Issue 1: Splits/White Line Syndrome
This term refers to the splitting of the surface finish caused by the movement of the underlying timber. It typically occurs with surface finishes. White lining occurs when boards shrink, causing the top coat to stretch across the gaps.
This issue is more common with water-based finishes. It can lead to delamination or the splitting of the finish. Several factors can cause flooring to shrink, including incorrect acclimatization before installation or a significant change in humidity or climate to a drier environment. It can also be a combination of these factors or other causes.
Preventing shrinkage is challenging to maintain over the long term. For example, if timber boards are installed with high moisture, they will eventually shrink over time.
Issue 2: Peeling
Peeling refers to the surface finish starting to come off the timber, leaving it exposed to dirt, moisture, and dust. This issue requires additional maintenance or even sanding and resealing.
Peeling can occur due to several reasons:
If the surface is finished with solvent, oil, or water-based polyurethane, each layer needs to be scuffed to create a solid bond. Failure to do so can result in the upper layer not adhering properly and peeling off a few months after completion.
If the existing timber is prone to oil absorption, such as brush box, spotted gum, cypress, or tallowwood, the surface needs to be primed before applying the top coat. Otherwise, the finish will not adhere correctly and can peel off.
Even slight movement in the timber can cause delamination of the surface finish.
If the wrong mix of water, oil, or solvent-based finish is used and not allowed to dry completely, it can result in peeling.
If the timber has been previously finished with oil, it needs to be sanded back to raw timber and all oil residue must be cleaned before applying a polyurethane finish.
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Good luck on your upcoming project!