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What’s happening in this video… This meat processing facility was in need of a floor coating application and floor repair. A urethane cement mortar floor resurfacer was applied in freezing conditions.
The meat processing facility could not shut down the cold room temperatures but the floor coating was able to be applied in freezing conditions.
Frequently asked questions about floor coatings used in cold temperatures…
The concrete floor had sections of badly damaged floors in production areas and in areas of cold storage where the temperature remained at a constant 31 to 34 degrees. Over the years, with constant wash downs of water over 200 degrees, the existing epoxy floor coating separated from the concrete floor and needed to be replaced.
This was also at a time that a multi-million dollar piece of equipment had arrived and the floor area around and under the machine needed resurfacing with the right floor coating system.
Floor coating system installation complexities on the job
A material specification for concrete floor coatings needed to address the coefficient of thermal expansion present in the cold and hot temperature environment. From observation, epoxy coatings did not perform well under these conditions.
This was not surprising to see as epoxy floor coatings do not closely resemble the expansion and contraction of concrete thus, over time, the bond with concrete is lost and separation occurs as evidenced in this instance.
Adding to the complexity, there was no time to shutdown the facility. The contractor had to work in near proximity of the production workers in order to accomplish their work.
A time frame of 36 hours completion of all work was required by the meat processor and immediate use of the entire floor area by 4 AM Monday morning.
Any industrial flooring coating material applied in areas where the temperatures are 31 to 34 degrees would increase the viscosity and make it difficult to trowel. This is exhausting work and would require a replenishment of fresh workers to get the job done. A tremendous focus on team work and coordination among the mix men, the torch men and the trowel men would be required.
Solution – Urethane cement mortar system
A urethane cement mortar [Mortarthane™ HF] was specified. A feature of this system is that it does not require a primer and is self priming. It can be trowel applied directly onto the floor due to its low viscosity and this also allows a deep penetration into the concrete slab.
Urethane cement mortars can also be used in wood floor coatings requirements, but this is usually applied over plywood subfloors, and not over hardwood floors. Also, urethane cements are solvent free and do not taint food during application.
The urethane cement mortar was also specified due to the very close correlation to the expansion and contraction of the concrete subsurface. This is important because it addressed the problems the customer had encountered with epoxy flooring used heretofore.
The choice of urethane cement mortar for the floor coating application also answered another owner requirement for this job. No down time and work that began Friday afternoon would need to be fully complete and cured and service ready by Monday morning at 3 AM. This meant that the preparation phase of the floor coating application needed to be executed with precision and on a time sensitive schedule.
In some areas the operation never stopped. Contractor reconstruction with urethane cement mortar would not be a concern since it is non tainting to foodstuffs.
The job required a standard torch to prepare the concrete. It’s perfect for artificially drying wet concrete surfaces prior to installation of cement urethanes.
All perimeter walls were covered with a 4 inch integral cove base to address sanitary needs and to retain wash down fluids in the production area.
A semi gloss urethane cement based topcoat [Mortarthane™ HF Topcoat] was applied to assist the cleaning process by reducing surface drag. It has the same material composition as the urethane cement mortar [Mortarthane™ HF].
Some polyurethane floor coatings that have a cement based matte finish actually have micro pores that do not inhibit bacteria growth as effectively as that of a semi gloss finish found in the Mortarthane™ HF Topcoat.
Result – A seamless and watertight urethane floor coating system
The urethane cement mortar and top coat corrected so many problems, provided so many solutions and met all customer requirements.
When all parties are involved on the job it is more likely all will go well. The floor does a terrific job showcasing this meat processing facility. Whether a customer, potential client or health inspector they will reap benefits far beyond the cost of this floor coating resurfacing system.
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