Surface Maintenance Surface Protection

floor failures
Avoid Floor Failures Please Read!

My online ordering is currently down for upgrading please call 503-362-5651 or email me at I can still process orders either via phone or PayPal invoicing!


Stan Zimmer

Surface Maintenance + Surface Protection

Your First Two Lines of Defense Against Floor Failures

With increasingly sophisticated methods and tools now available for recognizing and addressing vapor emission and moisture problems, there is an ever-growing awareness of these “down-up” (moisture under the floor moving up and out of the flooring thru the setting bed)  problems in the construction and related industries. The result is that owners and contactors increasingly assume that these “must” be the cause of tile, stone, and VCT failures.

There are other widespread causes of hard surface flooring failures that are little understood, therefore are often –  over looked. These are the “up-down” (of vapor transmission) problems that are fortunately quite easy and relatively inexpensive to solve by proper protection of the surface at the time of installation, and proper maintenance on an ongoing basis.

Addressing the “up-down” problems at any time in the life of the floor can often also prevent premature floor failure.

Any seamed, grouted or damaged floor is subject to various types of contamination seeping through junctures to the base substrate. Soap and detergent residues, stripping and cleaning agents, oils, salts and acids can all create conditions for lifting and buckling of hard-surface floors.

Many common cleaners use a variety of inexpensive compounds that make the cleaners “appear” to be highly effective , but these compounds can cause severe damage to the flooring adhesive or to the base substrate when the seep into junctures. This is especially true for the low-VOC trowel adhesives that all become brittle and easily broken down by these chemistries.

  • Popular citrus-based cleaners contain a product called d-Limonene, a petroleum related product that over time will break down adhesives and concrete.
  • Acidic cleaners that flow down through junctures will slowly create an environment that when re-wetted can cause concrete and all cementitious products to powder. This powder layer will eventually “lift” as it becomes less and less homogeneous to the substrate.
  • High pH strippers (especially those with high amounts of potassium or sodium phosphates sodium hydroxide ) and / or dirty water that seep in and remain trapped under the flooring material can wreak havoc. Spaces below the flooring (and especially spaces between the rubber backing of small bathroom tiles) as ideal sites for mold growth from these contaminates. As mold take hold and begins to grow, it takes up increasing amounts of space, and starts the process of delamination. While many anti-microbial products are helpful, all these have a short effective life , and any interruption in treatments will allow mold growth to re-start.

Preventing penetration of adverse chemistries into junctures along with use of non-damaging advanced-technology cleaners and strippers can prevent failures of new installations and stop deterioration of existing installations.

The first task is to seal seamed, grouted and damaged floors such that future contamination will not occur and the floor is given a durable overlay that can be cleaned and refreshed over time. Important the overlay (coating) needs no stripping to refresh!

The second task is to use cleaners and strippers that actually “float” contamination “up and out” rather than just break down; that do not contain adverse chemistries; that will not damage the flooring; that will not leave dangerous slippery residues behind; and that will effectively and cost-efficiently deliver a pristine-clean floor.

Please email me for more details! It may not be too late.

Live in another country other than the United States, please email me concerning private labeling and purchasing arrangements.

Ordering is also  available by phone, as well as online thru this web site.  Call 503-362-5651 or email me at 

Please give me your name and phone number so I can either call or email you back to get your credit card numbers. I am the only one who will contact you and get your numbers over a land line and thru a private / secure internet connection to complete the transaction. I use PayPal on my online ordering and it also is secure!