Sticky refinished floors 3 weeks after coating

Q: We had our wood floors refinished (sanded, stained and polyurethane top coat) about 3 weeks ago and our floors still feel sticky. It’s driving me nuts. I’m cautious about what cleaners are safe to use, I’ve seen mixed reviews about homemade cleaners with vinegar. What can I do to make sure we aren’t tracking the top coat everywhere, including our new carpet!

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Lung-irritating adhesive odor lingering after one week

Q: We recently (one week ago) installed a engineered wood floor over existing particle board with mastic and nails. There has been a lingering odor that is irritating to the lungs. The wood itself is low VOC and has no smell. It must be the glue or mastic that is curing, etc. Is this a common problem and will the smells abate in time?

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Is this finish flaking of 20 yr old floors toxic?

Q: We moved into a house that’s about 20 years old, as are the wood floors. The polyacrylic or polyurethane finish is in bad shape. It is scratched and chipping/ flaking. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed the clear chips are sticking to our feet from walking on the floor. It gets on our socks, on the couches, everywhere.

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Still smell an odor 2 weeks after last coat



Q: We had our entire home painted and our hardwood floors refinished three weeks ago. My four year old and my 11 month old and I have been out of the house since the project started. I’m wondering if it is safe for my girls and I to go back home?

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Is smelly polyurethane sealant toxic?



Q: My husband applied a polyurethane sealant around the windows. We have a 16 month old son. I never noticed the smell in his room, but the next morning I noticed it. We had already slept in the house. I stayed the next four nights out of the house with him. However, I continue to smell the polyurethane around the windows and in one room.

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Is lingering stain smell toxic?



Q: Have I made my home toxic? We just bought a home with much of the master bedroom covered in cedar paneling. It looked outdated so I tried to finish the cedar in a gray stain (a water-based wood stain), but it turned bright blue!

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Does moisture cure urethane continue to be a health danger AFTER it is completely cured and dried?



Q: My 20 year old parquet floor gets very heavy traffic year round. I will be refinishing it in a week (no color, 3 coats). I need to decide whether to use Moisture Cure Urethane or polyurethane (which I had before, and did not hold up as well as MCU). I’m worried about the health risks of MCU. We will stay out of the house for the entire time of applications, and an additional 4 days. Is that enough? Is there danger of exposure to the toxins in MCU even after that?

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Foam pad toxic; removal dangerous?



Q: We are replacing our laminate in the kitchen. The boards are coming up fine. But between the boards and old vinyl is a silver barrier with a Styrofoam like backing. How do I know if scraping this off the vinyl is releasing any toxins? We have 2 children and two cats.

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What could the tar odor be?



Q: We removed an old hardwood floor and my boyfriend broke out with some kind of rash, it is almost like a heat rash, but not.

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