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Crystal Glaze - Troubleshooting:
The first step is always to test the product in another application other than your project. The purpose of doing this is to get over your natural reaction that something might be wrong with the product. This will aid in determining what is really happening and why.
If, after testing as described and reviewing the information on this page, you do not have an answer and do not know what to do - contact us for assistance as something is certainly different than you think.
Note: All water based coating products, including this one, need to be dry and cured before encountering water (rain, sprinklers, pool, etc.). These sealers are "film formers". Crystal Glaze must flow across the surface and form a film that dries hard. It can take 24 hours or more to accomplish this level of cure, so do not use exterior until a few days of good weather. Standing water over days can weaken the film and/or make it look cloudy. It could soften with long term (hours) of standing water. When softened, it can scratch off. The film will usually return to clear and hard when the water is gone.
Before emailing for assistance - do the following tests so you can give us the results in the your email. If you contact us before doing the testing and reviewing the information, there will be delays in assisting you because we must still ask you for these test results. We cannot be of assistance by guessing.
(It is important to do all 3 tests)
Now that you see what the product does and how it looks - let's examine the job conditions and determine what is different. The conclusion to be verified is that something has occurred during the installation, or in the time span after installation, to interfere with performance. You do not want to do anything else (reapply product, strip, etc.) that will complicate identifying the issues.
- Apply a small amount to a piece of flat, clean
per the label directions. The glass gives you a clear view of what the product looks like when dry. With sealers or coatings, this will show you the degree of toughness and adhesion. With cleaners and other products, this will show you the what it looks like when dry.
- Apply a small amount to an uninstalled piece of the same surfacing per the label directions. The uninstalled piece of the same surfacing takes away anything that occurred during and after installation.
- Apply a small amount per the label directions to a different type of surfacing with a similar absorption. This takes the surfacing itself out of the equation to show if there is something unusual about that particular batch of surfacing.
- Applied to a dirty or powdery surface so the sealer bonds to the contaminent instead of the tile face.
- Applied to a surface that had old sealer, or a grout release from another company that has sealing properties, and it interfered with the ability of Crystal Glaze to bond to the surface.
- Some areas glossy and others not? Streaky finish?
As the label application directions describe, the product is meant to be poured into a puddle and the puddle is then spread out a bit. But, it is still a puddle and not a thin coating or paint job. There are a few ways to get an uneven finish:
In these cases, the answer is the same. Add more sealer and allow to self level and blend together. But, test a small area first to make sure that whatever sealer was applied the first time is well adhered to the surfacing so that there will be no peeling.
- Instead of letting the product self level, it has been pulled from some areas with the applicating tool. Those areas needed more sealer due to absorbency requirements.
- The surface is fairly absorbent, or uneven in absorbency. Some areas absorbed more sealer and have less gloss, other areas absorbed less sealer and have more gloss.
- The surface is relatively even in absorbency, but the application was uneven and not per label directions. For example, pouring a puddle of sealer but then pulling it out in such a manner that some areas had only a light film coating instead of thicker liquid coating.
Note: If you see crystallization, it can mean the sealer was so thinly applied that it could not form its film. The crystallization probably means it is peeling and that area needs to be stripped and done over again. Test (see top section) to make sure there is nothing on the surfacing that keeps the sealer from bonding.
- Foam or bubbles in the finish?
The combination of using an absorbent applicator tool ( sponge, lambs wool pad, etc. ) to spread the liquid over an uneven surface ( deep grout joints and projecting tile edges, stone with high ridges, etc. ) can force air bubbles into the liquid. This occurs as the applicator is compressed by the high spots. This can also happen on flat surfaces if you put too much pressure on the applicator head.
The glass test showed you how the liquid flows and levels on its own. This situation of applicator compressing and forcing air into the liquid requires a change of applicator to one that will better accommodate an uneven surface. Try a "natural fiber" broom. This should allow you to push the liquid and control it better on uneven surfaces without the compression effect.
If the sealer has dried with bubbles trapped inside, you will need to remove that section and reapply the sealer.
- Using more sealer than you think it should?
Then the surfacing is more absorbent than you thought or you are letting sealer evaporate from an intermediate container (mentioned on the label).
- Haziness, spots, splotches noticed after a week or two?
It is not from the sealer. A sealer is like a piece of glass in that any liquid landing on it will evaporate and dry without penetrating. Any minerals or chemicals in the water are left behind as spots. They are usually white or gray in color. The sealer has kept these minerals on the surface where they are much easier to clean off.
Indoors: Usually from mop water.
- If you are not using Aldon "Maintain", it could be residue from your cleaning products. This has frequently been reported from using supermarket floor cleaners.
- There could be minerals in your mop water, even if you have a water softener. Let a 1/4" of water from the same tap evaporate from a glass to see if residue is left behind. See Problem Solving for "mineral deposits" for cleaning.
Outdoors: This can be from sprinkler water containing minerals, rain water picking up minerals during runoff from planters, roofs, etc. See Problem Solving for "mineral deposits" for cleaning.
- Applied sealer (1,2,3 or more) times and the surface below still shows darkening from water penetration.
It does not matter how many "times" you apply a sealer. What matters is the "quantity" of liquid applied and this is usually done in one application by following our label directions. If the surface darkens underneath a sealer, there was not enough liquid applied in however many times it was done. The more absorbent portions of a project require more liquid than the less absorbent sections. For instance, the grout joints surrounding a dense stone would need more sealer than the stone.
If the old sealer is unknown or was a fluorochemical type: you can remove the new sealer, then do some light rubbing with "0000" steel wool on the theory that the old sealer might be a fluerochemical type and the adhesion of the new sealer can be improved.
- Finish seems to scratch easily?
No, per the tests above you will see it does not scratch easily. What you might be experiencing is that the coating is on a relatively soft surfacing. The soft surfacing is allowing scratching that would not be occurring on a harder surface. You can make this surface harder with the use of the appropriate Aldon sealer. See this page: