No other surface in a building undergoes more intense abuse than flooring. Every day, facility floors are subjected to shock, abrasion, chemicals, temperature extremes, and many other potentially damaging influences. Regardless of location, or whether the building serves an industrial, commercial or institutional function, concrete floors need protection. For many specifiers, choosing the type of protective material to fit various conditions can be particularly challenging.
Over the last three decades, the options for concrete floor protection have increased dramatically. The main objectives include protecting the slab from deterioration, environmental contamination, or to deliver some additional benefit such as aesthetic appearance, protection from wear, creating a skid-inhibiting surface, resistance to chemicals, ease of maintenance, and several other factors.
Many materials commonly used to cover concrete floors, such as wood, tile, vinyl sheeting, ceramic, or carpeting, can offer some benefit, but are primarily used for aesthetic purposes. Coatings that are bonded directly to the surface offer superior long-term protection. One of the best solutions is an epoxy flooring system.
Following are key considerations when specifying an epoxy-based floor covering.
Before beginning the selection process, it’s important to have the answers to the following questions:
Before applying any type of coating, experienced professional installers know it is imperative to repair any damage and properly prepare the concrete. This applies to both new and existing concrete and help will ensure a long-lasting finish. When it comes to opening the pores of the concrete surface to best receive the primer, mechanical preparation methods often yield the best results. Shot-blasting (forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against the concrete surface under high pressure) and diamond grinding (removing a thin surface layer using closely-spaced diamond saw blades) are two typical methods.
It’s also important to ensure that the specified epoxy flooring is suitable for the conditions to which it will be exposed, including the curing period. Normally, during the first 72 hours of drying, temperatures between 55 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit and at least 5 degrees Fahrenheit above the dew point are required. Relative humidity of 85 percent or lower is ideal. If the facility in question regularly experiences environmental extremes outside these ranges, special flooring material formulations, including faster curing products, are readily available.
What installation parameters should be included in the floor coating specification? The following are just a few to consider.
Your regional Florock technical representative is available to assist you with facility flooring selection and customized specification. For your convenience, downloadable architectural specs are also available online. For more information, call at 1-800-FLOROCK (356-7625), or 001-773-376-7132 from outside the U.S.