One of the most frequently asked questions by facility managers and owners is, “how long will my new industrial flooring last?” Because there are so many varieties of epoxy floor coatings and other industrial flooring systems designed to accommodate such a broad spectrum of facilities and operational activities, there is no single answer to that question. The usable life of resinous flooring can range from two to fifteen years, depending on site conditions, the system installed, and the type and frequency of traffic in the area.
Building owners’ needs and expectations vary greatly and resinous flooring manufacturers are able to accommodate requests for shorter term protection, as is often requested for leased facilities, in addition to flooring that will last a decade or longer. However, there are several factors that impact the reality of how long the concrete floor coating in a given facility will last, regardless of the system you choose.
The condition of the concrete substrate is an important factor in longevity of the floor coating system. Anything other than a structurally sound foundation opens the door to a host of potential problems occurring in just about any floor covering. While epoxy and other coatings can be used to repair, strengthen and beautify a slab surface, they cannot make up for an inherently weak, sub-par concrete slab structure.
Most building codes outline the recommended base and subbase materials (including vapor barrier), minimum slab thicknesses, compressive and flexural strengths, reinforcement and other details required of commercial and industrial concrete floors. When in full compliance, most concrete floors can be considered suitable for coating with epoxy or other resinous systems.
Proper surface preparation is one of the most important steps of industrial floor coating installation. The success and longevity of the flooring is dependent upon its tenacious adhesion to the substrate. The presence of dust, dirt, oils or moisture can compromise good bond.
Beyond ensuring the surface is free of any visible dust and dirt, careful evaluation is needed to exclude the presence of any other contaminants that could interfere with coating bond. Things to look out for can include:
Your factory-approved flooring installer can discuss their surface preparation techniques with you. These should include a full examination of the slab and joints, removal of any surface contaminants followed by mechanical grinding or shot blasting to open the pores of the concrete, as well as testing for moisture and MVT.
Obviously, less frequent traffic results in greater longevity of a given floor coating. However, the type of traffic is just as important as the volume. Given the same coating system, the longevity of the protective flooring in a high traffic municipal parking garage, when compared to a warehouse aisle with a lower volume of traffic, can vary significantly. The wider rubber tires and balanced loads of passenger cars in the garage may be far less punishing than the warehouse’s less frequent, but very heavy, unevenly distributed loads – especially if pallet jacks with small, hard plastic or metal wheels are used. When selecting coating systems, knowing such details can make all the difference.
Industrial grade resinous flooring is designed to be durable and resist wear-and-tear under specific conditions. A major benefit of working with an established manufacturer is their ability to help facilities customize systems for optimal performance and longer usable life, resisting damage from stresses such as:
Florock offers multiple options that accommodate to the specific needs of virtually any industrial or commercial environment. Click the Flooring Requirements tab at the top of any page for a list of these special-needs products.
Informed facility managers in industrial settings plan for two categories of floor maintenance as part of their team’s overall routine:
For larger spaces or customized systems, work with a factory-approved installer whose expertise and professionalism you can count upon. Florock offers the variety and quality of products you need, as well as a knowledgeable team ready to answer your questions and advise you on optimal floor coatings systems capable of withstanding the wear-and-tear of your operation.