Facility managers and business owners are more than aware of the benefits of having the concrete floor coated in a system that enhances their facility. However, without industry knowledge, choosing the best industrial floor paint can be challenging.
The type of industrial floor coatings options available vary from resin floor coatings to surface hardeners, concrete polished floors, overlays, vinyl or rubber tiles and screed finished floors.
Choosing the right coating will make sure your industrial floor provides the best balance between serviceability and cost. This guide will help you consider the best approach for your project, and when an epoxy resin floor coating would be a good choice.
What is the existing surface condition?
When conducting a site visit, the flooring specialist's first task is the thorough examination of the condition of the concrete, regardless of the concrete being old or recently poured. Both types of concrete need the correct and proper preparation before a flooring system can be installed. In order to make sure of a successful application of floor paint, the concrete substrate must be in good condition, free of unevenness, contamination and cracks as these flaws will prevent the floor paint from adhering to the surface/forming a good bond.
If the concrete shows evidence of one or more of these conditions, the installation team will include the correction of the defects in the preparation process. Depending upon site conditions, as well as the type of flooring to be installed, the team of specialists will use mechanical means, such as shot-blasting and/or diamond grinding, this will open the pores of the concrete surface in preparation for priming and coating.
What are your floor performance requirements?
Experienced flooring specialists will offer one or more flooring solutions for a given facility space and budget. Recommendations are based on the information the facility provides such as the day-to-day activities and general conditions within a specific building or room. It is therefore imperative that facility managers provide the installer with as much information about their operation as possible. The intended use of the space is an important consideration when selecting industrial floor paint. In a heavy-duty manufacturing environment, you need a floor paint that can withstand forklift lorry traffic, resistant to any oils and chemicals that are in use, slip resistant, abrasion and impact resistant* and extremely durable. Garage owners will find that a successful garage floor coating should be able to protect the concrete from acid/oil attacks and salt attacks.
You may want to use different colours to mark pedestrian safe zones or put safety signs on the floor to tell people they must PPE in certain areas. If you manufacture electronics, you may need a conductive or antistatic floor that eliminates dust. Warehouses need floors that can cope with 24/7 forklift traffic and that won’t crack and become uneven which is a serious safety hazard when carrying heavy loads.
With countless of concrete coating systems available that can be joined to give the best flooring solution to suit your facility, success relies heavily on the information that the facility manager provides to the flooring specialist. The more information provided, the better understanding the specialist will have, the more accurate the solution. Parameters of the budget, facility access and turnaround time are also important to the discussion, as are facility maintenance practices and life expectancy of the flooring.
How quickly do you need the floor to be available?
The majority of the time, the answer to this question is "straight away". Whether you’re setting up a brand new facility or refurbishing an existing building, downtime costs you money, so getting the floor down quickly is essential. If you’re moving into a new build, the chances are that you’ll have a concrete floor which typically takes up to a year to cure properly depending on how thick it is. Concrete cures from the top down so it’s possible to start using it before then but it is a good idea to cover it with a protection especially if you need to move heavy machines in or will have high levels of forklift traffic.
When refurbishing an existing building, preparing the substrate to make it ready for an epoxy resin coating or paint can be time-consuming and expensive. Oils, damp and chemicals all need to be dealt with to prevent paint and epoxy delaminating which may need scarifying or grinding. These processes generate a lot of dust and can take weeks to complete, however, the use of an extra-fast hardening oil-tolerant epoxy primer, specially manufactured for contaminated concrete will speed up the process.
How much time will be dedicated towards maintenance?
When choosing an industrial floor paint solution, your available budget will play a part in your decision-making process. It’s important to note that the price of any industrial floor paint includes more than just the cost of materials and installation. Some environments demand regular cleaning, either for aesthetics or to meet hygiene standards (e.g, in food production facilities). It is important to check the industrial floor paint of choice has the ability to withstand regular contact with cleaning chemicals. A resin flooring system can also give an easy to clean, seamless surface that won’t harbour germs, unlike rubber floor coatings that will not tolerate regular contact with cleaning products
*It is important to conduct a risk assessment of the flooring and follow the manufacturer's guide on abrasion and impact resistance so that you can choose the right floor paint.
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