Polyballs are beads of paint or finish which protrude from cracks in floors when the moisture content (MC) of the wood rises, causing
Polyballs typically occur in the spring on jobs that were completed the previous winter.
Let’s analyze why:
– Wood furnished from the north in winter is typically supplied at a low moisture content. It is milled at around 6% MC and stored at about the same.
– During the winter, even in the south, humidities are at the lowest.Couple this with possible heating at the facility and the moisture content can be even lower.
– If the floor is laid and finished at this low moisture content, there will be considerable expansion in the spring during higher humidities. This can cause great compression of any paint or finish in the cracks of the floor.
– Paint and finish which accumulate in the cracks of the floor, are denied the oxygen required for curing and could be soft (semi-solid) when the spring expansion occurs.
– Facility owners and operators may be resistant to maintaining proper temperature and humidities in their facilities due to the high cost of air conditioning. Therefore, we must estimate the worst case temperature and humidity as an acclimation condition. On the other hand, floors laid in spring and summer will acclimate to a higher, more representative MC, thereby lessening the problem.
When polyballs do crop up, get to them QUICKLY. Oftentimes these balls can be wiped up with mineral spirits if they are still wet. If they have become hard, a straight edge or a drywall knife can be used to break them off.Train your local maintenance personnel how to deal with them and the problem will not be severe.
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Reprinted at Wood Flooring Guy with permission from Bill (National Sales Manager) at PoloPlaz (www.poloplaz.com). Visit their site for more information.