What’s happening in the video… Application of an epoxy concrete floor coating is always done with a squeegee (usually a flat blade) followed by a roller.
It is important to use a flat blade to spread the floor coating evenly across the concrete floor surface. Most epoxy floor coatings are self-leveling so it’s very easy to apply using these two, easy-to-use application tools.
Frequently asked questions about coating concrete floors…
What are the important physical properties of coatings for consideration when purchasing products to coat a concrete floor?
Physical properties that are important to consider for facility owners and managers include no VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) present in the coating – that means no odor.
At some point, Zero VOC’s (100% solids) will be a requirement by the Environmental Protection Agency nationwide. It has already started in Massachusetts and soon standards will change throughout the country.
Of utmost importance in the food manufacturing industry, is a non tainting product, like a urethane cement that can be applied next to foodstuffs. That’s key because most food facilities, especially meat processors, can’t shut down. So you have to make those spot patches or that overlay happen, in or adjacent to areas currently in production.
Another property for consideration is sound deadening. Urethane cement has sound deadening properties that help in loud areas where there is loud machinery.
In addition, resistance to abrasion and impact, resulting in material handling abuse of things like dropped pots or utensils in a commercial kitchen and wherever you have steel wheel traffic, especially in bakeries.
Urethane cements are best in that they have complete resistance to steel wheel traffic, whereas most other types of coatings would just get worn right through and pop off.
Facility owners often need quick installation time for applications over new or old concrete. It’s a very important property for a coating to have little or no down time for a facility.
Adjusting to the customer timeline is very important. You want to look for as quick a turnaround for the floor installation as possible, because when a floor is shut down, revenue is lost to the customer. The adage “time is money” resonates when installing flooring systems.
There’s serious downtime when using epoxy coatings since a new concrete floor must be cured approximately 30 days. You can go right down on freshly poured concrete with a urethane cement, eliminating that 28 to 30 day wait time for a traditional epoxy mortar or any other coating for that matter.
Urethane cements are also able to absorb and withstand radical heat. Now, epoxies don’t do that. So absorbing and withstanding radical heat is going to be good for the facility owner, because he’s not going to find himself in the coating repair business six months down the road.
The material manufacturer should advise a prospect that an epoxy coating should not be applied in a production area that has exposure to high heat.
Another property is to be anti-bacterial. Aromatic urethane’s are inert systems. They do not promote bacterial growth, whereas epoxies do. Bacteria can find a pore inside of an epoxy concrete flooring system, and eat it, and start growing. Urethane cements do not promote bacteria growth.
Choose a concrete coating to suit the floors environment
Also look for acid and chemical resistance, depending on the facility’s environment, and what is being used in the environment. Is it a garage floor? A parking garage? In these types of coating applications, most ordinary garage floor paint products will not hold up to the spillage of grease and fluids. Cleaning solvents that are used in a daily maintenance program need to be examined to be sure the floor sealer will resist these cleaning materials.
Manufacturers should be able to provide chemical resistant data for each of their epoxy systems, polyaspartic systems or urethane cement systems to help in material selection.
Look for high compressive strength if you have floor areas where there is a chance of heavy loads being transferred across the floor or heavy equipment or production machinery.
Abrasion resistance becomes important where materials are being dragged along the floor such as drag lines, chains or in other industrial operations. All of this falls under the abrasion resistance property. Very good Taber Abrader results, using the C17 wheel need to be examined.
For facilities having to meet ADA compliance, consider very good coefficient of friction. Urethane cement mortars have a 0.9 coefficient of friction. It’s way beyond compliance.
But epoxy coatings without aggregate infused in it could present problems in wet areas because its coefficient of friction would be a lot lower and there is always the possibility of a slip and fall hazard. Something every facility owner/manager wants to avoid.
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