Perhaps it is safe to say that most people would fancy having a pristine, functional tub rather than an old dingy one that makes the entire bathroom look dated.
And in order to maintain its pristine condition, every homeowner knows that it entails maintenance and repair costs. After all, owning a tub does not come cheap.
So, if you have used your bathtub for quite some time, it will most probably have scratches, water stains, or even surface cracks. Naturally, you would want to repair and reglaze it as soon as possible to prevent further damage and make it look presentable.
There are two ways to go about this: you could do the repairs by yourself, or you can hire professionals to do the job.
While tub refinishing is a fairly straightforward process, it requires specialized equipment, as well as skills and experience to carry out the task perfectly. Otherwise, the result of the resurfacing would be a tub with a bubbled, rough, and/or sticky surface.
Not only that, you can also expect that the longevity of the new coat’s lifespan would significantly be shorter. An excellent refinishing job will extend the tub’s lifespan by 10 to 15 years, whereas a sloppy DIY one would merely last for a year or two before it starts peeling off.
Thus, it is best to employ the service of trustworthy refinishing companies rather than to do it yourself. While the upfront cost of hiring professionals to do the refinishing job may seem higher, when we factor in the quality and durability of the resulting tub, it will definitely save you more time, effort, and money in the long run.
Dangers and Problems Posed by Low-Quality Refinishers
So you have decided to leave the task of refinishing to the experts. However, there is another obstacle that you have to surmount: you need to find a trustworthy refinishing company that provides flawless service.
Keep in mind that not all refinishing companies are created equal, and there are a few bad apples in every bunch. So, if you want to get the best bang for your buck and avoid the following problems, choose the company carefully.
Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals
Every expert refinisher knows the utmost importance of having proper ventilation in the bathroom as one carries out a tub refinishing job. This is because the process can expose the workers and everyone in the household to health hazards posed by hazardous chemicals used in refinishing.
For instance, stripping agents containing methylene chloride is hazardous when inhaled. In fact, exposure to as little as six ounces of methylene chloride-based material has been enough to cause death.
Methylene chloride–often called dichloromethane–is a chlorinated solvent that is a volatile, clear liquid with a sweet-smelling odor. Refinishers use it to strip coatings from bathtubs so that the new coat will stick properly.
The use of these chemicals in bathrooms is extremely dangerous, particularly because bathrooms are often small, enclosed spaces with little or no ventilation. And since dichloromethane is a volatile organic compound that will evaporate faster when sprayed, brushed, or poured, the chemical vapors can quickly build up in small spaces.
Experienced refinishers know about the risks of using such chemicals and thus, actively avoid using products containing methylene chloride. They also take meticulous efforts to ensure good ventilation while working in your bathroom through the use of specialized equipment.
Compromised Bath Safety
A dangerously slippery tub is just one of the many warning signs of a low quality tub refinishing job. Sketchy refinishers might try to cut costs by using inferior quality products on your tub.
When one does not invest in a thick and durable coat, this would result in a slippery surface that may cause accidents during bath time. Not to mention, surfaces like these tend to crack, chip or flake easily after a few uses.
Bubbles In the Surface
Successfully resurfaced bathtubs are nearly impossible to discern over brand new tubs. However, not every job turns out perfectly because not every bathtub refinishing professional is experienced.
For instance, a common problem that arises from an amateur refinisher’s handiwork is the formation of bubbles on the bathtub’s surface. If air gets trapped in between individual layers of coating, bubbles can appear.
This may be due to the coating not curing properly, but it could also happen if the refinisher does not strip the tubs’ old refinished coat prior to resurfacing. It is important to completely remove the old finish off of the tub so the new surface can bond to the original substrate. Otherwise, it can result in bubbles in the finish or eventual premature coating failure.
To avoid this problem, make sure your resurfacing technician strips the tub’s old coat properly if it has been resurfaced before. Also, wait for 24 hours before using the tub so that the new coating can cure properly. During this period, do not let water come in contact with the tub.
A refinished bathtub should feel smooth to the touch. However, if your refinished bathtub has a texture that feels rough, pointy, or like sandpaper, that means that the surface of the tub was not cleaned or sanded properly prior to the application of the new coat.
It could also be because dust and debris got trapped in the finish while it is curing. After all, it is impossible to ensure a dust-free environment in the bathroom, so sometimes, dust particles settle in the finish during curing.
While this may be just a slight imperfection, it can be uncomfortable, especially when the rough patch is in places where your skin comes in frequent contact while bathing. If it becomes too uncomfortable for you, contact the refinishing professional you hired and see if this issue falls under the company’s warranty so that it can be smoothed out instantly.
Another common problem with low quality refinishing is the premature fading of the new coat. This happens when the refinish coating is mixed too thinly or maybe the ratio of the materials in the mixture is incorrect. It can also be caused by not allotting adequate curing time or by using abrasive cleaners.
If the coating was mixed too thinly before application, then it only makes sense that some of the original surface will show through, hence the fading. Hence, it is important to choose a reputable refinishing company who employs professionals adequately trained on how to accurately mix the right proportions of the refinishing materials.
In cases where abrasive cleaners such as Comet or Ajax are used, the tub’s new coat fades because the cleaners are sanding down the finish with its harsh chemical composition. First, it would take away the gloss of the tub’s coating, and with continued use, its color would fade eventually.
This is why it is important to avoid using abrasive cleaning products on refinished tubs. Instead, opt for mild cleaners that are specially made for refinished tubs.
Sticky or Tacky to the Touch
If the tub feels sticky or tacky to the touch, it indicates that the coating had not cured properly. This issue could arise if the resurfacing materials are not mixed thoroughly prior to application, or if the coating reacts to a cleaning agent or chemical.
This is not a common occurrence if the refinishing professional is adequately trained. Should this problem arise, the best way to address it is to simply leave the bathtub alone for several hours or until the coat properly sets.
Need Expert Help on Refinishing Your Tub?
If you want to save precious time, money, and effort, ditch the idea of DIY refinishing and look for a trustworthy bathtub refinishing professional instead. Not only will this ensure excellent results, but it also guarantees durability and longevity.
Are you in need of expert services on tub refinishing? Lucky for you, Wilmington Tub Reglazing services is here to help! Our professional refinishing technicians offer specialized tub and tile refinishing services that guarantee safety, durability, and longevity while giving your bathtub a state-of-the-art finish.
Call us at (302) 600-1635 for a free estimate!
Read this article for more tips “When is Refinishing Not an Advisable Solution for Your Bathtub Problems?”