What’s happening in this video... Floor refinishing with urethane cement [Mortharthane™ HF] being applied to a blast freezer floor at a frozen dough manufacturing facility.
A urethane cement mortar [Mortarthane™ HF], was specified to resist heavy thermal shock cycles, flour and hot air from high velocity drying fans grinding into the floor and moderate chemical attack which further deteriorates the concrete floor.
When it comes to any temperature extremes, a urethane cement is often the specified floor coating and resurfacer because of it’s ability to withstand the fluctuations in temperature – not only for heat resistant floors but for sub-freezing floors as well.
How thick should a urethane cement floor be applied? What are the guidelines for floor resurfacing? What product choices are there?
The term “floor refinishing” not only applys to hardwood floors, but is also used for concrete floor projects as well, but the most popular term is “floor resurfacing”. The question posed here addresses concrete floor areas and does not cover refinishing hardwood floors or hardwood flooring. Hardwood floor finishing employs a completely different process with it’s own set of problems and solutions.
A floor coating is not the same product as a polyurethane for wood floors. How to apply those types of flooring products is a totally different process for totally different reasons.
There are no guidelines on thicknesses for urethane cement flooring. Concrete floors all have specific needs according to the environment of the floor and the intended uses of the flooring surface.
For example, in order to prepare a given concrete floor area, a milling machine is employed that removes the entire cap of the floor ranging anywhere from three eights to a half of an inch thick.
Following removal of the cap, the floor surface needs to be replaced to the same depth of removal. In other words, the urethane cement overlay needs to be replaced up to a half inch in the example given.
Each problem area in a floor coating project needs to be properly evaluated to determine depth of concrete floor removal. Grease, oil or even vinegar spillage wreaks havoc on a floor and if these conditions persisted over a long period of time on an uncoated and therefore unprotected slab, the contractor must remove enough of the slab to get beneath the depth of penetration of the contaminants.
The depth of removal will dictate the suitable equipment to employ to perform the removal of the concrete cap.
Expect the unexpected in concrete floor coating projects
In the process of concrete cap removal, areas may be encountered that are softer than expected. This results in additional removal often beyond the expected scope of the job.
Often, the floor coatings cost can escalate and at this point the contractor will advise the owner of the unforeseen circumstances that are encountered. There is usually a contract and discussion concerning these circumstances before the work begins as the contractor and building owner are aware of what might happen.
Not only do unexpected areas of soft concrete increase labor and machine maintenance but additional cement urethane will be required to fill the areas in question to bring the floor back to level.
Other areas that may need urethane cement overlays are the types of floors that have moisture levels over a three reading when testing according to ASTM F 1869 (calcium chloride test). When results are over a value of three, it would be well to consider using a hybrid system.
You don’t have to put a quarter inch urethane on the floor in every area. But you will put down an eighth inch urethane cement and broadcasted to excess with a thirty grit aggregate and sweep it off the next day. Then you have the choice to select any top coat on the floor.
If a fast track installation is necessary in cases where the floor needs to be put back into production immediately, use a urethane as the top coat. That’ll cure in about two to three hours and about four to five hours can be walked on.
You can put a clear, translucent epoxy on top if the sand that was broadcasted earlier is decorative. Or apply a 100% solid epoxy coating on the system.
What the contractor is up against at that moment for that particular floor is what will dictate what type of urethane cement system that he chooses.
Some of his considerations may include: Do you put down an eighth of an inch broadcast which you can broadcast up to a quarter of an inch? Do you put down a trowel applied floor at a quarter of an inch or three eighth of an inch, or half an inch? Do you need extra material to slope the floor so the water runs into the drains and the contaminants run into the drains properly? Can you put down a three sixteenth inch and self leveling beneath? Do you want a smooth floor?
It really depends on the flooring and it depends on the environment and the conditions on that particular floor. It’s a very individual business when it comes to what type of urethane cement to use.
You can put down a $11 or $12 per square foot urethane cement quarter inch overlay in some areas of the floor, but the outlying areas that may have high moisture content in the floor may only require an eighth inch urethane cement hybrid system. With hybrid systems, you cut the system down to maybe $6 a square foot, cutting your cost in half.
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