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Old 06-25-2009, 12:26 PM   #1
duneslider
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VCT repair and possibly some heat welding/sheet goods repair

Any tips on vct repair. I have a bunch of tile repair work lined up, mainly just replacing cracked cove base and other such things.

Anyway, they asked if I wanted to have a shot at the vct repair too. I figured it wouldn't be too tough. Most are just tiles that have chips or gouges in them.

They also said if I knew how to heat weld sheet seams I could do that too. Never done that but am thinking about giving it a try.

If you all have any tips, or good resources to learn about them I would appreciate it.

This is for a new school district, the majority of the schools are very old and in need of lots of small repairs. They don't have anyone hired at this point that can do this stuff. I had an in with the tile repair but they would like to keep all the "floor" repair with one contract if possible. Yes, I am aware of asbestos and they have very detailed records of which buildings contain asbestos.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-25-2009, 03:26 PM   #2
matman
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Bryan
The vct repair is no big deal. You'll need a propane torch to heat up the tiles you wanna replace. Heat up the middle of the tile till you can cut through it easily with a razor knife, remove a portion of it, and then try to get under it from there and pop it, without damaging the adjacent tiles.

If the install was installed over cutback they may pop easily.You can stick them back down with a clear thin spread adhesive (not so messy)

If you wanna heat weld you're gonna need a heat weld gun to heat up the plastic bead that goes into the groove between the sheets. After it cools you cut off the excess with a knife that is designed for it. You might be able to do it with a razor though I only used the knife. I never did a lot of it and it was many years ago but it was no big deal. Someone who has done a lot of it may come along and say otherwise.
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Old 06-25-2009, 07:18 PM   #3
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You may want to use a heat gun to warm your tiles and not a propane torch in a school. If anyone is in the building while you are working the smell of a torch usually is not well received. Around here schools look down on open flames being used.

Sometimes when you take a tile up the new one dose not want to lay in the same hole you can warm the tile in tell it is soft and it will lay in the hole nicely. You will want to use a small roller to press the tile firmly into the glue.
Don't worry It is a lot easier then ceramic tile and you will be a old hand at it in no time at all. Just think you can make all your cuts right where you are working .
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Old 06-25-2009, 08:04 PM   #4
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You may want to use a heat gun to warm your tiles and not a propane torch in a school. If anyone is in the building while you are working the smell of a torch usually is not well received. Around here schools look down on open flames being used.

Damned liberals
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:28 AM   #5
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If you pull a tile and there's a decent amount of the old Cutback adhesive on the floor the kids finger painting today will be integrating polynomials before yellow (water based) glue will dry if applied directly over it. Its an oil/water thing. You have to either remove most of the old glue with a razor scrapper, emboss with a patch designed for old cutback, or use some modern cutback to hold the new tile down. If there's water issues with the floor, modern cutback is the way to go even though its a PITA to work with.

I understand heat welding is tricky. It takes a real good 'hand' to get it right I'm told. So I'd suggest practicing on a scrap before trying a real seam.
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:46 AM   #6
duneslider
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Thanks for the tips everyone. I guess we will see what happens. The vct tiles shouldn't be too big of a deal, I may practice on the seam welding on some scrap pieces.

I think they will like the heat gun idea better than the torch. I have heard of people using irons (clothing irons) to heat the tiles too.

They do have a list of materials and which schools use which, so I am assuming they have been using adhesives that work.

I will be hitting all the tile work first and if they still don't have someone hired to do the other stuff I will start on it.
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:11 AM   #7
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I did a few (10) thousand feet of VCT in one of the highschools down this way when I was a teenager, we used torches in the school no problem California might be a different story!
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Old 06-27-2009, 04:30 PM   #8
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torch all the way. heat gun is too slow
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:36 AM   #9
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Torch is the best. For new construction punch work we will use these. Makes fast work of removal and reset. Probably not a good idea for remodels An open flame in schools or new construction just requires a "hot work permit" stating areas you will be working.

For one of our big store retailers it is required we bid approx 500 vct tile repairs on about 80,000sf for new construction.

Heat welding isn't hard. You will spend about $800-2000 for all the tools, i.e. Sinclair heat gun, tips, groovers, spatulas.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:10 AM   #10
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Now thats what Im talking about
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:14 AM   #11
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I am not opposed to bigger is better. Try using a gas cutoff saw with with a carbide blade.
A hot work permit requires a fire watch, not practical for a one men crew. They may let you work without one? It always my job to figure out how to do the job well while saving money. Avoiding hot work at times has saved time and lots of money for me.
I don't cook the tiles off the floor so the gun is only used for some cuts.
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