Why should I invest in a concrete floor coating?
Concrete flooring is not meant for the wear and tear often seen in industrial spaces. Its porous texture and tendency to create dust can make it more susceptible to damage, creating an unsafe workplace. By coating your concrete floor with an epoxy or urethane floor coating, you can create a space customized to withstand heavy machinery, chemical products, substantial impacts, and more.
However, it’s important to work with a qualified flooring expert. Without a professional opinion you run the risk of choosing a coating that will end up failing after a short amount of time due to exposure to something it can’t resist. A floor coating expert can pinpoint the areas of your workplace that could damage coatings, and pick the best one for you and your budget.
Consider the condition of your floor
Generally speaking, a good place to start when selecting your industrial concrete floor finishes is determining its condition. Depending on the type of coating that will work best for your facility, it’s ability to bond to your concrete can be affected by any damage your floor may have. This includes:
- Unsound areas have to be repaired, such as cracks and unevenness. Epoxy crack fillers and epoxy mortars are excellent choices. It’s also important to consider if your surface needs a sloped floor for a drain.
- Remove oil, grease, chemical contaminants, dust, any other contaminants
If you fail to take care of these and any other structural or surface damage your floor coating could fail to bond to the surface of your concrete. This can result in performance failure including forming bubbles, blisters, or starting to peel. If you just got your industrial concrete flooring you can check with your manufacturer for their floor coating recommendations.
Lastly, you should be aware that not all industrial concrete floors are created equal. You’ll have to consider its density, structural soundness, whether it has a coating already on it, and get a moisture test done before considering getting a floor coating. It’s good to allow the contractor who will do the coating to also do the preparation and repair work.
Consider the Demands of your work environment
Depending on your industry, your floors may take a beating that not even you know about. An on-site inspection and consultation from a qualified flooring specialist can help you narrow down the coating formula you need, as well as the application style, thickness, and how to incorporate any aesthetic qualities you desire.
It’s best to rely on knowledgeable people for material, application, and long-term performance, since they can note important factors you may not be aware of. While a floor installer can accurately observe the demands of your work environment, some things to consider when choosing your flooring should be:
- Chemicals. While some floor coatings may be able to withstand the occasional chemical spill or splash, it’s important to note any chemicals that would frequently end up on the floor, including acids, caustics , salts and other chemicals.
- Harsh cleaners, including abrasive cleaners, which can damage certain kinds of coatings.
- Heavy Foot Traffic
- Heavy machinery, like forklifts. It’s also important to note what kind of tires will be involved, whether they’ll be steel, rubber, or otherwise.
- Impacts from heavy items
- Any exposure to weather or temperature fluctuations including thermal shock, the sun, and high levels of moisture.
- Safety. Slip and falls are an extremely common workplace injury, and some floor coatings can offer anti-slip and non-skid coatings to ensure maximum safety.
- Aesthetics. While this may not be a priority, a new coating on your floor can reinvigorate any space, and give your facility more light.
After you’ve had your facility inspection from a flooring installer, or once you’ve reviewed your facility yourself, it’s important to rank the conditions of your workplace in order of performance. This can help determine your necessary material and thickness. The last things considered will be the aesthetic quality of your coating, how it’ll be applied and in what time frame, as well as the installation system, and your budget.
Selecting the Coating System
The most common floor coatings ingredients are epoxy and urethane. Epoxies are super adhesive and very resistant to chemicals. Polyurethanes also have outstanding abrasion and wear resistance, as well as excellent gloss and color retention. Sometimes a coating will start out with an epoxy and then add a coating of polyurethane to it.
Luckily, and unluckily, there are tons of formulas on the market for you to choose from. That means that you can find the perfect coating that works for your space, but it also means you run the risk of choosing the wrong one. With so many, it’s easy to go wrong, but with the help of a specialist, you’ll be guided towards what will work best for you.
Get an Expert Installer
An amateur installation may result in bonding or curing failures, which will not only look unattractive, but compromise the floor’s ability to stand up to the environmental stresses it’s designed for. Contact a professional Boston concrete flooring contractor to get the best product for your floors.