to leave their home during the finishing process. In the past, I used to apply a lot of acid-cured urethanes. I didn’t have to convince the homeowners to vacate the premises in those days because the odor was so strong there was no way they could stay in the home.
The waterborne finishes I use today don’t have the strong odor that acid-cured urethanes have so the homeowners feel safe to remain in the home. It’s always better to have the home empty when finishing. People moving around the house, opening and closing doors moves air around the home and can introduce debris into the finish.
It’s important to educate the homeowners that the fumes that off-gas from the finish are harmful even if the odor is not unbearably offensive, and it is in their best interest to be elsewhere while the coats are being applied.
But it’s a dry heat! That is an accurate statement, and we deal with dry conditions in my area. Our biggest finish issue is with our working time with our finish. All of the homes are climate controlled, so they are not hot or cold, but that means that we are usually not able to turn off the climate controls, which means we have constant airflow. We don’t have a lot of time to work with the finish. We try our best to keep the airflow down and any heat/sunlight from the floor. We will often use plastic in the windows to try to keep the floor from getting hot and causing the finish to flash off too quick. We will also coat floors first thing in the morning before the houses start to warm up.