Choosing the right concrete floor coatings product for repair and maintenance can be difficult, and can even lead dangerously to coatings failure, when not considered very carefully.
During maintenance, below guidelines will come in handy in choosing the right concrete floor coatings:
1. Get a working knowledge of the properties of concrete floorings
The aggregation of cement, water and some other coarse materials like sand or gravel has made concrete strong, flexible, and suitable for many construction applications. Knowing the composition of concrete floors is helpful in predicting the behavior of concrete floor coatings when applied.
2. Know the vulnerabilities of concrete floorings
Concrete floors may be strong, but they have a porosity that is prone to cracking when subjected to constant impacts. They also crack when they shrink or receive heavy load. Knowing that concrete floors behave this way will determine the choice of concrete floor coatings to use for repair and maintenance.
3. Surface assessment and repair
The surface condition should be carefully examined prior to installation. If the surface is cracked or damaged, it is better to first repair this. If it is dirty or bacterial growth is evident, cleanup should be necessary. The reason for surface preparation is to increase adhesion during application, and any of the above-mentioned factors hinder adhesion in a major way.
4. Evaluate location and usage
Varying areas in the facility have different purposes or functions. If the area is used in the handling of toxic chemicals, concrete floors are frequently exposed to chemical damages, necessitating the use of concrete floor coatings that can better protect against chemical spills. If the area is used as a loading bay, the constant heavy mechanical and physical loads may require the use of thicker or impact-proof concrete floor coatings.
5. Identify priorities and concerns
The choice of concrete floor coatings sometimes does not rely on function alone. Other factors may come into play that could affect what type of coatings to use. If the concrete floor is in a foyer or lobby, aesthetics may be a priority, and the use of decorative paints may be the best choice. Most often, however, cost is the main factor that can influence the choice of the best coating systems to install.
6. Select the best-fitted coatings
Each concrete floor coatings product brings different performance features. The selection process is easier when facility managers know their epoxies and urethanes, and which products yield significant performance gain, or bring greater resistance, or is easier to apply and cure, or even which are low-VOC formulations, and all in all, which is the best-fit product for the specific project.
7. Be familiar with the coating application process
Concrete floor coatings application methodologies could greatly impact the future performance of the installed coating system. Poor surface preparation, a non-conformance to the Material Data Sheet, or a faulty application process, or even just a minute misstep in curing or other application tasks, can cascade into each other and make the whole installation lead to coatings failure.
8. When in doubt, rely on the expert
Relying on professional coatings contractors is still the safest route to a successful concrete floor coatings installation. These are trained experts with years of experience in the best application practices and procedures, and the know-how to implement the project from planning right down to post-application. Choosing the right products to use is also one of the valuable services that professional painting contractors can bring into any maintenance project.
Steve A. Parker, Sr. Estimator, RaiderPainting.com – the preferred painting company for building owners and facility managers of commercial and industrial properties nationwide. Call 877-724.3371 for a free Estimate. And check out the Raider Painting Blog.