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Concrete Flooring — What Experts Know that You Don’t . . . Yet

The process of selecting new facility flooring can be time consuming, confusing and downright overwhelming. It’s enough to make even the most experienced decision maker feel like a novice. For the busy Facility Manager, the task of sorting through the myriad options and information can be a formidable challenge.

How the Experts Do It

Commercial architects, engineers and interiors professionals often rely on continuing education courses presented by manufacturers to help them keep up with the latest floor coating system technology. Is there a way that Facility Managers can take advantage of these CE Courses?

Unfortunately, many manufacturers only offer this information in closed door face-to-face settings. Examples include CE Course presentations during “lunch-n-learns” at large architectural firms, where flooring product representatives can then influence building designers to include their products when writing architectural specifications. Some concrete coating manufacturers do offer informational courses online through professional associations or through corporate education services, but often non-members are either not welcome or are charged significant fees. However, occasionally you can find a flooring manufacturer that provides an informative CE Course on their website free of charge.

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What’s a Facility Manager to Do?

How can you make sure to stay informed about concrete flooring products and be ready when the next facility flooring decision time comes around?

  1. Visit a concrete flooring manufacturer’s website and compare it to others’. It will be easy to see which sites are most informative and user-friendly. Bookmark the best on your computer for future use.
  1. Note which manufacturers offer a no charge facility flooring overview course on their product websites. Then, when you have a bit of time, view the course and copy down some information you can use later.
  2. Sign up for a trusted floor coating manufacturer’s newsletters. This will periodically give you access to some of the innovations taking place in the industry and help you keep abreast of the most important news.

These three easy tips can help keep you on top of the floor coating innovations and minimize the need for pre-purchase investigations later.

Saving Time on Facility Flooring

As a Facility Manager, you need to stay current on hundreds of building products and systems. Saving time when doing so is critical. To make sure that the resinous flooring overview CE Course you view is indeed comprehensive and a good use of your time, what should be included?

Initially, a good facility flooring overview video should touch on:

  • Site evaluation
  • Slab surface preparation
  • Floor moisture-related concerns
  • The different types of concrete floor toppings in use today
  • Typical performance characteristics of each type of floor, allowing you to make more informed choices
  • The varieties of concrete flooring that are best for specific industrial, commercial and institutional applications – including yours
  • A summary of current flooring installation techniques to help you know what questions to ask your contractor
  • Industry jargon to help you better navigate the purchasing process
  • Options in today’s high performance flooring appearance and aesthetics
  • Key items to review before making your facility flooring decision

These and other important factors of concern within the concrete flooring industry are just the beginning of what a good survey course should cover.

Facility Budget Savings

Budget constraints are an ongoing challenge for every facility manager. The CE Course you choose to watch should describe the ways in which well-selected concrete coatings can contribute to overall facility savings, such as by:

  • Easing strain on air filtration systems by reducing concrete “dusting”
  • Reducing the need for additional overhead lighting fixtures, helping to lower overall energy consumption
  • Minimizing maintenance time, labor and the need for harsh stripping and cleaning chemicals
  • Helping to stay in compliance with government agency requirements, avoiding fines
  • Providing extremely durable, stain and scratch-resistant flooring that lasts longer that many other types of floor coverings
  • Furnishing outstanding lifecycle value

Knowing the additional budgetary benefits of your upcoming flooring purchase can greatly assist in the decision-making process.

Occupants’ Health & Safety

Well-selected concrete coatings can contribute to building occupants’ health and safety in diverse ways. These benefits can stem from the flooring material formulation itself to the location and method in which it is installed. A useful concrete coatings CE Course lets you learn about the ways concrete floors can support the well-being of your facility’s employees and visitors, for instance with:

  • Improved overall Indoor Air Quality (I.A.Q.) through the elimination of concrete “dusting”
  • Floors free of “outgassing” once fully cured, in contrast to vinyl floors and carpeting, which can “outgas” for months after installation
  • Coating formulas containing no formaldehyde, phthalates, heavy metals and solvents
  • Reduced likelihood of slip-and- fall events via skid-resistance that can be customized to accommodate specific facility use and traffic patterns
  • Improved hygiene and sanitation though flooring’s “seamless” design and integrated cove base — germs have fewer places to hide and proliferate
  • Anti-microbial options that provide additional protection against pathogens and mold growth
  • Reduced risk of room static, shock, arcing and explosion in sensitive spaces through installation of electrostatic dissipative and conductive concrete coating systems
  • Way-finding messages, floor striping and safety markings for daily traffic and first responders alike

Having a good overview of these health and safety factors allows you to “talk high performance flooring” more intelligently with specialty contractors and manufacturers, and informs your decision-making as never before.

Environmental Contributors

Knowing what influence your purchasing decisions have on the environment is important. An appropriate online CE Course allows you to discover what concrete coatings can contribute in terms of environmental benefits. For example, many high performance flooring systems offer:

  • Zero to very low VOC formulations
  • Recycled content and locally-sourced component options
  • Recyclable and reduced packaging by some manufacturers
  • The ability to extend the life of new concrete slabs; less frequent replacement
  • Reduced landfill usage, since floor coatings, unlike sheet vinyl and carpeting, have no “cut-off waste”
  • The possibility to renovate and reuse many existing slabs, rather than having to destroy and re-pour
  • Protection to surrounding soil and community groundwater by preventing dangerous contaminants from leaching through the porous concrete floor slab
  • USGBC®LEED point contribution

Understanding how your concrete floor coating selection helps lessen your company’s environmental impact can make all the difference.

It’s About Working Smarter

In a perfect world, facility professionals would have the same access to concrete flooring information as construction insiders like architects, engineers and commercial designers. And with just a little effort, you can!

Being prepared with information on floor coating industry standards, installation best practices, primary and ancillary budget savings and not having to feel overwhelmed with the many flooring system decisions before you — what could be smarter?

Florock offers a free online CE Course for architects, engineers and commercial designers that is also viewable by facility managers like you!

To learn more, please call 1-800-356-7625 (001-773-376-7132 from outside the U.S.) or email web@florock.net, to find a Florock Technical Representative near you.